Being a small business owner, it probably feels like you spend so much time working on tedious and mundane administrative tasks that you no longer have time for big-picture thinking. As your business has grown, you’ve become your own assistant.

You read that right. You’re now a business owner and administrative assistant. So how do you quit your admin role and start focusing on growing your business again? One of the easiest ways to get back to doing the work you love is by outsourcing some of your workload to a virtual assistant.

You can outsource many things to a virtual assistant, from basic administrative tasks to specialized functions such as HR or marketing. In this post, we’ll run you through everything you need to know about outsourcing to a VA.

Benefits of Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant

Outsourcing to a VA has countless benefits. It frees your time and gives your company risk-free access to an expert. Here are some of the other benefits of outsourcing to an assistant.

Allows You to Focus on Core Business Activities

By outsourcing mundane and time-consuming — yet necessary — business tasks, you free up your time and resources to focus on core business activities. While your VA keeps day-to-day operations functioning, you can work on growing your business and impressing your clients. 

Outsourcing to a VA allows you to utilize your personal strengths. You’ll no longer be stuck doing tasks that aren’t suited to your skill set or that you don’t enjoy.

Access to Specialized Resources

The role of a virtual assistant has greatly evolved in recent years. The position has grown from basic administrative work to more specialized virtual assistant services

While you can still hire general administrative VAs, many modern VAs specialize in certain areas. Such specialties may include digital marketing, graphic design, or bookkeeping. And by outsourcing to a VA, your company gets immediate access to this expertise. 

This specialized resource is particularly beneficial if it’s an area your company doesn’t have experience in. You save yourself the time and resources needed to train existing employees. 

A great VA can be a company’s secret weapon and give you an advantage over competitors.

Reduces Operating Costs

Outsourcing to a virtual assistant is one of the most cost-efficient decisions you can make as a business owner. Hiring a VA is a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time employee. Plus, they don’t require additional overhead costs such as office space, equipment, training, and healthcare benefits. 

You only pay a VA based on the time you use. It could be just a few hours a week or during busy periods such as the holidays. Outsourcing to a VA is an affordable way to get assistance as and when you need it.

Better Risk Management

Hiring a virtual assistant also helps mitigate the risks of full-time staff. When employees quit out of the blue, it can cause significant disruption to your operations while you try to find a replacement. VAs offer more continuous service. Plus, hiring is much quicker without needing a long onboarding process or training. 

You can also hire a VA on a flexible basis for shorter periods. This flexible hiring reduces the financial risk of adding a new function to your business. Simply outsource the function to an experienced VA for now. You can make a more permanent decision later.

    Two VA's with their laptops facing each other and magnifying glass, pencil and eraser in the middle

    Things You Can Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

    Now you know the many benefits of outsourcing to a VA. But many business owners still struggle with knowing which tasks to outsource to a virtual assistant. 

    That part is really up to you. VAs can help with just about anything you might need assistance with, from basic administrative tasks to more specialized duties. A VA can likely do any task for you that can be done remotely.

    Things you can outsource to a virtual assistant include:

          • Email management
          • Answering calls
          • Calendar management
          • Meeting and appointment scheduling
          • Travel planning
          • Data entry
          • Database management
          • Lead generation
          • Bookkeeping
          • Human resources
          • Research and content writing
          • Graphic designs and video editing
          • Social media and website management
          • Customer relationship management

    Questions to Ask Before Outsourcing to a VA

    So, you’re seriously considering outsourcing to a virtual assistant? Great decision! But before you take the leap, below are some things to consider.

    Do I Really Need Support?

    The first thing to ask yourself is, “Do I really need support right now?” 

    You shouldn’t feel pressure to hire a VA just because other businesses are doing it or someone is telling you that you should.

    But if you feel like there aren’t enough hours in your day to keep up with your workload, a VA could be the right solution for you.

    Review your workload and think about how many tasks you could delegate to someone else to make life easier. If removing tasks from your to-do list will allow you more time to focus on growing your business or give you a better work/life balance, it’s time to outsource.

    What Do I Want to Outsource?

    Another key question is which tasks you want to outsource to a virtual assistant. Do you need a generalized administrative VA to answer emails and do some simple data entry, or are you looking for specialized virtual assistant services?

    When hiring a VA, finding someone with the right skills and expertise for your needs is vital. There’s no point in hiring a bookkeeping VA and asking them to run your social media and website. They’ll likely struggle with the assignment, and you’ll be unhappy.

    If you need to outsource multiple specialized duties, having different VAs for each is best. You can hire several specialized virtual assistants part-time or on a per-project basis.

    Can I Afford a Virtual Assistant?

    The next thing to consider is whether you can afford a virtual assistant right now. The financial investment is one of the main barriers preventing many business owners from hiring VAs. So how much does a virtual assistant actually cost to hire?

    The price of a virtual assistant varies greatly depending on experience, skill set, and expertise. But in general, a VA can cost anything between $5 to $100 per hour. 

    You can expect to pay about $25 per hour for general administrative work. While more specialized services will cost $50 or more per hour. More experienced and higher quality VAs are likely to charge more.  

    It’s important to remember that hiring a VA is an investment in yourself and your business. If hiring a VA will give you more time to grow your business revenue, you’ll make back the money you spend on outsourcing. 

    And if you’re working with a tight budget, you can always start your VA for just a couple of hours a week. If things work out, you can increase the hours from there. Flexibility is one of the perks of outsourcing to a VA.

    What Kind of Person Do I Want to Work With?

    You’ll work closely with your virtual assistant, so it’s crucial to hire someone you connect with and will work well with. Don’t rush to hire the first person you find with the right skills. Just because a VA works remotely doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be a good cultural fit. 

    Think about the type of person you want to join your company. Do you want a laid-back VA who will simply get the job done? Or someone high-energy and hands-on who will help motivate you? Go into the hiring process knowing the type of person you want so you can find the right fit.

    Am I Ready to Manage and Lead People?

    If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, your VA may be the first person you hire and manage. Make sure you’re ready for this type of responsibility.

    Bring your VA on when you have some spare time (even just a couple of hours) to review what you require from them. While most VAs are fully-trained and happy to work independently, it’s still vital to brief them on your needs and company goals. The more time you spend initially outlining your requirements, the more independently your VA can work moving forward.

    How LifeSquire Can Connect You With the Right Virtual Assistant 

    Outsourcing some of your workload to a VA can make a huge difference to your life and your business. A VA can help reduce workplace stress, allow you to focus on core business activities, and create a better work/life balance. 

    Hiring specialized virtual assistants is also a risk-free way to get immediate access to highly-skilled experts. These skills can help give your company a competitive advantage.

    At LifeSquire, our virtual assistant placement service can help connect you with the right VA for your business needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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