One of the challenges of a small business, is managing growth. How can you manage additional sales, or a greater volume of consulting work, when there is only you, or just a small core team, to deliver it? If you want to add more human resources, how can you juggle the addition of another costly employee, when the increased workload might not be guaranteed into the future? Simple, hire a virtual assistant.
It’s in these situations that a virtual assistant can come into their own – and take away many of the headaches of small business growth.
If a sole trader gets busy, it is often home life that starts to suffer, as work extends into evenings and weekends. Time spent with the family is lost, as new quotes, then additional workload builds up – demanding action, as delivery deadlines loom large.
Taking on additional staff resource is often viewed as “taking the plunge” with thoughts of high overheads in the form of staff wages, plus the issue of finding office space for the new team member to work from. But there’s no need to think like this, when there is a much more flexible solution – a virtual assistant.
You may not have considered a virtual assistant before, but the concept is far from new, and many successful organisations outsource key parts of their operations. Those that are well set-up provide a seamless additional resource to companies of all sizes.
While it is possible to use offshore or overseas VAs, it is worth considering the additional issues this can create, in terms of language, accents, different time zones and cultures – so for most people in the UK, working with a UK-based virtual assistant is probably the best way to start your VA journey.
How to choose a virtual assistant
There are lots of virtual assistants to choose from, some specialising in different tasks or areas of business. And the variety of operational tasks that you can outsource to a VA are extremely wide – everything from bookkeeping to marketing, email administration to invoicing, sales to call answering. So decide on the sort of tasks you would like help with, and seek out a VA that best meets your needs.
With a VA, there’s no need to think about “taking the plunge”, as you can start out with a simple trial, asking a virtual assistant to carry out a small project or simple task for you – an ideal one might be something that’s been on your to-do list for a long time.
Remember that you only pay a VA for the time of theirs that you use, there’s no complications such as tax, National Insurance or holiday pay, as you would have with a part-time member of staff. Your VA will not need any office space, either, as they will work from their own space, elsewhere in the UK.
Working with a virtual assistant
You can decide between you on the best way to communicate. That could be phone, email or – if you prefer to look someone in the eye – a video conferencing app such as Skype. Either way, you are in control, and you can see clearly how investing in a VA’s time delivers clear results.