Needless to say, there are many benefits of hiring virtual assistants. But there are drawbacks as well.
Before you start your search for virtual assistants, you should weigh these pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision.
Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant:
As rightly mentioned by Hub Staff on its blog,
“By finding a good virtual assistant professional, a small business owner can delegate administrative tasks and effectively get-back more hours in his day.”
You might be wondering that there is no point in hiring a virtual assistant when you yourself can do those tasks and save money that you would otherwise pay to a virtual assistant.
The truth is you can’t save money if you don’t hire a virtual assistant.
On the contrary, you will be at a loss if you try to do all things by all yourself, which you can easily delegate to others.
Want to know how?
Here is a simple calculation: if, for example, you charge your time to clients at $150 and your VA can work some admin work at $20 an hour, then you can make a $130 profit for one hour.
This is one example.
As a business head or an entrepreneur, you must be having other important tasks to complete than petty tasks, such as calendar management, preparing meeting materials, making travel arrangements and more.
So hiring a virtual assistant can increase your efficiency.
“I knew I needed a VA when I found myself doing a lot of repetitive tasks on a daily basis. I’ve worked with a number of VA’s over the years and I found the relationship most beneficial when I could outsource time consuming, yet simple, repetitive tasks. You want to avoid spending too much time explaining or reviewing projects so that you can maximize the time savings of having a VA in the first place.”
Here are top benefits that you can reap from hiring a virtual assistant:
A virtual assistant can make you more efficient
By delegating petty, unimportant tasks to a virtual assistant, you can focus on your core business activities.
Virtual assistants can handle a wide range of tasks that include, but not limited to:
- Administrative tasks, such as making travel arrangement, handling billing and accounting information, sending newsletters and marketing materials to customers, and more
- Managing social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube Channel, LinkedIn and more
- Managing real estate related work, such as updating listing, closing coordination, preparing custom marketing materials, etc.
- Updating product description, inventory management, product category management and more
Click here for more detail about virtual assistant services.
Though you have the option to hire a resource to get these tasks done, it won’t be a wise decision to do so, when a virtual assistant can complete these tasks at a fraction of the cost.
A virtual assistant can increase your productivity
As virtual assistants are adept in their respective domains, they will complete the assigned tasks efficiently in less time.
So they will increase your productivity.
Virtual assistants, in most cases, don’t need any training to start their work. They need a briefing of your business and your business objectives.
Therefore, you can see a surge in your productivity immediately after you hire a virtual assistant.
“Virtual assistants can help you get more done because they work on the administrative tasks on your to-do list while you work on the high-value tasks that only you can do.”
When you focus on your core business activities or high-value tasks, you generate more revenue.
A virtual assistant offers a safe option for scaling
So your business is growing and there is a need to scale up operations. But you are skeptical about spending a fortune to hire resources.
In such a scenario, a virtual assistant works as a savior.
As the cost of hiring virtual assistants is comparatively on a lower side, it will not have a significant impact on your cost of operations.
And the best part,
Virtual assistants are hired on a project basis, so you can terminate the contract if you don’t find the arrangement fruitful.
You can get your assigned virtual assistant replaced immediately if you don’t find your virtual assistant resourceful.
Leading companies, such as Ninja VA, offer a free trial and 100% money back guarantee on their virtual assistant services.
For more details, visit http://ninja-va.com/plans-pricing
A virtual assistant can fill the skill-gap in your organization
Gone are the days when virtual assistants used to be just virtual secretaries or virtual personal assistants. Now, they are skilled and highly trained individuals.
If you search, you can easily find virtual assistants who are specialized in doing a specific task.
From digital marketing to payroll preparation, virtual assistants can offer high-quality work.
If your organization lacks resources for a particular function or operation, you can easily fill that gap by hiring a virtual assistant with the same expertise.
A virtual assistant can help you gain flexibility
A virtual assistant can keep your business online for 24 hours.
You live in the USA and hire a virtual assistant from India, where the time zone is different, you can be online for 24 hours.
As virtual assistants work as per the needs of their clients, you can work as per your desired schedule.
You can hire a virtual assistant who can do sales calls during working hours, and you can have an another virtual assistant to fill data in CRM and update queries into your CRM system after working hours.
This way, you can maximize your success.
Considering these advantages of hiring a VA, you must be thinking that having VAs is always a win-win situation.
However, this is not the reality!
Hiring VAs have some cons as well. But don’t worry, you can overcome these roadblocks if you remain proactive during the VA hiring process.
Here are the most common cons of hiring a VA:
The language barrier can be a big issue if you are going to hire a virtual assistant from China, India, or Europe.
And it is not just a factor of diction and grammar. Many times, cultural and social differences present nuisances.
The best way to deal with the language barrier is to use plain, simple English. Never use idiomatic language with your virtual assistant.
And get confirmation of what you instruct to your VA to check whether he/she understands it well or not.
“When speaking English to your overseas staff, avoid any sort of confusion by using more formal English and staying away from jargon and slang words that wouldn’t be recognized in other parts of the world. Speaking slowly doesn’t hurt either.”
Absence of body language
As virtual assistants work at remote locations, you cannot read the body language of your virtual assistant.
This sometimes makes it difficult for both the parties to be on the same page.
To overcome this challenge, you need to have your virtual assistant repeat back what he/she has understood.
You should promptly make corrections to any misunderstanding. This is the only way to deal with the situation.
Sending summary emails can be a good way to prevent any misunderstanding.
Lack of dedication and commitment
Your virtual assistant may not be completely dedicated to your work. Most often virtual assistants handle multiple projects at the same time, they may lack dedication and commitment.
The best way to deal with this challenge is to hire virtual assistants from a company that offers a 100% money back guarantee on its virtual assistant services.
Sometimes, virtual assistants lose motivation. So you should keep on giving him/her ‘Thank You’ note or some sort of incentive when he/she does well in the job.
As rightly explained in Five Tips For Motivating Remote Workers on HiveDesk,
” if you’ve got something like an “employee of the month” award or a quarterly recognition award, make sure that one of your remote workers has the chance to win it every once in awhile.”
In addition to these three challenges, you might need to brief your VA about what you expect from him/her.
Virtual assistant, if used properly, can maximize your success. However, working with a virtual assistant has both upsides and downsides.
A virtual assistant can increase your productivity and efficiency, and offers you a safe option for scaling up. Also, an adept virtual assistant can bridge the skill gap in your organization.
Some challenges, such as a language barrier, the absence of body language, lack of motivation can easily be tackled if you keep certain things in the mind.
What about you?
Ever hired a VA? How is your experience working with a virtual assistant? What do you want to add in pros or cons?
I’d love to hear about it. Do leave a comment!