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What you need to know about VAs and how they can help you grow your business
If you’re running a business in this day and age and yet have no idea about what a virtual assistant is—that’s pretty amazing. It’s no secret just how beneficial they can be to a company, not only because of the savings generated by hiring someone remote, but also from the unique skill set some are able to provide.
So, just from their name, you can already deduce how they are similar to an on-site assistant, except for the fact they work from a different location. A general definition of their job, however, is an off-site professional who helps companies with any overflow of tasks a business has.
These people aren’t just your run-of-the-mill fresh graduate either. In fact, a significant portion of them are people with years of experience under their belts, but for one reason or another, decided to work from outside the office, sometimes even at home.
Virtual assistants say they are more productive when they work remotely.
Sadly, because there is a lack of central governing body for them, it’s hard to put down an exact number of how many virtual assistants, or VAs there actually are. However, on the more popular freelance websites, there are around 105,000 professionals who call themselves virtual assistants. This number doesn’t even include those who have their own website, or those who are part of a firm.
One can attribute their growth to their effectiveness, and how many companies are choosing to get a virtual assistant, rather than their own in-house employee. Aside from leveraging the years of experience in a specific field a VA has, they also come at a reduced cost.
But how exactly are they able to save you money? Here, we explore some of the ways they can save you and your company a pretty penny.
- You no longer have to invest in recruitment efforts
One of the most obvious ways virtual assistants are able to save you money starts from simply looking for one. When you are searching for an onsite employee, you usually have to inform your recruitment team, wherein they will request a budget in order to spread the word about how the company is looking for new workers.
That no longer applies with VAs. Recruitment of a VA consists merely of going online and then heading to an online jobs domain to look for prospects. You might also ask some of your partner companies if they can suggest someone, and you can also hire a company who has in-house virtual assistants.
Whatever method you may use to hire a VA, it will always be less costly compared to posting an ad online, or in more traditional mediums of recruitment.
- You no longer need to hire any other part-timers
Another thing about virtual assistants is how they work on an “as needed” basis. This means they are paid for doing a certain job, nothing more nothing less. Once that project is over, you may choose to continue leveraging their services, or postpone until you need of them again.
Of course, some hire VAs for certain day-to-day tasks, like data entry, scheduling, and email management. These are continuous tasks, and you will most likely make use of them for an indefinite length of time.
But depending on your contract with the VA or with the company they work with, you are able to let them go when you no longer need their services, without the need of any separation pays, or other benefits that an in-house employee would usually expect.
- You no longer need to spend resources just to train a new employee
The initial training period for employees can be quite costly, as most company owners are sure to know. For this reason, companies are especially careful in choosing employees who aren’t likely to jump ship just after a few months’ time.
This worry is eliminated when you leverage the talents of a VA with experience. Although not every single VA has experience in certain industries, there are some who have considerable knowledge in a certain aspect of business.
When you take on these kinds of VAs, obviously, you don’t need to spend money on training them, as they will most likely be ready to start the job immediately.
- You can make use of their talents to do market research
Despite the fact virtual assistants can come from almost any background you can imagine, they do have seemingly inherent traits that most, if not all VAs possess. One of these talents is to make use of their research skills to find you the best deals.
A common way to make use of a VA is to have them search the best deals for transportation during business trips, as well as hotel accommodations. You can choose to make use of a VA the same way, as well as choose some cost-effective alternatives to any purchases you need to make.
- You no longer have to find the space and buy new equipment
When doing a mass hiring, one of the first things businesses need to consider is office space. Obviously, you can’t just hire people and not have a place to put them. Usually, this would mean a lot of money spent on new equipment, and if needed, office space.
This will not happen with virtual assistants. Such is the beauty of having someone work in their own space—you don’t have to worry about finding a spot for them. They also have their own equipment like computers, webcams, and anything else they would need to do their jobs. You are also free from updating and maintaining the equipment as well.
- You don’t have to pay for their insurance and leaves
Despite them not being in the office, you would be surprised how effective virtual assistants can be.
One thing all in-house employees are expecting are paid vacation or sick leaves, as well as health insurance. Companies are required by law to provide this to their full-time employees, which is actually a considerable amount when you think about the number of employees a company has.
Independent virtual assistants already acknowledge how they aren’t going to be receiving any of the regular benefits most onsite employees enjoy. Even though VAs who are working with a company are receiving those benefits, the company you outsource will be the one handling those costs.
- You don’t have to pay for induction costs
These types of costs are unavoidable to any company. You need to shell out the funds needed to pay for a new employee’s induction to the team. They will need to be settled into their role, as well as introduced to the other members of the team.
VAs are primed and ready to do what they need to since day one. There is no need to have them tour the company and have them settle in. They are experienced in simply jumping in and doing what needs to be done as soon as possible.
- You don’t have to worry about paying for failed projects
When you are looking for a new employee, they won’t stay in training forever. After they’ve done all the modules and finished the necessary assignments, it’s time for them to prove themselves. Unfortunately, it is an unavoidable risk the newbie might not perform up to standards at first, which will have the company lose money.
Virtual assistants are usually people who have years of experience in their field. They definitely aren’t greenhorns, and they’ve undergone trial by fire before. Although there is always a risk, it is considerably diminished when you outsource a VA.
- You don’t have to worry about possibly paying for legal fees
When there comes a time you have to let go of an employee, or even a whole group, there is a chance some of them will be a little disgruntled of their termination. They might even be frustrated enough to seek compensation by making use of an attorney to file a case against you.
Even if you were doing everything aboveboard, it still takes money for you to defend yourself. As long as you don’t force your VA to do anything illegal, there is almost no chance they will sue you. Another thing to consider is how some VAs actually work offshore, so they would lose more than they gain if they were to pursue a court session.
- There’s no need for you to pay for management costs
When you hire a new wave of employees, you need to find supervisors and managers to lead them. Either by directly hiring a manager or supervisor, or promoting someone who shows promise, you will still need to invest in new leadership.
The VA you leverage will work directly with you, or with any other executive you appoint as an intermediary. When a VA jumps on board, there are no additional leadership costs involved.
The savings you generate from making use of virtual assistants basically boil down to how they are able to work immediately, how they are already experienced in what you hire them for, as well as how you no longer have to pay for any overhead compared to an in-house employee. If there are any tasks you need done and are reluctant in hiring a full-time employee, make use of a VA.