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The benefits of working with a virtual assistant for a business owner

Posted onPosted on 23rd Nov

Sarah Vincent, founder of Nottinghamshire-based Admin Guru and a virtual assistant, has put together this guide on the benefits of using a virtual assistant.

She said: “Many businesses have suffered this year as a result of the Covid-19 situation and I would like to raise awareness locally that there are flexible support options available for businesses during this difficult time.”

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Virtual assistants have been around for many years; the services they provide are becoming increasingly in demand, especially in supporting start-ups and small to medium sized businesses. Virtual assistants can be used for a multitude of different tasks and they are self-employed, so can help to save on the costs associated with employing full or part-time members of staff. When working with a virtual assistant, you simply pay for the services and time that you require on an hourly basis with no long-term commitments.

What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is a self-employed administrative support professional who works as a contractor for clients based at their home office.

What does a virtual assistant do?
When most people hear the term virtual assistant they automatically think administration and general back office duties. VAs are often highly-skilled administrative support operatives with the added skill sets of entrepreneurship, management, marketing, and budgeting.

Virtual assistants can do way more than “just a bit of typing or filing!”

Hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to bring in additional skill sets to your business as you can find a VA who specialises in the skills you need for your project.

VAs often specialise in certain business functions including:
Tech / website support
Marketing &aAdvertising
System set up and configuration of CRMs
Graphic design
Research
Online business manager
PA support
Social media management

Currently the industries most likely to work with a VA are business consultants and coaches, property and real estate, online businesses and technology.

What are the costs involved?
The average rate for a virtual assistant is £27.00 per hour but this ranges from £15.00-£35.00 per hour; most VAs also offer retainer packages which enables clients to purchase a block of hours at a discounted rate. They can also provide bespoke proposals for one-off project work.

Virtual assistant myths costs vs employee
One of the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant is that you only pay for the hours that you need. There are no additional costs such as insurance contributions and pension, PAYE, sick pay, and holiday pay.
virtual assistants often work from home and have their own equipment.
Most virtual assistants provide time tracking for hours worked which is a great way to monitor productivity.

Time saving and efficiency
Virtual assistants can hit the ground running to help you grow your business!
They are highly experienced professionals and can use many different tools, follow different procedures and work in different industries.

After an initial consultation call, defining your requirements and filling out a client questionnaire (to find out the key information about you and your business) they are ready to get started on your tasks.

This saves you the time it would take to find, hire, train and manage an employee.
Virtual assistants can really hit the ground running following initial onboarding and take very little management.

Flexibility
Hiring a virtual assistant is a flexible investment for your business, we can work for the time needed on a weekly or monthly basis, so in times where business is slow, hours can be reduced. Alternatively if your business becomes busier or you have a new project to complete, your VA can provide more hours and it’s likely that they will offer a discount or retainer package so you will receive even better value for money.
Although virtual assistants are available worldwide, it is always best to check when interviewing that they have the correct insurances and data protection in place.

Industry Information
The most popular services that virtual assistants provide (2020) are:
• General admin, including creating documents, presentations, filing and data entry
• Personal support/diary management
• Social media management

Sarah is offering a 20% discount on her hourly rates and retainer packages to News Journal readers. Use the discount code GURU20. This does not apply to social media management packages.

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