I have been writing a lot this month about the benefits associated with outsourcing to a virtual assistant, individual or team. If you happen to be the “head cook and bottle washer” then you are not being as efficient as you could be, to put it mildly. If you’re doing everything yourself, you’re doing it wrong (to be less mild).
All that administrative work is eating away the hours and precluding you from developing the business as you should be. You are simply not going to make it, if you don’t change. Even if you’re concentrating on business development and growth now as it is and have a team of people working for you, the cost you are generating on a monthly basis to cater to those employees is significant. It’s not necessary for you to do that anymore, as the right virtual assistant or online business manager can save you all that overhead cost.
But many people still do not appreciate the real advantage of working with an experienced and knowledgeable virtual assistant. Consider the kind of commitment that the VA has made in the first place. They realize that they are not going to make it in business unless they are competent and professional and have invested the time, effort and resources in order for them to survive. The very fact that they are in business for themselves means that they are entrepreneurial by nature and in this case will speak the same language as the client seeking to employ their services.
It’s not often the case that you can turn to an in-house employee for their opinion or advice in relation to a particular project in the broadest terms, is it? That’s not to denigrate the ability of the employee, but the virtual assistant will look at everything from a different perspective, based on business experience and capability. The employee simply needs to show up to get paid.
It’s important as well not to underestimate the sense of freedom that you get when you move over to the virtual assistant world. You can cultivate a professional and very productive relationship with the virtual assistant and you will most likely want to continue this relationship when you have found a good partner to work with. Nevertheless, if things do change in your business then you are normally not tied into a long-term agreement and can modify the terms accordingly. You do not have the same sense of freedom to increase or decrease workload according to current events, when you are working with staff “in-house.” In fact, in some states, simply not having enough work is not a valid reason to let an employee go, and you’ll be paying unemployment insurance (I know this one from experience!)
Some people want to conduct a number crunching exercise to really see if it is worthwhile from a purely financial point of view to engage a virtual assistant, instead of an in-house employee. Invariably they will find that there are savings to be made, but they should nevertheless be willing to pay a premium to work with the VA anyway.
In addition to the freedom and flexibility, understand that the VA will always be on top of his or her respective game, as they simply have to do so to remain competitive in that business. As such they can be a consultant, a project manager and adviser. Such flexibility is very difficult to replicate when you bring everything under your own roof.
In a nutshell, if you want a critically thinking, entrepreneurial minded, success driven partner, find the right VA or OBM for you and your business. If you want someone to show up in order to receive a paycheck, go ahead and hire your in-house helper. Biased? Maybe a little.