What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is an individual who provides administrative, technical and creative services to clients while working from a remote location. Their primary goal is to provide exceptional, experienced professional quality work for only a fraction of the cost. A virtual assistant can come in the form of an independent, self-employed contractor or through a virtual assistant agency such as Virtual Assist USA.
Thinking about hiring a virtual assistant? Well, here are 9 things you never knew about working with a virtual assistant.
1. Your VA does not cost you any employee overhead
A recent study found that businesses can save up to 78% by hiring a virtual assistant. This is because VA’s are generally more productive than traditional employees, and businesses don’t have to pay for benefits such as vacation days, sick days, or health insurance. This also helps companies save money on taxes because businesses can deduct the cost of their VA’s services as a business expense.
2. You only pay for the hours you use - no downtime
The average productive employee is in the office for 3 hours each day in an eight-hour shift. According to a study by the University of London, the average employee is productive for around three hours in an eight-hour day. This means that businesses are paying for eight hours of work but only receiving the equivalent of three hours. Virtual assistants can help to increase productivity by taking on tasks that would otherwise take up time that could be spent on productive work. For example, a virtual assistant can handle tasks such as scheduling appointments, bookkeeping, or customer service. This frees up the business owner or employees to focus on other tasks that will help move the business forward. In addition, you only pay for hours that you use. If a task takes 3 hours, then you pay only for those 3 hours. This aligns with reason 1 as a major cost saving measure for businesses.
3. You don’t have to deal with hiring or governmental processes and requirements. OR Mandates!
You don’t have to worry about legal requirements and stuff. Labor law and business requirements can take up a lot of time and other resources. If you hire a VA the company will take care of that for you. There are a lot of state and federal mandates that employers are now responsible for such as sexual harassment training. If your VA is a freelancer, the same thing applies. They’re the ones responsible for taking care of the things mentioned above. Therefore, you can be assured of a hassle-free process of hiring new employees. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about onboarding and training expenses.
4. Virtual Assistants gain experience on a daily basis - new skill sets, etc.
Six out of ten virtual assistants have college degrees from bachelors to masters degrees. This is because they understand the importance of continuing their education and keeping up with the latest trends. Many virtual assistants are also certified in specific software programs or have taken courses to improve their skills. Also, being adaptable and flexible allows virtual assistants to be more open to learning new skills along the way staying on top of rapidly evolving technologies.
5. Virtual assistants are creative and imaginative individuals
Virtual assistants possess a high degree of creativity. Accordingly, you can be assured of high-quality output. The creative processes are integral to blog posts, content creation and graphic design VAs. Hence, these workers will constantly add value to your offerings.
6. Virtual assistants can work anywhere in the world with a solid, trusted internet connection
This opens up the talent pool. Your main base of operations can be in Texas and your virtual assistant could be located in Maine. As long as they have a viable internet connection and basic computer software it will be no different than if they were right in your home state working next to you.
7. They can work outside of regular office hours
Virtual assistants can work the hours you need, when you need them. There are always contractual agreements in place, but most are not limited to traditional working hours or methods. If you need somebody 24/7, your virtual assistant can work to provide you with the support you need.
8. Virtual assistants can handle confidential information securely
We are in the day and age of advanced software in cyber security. There are many ways in which you can work in a safe and confidential way with your virtual assistant. Here are a few ways to help alleviate any concerns around information security.
Limit their access to only what is necessary. If they absolutely can’t work without it, then give them access, but remember to retain the principle master access yourself.
Provide clear instructions regarding confidential business and trade secrets. Make sure to inform them of the repercussions of leaking information or using intellectual properties of your business if used inappropriately.
Make use of non disclosures. You need to share information with your virtual assistant just as you would if you locally hired staff. Best to utilize the use of a well constructed non disclosure contract.
Keep all data backup secure. Unless you have access to your back up, as much as possible, keep your back-ups locally and ensure they are usable. You don’t want to test it when you already have a breach. Ensure that you and the virtual assistant have antivirus software installed as necessary protection for your computer.
Secure Password software like 1Password, ZohoVault or Nordpass is also useful when working with a virtual assistant.
9. Virtual assistants can improve work life balance for entrepreneurs and company executives
Another benefit of hiring virtual assistants for your business is that it can help you save precious and valuable time and clear up your schedule for more important things, like family.
As you can see, virtual assistants are an important part of the workforce and play a significant role in many businesses. They can help with a variety of tasks, from answering emails to managing schedules to doing research.
If you’re thinking of hiring your first virtual assistant, be sure to contact us here Virtual Assist USA and one of our team members will be happy to assist you.