What Is A Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is any person who provides support services to other businesses from a remote location. In the early 90s, the growth of high-speed Internet brought the profession to life. The wide demand from small businesses made it possible for independent companies to form around offering their specific services to clients.
What does a Virtual Assistant Do?
A virtual assistant can do anything that does not require actual physical presence in your office. They can be financial advisors, marketers, web designers, or just about anything else you can think of. Generally, VAs specialize in specific tasks, so a marketing VA will only do marketing, while a financial VA will only handle financial services. Many work from their own home, allowing them to work faster and more efficiently than if they were tied to the bureaucracy of the business itself. This earns them more money per hour, while also providing benefits to the company hiring them.
But what are these benefits? Here are three.
1. Save Money
VAs are essentially freelancers. You hire them to do specific jobs for your company, but they aren’t actual W2 employees. Since they aren’t in-house employees, you aren’t obligated to pay them benefits and there is less paperwork involved in hiring them. In economics, we call this the division of labor. By specializing in a specific job, you are able to be more efficient because you don’t have to train everyone to do every task.
2. Save Time
The biggest advantage of a VA is that you don’t have to do the work yourself. This is especially true of smaller companies. Our company could be considered a VA for marketing, but we ourselves make use of a VA for our finances. While we are very good at marketing, the skills and tools for finances and bookkeeping fall outside our specialties, so we hire Dragon Financial. They are already trained in the techniques of the financial industry. What would take us 10 hours a month to do before now takes us no time at all, because Dragon Financial does it for us.
3. Less Worry
A good VA will know what tools they need to do their job and will have already acquired them before they start advertising themselves. You don’t have to worry about what software you need to buy, or what tools you need to have. And since they are highly specialized in their field, you don’t have to worry about training, or be constantly looking over their shoulders while they work. This leaves you with more freedom to focus on what you do best.
How Do I Hire A Virtual Assistant?
There are many ways to hire a VA. Many can be found on freelancing websites. Others will have their own small business website. The quickest way to find one is just look online. First, make a list of tasks you want to outsource. Make it as compete as possible, prioritizing the jobs that you have the hardest time doing and therefore take up the most time doing yourself. Then, run a Google search on the subject to find out what options are out there. You could also check your network of referrals and see what they have to say. Perhaps someone among your contacts already knows a talented VA who could do the job you need.
As a small, start-up business, sooner or later you’ll have to hire a VA if you want to grow. You can’t afford to do everything yourself; there just isn’t enough time in the day for it. So, if you’re looking to make more money, take some time to find yourself a VA to cover the jobs you’re not so good at. That way, you’ll have more time to spend on doing the things that make you money.