Virtual Assistants – Top Ten Reasons Why A Business Should Have One

Virtural Assistant

Working with a Virtual Assistant is fast becoming a necessity for the busy entrepreneur, small business owner and large organisation. Below are the top ten reasons why a Virtual Assistant is the answer to your outsourcing needs.

1. Allows you to focus on your business.

Having a Virtual Assistant allows you to concentrate on the core needs of your business, and not the time consuming admin chores which are essential but don’t add value. Being forced to concentrate on the tedious task of running your business stops you from thinking about new and exciting ways to expand. Your VA will take away as much of this burden as you need.

2. Saves you money.

A VA offers businesses a full range of office support services at a fraction of the true cost of a temp or employee. There will be no millstone of extra expenses around the neck of your business. VAs are self employed professionals who are responsible for their own office overheads. Compare that with the full hidden cost of an employee with all the responsibilities you have for salary, tax, national insurance, holiday pay, pension benefits, maternity or paternity leave, sick pay, and training. A Virtual Assistant can ensure that any small business has access to the same office support system as a large company – without adding to the payroll.

3. You don’t pay for ‘downtime’.

Businesses only pay for the hours worked or service provided, as and when required. Why pay for unproductive and unnecessary downtime? VAs will not charge you for coffee and lunch breaks, or time taken for their admin. When you hire a VA, you only pay for the time spent actually working for you.

4. Availability outside ‘normal’ office hours.

Virtual Assistants don’t start work only at 9.00am and go home at 5.00pm. Being self employed professionals themselves, they understand the need to be flexible and to provide an out of hours service when necessary, and that includes weekends and Bank Holiday periods. VAs are there for your business needs, not their convenience.

5. Tailored to suit your requirements.

Virtual Assistants can tailor their services to provide assistance for one-off projects or long-term support. You don’t need to ‘fill’ their time on the quiet periods. Whether the service you require is as simple as correspondence or as complicated as project management, a VA can be there as and when required – no more, no less.

6. Commuting? What commuting?!

Location is no longer an issue when using a VA. Through the use of Internet, email or good old fashioned phone and fax, VAs can communicate with their clients wherever they happen to be. Most virtual workers face a commute lasting minutes, or even seconds to their home-based offices. Even if they work in their own offices outside of their home, it’s usually nearby and not dictated by the location of their clients. This means that VAs don’t get disheartened by a demoralising struggle with traffic or public transport, nor do they lose any valuable time which could be better spent on their clients’ work.

7. No need for constant retraining.

With a high turnover of permanent staff in some businesses, the ongoing training involved can add a significant burden to your budget, both in time and money. The same applies if you employ a succession of temps. You will have to train each one to follow your own working methods. Whereas a temp is employed by an agency, the VA works with you. VAs are responsible for their own training in whatever equipment or software is necessary to provide the support your business needs. Your VA will be the one groaning when yet another software upgrade is issued, not you!

8. An offshore office.

VAs can provide a presence in a foreign country for international companies. Use a VA in the UK and you have a mailing address and phone number without the overheads involved in setting up an office. A Virtual Assistant can be your offshore office – from address to accent.

9. Parting is painless.

And when the contract comes to an end, for either side, there are none of the legal responsibilities associated with an employee, nor the personality conflicts which can sometimes taint such situations. Either the VA or the client can decide to end the business relationship, given the statutory minimum period agreed at the beginning. It is merely a business transaction like any other, with no need for tricky and sensitive ’employee handling’.

10. Providing a range of services.

A VA can become your partner in business, offering more than just excellent secretarial back-up. Most have experience in a wide range of business fields, including marketing, PR, editing, event management and website design, to name but a few. VAs can offer services ranging from word processing, invoicing, desktop publishing, book-keeping, travel arrangements, mailshots to more specialised services such as website design, editorial copywriting or event management.


Author: Irene Boston