What You Should Know Before Hiring a Virtual Personal Assistant
A personal assistant is a clear sign of success for many business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, and even freelancers. They have done well enough in life that they don’t just need help with personal tasks, but also get to hire someone to do some of the things they don’t like to do.
Only one thing is wrong: most personal assistants are expensive.
The virtual personal assistant comes into play. A virtual personal assistant (VPA) is an executive assistant who can work from home. This person can come into your office and take care of many of your least favorite tasks while staying in their own home. They can do many of the assistant jobs that usually take a lot of time in the office just by working over the phone or the Internet. And it turns out that this is often better than having a personal assistant.
How a Virtual Personal Assistant Can Help You
First, let’s get rid of the idea that virtual assistant services aren’t as good as a personal assistant. Here are some of the most common things you can ask a personal assistant who works from home to do for you:
- Personal tasks. Need someone to call you and set up a personal appointment? Need someone to handle customer service and get your money back? Need someone to do some of the little things in your daily life that you’d rather not do? A virtual personal assistant can help in these situations.
- Data entry. Data entry can be one of the least favorite things to do for people who run their own business or for anyone in business, in general. You can hire a virtual personal assistant to do data entry so that you can focus on other things.
- Do research online. Be honest: how much of your time is spent with online research? Research can be hard, but it’s an important part of running a business, whether you’re looking for the best printer to buy or the best software to help your business grow. A virtual personal assistant can help you do research quickly and give you the ability to make management-level decisions in both your personal and professional life.
- Calendar management. No matter how good you are at business, everyone can use more help managing their schedules. When you have a dedicated assistant with years of experience managing calendars, it’s much easier to keep track of personal appointments and find a good balance between work and life.
- Small-business miscellaneous. Do you have a podcast for business or for fun that needs help? Do you dislike talking to customer service? Do you want to stay in touch with people who don’t live where you do but who live in a different time zone? Hiring someone who works more like a freelancer than a full-time employee is a great way to make sure you have everything you need to make your daily life as easy as possible.
- Taking calls and doing other things for themselves. A personal assistant can answer your phone calls, make new ones, and keep you in touch with what’s going on in the world while you work on other things. This is great for people who need to get away sometimes for long weekends or vacations. It keeps you in the loop in case of emergencies but keeps your time separate from your work.
What Is Life with a Virtual Personal Assistant Like?
When you imagine what life would be like if someone else did those tasks for you, it’s easy to see how your work life could be better. But let’s look at a few situations where a virtual personal assistant will really shine:
- Taking away distractions. Let’s say you don’t want to do personal things like plan your own travel or answer calls without screening anymore. You can give yourself more time to work if you hire a virtual personal assistant to take care of the less important but still important tasks in your day.
- Getting more done. If you can’t let go of the personal tasks that take up most of your time every day, you won’t be as productive as you could be. This is especially true when you think about tasks like data entry, which can take up a lot of time and keep you from focusing on the more important things you need to do to make your life run better.
- Becoming the boss of your own life. Let’s be honest: who wouldn’t want a personal assistant? They could hire someone to help them with almost every part of their lives and always have someone they could ask questions to. A virtual personal assistant can help fill in these gaps to get the same result for a lot less money.
The Reasons You Should Use Virtual Assistant Services
Already sold on all of the benefits above, but aren’t sure that a virtual assistant can replace or even exceed an in-person, full-time administrative assistant?
Then let’s look at little more closely at how a virtual assistant works:
The Cost: A Surprising Benefit in Outsourcing Your Administrative Tasks
Hiring a full-time executive personal assistant can be expensive. Between the hours worked, the yearly salary, the benefits, the vacation time, it can add up more quickly than you might imagine. The advantage of a virtual personal assistant? You can essentially have the same experience on a virtual basis without the same full-time commitment when it comes to cost.
This is all well and good for people with large businesses and large budgets. But there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to have a great executive assistant experience simply because of the high cost barrier.
In contrast, a virtual assistant will work on an hourly basis. Their freelancer arrangement is straight-forward, which means you don’t have to worry about paying benefits.
Productivity and Why People Like Being Virtual Assistants
It’s not just the rise in demand that’s making people become virtual assistants. A lot of people like the flexible hours that come with being a virtual assistant. They’re allowed to work in the comfort of their own home.
On average, it’s estimated that most workers are only productive for about three hours per day. If you have full-time employees, that means you have to pay a lot of money for those three productive hours—much more than you might imagine that you’re paying.
With a virtual personal assistant, you’ll have a much more direct connection between the hours you pay for and the productivity you see. If you pay for a virtual assistant to do three hours of data entry, you can look at the results of those three hours immediately. There’s no guesswork involved. You’ll be able to see the fruits of your labor and the direct connection between hours paid and work provided.
This is a good arrangement for the assistants, too. They get to have a more flexible work schedule—which often means working from the safety and comfort of their own home. They don’t have to commute to an office in the morning, so they save time every day.
Sign up and Hire a Virtual Personal Assistant Today
Are you already convinced? Here are the most important steps you can take to hire your own virtual assistant:
- Sign up to join us. It won’t take much time at all and it will make every one of the following steps that much easier.
- Work with a manager whose job is to help customers succeed. We don’t want you to hire just anyone as your virtual assistant. We want you to choose the best candidate. So, we make sure that the skills and experience of the personal assistants in our talent pool match your needs.
- Make the choice. When you look at the options you’ve been given, you should try to match your needs with the VPAs you’re thinking about.
- Onboard the new personal assistant. You can’t expect someone to understand all of your needs right away, but with a good onboarding process, they can get pretty close. Try to think of the five most important and common tasks you’d like to outsource, and tell the VA how you’d like them done in this onboarding document.
With VA FLIX, you can start growing your business and cutting costs.
1. Meet your assistant
We’ll ask you some questions to find you a virtual assistant and a backup virtual assistant.
2. Make a workflow
You can make a workflow that fits your life with the help of our platform. You decide how to keep track of time, talk to your assistant, and share files.
3. Start delegating
You can talk to your virtual assistant from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your own time zone. Start giving tasks to other people and grow as you need to.
FAQ: What You Need to Know About Virtual Personal Assistant Jobs
If you’ve never hired a virtual worker before, it helps to know the answers to some of the most common questions:
What kinds of tasks do virtual personal assistants often do?
The scope is big, but there are some specific tasks you might want to think about right away. For example, a business owner might hire a virtual personal assistant to do any of the following:
- Online research
- Conquering a daily to-do list
- Data entry
- Social media management and monitoring
- Scheduling and travel arrangements
- Email management
- Taking/placing phone calls
- Handling appointments
- Using common business software
This doesn’t mean you should only hire a virtual personal assistant for these tasks, but it will give you a good idea of what to expect when you do.
Who could benefit from hiring a virtual personal assistant?
A wide variety of people. Are you a freelancer who needs to improve work-life balance and increase their overall capacity? Are you a C-level executive who doesn’t have a full-time assistant? Are you a business owner who is just starting to hire more people to help you grow? Are you just the type of person who never seems to have enough time? You might be surprised by how many people could use some help in their lives.
How do I make sure that my personal assistant knows what to do?
It starts with the hiring process, because you don’t want to hire a virtual assistant who doesn’t have the experience you’re looking for. Working with a customer success manager at VA FLIX will help you make sure that what you need and what a virtual assistant can do for you are very similar. Aside from that, make sure you include a document that explains your processes and how they work. You should also try to give your VPA detailed feedback, especially at the beginning of their time with you.
What will a virtual personal assistant not be able to do?
They’re really only limited by how close they are or how far away they are. Anything you need done can be done by a virtual worker over the phone or computer. And in the modern world, that’s a lot. In some cases, they may even be able to set up physical things, like food delivery, if there is a local provider who can fill in for them.