What is a VA and why should you hire one?

5 Reasons why hiring a VA is the best investment you’ll make this year.

Since I started my VA business I have lost count of the number of times friends and family have questioned the sanity of setting up as a VA.  “Are you sure this is a sound investment Clare? There can’t be that many people out there who are so busy that they need a VA are there?”, they ask.  Or, “I really don’t get how it all works – how can you be an Executive Assistant for somebody without actually being employed by them full time?”.   And so it seems that there is still a fair amount of mystery around the growing VA industry.

Firstly, there are countless different types of VAs out there – which is a good thing!  If you are in the market for a VA you clearly want to be looking for one who specialises in the services that you need.  To give you a taste of the variety that’s out there: there are the traditional administrative VAs, the tech VAs, the social media VAs, the bookkeeping VAs, the copywriting VAs – the list really is endless. And that’s before we even get to the Online and Digital Business Managers! 

So, given the variety of VAs out there, defining what a VA is isn’t an easy task.  Essentially VAs are self-employed experts who partner with clients remotely to deliver a variety of services, most commonly admin and management related services.  They are there to take the pressure off and free up time for their clients and help drive business growth, efficiency and productivity.  My own philosophy as a VA is the same as it was when I was an Executive Assistant at a large international law firm: my role is to make my clients’ lives less stressful and to provide them with the right support so that they can focus on what they want to focus on rather than what they need to focus on.

So, why hire a VA then? 

Here are five reasons why hiring a VA is the best investment you’ll make this year:

1. Time and Money

How much is an hour of your time worth?  And how many hours do you spend on outsourceable tasks per month?  When you take a step back to look at the sheer amount of time most business owners and professionals spend on business as usual processes or easily outsourceable tasks, most of them are effectively spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds per hour on work that could be done for a fraction of the price.  By outsourcing business as usual admin, operational, marketing and management tasks you can free up those hours to spend more lucratively and focus on things like strategic planning, client relationship building, product and professional development – or even just more free time to spend with family and friends.

2. A VA can help you grow your business

Nobody is an expert at everything – by partnering with an expert VA you’re essentially hiring a collaboration partner to fill in the gaps in your skillset. Your business can reach new heights by forming a strategic alliance with a talented VA who specialises in the areas that you feel less confident in.  For example, a social media VA can work wonders with your online presence and brand identity.  A VA specialising in online business management can take on a project and team management role and even interpret and analyse your business metrics to help you make more evidence based strategic decisions.  If you’re a bit tech phobic you may be reluctant to adopt new software solutions and automations which could have a significant impact on your business growth – hiring a tech VA can help you implement new, more efficient systems and processes for your business. 

3. Partner with the best talent and receive the best quality service

VAs will always strive to deliver outstanding service – the success of their business depends on you being satisfied with their work product so, unless you are very unlucky, you will always get an outstanding level of service.  And if you don’t, as VAs usually work on rolling monthly contracts, if you aren’t satisfied with their service you are free to walk away and find a new, better VA.  But you would have to be seriously unlucky for that happen because the VA community as a whole is full of the highest quality talent.

In addition, when hiring a VA you aren’t restricted to hiring within your own geographical area so you get to take your pick from a worldwide talent pool.

4. Only pay for the service you need with no extra operational costs

VAs will only bill you for the hours they work.  Hiring a VA is far more cost effective than employing an assistant – you will reap huge savings in operational costs alone.  Office space and equipment, sick pay, insurance, holiday pay – it all adds up.  And what if you don’t need a full time assistant or even a part time assistant – what if you need lots of support one day and very little the next – you will inevitably end up paying for a significant amount of idle time by employing an assistant, whereas a VA will ONLY charge you for the hours they work. 

5. Mental Health and Mindset

Your mental health is vital to your professional success (let alone your personal quality of life and physical health!).    If you’ve reached the point in your career or business where your to-do list and wish list is piling up beyond your control and becoming overwhelming you are running the risk of burn out.  Delegation is a skill and a VA can help you learn it – by removing those things from your to do list which don’t have to be done by you, you can reclaim your peace of mind and a little more breathing space to help you thrive rather than merely survive. 

So, if you’re ready to jump in and make the investment, or if this post has got you thinking but you’re not sure about next steps and want some help to figure out what could you successfully delegate, get in touch or book a free, no obligation discovery call today.