I have noticed that more and more small business owners and entrepreneurs are catching on to the concept of outsourcing office work and administrative tasks to a Virtual Assistant. Now that outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant is becoming more popular, how do you work with a Virtual Assistant? I have put together some points on working with a Virtual Assistant which I think you may find helpful.
Let’s review: What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a highly skilled, independent professional who remotely provides administrative, technical and/or/creative business support services.
A Virtual Assistant is a Client’s:
Business support system
Business outsourcing solution
The person they will depend on
That go-to-person that they can count on,
Their business partner
A Virtual Assistant Is Not an Employee
As an independent professional, a Virtual Assistant owns and operates his/her own business. They are very knowledgeable, skilled, have extensive training and experience, and have several years’ experience in their field of expertise and specialty.
When you outsource to a Virtual Assistant, you do not have to pay government payroll obligations, vacation time, sick time, and any other employee benefits. However, a Virtual Assistant is responsible for their own income tax deductions and any other expenses associated with operating their own business.
Virtual Assistant Rates
Typically, in North America, virtual assistants charge $25 to $75 per hour for administrative tasks. More complex tasks and specialized services range from $30 and higher depending on level of detail. Virtual Assistants are paid only for the time they work on a task or project; they are not paid for a full 35- or 40-hour work week.
Monthly Service Plans
If you are finding that you are using the services of a virtual assistant for 5 or more hours per month on a regular basis, you might want to ask if the virtual assistant provides monthly service plans. The virtual assistant works on a contract basis, usually at a discounted rate, when you outsource work to them on a monthly service plan basis.
Virtual Assistants are professionals in all that they do. They are more than just secretaries or personal assistants. A Virtual Assistant has a vested interest in helping their clients achieve their goals and own/operate their successful business. Through mutual respect and appreciation, a Virtual Assistant becomes a vital part of your business.
Treat your Virtual Assistant with the same equal respect you show towards other business professionals. Your Virtual Assistant is a business owner and specialized professional. Although you are not required to provide your Virtual Assistant with full benefits and all the other perks to retain his/her services, you should extend the same level of respect you would extend to other business owners and professionals without prejudice or discrimination.
When starting out in a new work partnership with your Virtual Assistant, you might want to plan for a trial period and gradually outsource work over an extended period of time. Clear communication is an absolute must. Be realistic especially allowing sufficient time for deadlines. Keep in mind that your Virtual Assistant may also be working with other clients so planning ahead is a necessity.
As stated already in this article, communication is an absolute must. It is extremely important that the lines of communication are open at all times. Be concise and direct especially when communicating by email. Provide very specific details about what is required for complex tasks or projects you are outsourcing to your Virtual Assistant. Weekly direct person-to-person communication to re-connect or address any new or existing work is helpful in your business partnership with a Virtual Assistant. Be willing to listen to ideas from your Virtual Assistant.
As you follow these points on working with your Virtual Assistant, you will see that outsourcing to your Virtual Assistant will be very beneficial to your business and you will a successful working partnership with your Virtual Assistant.