The Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

The Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant can offer a lot to a business, but there are many things to consider before hiring

By Sarra Bejaoui

Personal assistants have always worked closely with their employer, both literally and geographically. With the rise of a global economy, shared workspaces and technology such as Skype and the Cloud, it’s no longer always necessary or practical for employees to work in-house. As most business operations and interactions are done online, a virtual PA is fast becoming a valuable resource for companies of all shapes and sizes.

Virtual assistants work in a similar way to their onsite predecessors, but instead of being constrained in your office, they can work for your business from anywhere in the world.

What to consider before hiring a virtual PA

On the clock
On the clock:

Sarra Bejaoui, co-founder of SmartPA explains that clearly understanding the role is imperative to making the most of a virtual assistant

Benefits of virtual assistants

With considered management and clear communication, a virtual PA can provide a number of benefits to your business. When budgets are tight, hiring a virtual PA can be an effective way to cut business costs. By outsourcing your PA activity, your business can reduce (or remove completely) some of the costs associated with a full-time employee, such as benefits, training and utility.

Similarly to a traditional PA, it’s important to hire a virtual PA that’s right for you and your business’ needs. Hiring an assistant is often as much about a personality fit as it is about professional ability. If you don’t have the time, money or resources to complete your own hiring, there are variety of services that can match your business with a PA perfect for your needs. For example, SmartPA, which provides PA and secretarial services, continuously trains their PAs, thus helping to reduce the cost associated with completing these activities in-house.

Outsourcing to a virtual PA can also give your business greater flexibility when resourcing. For example, if your business is going through a busy period, you may require more support in a particular area. One of the great benefits of a virtual employee is you can hire based on particular skills and speciality as and when it’s needed.

Alternatively, you might run an early-stage business that does not yet have enough budget to commit to the costs of a full-time employee. Therefore, a virtual PA can be an effective option to support your business as it grows.

Is a virtual PA right for your business?

When going through a growth period, it can often feel as if you have hundreds of tasks to complete, from operational changes to staffing. A virtual assistant can support your business by completing the non-essential tasks. This will allow you to focus your time on the crucial areas to help grow your business successfully. The types of tasks a virtual PA can help with include:

  • Call handling
  • Diary and calendar management
  • Travel plans
  • Event management and coordination
  • Bookkeeping
  • Meetings
  • Research

Hiring a virtual PA isn't always an easy decision for a business owner. With so many factors to consider, it can be hard to know whether it’s right for your business. It’s important to consider your business’ operational capacity and the style in which your employees are managed. A virtual PA can offer a variety of benefits to both your company’s bottom line and growth, and by ensuring clear communication and expectations, your relationship with your virtual PA can be a successful one.

About the author

Sarra Bejaoui is the managing director and co-founder of SmartPA, a UK-based organisation offering professional PA support to businesses of all sizes. Established in 2008, it offers administrative services including bookkeeping, general administration, research and event management to corporations and businesses both in the UK and internationally.

 

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