What is a Virtual Assistant?
What do you think of first when you hear the term “Virtual Assistant” (VA)? There are human and artificial intelligence (think: Siri or Alexa) roles that are both known by the title of Virtual Assistant. This can create some confusion. When we refer to a VA (or Virtual Assistant), we are talking about people who are working in a remote capacity, typically in their home office, in a role designed to support our clients’ businesses. Even here, on the We Are Working marketing team, we have Virtual Assistants who help us with our routine workload, such as research, reporting, bookkeeping, and more.
The demand for Virtual Assistant services is booming. And the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated that trend over the past year and a half. Even before the pandemic, the United States Small Business Administration published that “more than a third of small businesses currently outsource at least some of their operations. And even more plan on exploring this option in 2019.” In fact, as recent as 2019, in total, the “market amounted to $92.5 billion USD.” (Statista)
What Are Some Benefits of Having a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual Assistants can improve your work life, personal life or both. On average, our clients hire Virtual Assistants for at least 20 hours of work per week. So that is 20 hours a week they are gaining back to put toward the areas of their business and personal life that they choose.
Typically, you can expect the benefit by hiring a Virtual Assistant in the following ways:
- Increased productivity
- Decreased costs
- Increased availability for family and clients
- Decreased downtime
- Wider talent pool
If a task can be done online or over the phone, a Virtual Assistant can do it. However, we recommend delegating repeatable tasks to your Virtual Assistants. This process starts with documenting the task step-by-step. Delegating repeatable, documented tasks ensures that you will receive consistent quality results and that you do not have to invest a significant portion of your time in an ongoing manner to more and more training.
Some popular tasks to give a new Virtual Assistant are things like:
- Data Entry (transcribing podcasts, taking meeting notes, updating CRM)
- Bookkeeping (categorizing expenses, processing payments and payroll)
- Customer Service (providing live chat on your website, screening and responding to SMS text and emails, answering phone calls)
- Recruitment (managing job posts and listings, screening resumes for top candidates, scheduling interviews)
- Sales and Marketing Assistance (screening leads, booking calls, updating lead details, posting on social media)
- Personal Tasks (booking appointments, performing local research, scheduling gifts)
Of course, with anything you decide to delegate to someone else, you will need to think through the process and any access needed to complete the task successfully. We take you through this process during your free consultation.
Who Can Benefit from Having a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual Assistants can benefit anyone looking to free up time in their business or personal life. Here are some of the types of people who can easily benefit from hiring a Virtual Assistant:
- Busy individuals needing an extra set of hands.
- Small business owners, real estate agents, attorneys and others who have to wear many hats – who need to delegate routine tasks in order to scale their business.
- Executives looking to focus their full-time employees on growing their sales, while support tasks are delegated to a Virtual Assistant.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
Depending upon how you decide to move forward with a Virtual Assistant, there is a wide price range. Factors that can influence the hourly rate can include:
- The location of the Virtual Assistant, since the cost of living varies from one country to the next.
- If you are working directly with one individual Virtual Assistant or if you choose to work with a team of Virtual Assistants who are managed by a service like We Are Working.
- The complexity of the tasks you are looking to delegate to a Virtual Assistant.
If you are the DIY type, to make calculating your costs a breeze, we have developed a Virtual Assistant Cost Estimator and Guide to walk you through the process and calculate an estimate of your costs. Typically, our rates start at $7/hour all in, but we have included a buffer in the calculator. If you’d rather have us do the work on your estimate, we have a quick estimate survey that will only take you a few minutes to submit.