Hiring a virtual assistant for your business is a big decision that you can’t afford to take lightly.
Make the right choice and it can benefit you and your business in several ways. But make the wrong choice and it can cost you time and money.
When should you consider hiring a virtual assistant?
According to Global Virtual Partners, there are more than 100,000 virtual assistants for hire on freelancing platforms and apps, such as Upwork. That doesn’t even take into consideration those who seek projects outside of these platforms.
Now that you understand just how much help is available to you, it’s time to answer the million-dollar question: When should you consider hiring a virtual assistant?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it depends on a variety of factors. However, there are some signs that it may be time to go down this path.
When You Need to Reduce Costs
Hiring a new employee can be expensive. When you take into consideration their salary, training expenses, and office space, you may conclude that you don’t have enough money in your budget.
Just the same, keeping an employee on the payroll when it doesn’t make sense is a mistake that can sink your company.
Fortunately, there’s a solution: You can hire a virtual assistant to reduce costs.
The median global rate for a virtual assistant is $15.18/hour. However, this rate varies based on factors such as:
- Geographic location
- Job requirements
- Contract duration
Even if you end up paying a virtual assistant at the same rate as a full or part-time employee, you’ll still save on other costs such as benefits, office space, and office supplies.
Still, be sure to hire a virtual assistant based on needs, not price. Saving money is important, but hiring the right person for the job is critical to your success. A wrong choice can often cost more money than paying more upfront for the best choice.
When You Need to Increase Efficiency
An efficient business is a successful business. Unfortunately, freelancers and entrepreneurs often struggle with this.
There are many reasons for an inefficient approach to your work, ranging from too many tasks on your plate to too many distractions in your office (or home).
Hiring a virtual assistant can help boost efficiency. Here’s how:
- They can assist with tasks that you can’t handle.
- They can assist with tasks that you don’t want to manage.
- They can conduct research.
- They can take on all data entry related tasks (which are super time-consuming).
- They can manage your schedule, such as in-person meetings and phone calls.
When you outsource non-core responsibilities to a virtual assistant, you have more time to focus on tasks that move the needle.
When You Need Help With a Specific Task
This goes along with the point above about hiring to increase efficiency.
For example, if you spend entirely too much time on data entry and juggling your schedule, bringing a virtual assistant into the mix could be the best decision you ever make.
The same holds true if you have more specific tasks, such as those related to social media or content marketing.
Social media marketing has become key to business success, but it’s not everyone’s forte. It’s also incredibly involved, but worth the effort.
To mitigate the time you spend on something you may not do as well as someone else, hire a virtual assistant to manage your social media accounts, post fresh blog content, or conduct research for white papers you want to create.
But don’t assume that a virtual assistant has the specific experience and knowledge you’re seeking. No matter the gig or the applicant, request references, conduct a thorough interview, and ask for work samples. This will improve the odds of making the right decision.
When You Want to Scale Quickly
When it comes time to scale your business, doing so in a fast and efficient manner is critical. If you head too far down the wrong path, it could result in a mistake that sinks your business. And that’s not a risk you should be willing to take.
How long does it take you to hire and onboard a new employee? Several days? Several weeks? Longer?
Virtual assistants are available to start working immediately (the majority of the time). Furthermore, you can hire on a project-by-project basis, thus allowing you to scale at the speed with which you’re most comfortable.
There’s no more worrying about when a new employee can start. There’s no more rushing through the recruitment and interview processes, hoping you don’t make a mistake.
When it comes to scaling quickly, the flexibility of virtual assistants will work in your favor.
Are You Ready to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
At this point, it’s up to you to make a final decision.
Are you ready to hire a virtual assistant, or do you want to hold off for a bit longer?
If you’re ready to take the leap, spend the appropriate amount of time researching the market and determining what’s most important to you.
For example, you can search freelance sites for information on where to find and how to hire a virtual assistant.
As you close in on the end of the process, make sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
From creating an ironclad contract to sharing the code of conduct you’ve created for any outside hires, the work you put in upfront will save you time and protect your interests in the future.