As a business owner, you are likely aware of delegation and its benefits to business owners and companies. By delegating smaller and specialist tasks and generally having other people you can work with and rely on, running your business is much easier.
However, it can be hard to outsource sometimes, no matter where you are in your business journey. It could be for many reasons: control, perfectionism, or, more likely, cost.
Watching the bottom line at all times is very important, and taking those carefully thought out cost vs benefit risks is a huge part of running a successful business. So when it comes to whether or not your small business needs a Virtual Assistant, it can be tempting to look at the price tag and think it’ll be more financially sound to do the work yourself. While this may be true to a certain degree, equally, this mindset could be holding you back from chances for growth and progress.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
VAs are remotely-based professionals who can do various tasks for businesses or individuals. They can manage administrative duties, marketing tasks, customer service roles, and many others. The scope of work depends on the needs of the business, ranging from data entry and email management to social media marketing and website design.
One of the key strengths of a Virtual Assistant is flexibility. Because they work online, they can easily adjust to different tasks, meeting the changing needs of businesses. They can provide custom and specialist solutions in different situations.
Even if you run a small part-time side hustle, there are benefits from hiring a VA to do the tasks that are not your specialism or take you away from other higher-value pursuits.
The Economic Aspect – Cost Analysis
When you compare the cost of hiring a full-time employee versus a Virtual Assistant or even performing the work yourself, various financial considerations arise. The average salary for a full-time, in-house admin employee in the UK is approximately £30,000 per year.
In contrast, a Virtual Assistant charging £28 per hour for 20 hours a week would be around £29,120 annually. However, since most Virtual Assistants typically work part-time on a flexible basis, this cost can often be significantly reduced.
For many business owners, the temptation to handle all the work themselves to save money can be alluring. However, this strategy often backfires, as the time consumed on administrative tasks could be better employed in driving business growth and innovation. This opportunity cost represents a substantial hidden expense that isn’t immediately visible on your bank balance.
Full-time employees also come with hidden costs, including benefits like National Insurance, pension contributions, holiday and sick pay, office space, equipment, and training. Virtual Assistants eliminate many of these expenses, as they work remotely, are self-employed, and usually specialise in their field, eliminating the need for extensive training.
Also, Virtual Assistants offer flexible payment options, providing hourly, task-based, or project-based services. This means you only pay for the work done, an efficiency that traditional employees cannot match.
While a Virtual Assistant’s hourly rate might initially seem like a lot of outlay, they end up as a more cost-effective choice when you factor in the reduction in hidden costs, combined with payment flexibility and the relief from time-consuming administrative tasks. You can also scale their workload according to requirements and budgets, some even roll unused hours over as well.
Efficiency and Productivity – Benefit Analysis
Even when you take out the basics of the financials, there are many additional “cost-saving” elements of having a VA on hand. One of the best is the potential for increased productivity and efficiency. VAs free business owners to focus on what they do best: driving their business forward.
Having a VA manage administrative tasks, customer service, or social media marketing, for instance, allows business owners to dedicate their time and energy to strategic planning, client relationships, and developing services. This shift in focus can result in significant growth for the business as you are not “bogged down” with the daily tasks.
Consider these hypothetical scenarios: a solopreneur running a marketing consultancy is overwhelmed with time-consuming administrative tasks like scheduling meetings, answering emails, and maintaining a social media presence. By hiring a VA to handle these tasks, they can focus on delivering high-quality services to their clients. The result could be a considerable increase in client engagement and a more robust portfolio of services.
Similarly, imagine a small e-commerce business spending substantial time on customer inquiries and order processing. A Virtual Assistant could take over these areas, streamlining the process and improving response times. This would allow the business owner to focus on sourcing new products and working on sourcing cheaper suppliers, potentially leading to a notable increase in profit.
These hypothetical scenarios highlight the power of Virtual Assistants. They aren’t just about cost savings but creating a more efficient, productive, and focused business.
Business owners can maximise their time and strengths through strategic delegation to a VA, positively impacting their bottom line.
Scaling Your Small Business with a Virtual Assistant
VAs can also be instrumental in growing small businesses by allowing owners to focus on developing the business.
In essence, VAs act as “force multipliers“. They boost the capabilities of small businesses, providing the extra hands necessary to handle increasing workloads without the need for costly full-time hires. This enables businesses to remain agile and adaptable, key factors for successful growth.
Imagine a small tech start-up looking to scale. By employing a VA to handle customer support and basic administrative tasks, the founder can focus on product development and finding investors – activities that directly contribute to business growth. The VA effectively expands the business’s operational capacity without significantly increasing overhead costs.
The same idea applies across various industries, from e-commerce to consulting services. Business experts and successful entrepreneurs often speak to the transformative role VAs have played in their businesses. Business owners’ ability to focus on the things that will grow the business while ensuring smooth day-to-day operations is the largest benefit of hiring a Virtual Assistant.
Potential Drawbacks and How to Prevent Them
While there are many advantages of hiring a Virtual Assistant, challenges such as communication and security might arise. However, these challenges are not deal-breakers and can be easily addressed with simple, effective solutions.
Communication issues, a common concern even with internal staff, can be easily prevented. At Virtalent, we specialise in matching you with a VA who complements your work style and preferences. An onboarding call is set up where the VA discusses your preferred communication methods and sets clear guidelines to ensure smooth interactions.
Virtalent remains an active participant in this process, always available to answer any questions and facilitate a good working relationship between you and your VA. This approach enhances the communication flow and mutual understanding between parties.
Security is another crucial concern that can be addressed effectively. With secure software tools like LastPass for safe password sharing or encrypted email services, VAs will protect your sensitive data. Our VAs are professionals with extensive corporate expertise who value the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of your business information.
With Virtalent, you have a trusted partner who facilitates a mutually beneficial relationship with your VA, making engaging a Virtual Assistant a wise and effective business decision.
Hiring a VA Is A Smart Financial Decision
The cost-benefit analysis is clear – a Virtual Assistant is not an expense but an investment. An investment that can supercharge your business growth, free up your valuable time and improve your bottom line. So why not explore this opportunity further? Book a free call with us today, and let’s discuss how a VA can transform your business financials and drive growth.