Virtual Assistant: A startup’s answer

Hiring virtual assistants presents the start-up several viable options to improve operations.

6 Reasons why Every Start-Up Should Hire a Virtual Assistant

Start-Up businesses face daunting challenges the moment the enterprise is formally launched. There are several challenges along the way to attaining business success. Some of these challenges manifest themselves when you least expect it. For the inexperienced entrepreneur, his efforts could be stymied by circumstances that are beyond his expertise and capabilities. The good thing is, with the advances of digital technology and the constant evolution of the Internet, he does not have to go about it alone. He can hire a Virtual Assistant.

Here are six (6) reasons why every start-up should hire a Virtual Assistant:

  1. Lower cost of operations. The primary reason why businesses outsource work is to lower the cost of operations. Outsourcing works by capitalizing comparative advantages in cost particularly labor.

A Virtual Assistant is generally a self-employed individual who provides professional administrative services online usually from a remote location. As a freelancer, he technically owns his business and is accountable for all costs in running his enterprise such as rent, power and Internet. These costs are already factored in their fees.

Compared to a full-time employee, the cost of hiring a Virtual Assistant is significantly lower. In addition to not having to pay benefits or re-purpose funds to cover a Virtual Assistant’s expenses, their charges are comparatively lower than the starting salary of a full-time employee.

Virtual Assistants will charge between AUD$10 to AUD$ 15 per hour depending on the type of work and required level of skill. A full-time employee would cost AUD$ 20 per hour and once you factor in benefits and incremental costs of operations, total cost would amount to AUD$ 30 to AUD$ 40 per hour.

  1. Improve quality of work. Most virtual assistants had careers in the 9-to-5 industry before they decided the lure of financial independence was too great and they became freelancers. According to Millennial Brand, 60% of freelancers entering the market are coming from full-time occupation.

When a full-time employee becomes a Virtual Assistant, he will most likely focus on areas where he has experience or skill to differentiate his profile and capabilities from everyone else. This is why you can find virtual assistants who specialize in different endeavors such as accounting, human resources, Information Technology, social media marketing, creative writing and transcription.

With specialization comes improved quality of work. And because they already have the experience and competencies, you don’t have to spend too much time on training. Most of the preparatory stages of the on-boarding process would deal with orientation on the type of business and pertinent job details.

  1. Increase productivity. Virtual assistants are paid for their productive time. Whether they are paid per hour or per project, these come under predetermined conditions, performance metrics, benchmarks or milestones. If these are not met, payments may be withheld, delayed or negotiated upon. You can be rest assured your Virtual Assistant will do their best to attain their metrics or milestones.

For the business owner, having a Virtual Assistant will free up your time from attending to the non-essential tasks or matters which do not fall under your core competencies so you can focus on matters that do require your expertise. These are the items on the agenda that contribute directly to your businesses’ stream of revenues. You will be surprised at the sudden increase in your level of productivity once you hire a Virtual Assistant.

  1. Flexible operations. Hiring virtual assistants presents the start-up several viable options to improve operations. First, he can designate virtual assistants to work during shifts that are strategic to the primary purpose of the business. For example, if you are running an e-commerce website, you can have virtual assistants manage shifts where historically business activity is high. This way your business doesn’t miss out on any sales opportunity and you get to attend to concerns right away; a key factor in retaining markets.

Second, if the Virtual Assistant has not lived up to expectations or has regularly under-performed, you can replace him right away without having to go through the inconvenience of any form of Grievance Machinery. This way, you can fine-tune your business operations without significantly slowing down your productivity.

  1. Greater mobility. In this world of digital and mobile technology, business is no longer confined within four (4) concrete walls. People are conducting work while on the move.

Virtual assistants are well-versed in the latest technological innovations in online communication. They understand that having efficient communication and great accessibility is beneficial for them and their clients. The best virtual assistants make themselves accessible via Skype, e-mail, Viber, Google Hang Out, Yahoo! Messenger to name a few.

With a Virtual Assistant, and with the right scheduling, you will always have someone to contact in case you need to be updated about your business.

  1. Minimize stress. Starting a business is never easy. There are several challenges that lie ahead. When we make the decision to become an entrepreneur, we are literally taking our life, our career into our own hands.

The difference between life as a 9-to-5 employee and life as an entrepreneur can be summed up in the perspective of time. As a 9-to-5 employee, time seems to move slowly; it feels like there’s too much time to do little of anything else. As an entrepreneur, time moves fast; it’s as if there’s not enough time to do everything that needs to get done.

So we sacrifice our quality time with our families, loved ones and even to our selves. We lose our sense of normalcy and stress levels are magnified.

With virtual assistants, we have people we can trust our business to so we can focus not only on matters that need our attention IN business but also on matters that need our attention OUTSIDE of business. We’ll experience less stress because we can allocate time for activities that help alleviate the pressures of running a business.

Down-time or time away from work is not idle time and serves an important function which is to recharge our batteries so we can become more productive.

As you move further along your business, you would have experienced more benefits from your decision to hire a Virtual Assistant.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a winning proposition; he or she will be the first step in taking your business to the next level.

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