27 Feb VA vs PA – how a virtual assistant can help your business
Virtual assistants have been supporting businesses in the US for years, and we’re becoming more and more popular in the UK thanks to the flexible and affordable way we work. Want to know if a virtual assistant is right for your business? Read on…
What is a VA?
A virtual assistant (VA) is someone who helps businesses with their administration, social media, website, diary management and other business support tasks – freeing you up to focus on the aspects of your business that you enjoy.
What makes a VA different from a PA is our location – rather than working in your office each day as an employee, we work remotely, as and when you need us.
Each VA has strengths, skills and expertise in different aspects of business support, so if you’re thinking about hiring a VA to help you manage your business, spend some time deciding what you need before going any further – the same as you would if you were recruiting a PA.
VA vs PA: the advantages
o No recruitment costs
o More cost effective than hiring someone – only pay for the time you need
o No holiday or sick pay
o None of the admin involved in hiring a permanent member of staff
o More efficient – none of the distractions of working in a busy office
o Perfect for regular, ad hoc jobs, or more in-depth projects you don’t have the time – or the inclination for
There are many types of VA out there. Some are specialist, some cover broad aspects of business support, and some bridge the gap between VA and PA, being happy to meet in your office, collect your dry cleaning, drive you to meetings, etc.
Once you have an idea of the tasks you’d like help with, do some research. Ask colleagues for recommendations, or search online. LinkedIn is a good place to start. Select and call a few VAs who feel like a good fit with your business. Most offer a free one-hour consultation to clarify what you’re looking for and find out more about each other. Building a relationship is the key to success, and you must feel comfortable with the VA you choose.
What you should ask
1. Experience: what is their background?
2. Access: how do they share information?
3. Payment terms: do they work for you?
4. What they enjoy doing most (this is a good indicator of their strengths) and why did they become a VA?
5. What skills do they feel would benefit you?
6. Are they security checked?
7. Do they have clients who are prepared to provide a testimonial or reference?
8. How many clients do they have, and how much time do they have available?
In a competitive world, a VA can be the answer to cost-effective administrative support – it’s all about finding the right fit for your business. If you’d like to arrange a free one-hour consultation to see how I can help you – or just a quick chat over the phone – call me on 07800 513613 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find more information on my Facebook Page.