We are firmly entrenched within the era of the Digital Age. Thanks to the Internet, more and more of us are finding ways to make our work time and our leisure time easier and more accessible.
One way the Internet-assisted the dream of working less and playing more is the conception of the Virtual Assistant (VA). One of the biggest mistakes a lot of entrepreneurs make is to not delegating enough.
Since it has become so much easier to setup, outsourcing should now be a standard part of business recruitment. The ability to assign certain tasks to qualified individuals allows you to focus on other aspects of your business and personal life. A (VA) is a work that is typically a home-based, skilled professional. They offer businesses and entrepreneurs administrative support remotely instead of within the traditional office setting. This remote access is usually provided via file sharing programs like Dropbox and Google Drive, as well as sharing email access as required and communication via email for task information.
You can even have a computer set up in a corner off to the side for the VA to work on remotely with services like LogMeIn.com. This allows access to your in-house servers without needing an entire workstation available. VAs give you the ability to delegate tasks without needing to increase workspace in your office or place of business. Furthermore, a VA could help you scale up your business, allowing you more time to focus on increasing your production and output or free up more time for personal activities.
Most VAs focus on administrative tasks similar to those of an EA or secretary, just from home. But, with the growing number of VAs available, offerings are now very extensive. Entrepreneurs can hire VAs for everything from making vendor or customer service calls, to sending out Thank You cards.
Ideal VA tasks that could help make your business run more smoothly include:
When you decide to hire a VA, first you’ll want to determine whether you want them to be an employee or a self-employed contractor/freelancer.
When you hire an employee, even a remote one, you’ll need to provide them with any benefits your other employees receive, depending on their status, ie, part-time, full-time, or hourly. They will also be added to the company payroll and will have their income tax deductions go through your business.
If you choose to work with independent contractors or freelancers, you will have none of those responsibilities. But, you will have little control over what hours they work or be able to demand when they can be available.
To be designated as an independent contractor, an individual must be free to determine how the work will be done to completion, free from the client/company’s control. The contractor is responsible for the final product only as far as the terms of their contract requires.
An additional benefit to freelance VAs is their ready knowledge to complete a project so no additional training is required from you. This will keep you from having to train current employees or yourself on skills a new project might require, or go through the hassle of onboarding a new employee just for a short-term project.
Just as the internet provides the opportunity for the concept of a VA to work, it also provides locations, and even platforms to easily find, hire and pay your VA. Here’s a list of websites that provide freelancers and businesses a way to find each other:
Hiring a virtual assistant will leave you with more time and energy on your hands to focus on the things that matter most, creating new products, developing your business, and enjoying extra time with family and friends.
Thanks for reading!