Back in the day (a couple of years ago), many business owners were not aware that Virtual Assistants ever existed. Many entrepreneurs started to catch on from 2018 and then COVID19 took place. The lockdown restrictions forced everyone to work online. Many companies had to let employees go but were left with administration still piling up and since then Virtual Assistants are in high demand. What the world has realised is that the old way of working is no longer necessary and that perhaps remote outsourcing is in fact the most productive and cost-effective avenue to take going forward.
In this blog, I will be covering some of the most popular questions I get asked about the Virtual Assistant world.
How does a Virtual Assistant differ from a Personal Assistant?
A Personal Assistant and Virtual Assistant have very little noticeable difference when it comes to the tasks that they perform. The huge difference is that a Personal Assistant is an employee that is based in an employer’s office, whereas a Virtual Assistant is a business owner (contractor), who works from her own remote location and who usually serves a number of clients at any one time.
What is the price difference?
This depends on which area in the country we are talking about, but if we are looking at the Johannesburg area, hiring a Personal Assistant could cost anything from R20-45k per month including or plus benefits. A Virtual Assistant sometimes charges per hour (Roughly R250 p/h) or offers affordable retainer packages for a client to select depending on how many hours they need the Virtual Assistant for per month. Just remember that clients do not pay anything additional, such as equipment, WIFI, or anything else pertaining to a Personal Assistant based in an office set up, which makes a Virtual Assistant an extremely attractive option.
Is the client responsible for paying for any benefits?
The client is not responsible at any time to pay any benefits such as annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, bonuses, or any other benefits that a full-time Personal Assistant would usually get when they are employed. All you pay for is the services and time that a Virtual Assistant provides to you.
How do I provide work to my Virtual Assistant?
Working remotely is much easier than one might think! In the technological age, we currently live in, we are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to picking and choosing between what systems can be used to work virtually. Here are just some of them:
- File sharing: Box.com; DropBox, Google Drive
- Email management & sharing: Outlook, G Suite, Mac Mail
- Online calls & meetings: Skype, Zoom.us, Teams, Gmeet
Your Virtual Assistant should set up a call with you at the outset, to discuss what systems you prefer or use and whether you need new systems and processes set up (she can help you with this process).
How do I communicate with my Virtual Assistant?
Communicating with your Virtual Assistant is one of the most crucial things you can do for a successful relationship with your Virtual Assistant, to ensure that communication is clear and concise. But how do you do this? It is highly advisable to schedule weekly meetings with your VA to discuss what the top priorities are on your list for the week, what she should be focusing on for you and what you need her assistance for in the week ahead. This call also provides a chance for your Virtual Assistant to ask you any questions you may have.
What tasks can be delegated to my Virtual Assistant?
If you can think of any admin/secretarial tasks that you need to be done… Your Virtual Assistant can most likely do them for you! Every Virtual Assistant provides various services, some with niche services as well. Speak to your VA to check which services she offers. Just so you can get an idea of what types of tasks a Virtual Assistant can handle for you, click here.
How does one pay a Virtual Assistant?
Speak to your potential Virtual Assistant about how she goes about payments to her. I personally provide an invoice on the 1st of each month for the work ahead for the month. Clients usually pay me via EFT.
How do I know my company and information is safe with my Virtual Assistant?
This is an extremely understandable concern. You are sharing your company secrets, client lists and contact information and much more. Please ensure that your new Virtual Assistant provides you with a contract between you two confirming that she will not disclose any information that you provide to her at the outset and throughout your journey together.
As I am sure, you may have more questions than what I have covered for you here in this blog. Should you wish to reach out to me to answer more questions please feel free to contact me using this link.