If you were to ask us “how can a virtual assistant help my business?” of course we’re going to say the benefits are endless. So let’s look at some of them and see how they relate to you.
There is a lot more involved in building a successful business than just the money. However, costs are always a significant factor, particularly to a small business. Because of this, we’ve put finance at the top of our list of benefits, for a number of reasons.
Cost reduction is the #1 outsourcing objective
Deloitte carries out a survey of the outsourcing market every two years, and a key finding from their Global Outsourcing Survey 2020 was that cost reduction is once again the primary objective for businesses.
In contrast, the 2018 survey found the key objectives included agility, speed to market and quality of service. From this, cost reduction was only considered as a secondary benefit.
Covid-19 has changed the landscape, and the uncertainty it’s created has again made cost reduction a “primary reason for outsourcing.”
How does working with a Virtual Assistant reduce costs?
- Employing a PA on a PAYE basis costs considerably more than their £20/30k+ salary each year. As an employer, it is your responsibility to deduct tax and NI contributions, while you also need to pay for hidden extra’s like pension contributions and NI. These are all costs that add up over the year.
A Virtual Assistant (or VA) is a self-employed business owner, hired by the hour. This means you are only paying for the hours they work for you, at an agreed rate. So, if they work 5 hours for you in a week, you only pay for those 5 hours. There are no other costs or contributions made as your VA is responsible for their own tax, pension etc.
What’s more, there is no long-term commitment. So, if you find the workload fluctuates between busy and quiet, or cash-flow is tight, you’re not paying someone unnecessarily or having to worry about making redundancies.
- Your PA will need somewhere to sit, a desk to work at, a computer and possibly two screens! They will also need enough space to work comfortably as well as heating and good lighting.
A VA will be working remotely from you. This means it’s their responsibility to make their working environment comfortable and ensure their IT equipment is fit for purpose.
- Holiday and sick pay are a double whammy when you are employing people because you continue to pay their salary when they are away on holiday, or off sick… even though their productivity falls to zero.
Of course, a VA will go on holiday at some point, as well as suffer some illness but you will not be paying any holiday or sick pay.
Time and Productivity
For many clients, when they began to consider ‘how can a virtual assistant help my business?’ time and productivity was the key to hiring a VA.
By working with a VA for the more routine admin tasks, you are freeing up more quality time to focus on what you do best, your core business activities, to grow your business. Imagine what you could do if some of your admin was taken off your hands…
Admin and repetitive tasks are huge time stealers for entrepreneurs and small business owners. For some clients, just having the time for some clear head space makes all the difference.
Working with a VA enables you to scale up or down the hours worked to match the ebb and flow of your business.
You’re in control of the tasks you want your VA to work on. So, you decide how many or how little, depending on both your workload and budget. Some clients want their VAs to work on specific tasks only, while others set a maximum number of hours per week.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant is also a flexible way to grow your team without the risk, commitment and legal obligations that come with employing people full-time.
Adding a professional image to your clients
A by-product of working with a VA is it enhances your professional image to your clients in many ways:
- Your VA can be the point of contact for your clients. They can arrange meetings, video and telephone calls, and keep you informed of all communication from clients.
- Your client sees your business as responsive, efficient and professional, running smoothly in the background.
- They respect your time more, and so you are not being interrupted unnecessarily throughout the day, increasing your productivity and focus.
- And of course, when your clients receive emails from your VA signed as ‘EA to John Smith,’ that only adds to your status!
Working with a VA can help reduce overwhelm and stress because you’re no longer drowning in admin or getting bogged down with the tasks you hate. Instead of being frustrated, you’ll have more ‘head space’ to focus on doing the things that will grow your business.
As well as more time for the business, you will have more time for family, friends and leisure activities, which helps towards a good work / life balance.
We hope this has gone a long way in answering the question ‘how can a Virtual Assistant help my business?’
We’re always happy to answer any questions about working with a Virtual Assistant, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss any aspect of this article.