Hiring a VA – A guide for SMEs and Entrepreneurs
There has been a marked increase in recent years in the number of businesses benefiting from hiring a virtual assistant. Particularly, but not exclusively suited to entrepreneurs and small business, hiring a virtual assistant and forging a long term partnership with them can pay dividends.
The benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant:
You only pay for the hours you need – a virtual assistant is paid hourly or by the project, or in some cases, on a retainer basis.
No associated employment costs – a virtual assistant is hired. They are self-employed. You are therefore not responsible for their employment costs such as National Insurance, holiday or sick pay.
Office space – The employed equivalent assistant would require a fixed desk space, and fully functioning equipment such as computer, printer and telephone. A VA will have all of that taken care of in their own office.
Experience – A VA will have a strong background in office administration, this may include email & calendar management, accounts, marketing, PR, research or database management. Added to this they may have worked in a variety of industry sectors.
Time – hiring an employee can take time. Your business may only require additional assistance for a short period of time, but hiring a temp is costly. A VA can be available on an as and when basis, and can offer quick turnaround times for work.
What tasks can a VA do?
In practical terms a VA can perform any office task that an in-office counterpart could perform. This could include:
- Email and Calendar Management
- Data Entry / Database Management
- Bookkeeping and Accounts
- Business Correspondence
- Research for travel or projects
- Direct Mail / Mail Merge
- Social Media
- Updating websites
- Expense claims
- Responding to enquiries
The Guardian provides a overview to hiring a virtual assistant and how that can benefit SMEs. The article identifies that “…while they are still growing SMEs often simply can’t afford to take on employees. The solution for many is to employ virtual assistants (VAs), trained professionals who work with entrepreneurs on a freelance basis. A VA has their own equipment and clients and they work in their own home. It is easy to keep in touch with them via email, telephone or Skype.”
It is a big change for most people, but a change that can be embraced and utilised to benefit the business. Don’t get bogged down with admin. Outsource now, and free up your time to run your business.
Contact me to see how I could help your business.