Virtual assistants have been around for quite a while now, but it’s only in recent years that this profession truly took off due to the prevalence of remote work and the increased digitalization of the business environment.
More and more companies all over the world are starting to hire virtual assistants to perform all sorts of tasks that were once carried out by in-office employees.
Statistics reveal that virtual assistants can save a business up to 78% in operating costs, and although it’s difficult to give an exact number with respect to the VA market size, the outsourcing services market which encompasses this sector was estimated at $92 billion in 2019.
But just because hiring VAs has become the latest trend in the business world it doesn’t mean that your business should follow suit. You don’t always have to go with the crowd and do what everybody else is doing.
Since each business is unique and has its own specific requirements, entrepreneurs have to determine which trends are worth paying attention to and which should be ignored. This is also the case with virtual assistants. You have to analyze your business thoroughly before deciding if these services can add value to your company or not.
This article aims to provide guidance in this respect by examining both the pros and cons and highlighting some of the aspects that entrepreneurs should take into consideration during the decision-making process.
Table of Contents
First, let’s take a look at some of the prerequisites of hiring a VA. For starters, you have to figure out if you could use some extra help in your business or if things are good as they are.
Just because you’re running an online business doesn’t necessarily mean that outsourcing is a must. Analyze your business needs and see if there are services that could be better performed by a VA.
Secondly, you should think about the value that a VA can bring to your company. Ask yourself how will the services provided by a VA influence your business? This will help you determine the length of your collaboration and the appropriate remuneration.
Thirdly, you have to be aware that working with a VA is bound to change the dynamics in your company. You’ll go from working alone or with in-house employees to collaborating remotely. Make sure your business has the right infrastructure to support this style of work.
When hiring a VA is a good idea
There are certain criteria that can help you decide if hiring a VA is the best thing for your business, as follows.
For medium to large businesses
While small businesses can do without an army of people, not the same can be said about medium to large businesses. With business expansion also comes a wider range of tasks and responsibilities, and you can’t ask one single person to fulfill ten different roles at the same time.
For most growing companies, VAs can be a true lifesaver, as they can take some of the workload off your employees’ shoulders and also save you money in the long run. There’s no need to provide office space or bring in extra equipment since the VA will be working remotely from his home or his own office.
Tasks that require outsourcing
Before you make a decision, you should take a look at the tasks that you have to fulfill to keep your business going. When there’s a variety of roles in your business and not enough people to fill in these roles, outsourcing represents a great option.
Instead of assigning tasks to people who lack the necessary skills and knowledge to perform them, you can hire a VA specialized in that certain area of activity and let them do the job the right way.
Lack of skills in your area
Working with a VA means you are no longer limited to a local talent pool when searching for candidates. If you can’t find the talent you’re looking for in your city or region, you can simply search for a Virtual PA UK and choose the right professional from any location in the country. That provides access to a larger number of candidates and increases your chances of finding the right talent for your business.
When hiring a VA is not a good idea
VAs can provide many benefits to a business, but there might not be a need for them in certain circumstances. Here’s when hiring a VA is not a good business move.
Poor selection process
When you have no standards and principles to guide you in the selection of a VA, chances are you’re going to choose wrong.
A VA can only provide an advantage to your business if he is a good match. Different VAs have different abilities, levels of expertise, and specializations, so there are many aspects to consider when screening candidates.
If you ignore these factors and you proceed to hire a VA thinking that things will magically fall into place, you’re in for a big disappointment. In this situation, a VA’s contribution will not only be useless but can also affect business productivity.
Similarly, if you hire a VA because every other business is going down this route, but you don’t take your business requirements into consideration and you don’t actually have a real need for a VA, your company is better off without them.
Any asset that your business doesn’t actually need is going to turn into an inconvenience or a burden eventually. Don’t jump on the bandwagon because your competitors are doing it. Only join the trend if, after careful consideration, you come to the conclusion that working with a VA makes sense for you.
In the end, it all comes down to your specific wants and needs. No one knows your business better than you do, so based on the guidelines that we’ve mentioned above you can decide if hiring a VA is a good idea for your business or not.