With the industry expanding quickly, many coming on board as VAs, and new clients now looking for a VA or VAs to support them, I thought it might be a good time to explain why VAs don’t work full time for one client.
There are several reasons and here are some of them:
- If a VA works entirely for one client that client could become viewed as an employer, depending on the tax system of the country involved. For example, here in Australia, if there is one main source of income the Australian Tax Office could view that the VA as an employee, not an independent contractor. That, therefore, makes the client an employer and responsible for things such as: taxes, insurances, WorkCover, sick and paid leave, Superannuation and so on. This is not a good situation for both the client and VA. A good source for checking this information is the Independent Contractors Australia site. Low cost membership and it will give both VAs and their clients information on what is and what isn’t an independent contractor. If the VA is in Australia they can join the Australian VA Association and receive a checklist, based on the ICA information relating to their position as an independent contractor.
- If something happened to the client, or to their business, the VA would suddenly be without an income. It makes sense to have several clients to spread the load and your income. I have, in the past, had a client pass away, others whose businesses have folded, or they’ve changed vocation. It’s not good to be fully dependent on the one client only.
- Having several clients gives you variety and an opportunity to cross network amongst your clients. They will love you for it.
- Many clients have the idea that VAs can do anything and everything. This is not true and is therefore possible for clients to need more than one VA to assist them in their business. It is possible, however, for the one VA to project manage, on behalf of the client, and delegate work, as needed to other VAs and service providers.
- If a VA were to work full time for one client and they need to take leave, for whatever reason, it would be very hard to find another to handle a full time workload if they are looking after other clients already. Much easier to split the load amongst several VAs when you are supporting several clients.
There are sure to be other reasons but these are a good start anyway to help both VAs and their clients consider how they set up their working partnership. If the client forsees the need to engage support on a full time basis, they need to think about how they want to do this:
- Engage an employee and ensure you register what’s needed through the ATO
- Engage a VA for each portion of what you need done, i.e. one for social media and web based activity, another to manage your bookkeeping, a third to manage your telemarketing, and so on. That way you are engaging three (or more) service providers, without any of them being misconstrued as an employee.