Expanding a business requires extra people to get all the day to day done, while you as the owner work on the planning and decision-making side. Hiring in-house office staff, who’re right by your side for every beck and call can have its advantages, but there are drawbacks too.
Recruiting, hiring, training and managing in-house staff is expensive, with the annual average for an administrative employee coming in at close to $40,000 (source). More for project managers accountants, designers, and marketing professionals.
Here’s a list of other great advantages a VA can offer your expanding business:
Virtual assistants work while you sleep
It’s hard to find quality people who want to spend their nights working in an office. This severely limits the amount of work that’s being done in your business, but also limits the overall pool of talent you have to choose from during the recruitment process.
Virtual assistants are available from all over, working in multiple time zones. They can contact foreign clients and vendors during their regular business hours, plan out your upcoming day for you, and have all your overnight emails and phone messages sorted and organized by the time you wake up. VAs can burn the midnight oil so you don’t have to!
Less downtime from sick days
When your in-house employees are sick and cannot work, someone has to take on the responsibility of that employee’s work. Meaning some other important tasks are being tossed on the back-burner, stalling progress, profit, and expansion in its tracks.
Considering a virtual professional assistant’s salary is around one-third that of a traditional office employee, you can afford to have one or two extra assistants on staff for sick days and emergencies. Using the services of a good online staffing provider like 24/7 Virtual Assistant, you can eliminate the need to recruit extra people. The really good ones cross-train their assistants so that you’re never left empty-handed because of an employee’s personal issues.
No more legal issues forcing you to keep “bad apples” on the payroll
Nearly every state and province worldwide takes a huge stance on protecting employee’s from bad employers. These laws are there to protect people from being hurt on-the-job and stops employers from firing them without cause. Unfortunately, when it comes to finding a good assistant, sometimes you just know they aren’t the right fit after the first day or two.
Most of these employment laws dictate that you follow a process: eg., verbal warning, written warning, meeting and written warning #2, then finally termination. At least to date, such laws do not exist with online work. If a virtual assistant isn’t working out, you can let them go without fear of legal reproach.
Turn your social presence up a notch
There are a multitude of tools that exist to automate all your social posts. What about the actual engagement aspect of social networking? Engagement equals brand-awareness and is critical to expansion. If someone makes a comment about your product or service at midnight your time, at least six hours will go by before someone from your company responds. The same goes for presale questions and after-sales support requests on your Facebook fanpage or via Tweets.
Having a VA on staff to monitor anything and everything going on in your socialsphere ensures that questions and comments are responded to within an hour or two, instead of hours or days.
No office overhead
The overhead expenses of running an office with people working in it can really eat up an expansion budget: From the cost of acquiring and keeping the employee on staff, to the upfront and continuous cost of computers, mobile devices, chairs, desks, Internet bandwidth, a monthly lease, along with several other budget-killers. A virtual assistant can save your business thousands; he/she comes ready to work on the first day and will have all the equipment and most of the resources they need already.
Using virtual staff to expand your business will come with challenges. You’ll still need to train them, and just like in the non-virtual world; not every assistant you try will work out. Managing your employees virtually, from the cloud, allows your business to run 24 hours a day, which is exactly what an expanding business needs to get to the next level.