Outsourcing and the use of Virtual Assistants is gaining momentum. Business owners in developed and fast paced countries have embraced the concept and are increasingly outsourcing repetitive, ad hoc and administrative tasks.
This allows acceleration and growth in business by freeing the business owners and the company to;
- focus on growth strategies
- scale up using a cost-effective model
- contain and manage overhead costs
The concept of a Virtual Assistant started in the early 80’s, mainly as a secretarial service. With the advent of technology, it has become more organised and skilled Virtual Assistants are now in demand.
Virtual Assistant is a global term for someone who assists a person or business remotely. They do not have a desk at your office premises; they may work from home, or even their own business premises.
Virtual Assistants can play many roles;
- Professional support services (admin/ad hoc projects)
- Email management
- Schedule and calendar management
- Data capture
- Social media, community management, respond to comments
- Finance, book keeping, invoicing and monthly statements
Despite the many benefits of using a Virtual Assistant, handing over parts of your business to someone you may never meet face to face is a scary prospect for many companies.
We encounter many reasons why business owners feel they can’t or don’t need to outsource, often to their own detriment. Here are some of the reasons we hear and what business owners should understand about outsourcing to a virtual assistant;
- My company has all the resources we need, we are well equipped, established, and on top of things. I do not need to outsource.
Life has a way of throwing us curve balls. Staff leave or become ill, or you may get a massive new project. Extra resources are suddenly needed immediately.
Every business should be prepared for these unexpected events. By building a relationship with a Virtual Assistant organisation which you trust, you always have access to someone who can step up at short notice to support your business through these times.
- My Business is very new, and I can do it all myself.
As entrepreneurs, our businesses are very precious to us. We are afraid to let people in or let go. Cashflow is almost always tight. We battle along alone.
Having a Virtual Assistant can be a great help for new businesses. Without having to take the risk of hiring a permanent employee, a Virtual Assistant can work according to your budget. If you build a good relationship with your VA, you can bounce ideas between you. Your VA can step in to manage those difficult situations and be a great support to you.
- I will no longer have control of my business.
If your business is to grow and become successful, you need to learn to delegate. Whether you hire full-time employees or VA’s, you will need to give up some control to succeed.
- I am not persuaded that it is cost effective and that it works.
VA’s work within your budget to help support your business. Outsourcing in this way is more affordable than hiring permanent employees and the service can be scaled down on quiet months or scaled up on busy months.
Using a VA can also increase your earning potential. By spending less of your own time on administrative tasks, you enable yourself to spend more time nurturing your company’s revenue producing activities.
For those who are not sure it works, start small by outsourcing a single task with a fixed cost and deadline. Equip your VA with all the knowledge they need on your business and allow them to familiarise with your project. You can increase the number and size of tasks you feed them as the relationship grows and they prove the value of having a good VA on hand when you need them.
Whether you are a business owner, or departmental manager, hiring decisions are always complex.
When hiring a VA you need to do your research, just as you would if you were looking to hire a permanent employee. Make a list of the tasks you need completed and how long you expect them to take. This will help both you and your VA to achieve what is needed and build a lasting relationship.
Outsourcing or Virtual Assistant support is a partnership arrangement, it needs to be nurtured by both parties in order to achieve the best possible results.
Please contact ALLINONE at email@example.com and I will be happy to discuss your requirements with you and allay any other concerns you may have.