Many online entrepreneurs do not have the required time or necessary skills to manage the technical end of their websites.
So most of them are forced to hand over the technical stuff to outsourcing companies where by luck, they can find someone reliable.
But this is costly and sometimes can produce catastrophic results because you are not working directly with the technical people dealing with your website.
In these dire circumstances, only one individual can save the day for you. This individual is known as a virtual assistant and this guide covers everything you need to know about this highly professional and efficient individuals.
Who is the virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant typically referred to as a VA is generally a self-employed individual that provides professional, technical, ecommerce tasks, administrative and creative services to a client. These individuals typically work from an offshore office. Some of them have even set up offices in their homes.
The 3 Types of virtual assistants
There are three types of virtual assistants these days. The following will discuss how you can reap benefits from a certain virtual assistant and how important or relevant they are for your particular business.
Tasks based virtual assistants are excellent if you want single assignments done quickly. They are available to help you with various tasks like travel planning, online research, appointment setting and other small administrative jobs.
You can find many task-based virtual assistants on monthly subscriptions. There are many virtual assistant companies around the world that offer a set of features within a single service.
As the name suggests, these virtual assistants help you with all or any kind of projects you have. They are the perfect choice if you want to accomplish a single project with a well defined endpoint.
For example, you may require many articles written, a website designed or developed or you may want a logo created. A project based virtual assistant can help you with these tasks. Most VAs available for project bases charge hourly or fix price per project.
Virtual Employees are your employees sitting across the sea to help you out with tasks, projects, and others to name a few. These kinds of virtual assistants are hired on monthly payments and you can pick and choose which VA you want.
Perhaps you want a virtual employee who deals with the add/edit product information and manages, graphics department of your business? Or you may want someone to deal with all your eStore or website technical issues. They come in all shape and sizes and can provide you high-end services with affordability in mind.
Why need to hire a virtual assistant?
If you follow the journey of a corporate CEO, you will come to find out that most of them use virtual assistants regularly. Many entrepreneurs are reluctant at hiring a VA to assist them with tasks. These entrepreneurs rarely make it to the top because they lack the professional help of highly trained and professional individuals.
There are a number of virtual assistant benefits that are listed below:
A well selected virtual assistant in any of your business department can greatly boost the productivity of your operations. Virtual Assistants are professionally trained to work on different tasks. Some of them are even specialists. By hiring a specialist, you can improve the back end of all your projects by boosting productivity.
Virtual Assistants are mostly based in offshore locations which make them highly cost effective especially if you are operating in the U.S. where employment can be extremely expensive.
With expertise in their field, virtual assistants are well trained to match all the deadlines thrown at them. Just be sure to hire a specialist because a jack of all trades rarely works in this industry.
You can get superior quality work done on areas of a project you are not familiar with. Most entrepreneurs are good at marketing but they lack the skills of a website developer or a graphics designer. Hire a virtual assistant to handle these tasks and you will be surprised at the quality of work they can provide.
As mentioned above, the ability to hire virtual assistants based in other countries means you save significantly on employment costs and as well as other office resources because these individuals usually have their own offices in their home country.
You instantly save costs like providing computers, tools, electricity, food and other valuable needs every employee has to have by hiring an individual that is based in an offshore location.
How much does a virtual assistant cost
The whole point of hiring a virtual assistant is to save money that you would otherwise spend on hiring expensive professionals in your home country. If you are working with a virtual assistant that has no association with a company, you can find a decent deal but it all depends on the kind of work and tasks you have on board.
Alternatively, there are several companies that provide virtual assistants on ‘offshore employee’. That you have to pay a monthly subscription for as long as you are using the assistance of a VAs.
These companies offer attractive monthly packages that include decent working hours. Every company has their own charges so you need to go out there and ask for the quote before you can get the services. Typically, a VA can be hired started from $10 an hour to as much as $70 an hour or more.
Type of virtual assistant skills
As mentioned above, virtual assistants are professional individuals that are trained in a number of different skills. They can be found to have just about any skill you want. Some VAs train themselves in multiple skills, while others become specialists in a single skill. Below is a list of skills that VAs are capable of providing.
A VAs having graphics skill can help you create meaningful graphics to market your business over social media and other platforms.
Websites constantly need changes in their core. A web developer based VA can get this job done easily.
WordPress is the number one content management system on the internet. Although it is designed to be used by laymen, some of its features require professional skills. A VAs trained in WordPress can constantly help you manage WordPress powered websites and alter its features on the go.
With social media networks constantly evolving, it’s a good idea to hire a professional virtual assistant with critical knowledge of how to manage your social profiles.
Updating your eStore or website with great photos is an excellent way to attract people. A VAs having knowledge in Photoshop can easily manipulate photos in your favor.
Content is the heart of any website. A blog can significantly boost your business with decent and informative articles. A VAs can handle this job very well by writing new articles to your website.
At some point, you’ll come across a lot of small issues with your website. Administrative skills are needed to deal with them in a timely manner.
Why skill virtual assistant
Earlier we mentioned that going with a virtual assistant who is a ‘jack of all trades’ isn’t necessarily a good idea. If your business is rapidly growing, then you cannot depend on an individual who isn’t a master of the certain skill. You will require a very skillful virtual assistant if you hope to deal with issues of a large website.
A skilled virtual assistant is trained for years under a single skill. It allows them to focus on the industry they have worked for in years. This gives you an edge because you can always depend on the services of someone who has been trained for years to do the one job properly rather than work on many jobs.
Virtual assistants vs. In-House employees
In-House Employees are an excellent option for your business. They sit in your office and you can constantly eye them and get them to do tasks on time. They are widely available in your home city and often possess the right skills you need for your business. But what makes them an inferior option compared to virtual assistants?
Price. It all comes down to the cost and value for money.
Just imagine, an in-house employee will cost you thousands of dollars a month to sustain. You will have to abide by minimum wage law of your country that means you are forced to pay a certain amount to an employee. Also, you will need a proper office to allow these individuals to work. You cannot have an in-house employee work from home constantly. Also, there are several employment rules and human rights that you will have to abide by.
Plus, the cost increases by the time when you find out you have to offer increments to these individuals if you want to keep using their services in the future. If you don’t give them increments on time, they can leave your company which can be devastating for your company.
Then there are hiring and training costs. Every in-house employee needs to go through a mandatory training session before they can completely dedicate their services to you.
With a virtual assistant, you don’t have to worry about any of the above hassles. All you need to do is find a company or an individual and hire them for as long as you like their services.
They don’t have to sign a contract with you. They don’t require quarterly increments. They don’t need a space in your office. They don’t use your computers, electricity or other office resources. They only require you to pay a fixed amount. You also don’t have to worry about employment laws or human rights because they operate from a different country.
Virtual Assistants Can Help You Build Your Entire Business
Hiring a Virtual Assistant is not the only way your business can key into remote services to save yourself a lot of time and effort. VA services cover a wide range of elements from business administration to database management, eStore product listing and manage, SEO, website design, content provision and a lot more. You can, in fact, build your entire business using outsourced services.
With the development of online and remote businesses, there are a wealth of freelance and agency workers out there with the exact skills you are looking.
For example, if you are building your own online business and have a small budget, you can save yourself the time and effort of learning each aspect of the business or hiring staff, by sourcing the work from elsewhere.
One major advantage of this method is scalability both up and down. You access the services as needed on the scale you need.
In order to do this well, however, you need to know which VAs fit into your business model and at which scale. To learn how to do this, you should check out this excellent guide on creating an outsourced business model.
How to hire a virtual assistant
- Before you decide to hire a virtual assistant, you need to a few things to ensure that they will be useful. Following are just few factors that can help you do that:
- Find out if they are really useful for you by conducting a preliminary test or seeing their portfolio.
- Read about the pros and cons of having a virtual assistant for your business.
- Create a document stating the rules and regulations for your potential virtual assistant
- Turn this document into a job posting and post it on places where virtual assistants are widely available.
- Alternatively, find a company that offers virtual assistants under monthly subscriptions.
- Determine whether the individual has leadership values. This is a great attribute if you want to expand your team in the future and need someone to look over them.
- Set up your budgets and find virtual assistants under your set budget.
- Don’t compromise on the hiring cost if you find a really good virtual assistant with ideal talents and skills.
- Thoroughly discuss your plans with the virtual assistant and have his/her feedback to see if they understand your needs.
- Set working hours and mode of communication with them
- Assure that they do not have domestic problems like energy outages.
Where to find a virtual assistant
The internet is full of places where you can find, hire and train your virtual assistant to become the ultimate force. Below is a short list of top places where you will find the ideal candidate for your business:
You can hire some of the most professional, talented and skilled virtual assistants from vatask.com. We have established a network of meaningful individuals that are trained in specific skills for particular needs. Also very affordable.
Assistant match – excellent platform that matches the VAs with skills needed for your business.
Office details – A small business that hires VA’s and then hands them over to you. They are ideal if you want someone else to keep a check on them because office details does that for you.
Craigslist – the best place to find thousands of individuals at a very affordable rate. However, the sheer popularity of craigslist attracts all kinds of individuals. There are no background checks.
Twitter – social media platform where you have to do the hard work yourself and find VAs in the swarm. Using hashtags, you can attract a number of different VAs to your cause. Keeping a check is up to you.
VA Networking – an excellent starter place for VAs and people who need VAs. The network has a number of VAs available that discusses your plans and give their feedback over them under a forum. You can pick and choose who you want to work with.