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June 10, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Virtual Assistants

You’ve probably had days where you can’t seem to keep your head above water. 

It’s not just you: Running a business successfully without working around the clock can be a daily struggle for many start-up companies. It can leave you feeling stressed, exhausted, and even defeated. The fact of the matter is, you can’t do everything yourself if you want to grow your business. 

Hiring a virtual assistant may be the answer to your problems.

What Is a Virtual Assistant?

An increasing number of companies–big and small–are hiring virtual assistants. Utilizing virtual assistants is beneficial to businesses in many ways.

First, a virtual assistant can complete specific tasks taking up the bulk of your time. You have a long to-do list each day, but there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete them all. A virtual assistant improves efficacy and increases productivity.

Typical duties of a virtual assistant:

  1. Administrative tasks
  2. Accounting and bookkeeping
  3. Customer service 
  4. Data and order entry
  5. Graphic design
  6. Social media management

Hiring a virtual assistant comes with many benefits, but there are downsides, too. 

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of hiring a virtual assistant. 

Pros of Hiring a Virtual Assistant‍

To improve your time management and increase efficiency, look no further than hiring a virtual assistant. It could be the most innovative piece of your business strategy all year. Virtual assistants can make your life simpler.

Increased Productivity 

The most obvious benefit of hiring a virtual assistant is that you will have an extra set of hands–not to mention another brain–each day. As a result, you’ll have more time to focus on those tasks that will help you take your business to the next level. 

Your assistant could handle more mundane tasks, like data entry, order entry, scheduling appointments, and communicating with customers. 

Flexibility 

Virtual assistants are typically pretty flexible and can complete tasks as they come up, even after regular business hours. As an example, if your virtual assistant is responsible for responding to social media inquiries, your customers are likely to get a reply pretty quickly. 

Additionally, virtual assistants don’t have to commute into an office because they work remotely, saving time and funds otherwise spent on transportation. 

Increased Efficiency 

When your virtual assistant handles the smaller, less crucial tasks, you have more time to devote to core business tasks dedicated to increasing efficiency. Having your assistant perform the admin tasks, you can focus on making your business grow.

Lower Overhead Costs 

A virtual assistant works remotely, so you don’t need to have additional office space for them, reducing overhead costs. You also save by avoiding the need to provide benefits or pay employee taxes for them. 

Better Work-life Balance 

Let’s face it, running a business can be super stressful. So, predictably, your to-do list grows as your business grows. A virtual assistant takes some of the tasks off your plate, so you’re not needing to work around the clock, leaving you time to do things that you enjoy, like spending time with family or maybe surfing, if that’s your thing. 

You will feel a sense of relief with your newly hired help to take some of the workloads and stress off your shoulders. Without a doubt, a healthy work-life balance is good for the soul.

Availability of Additional Skillsets

Many virtual assistants are skilled at many things like organization, database management, and managing spreadsheets. But some assistants that are experts in other fields that would be beneficial to your business, like graphic design, marketing, and social media. 

These additional skills are a huge advantage to help you scale. 

Adds to Company Growth

An entrepreneur with a solid strategy to effectively run their business will expand for long-term success. But it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. So much work that help is needed. 

A virtual assistant can keep things organized, handle time-consuming but necessary tasks and marketing duties, all of which help the business run smoothly and expand. 

Cons of Hiring a Virtual Assistant‍

Accessibility 

Not being able to walk a few feet to talk to your assistant can be annoying. You will need to communicate through technology, so ensuring your assistant has up-to-date devices to use is critical. An assistant that is easy to contact and share information with will make your life much easier and help foster a great working relationship. 

Possible Language Barrier 

The language barrier can be an issue, especially if you hire a virtual assistant from another country. Ensuring your assistant can understand, speak, and write in English will help avoid any miscommunication. And it is not just a factor of language: there may also be cultural and social differences that may affect your business relationship. 

No Supervision 

You know that old saying when the boss is away, the employees will play? Well, with your virtual assistant, you’re always away. It can make you feel uneasy hiring someone you can’t oversee, but it will be much easier to accept with time. It’s best to communicate expectations and deadlines for projects then trust they will get it done. 

Risk of a Security Breach‍ 

Unfortunately, scammers who are skilled in illegally gaining access to sensitive information continue to emerge with the internet. As a result, many businesses have fallen victim to hackers who copy or download their files used to the cybercriminal’s advantage without realizing it. Therefore, ensuring your virtual assistant has the proper cybersecurity safeguards in place is critical. 

You may also need to release confidential information to your virtual assistant to perform specific tasks. It can sometimes be challenging to know how much information to divulge to your virtual assistant. In any case, you want an assistant with a track record of discretion and good judgment.‍ 

Lack of Commitment 

The truth is, many virtual assistants work with multiple clients simultaneously. You never know if they have been assigned a complex, time-consuming project from another client where they don’t have the time to complete the tasks you need.

Also, if another client pays them better than you, there’s potential for abandonment without notice, leaving you to scramble to find a new assistant quickly. 

Choosing the Right Virtual Assistant Provider ‍

There are a few types of Virtual Assistants, each catering to different sets of needs. Before you start searching for a virtual assistant, it’s important to know which type you’re looking for. 

1. Freelancers 

This virtual assistant profiles services for you regularly like an in-office employee would. They typically have a list of duties and responsibilities they handle consistently for you.

  • Pros: Great long-term and to hand off projects
  • Cons: Skills and experience vary

2. Project-Based Freelancers 

This virtual assistant handles projects as they come up. You can hire them for one time task or on an as-needed basis.

  • Pros: Great for one-time, unique, and seasonal projects
  • Cons: Skills and experience vary

3. Contracted Organization

This type of virtual assistant is a service company with skilled and experienced staff to handle your one-time projects or long-term consistent business processes. The service company can assign you a team of assistants to perform numerous duties for quick completion of critical tasks. 

  • Pros: Affordable alternative of hiring a full-time team in-house, the greatest selection of professional skill sets with a large talent pool, ability to handle a high volume of tasks as you scale.
  • Cons: Work with multiple assistants

The Takeaway

Without being tied down by many unfinished tasks, entrepreneurs can prioritize their time to improve efficiency and increase productivity by hiring a virtual assistant. The extra set of hands will give you the proper time to complete more critical duties to generate revenue and scale your business. 

Also, an experienced virtual assistant can bridge the skill gap in your business to complete tasks that require a certain skill set.

Being too occupied with every activity that one’s business is facing can reduce efficiency. However, efficiency is vital to a business, especially if it aims for long-term growth and a virtual assistant is a safe option for scaling up. 

A virtual assistant will also help you not work yourself to death trying to complete all the vital duties needed to run your business effectively. 

Are you ready to improve efficiency in your business and increase productivity? Contact Awesome OS today, and we’ll be the helping hands you need to take your business to the next level. 

 

Sources:

How Hard Small Business Owners Work | Score.org

18 Ways to Secure Your SMB’s Devices and Network | Business News Daily

Work Life Balance | MHANational.org

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