As an entrepreneur or business owner, you need to develop the skill of finding the right person and recognizing the opportunity. If you cannot find the right employee, you cannot run a business successfully. Finding right talent is always challenging, time-consuming and mentally exhausting.
Virtual Assistant Services are too common and successful these days, yet many business owners have not realized it. In today’s fast world, you need to keep running or competitor will leave you behind. Moreover, the virtual assistant also is more economical. Surveys show that virtual assistant services may save you $600 every week.
If you are a business owner confused between hiring full –time employee and virtual assistant services, then this article is for you.
Let us check out the cost comparison to help you make a proper decision about a full-time employee or virtual assistant.
At least one virtual assistant is very common in today’s cloud-based world. He or she works remotely to provide specific needs of business owners or entrepreneurs. Outsourcing part of your workload always to virtual assistant always helps you grow your business.
Jobs of Virtual Assistant
These days, the scope of virtual assistant services go far beyond traditional administrative secretaries. However, many of them do admin work such as answering emails and managing your calendars, but some are more specialized. You can find workers who are experts in Social Media Marketing, Content Writing, Video Editing, and even Search Engine Optimization, among full-time workers of Upwork. That makes it imperative to look at what a virtual assistant can do apart from traditional assistance to estimate the costs. Here is a list of some tasks you can acquire virtual assistance services for.
- Social Media Management
- Real Estate
- E-commerce Listing
- Chat & Email Support
- Internet Research
- Bookkeeping & Accounting
- Any kind of administrative tasks. For example, booking flights and hotels
- Preparing office documents, spreadsheets or powerpoint presentation
- Creating Corporate blog
- Reach out potential clients through email
- Different customer services. For example, follow up calls
- Website Creation
- Website Maintenance
- Managing google or outlook calendar at your behalf
Let’s take an example of social media management. According to Glassdoor, a full-time social media manager earns $47, 190, on average. But they cost their employer more than that. This cost is not less than $80,000. On the other hand, the virtual social media manager does not cost their employer more than $25,000 per year.
Of course, when you hire someone full time, you have to add other expenses in actual salary. You have to estimate and pay two kinds of costs. Let us talk about them one by one.
Following additional expenses fall under the category, when you hire a full-time employee.
- Office Equipment
- Paid Vacations
- Paid Sick Time
- Office Expenses
- Worker’s Compensation
- Payroll Costs
- Life Insurance
So it becomes evident that virtual assistant services are much more budget-friendly. The only thing you are responsible for is to pay for actual hours worked or the project rate agreed upon. Typically, virtual assistants provide tracking a total number of hours they work.
They use their own equipment, as they in many cases live in another corner of the globe. They are considered to be independent contractors who cover their own taxes and expenses. Do not forget to check with your accountant to ensure that your virtual assistant does not qualify as an employee for tax purposes.
You are also not required to fill a certain number of hours with a virtual assistant. Most of the virtual assistants normally track the number of hours they worked and charge you against that number of hours. Do not pay, if you do not currently have any project for them to work.
However, be informed that some virtual assistant services require minimum weekly or monthly packages with the use-it-or-lose-it requirement.
Do you have a big project or launch coming up soon? Virtual assistant service can be the best option for a short time. This is great for seasonal businesses.
Now comes the soft costs of hiring a full-time employee, which are harder to quantify. Let us check three examples.
- The time you spend finding, hiring, training and managing the employee.
- Time of Water Cooler (when employees are paid out, but not working)
- Keeping employees longer than they actually are needed.
Full-time employees normally require a couple of weeks to catch the pace. However, virtual assistants are normally hired for the skills they already possess. Therefore, they take lesser time to get inside the workflow.
When the employer wants his full-time employee to learn a new skill, he is responsible to pay for ongoing education and training. Virtual assistants know they have to upgrade their skill set themselves to increase their market value and survive the competition. It is their best interest to keep learning and growing. So they do this without charging the employer.
Efficiency & Productivity
It is very common to use full-time employees for services they are not hired for. Many times they are the assigned the jobs they have not skills of. This behavior is found in every market.
It normally happens when the proper job of your employee takes lesser time than eight hours. The employer then starts assigning them other things just to fill up the leftover hours.
It may result in increasing the project costs, as employee needs time to get hands-on the new skill. Things may go worse, as low quality work would be done. It would lead to bad customer impression.
Whereas virtual assistant services are just paid against the work they do. It is very likely that they would be assigned something they have not expertise on. You will always get quality work. No compromise on quality is the professional approach we need in the 21st century, as today’s consumer is wiser than ever.
Thus, virtual assistant services can give you huge savings and high-quality work.
Earlier, we mentioned a water cooler time. This is actually the time when employees are not on the desk. He might be on break, or just indulging himself in office gossip. This is the time, when an employee is still on the clock but fails to show any efficiency or productivity.
By hiring virtual assistant services, you will be having 100% efficiency and productivity. Virtual assistants are not even paid for one second they do not work, so they deliver real value to their employers. The revenue of virtual assistants on positive execution and efficiency, so they always avoid being lazy and never prolong the work.
Cost is not the only benefit. As an employer, you may have a hard time firing someone who works for you. A full-time employee may stay on long past their usefulness. That leads to significant financial losses. These in-efficient employees continue collecting paychecks without providing value.
Virtual Assistant is by nature hired on a temporary basis and sets you free from these moral barriers. Length of contract may vary, but there is no obligation to keep them longer than they keep providing value.
Why Not Part-Time?
You might be thinking, this all stuff is not relatable for you because you are going to hire part-time employee rather than full-time. Yes, you may save cost by hiring a part-time employee but still the still it relates. As you still have to pay for taxes and equipment etc. The intensity surely decreases, but problems do not disappear.
Moreover, it may not be easy for you to find someone in your location, who is talented yet willing to work part-time. You may end up sacrificing quality for reducing hours. Virtual Assistant Services know no geographical boundaries. So the talent pool dramatically maximizes.
When Should You Get Virtual Assistant Services
Knowing the right time is the key to success in any business. It is the case when you hire a virtual assistant. Getting a virtual assistant at the right time would take your business to a whole other level of success.
Here are some signs that tell you to need to hire a virtual assistant.
- You normally are on the top of everything, but in the end, you feel disappointed and make too many mistakes.
- Your business drains out your energy. It becomes tougher than life is. You just want to leave everything, and get into the bathtub or scoot to hilly areas.
- You have many ideas in mind, but never get enough time to even think about the implementation.
- You have experienced no growth in your business for a long time. It is in the same place, as you never get the time to scale up. This is the biggest advantage of virtual assistant services. You get ample time to scale up your business.
- You spend an inordinate amount of time on some tasks because you simply have no idea about how to do them efficiently.
- It may sound counter-intuitive. But disturbed personal life is also a warning sign. Our professional and personal lives are inextricably intermingled. If one is disturbed, another one suffers too. You may have a hard time in relationships. Your friends and family might be unhappy because you never have time for them. Perhaps, you can find some time by hiring a virtual assistant and enjoy it with your spouse/family/friends, etc.
- You feel stuck and losing the rhythm.
Does it sound familiar?
If the answer is yes, you desperately need a virtual assistant.
If you are running a business, a point would come, when you will just be unable to do more, to invest more. You will not be able to take it anymore. It is inevitable. This point comes in the life cycle of every business who ever existed on planet earth. No one has ever been able to skip this point.
This point is the biggest indication that your business wants a virtual assistant.
Before hiring a virtual assistant, make yourself sure about the things you want to get done by them. Choose the most time-consuming stuff, which is hindering your wise decision-making.
Be clear that you will get only what you pay for. The higher the price, the better the quality of work. High prices will give you unbelievable talent.
Connect with your network and seek a specialized group of people. You may receive huge response so make your posts concise and clear, so that only great fits reach you out. Before you select anyone, engage in some form of verbal communication. Face to face contact is always better and helps you understand the person’s attitude towards work.
Remember you have to show flexibility here. To win the trust of employees, you have to give him the comfort zone of working at their own pace, and in the way, they like to work. For you, it should not be important, how the work is getting done. The only thing you should care about is that work is getting done. Always be open to new methods of working. Others are, now doing the things that stopped you from scaling up before. You have the time and freedom to do other things. Provide these people with the necessary materials in a timely manner so that projects can actually be done.
Do not feel the shy rejecting person who does not seem to be a great fit for your needs. Do not fall for the cheapest or sweetest person. Analyze things as consciously as possible.
For startup owners, virtual assistants are the secret weapons for success. They add flexibility to the organization and provide the best value. Most amazing is that they save cost, which is the wish of every business owner.
You do not need to train them. You do not need to provide them space. No retirement benefit, no paid sick leaves, no payment for idle time. You only have to pay for an actual number of hours of work is done. So do not wait, find yourself a virtual assistant right now. You can expand your business at your own pace. But be sure to analyze all the pros and cons.