For many entrepreneurs, the simple amount of tasks they need to juggle every day leads to overwhelm and burnout. If you’re wondering whether a virtual assistant or virtual office is the right solution, learn more about the benefits of hiring a VA.
Do You Need a Virtual Assistant or a Virtual Office?
A virtual assistant is one individual you hire for specific purposes, such as managing your correspondence or handling your social media presence.
US-based virtual assistants start at $15 per hour, while international VA’s may charge as little as $3 per hour. While hourly billing is the most popular pricing structure, some VA’s bill by the project or charge a monthly rate for services.
If you want the assistant to be working when you’re working, hire someone who is based in the same time zone as you or willing to shift their schedule to accommodate your needs.
A virtual office provides needed office services to entrepreneurs who may work from home, travel frequently for business, or need a corporate presence for branding. Virtual office services include a live receptionist, business mail address, business fax, business phone line, and more.
If you need a business presence, a virtual office is right. If you need someone to complete work, you need a VA.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant: Is It the Right Move for Your Small Business?
It may be the right time to hire a VA when you are spending significant chunks of your day on tasks that you either don’t enjoy or aren’t very good at.
If you travel frequently, you may find it difficult to keep up existing customer relationships. A virtual office can liaison with your customers, making sure their needs are met and boosting client retention while you attend to other aspects of the business.
Other small business owners use VA’s as a low-cost means of filling the gap in their workforce. A virtual assistant costs less than a full-time, permanent employee and can provide on-demand help during your busy season.
Once you are clear on your goals and needs, you can begin screening individuals or companies that offer the services you need at a price you can afford.
Tips for Hiring a Virtual Assistant
To evaluate the fee structure of different VA’s, estimate how much time you are currently spending on the tasks you want to outsource. Then compare the per-project, monthly, and hourly rates of candidates to estimate the cost.
It may seem like hourly is the fairest way to go, especially if you only need a few hours of help per day. However, experienced and efficient VA’s who can get more work done per hour may charge a flat rate rather than hourly.
Once you’ve narrowed down the list of candidates, schedule a video interview with top VA’s. This allows you to connect face-to-face and select someone you feel comfortable working with. Putting a face to the name can help build trust and get the relationship off to a good start on both sides.
Virtual assistants can step in to help with a specific project, or with your business ongoing. An experienced virtual assistant typically has standard contracts they use for client relationships. A per-project contract outlines the scope of a specific project you’re seeking help with, such as quarterly bookkeeping.
It may take time to get comfortable with your new assistant and build up the trust needed to step back and allow them to do the work for which you’ve hired them. To make the relationship successful for both sides, focus on building responsibility and trust, and know when to step back and focus on the tasks you need to do to grow your business.
If you still feel like it may not b the right time for a virtual assistant, you can learn more about hiring employess here.