Hiring a virtual assistant for the first time is a big step, and we’re sure you’ll have plenty of questions if it’s something you’re considering. This post aims to answer them all in one place, so you can come away from it feeling informed about everything that’s involved.
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
The benefits of hiring a virtual assistant
The first thing to understand about hiring a virtual assistant is that you stand to gain a lot more than just extra time. When you find the right virtual assistant for you, you’ll get:
- Specialist support from an experienced professional
- The reassurance that a virtual assistant has a genuine interest in seeing you succeed (their own business depends on it, too)
- Little-to-no training costs and time – find a virtual assistant who already has the skills you need, and they’ll be able to hit the ground running
- Flexible support where you’re only paying for the hours worked
- No recruitment or agency fees
- No HR admin (like tax, national insurance, or pensions), and no employee benefits to cover
- No desk or office equipment to purchase and provide, as a VA will work from their own office and equip themselves
- The freedom to focus on what it is you do best
- New processes and systems that help your business run better
- The opportunity to fill in any skill gaps you may have, without the cost and time that training would take
- The ability to take on more work and start levelling up your business, without any of the risks that come with hiring employees. Simply end the contract if your workload drops.
The benefits of working with The Assistant Quarters
As well as all the benefits listed above, hire a VA from The Assistant Quarters and you’ll get more than standard admin support. Here at TAQ, we provide consultancy and management services for online businesses. That means we don’t just do the work that will help you drive your business forward; we’ll plan and strategize with you, too. Find out more about us.
Is hiring a VA the right option for you?
Hiring a virtual assistant could be the right option for you if you:
- Need flexible support, without the long-term commitment
- Have reached a point in your business where you’re finding it difficult to move forward alone
- Have a big launch, event, project or client that means your workload is heavier than normal
- Are comfortable working digitally and feel confident that you could manage a virtual working relationship
- Are prepared to let go of some of the control, and start delegating tasks to someone else
What could a virtual assistant do for you?
Virtual assistants come in all shapes and sizes, and their skill sets and specialities can vary depending on their experience.
Most virtual assistants will provide some or all of the following services:
- General administrative support (e.g. data entry, CRM management, reporting)
- Bookkeeping and financial reporting (e.g. recording expenses, invoicing, reconciling)
- Executive/personal assistance (e.g. inbox and diary management, travel bookings)
- Marketing administration (e.g. blog upload, social media scheduling, proofreading)
- Event management and support (e.g. planning, organising, coordinating on the day)
What could The Assistant Quarters do for you?
As well as the services listed above, TAQ also provides social media and digital marketing strategy and planning services, as well as content creation. We also provide online business management support, including strategy sessions designed to help you streamline your business operations. Find out more about our services.
When is it the right time to hire a virtual assistant?
When it comes to hiring a virtual assistant, there’s no rulebook that tells you how much you need to be earning or how many hours work you should be able to give. Instead, you should ask yourself the following questions to determine how you’re feeling in your business right now:
- Am I working more hours than I’d like to be?
- Am I missing opportunities because there aren’t enough hours in the day?
- Is my time being spent wisely? Or could some of my workload easily be handled by someone else?
- Am I enjoying my work? Or do I spend too much time on tasks that don’t satisfy me?
- Do I have plans for growth, but no more time in my day to put those plans into action?
- Do I need help to fill a skill gap, or do I need support with tasks that take me far too long?
The next thing to look at, once you know you’re ready for a VA, is the numbers. Getting the support you need is important, but so is your business’s financial position.
How much does it cost to hire a VA?
The average starting rate for hiring a virtual assistant in the UK is £25 per hour.
As experience and skills develop, so too will prices, and you can expect to pay upwards of £50 for highly specialised support.
As with all freelance/virtual services available online, you can, of course, get it cheaper. You could probably pay around $5 an hour for a virtual assistant from overseas, but beware that cheap services breed low quality work.
When you weigh up cost vs benefits, consider:
- Time zones – Will it be easy for me to communicate with my VA as and when I need to?
- Language barriers – Will my VA be able to understand my requests, and converse with me in colloquial English?
- Insurance – Is my VA adequately protected should anything go wrong?
- Data protection – Does my VA have a good grasp of the current regulations, and can I trust them to follow guidelines?
- Cultural and economic awareness – Will my VA understand the industry and market I’m operating in, and will they be able to relate to the type of client I’m targeting?
How much does a VA from The Assistant Quarters cost?
We find it works best when we can create bespoke quotes based on an individual client’s needs. We offer a wide range of specialist services, as well as consultancy and strategy sessions, and all our VAs are highly skilled and experienced. Because of this, our typical hourly rate for retainer packages is £35. View an example of the rates, packages and terms we can offer.
How to find the right virtual assistant for you
When you’re starting the process of hiring a virtual assistant, it’s a good idea to find and talk with multiple candidates.
There are many ways you can find virtual assistants, including asking your network for referrals, searching or posting on social media, browsing directories, and placing paid advertisements.
Once you’ve found some potential VAs, ask yourself the following questions about those you’re considering:
- Do they have experience with the tasks I need help with?
- What other services can they provide that I may need help with in the future?
- Do they have experience working with businesses in my industry?
- Can they demonstrate a good understanding of my business and the work they’d be carrying out for me?
- Do they communicate well, and am I confident that we could build a good working relationship?
- How do they present themselves online? (Am I happy to have this person representing my business?)
- What sort of availability do they have?
- What do they charge, and what are their terms?
How to hire a virtual assistant
Once you’ve narrowed down your search by asking the above questions about any VAs you’re considering, what’s next?
- Have a trial run – Set your VA (or VAs, if you’re still trying to decide) some test exercises. Monitor how they perform and look closely at the results they deliver.
(Don’t ask your VA to do this for free. No one should have to work for free, and it’ll get you off on the wrong foot. To make it worth your while, find genuine tasks that you need help with in your business).
- Start small – Don’t commit to anything more than you’re comfortable with. It’s okay to start small with the intention of extending your relationship if things go well.
- Get good at delegating – Don’t rush the process of briefing your VA, and take your time to decide which tasks you’ll delegate, and how. The better you are at explaining what you need, the more likely they’ll be to deliver it.
- Prioritise communication – check in regularly with your VA during the first few weeks and months you work together. As well as giving feedback, ask them for their opinion on how things are going. If you want to build a strong relationship, it needs to be two-sided.
- Don’t be afraid to start fresh – even if you’ve taken all the steps we’ve outlined in this guide, you might not be lucky enough to find the right VA first time. If it’s not working out, cut your losses and start your search again. We promise it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Good luck, we’re rooting for you!
There’s no doubt that hiring a virtual assistant is a big step, but we hope this guide has given you plenty of ideas and information on how to go about it.
The right virtual assistant will transform your business. We can’t wait to see what you do next.
How to get started with The Assistant Quarters
To arrange a FREE 30-minute discovery call to chat through your requirements, click the button below, or call us on 0208 064 1969 to chat about your options.
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