Your own Virtual PA
If your work:life balance is non-existent and you are constantly missing important meetings or deadlines because you simply have not had the time to check on your inbox, then you may have already thought about getting in some additional help.
A VA can be utilised for specific projects or just to get you back on track and, as an added bonus, the services are tax deductible! Below are some FAQs that may alleviate some concerns:
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant is basically a PA who works from their own home office on a self-employed basis. The hours worked depend upon what is agreed with the client, this can be a one-off piece of work, regular fixed hours payable at the end of the month or on a retained hour basis paid in advance (usually yielding a reduction in the hourly rate).
What does a Virtual Assistant do?
This very much depends upon the Virtual Assistant. There are VAs that specialise in web design, social media or recruitment for example and then there are VAs that have experience in several offerings. This is why it is a good idea to have a really good think about what you need to initially help you and to move your business forward. Just as you might go into a car dealership to discuss the performance of a particular model of car, most VAs would be happy to have a chat with you to discuss the services they offer and how they can benefit your business.
What is the benefit of having a Virtual Assistant?
The main benefit is achieving that work:life balance. How often have you found yourself coming home or working late at the office just to catch up on emails, phone calls, invoicing and other administrative tasks instead of spending time with your family or a leisure pursuit.
A VA can help with all that and usually more effectively and efficiently, giving you more time to concentrate on increasing your productivity, revenue and re-engaging with customers.
What is the cost of having a Virtual Assistant?
The cost of a VA varies widely. Yes, you can get VAs from other countries but this comes with the real possibility that they are not as experienced as you may need (and therefore cost you more money in the long run) or not set up legally thus possibly putting your business reputation at risk and your clients losing faith in your resources. There are also other potential problems in time differences and language barriers/cultural understandings.
A good experienced VA will currently charge between £25 – £35 per hour (Recruitment will be more) as they will take into consideration the following:
You may think that a VA is an expensive outlay. Well, let’s consider a few things:
How much do you charger per hour? By carrying out your own administration have you become one of the highest paid VAs in the industry?
You will be hiring a VA that is already trained in the areas that you require so there will be no time spent sending an employee out of the office for training or paying for the training itself.
There are no employee costs involved such as:
Holiday & Sickness payments
Office space for the employee or equipment
Hourly pay when there is little work to carry out
What if I hire a Virtual Assistant and it all goes wrong?
Before you start working with a VA you may want to ask for references or check out testimonials.
As in everyday life, not everyone ‘gels’ and that is fine, we can find other friends however the working relationship between a client PA needs to be strong, you need to be able to get on well with that person and this is especially true when working with a VA who is not physically in your office.
Therefore, you may want to carry out a trial piece of work with the VA before committing to retained hours or a longer contract. In this way you can see if the quality of work is acceptable and how you connect in your working relationship. However, bear in mind that it often takes a month before a great working relationship is established as at first you will be getting to know how each other works and new systems may be trialled and changed which doesn’t give a true reflection of how the working relationship will be a few months down the line.
What are the legal implications of hiring a Virtual Assistant?
A well-established, experienced VA will always provide you with the following information, not all of these documents will be required for each business but some are quite fundamental in ensuring the protection your business and your clients:
A non-disclosure agreement
Terms and conditions which should also set out hours agreed and rate
A contract for a specific piece of work that you are doing for them.
Their professional insurance (including cyber) certification.
Anti-money laundering supervisory certification (if applicable)
ICO certification (if applicable)
If the work that you are wishing your VA to undertake fall under the realms of the new GDPR guidelines, you will want to ensure that both themselves and the software that they use are compliant and also ensure that they sign a processor agreement.
If there are any other questions that you would like answered, please contact me and I would be happy to have a free, no-obligation call with you.