I saw a post on a ‘Start a Home Business Blog’ today that indicated engaging a virtual assistant was an expensive option. He ended up hiring someone else but didn’t explain what it was he wanted done or any indication of what he was looking to pay.
It is true that there are VAs at the high end of the market and others in the low end so you can shop around. You could engage a high school student or a uni student at the low end rate and providing they have good computer skills, and know their alphabet and numbers, then you could get a reasonable job done. You will, however, need to spend time supervising and checking the work, to make sure it is done as you wanted it. It really depends on whether you’re seeking someone to do some (basic) typing and filing for you, or whether it’s work that involves a lot more thinking and planning, and knowledge such as bookkeeping, database management, transcriptions, website management, graphic design, internet research and so on. When you engage a VA you need to consider a few things such as:
1. What are YOU earning per hour and is it worth sacrificing this if you either do the work yourself and/or engage someone with low skills and then have to spend time to monitor or supervise the work?
2. What is the work you want done? Consider that a VA is usually someone who has worked in the corporate world in a senior role. This means that after you’ve spent some time explaining your business and how you do things, they can be left to get on with the work, make decisions, and even suggest better ways to do things. They will usually be able to complete the work in much faster time than you can. So what might take you 3 hours to do at whatever your hourly rate is, could take a VA half that time at their rate.
3. VAs do NOT need micro-managing. That is, you don’t need to be constantly checking on every little aspect of the job and watching over their shoulder. For this reason VAs do not need someone sitting by their side dictating how the work should be done.
These are just three reasons why a VA can help your business but there are many more. However, just looking at these, I encourage you to do your sums and see how a VA can save you time and money – not cost you time and money. Engaging a VA is a good investment for your business and remember, they are also in business. So they become a taxable expense providing a business service, and should not be considered an employee. KMT