Turning a business idea into a business can be taxing. As the entrepreneur, you will start out by taking on the role not only of CEO, but also marketer, salesperson, project manager, admin assistant, and accountant. In the beginning, you (sort of) can handle this; however, there will be a stage when your company starts to take off, and you will need to upscale. This could mean that you have secured funding, or you are using your own profits; either way, you will not be able to maintain the momentum. In the long run, you will need to reorganize yourself and your business so your venture can flow smoothly.
You do not want to waste money, and you do not want to hire permanent staff – this is where hiring virtual assistants or outsourcing becomes useful. Virtual assistants are lifesavers, helping you not to spread yourself too thinly. Research has already proven that there are several benefits to going the virtual route, instead of onboarding permanent on-site staff. Statistics have proven the value of a virtual assistant or VA in:
Decreasing your operating costs
A huge expense to most companies is staffing. Outsourcing, however, as a business process model, can be assisted by delegating various tasks to experts that work remotely on a consulting basis. This will also save the company money. These virtual assistants can live in any part of the world. However, if you are English speaking, it’s best to select VAs from native-English-speaking countries so that you do not compromise your standards. Many online assistants are from countries where their currency is weak; therefore your euro- or dollar-based payment will still afford them a good salary; however, for you, this will be much lower than payment made to a local on-site worker.
In fact, you can save up to 78% in terms of operating costs when you outsource, compared with hiring an on-site employee. The savings will be useful as you scale up, since it can speed up the process, and give you a competitive edge.
When you outsource, you will not just save on the operating costs, but also the hiring costs. Traditionally, a company makes use of their HR department or even a recruitment agency to search for talent. However, the first question you need to ask yourself is – do you actually need an in-house HR team? Not really. A virtual HR assistant can perform these tasks for you, and for less. Therefore, you would be saving on the employee salaries and still getting great people to help you as you grow your business.
Research by Stanford University has concluded that when a business hires a virtual assistant, the company can cut their attrition rates by half. In this study, the focus was on Ctrip (a Chinese travel agency). This company had 500 workers. In the research, 50% of the workers worked from home, and the other 50% from the office, over a 9-month period. The result were that of the half working from the office, an additional 50% of them started to work remotely.
Boost your productivity and efficiency
It’s been found that remote workers are more efficient − they have more time to complete their tasks, while still managing their personal roles. The Stanford research study also found that remote workers tend to take fewer sick days, as well as breaks, which led to a 13% boost in productivity. Nevertheless, remote workers need to be reliable and committed to completing their work. Therefore, it’s better to source a VA via an agency that can vet the candidates before presenting them to you.
Onboard great people with great experience
When businesses hire a virtual assistant, they are not lowering their standards. The virtual aides are high-quality, offering good education and experience. In fact, 60% of VAs have completed a degree. Also, although most are multi-disciplined, assistants can also be specialists in areas such as content creation, social media, project managing, legal assistance, lead generation, or marketing. It is, however, vital that a business clearly state their needs, ensuring that the correct assistant can be sourced to match the requirements.
Virtual assistants are dedicated to their job
Although many online assistants work part time, some 59% of outsourced assistants work full time for a business. As such, they will spend around 40 hours per week on a company. Again, this depends on the requirements of the business. Also, it’s useful to opt for an agency that has a management system: the agency then ensures that the online assistants are working as they should.
Online assistants like their work
Stability is important – especially in the long run, for most entrepreneurs. Research has found that 97% of remote workers are contented and happy in their work. Therefore, these workers are less inclined to switch to other businesses. Such job changing can harm a business. It costs the company money to fill the position once again. What is central is that business owners or managers should know how to delegate and to unlearn the habit of micro-managing people. Research has found that 82% of assistants surveyed choose to remain at their current place of employment. What can make this relationship stronger is to have regular one-on-one meetings with your virtual assistants. This also augments the trust levels. Trust, naturally, can be a concern, especially between a business owner or manager and a remote worker.
Avoid the classic mistake
Many businesses have onboarded a virtual assistant, later discontinuing the relationship. Why would this be? Some business managers or owners have simply decided to hire directly. In the end, these businesses have not known how to hire the right person, nor have had the skill to manage people. A safer route is to make use of a reputable outsourcing company or BPO. Aristo Sourcing, for one, has, since 2014, been sourcing great people for businesses that want to upscale their companies to the next level. Most of the VAs are regulars. New clients mostly come from word-of-mouth from the clients themselves. Onboarding your first virtual assistant is an easy process − Aristo Sourcing only selects the top 2% of applicants as candidates for businesses.