At the end of 2021, we sent out a survey asking all of our members what the most important thing was for their business this year … and you know what they unanimously replied?
“BUILD MY TEAM!”
So, we spoke to 4 different business owners, all experts in their field, to give you 4 different perspectives on building your team by hiring or outsourcing.
For this fourth (and final) perspective, I spoke to Rosie Szabo, a Virtual Assistant (VA) based right here on the Northern Beaches. I’m pretty sure if you look up ‘Jack of All Trades’ you’ll find a picture of Rosie. Her past jobs included Office Management, Personal Assistant, Marketing Assistant, and Accounts Assistant, so combine that with her cracking customer service skills and gorgeous phone manner, and it’s no surprise she’s in such high demand! Without a doubt, she’s the person to shed light on how to successfully bring a VA into your business.
Here’s Rosie’s take on hiring vs outsourcing …
BCW: What is a VA? What do you do?
A virtual assistant is a contractor who is either self-employed or part of VA company that specializes in offering administrative support to businesses from a remote location, usually a home office. Typical tasks a virtual assistant will perform include diary management, document preparation, data entry and managing email accounts. I run my own business providing admin support to local businesses. I also offer my clients services such as marketing admin, file management, event assistance, personal assistance and pretty much anything that enables them to concentrate on their day job.
BCW: What types of businesses use VAs?
Typically, VAs are used by small to medium businesses that may not have the resources to take on extra staff members for the specific roles that are required. Or if a business is growing, they may need a stepping stone before taking on more permanent staff and a VA is a viable option to give assistance until they are ready to expand their team. A small business owner no doubt has many talents, but there may not be enough time in the day to accomplish everything. As I like to say to my clients, you can do anything, but not everything!
BCW: What are the advantages of hiring a VA rather than an employee?
I believe there are 6 key areas where hiring a VA is more advantageous than employing in-house:
Cost: When you hire an employee with a set hourly rate, there are also other “hidden” costs such as superannuation, worker’s compensation, employment insurance, holiday & sick days & benefits. When you outsource, a VAs cost is exactly what they charge, so you know what to expect & can budget on how much you want to spend using their services.
Time: A VA only charges for the hours they work. No breaks or socialising. No wasted time trying to fill scheduled hours. You pay only for the time they are actually working & for the services they provide.
Skills: An experienced VA can bring skills and knowledge that can enhance the running and productivity of your business. They not only know how to do the jobs you need doing, but can also introduce new and more efficient ways of doing them. This can greatly reduce training time and cost than if you hire in-house.
Flexibility: When you hire an employee, they work set hours that you need to schedule ahead of time. There is little leeway for more or less hours based on your volume of work. This is the opposite when you outsource to a VA who often works flexible hours, based on your requirements.
Equipment: A VA has their own equipment and their own office space so you don’t need to provide extra desk space or facilities for them to be able to work, meaning less fuss and less overheads.
Commitment: As a fellow business owner, a VA understands the importance of your business and is there to support and help it grow. Since we rely on happy clients and great referrals to grow our business, we succeed when you succeed.
BCW: Which tasks can easily be outsourced to a VA, rather than needing to employ someone in house?
The role of a VA can be vast, depending on their professional experience and expertise. Tasks that can be outsourced that can really benefit business owners can include, data entry, document preparation, invoicing and payment collection, travel planning, diary and database management, and marketing support. Growing your business and making money is the primary concern of all business owners but much of your time can be taken up by day-to-day admin. If you outsource these vital yet mundane tasks you can put all of your energy and focus into the primary money-making endeavours of your business.
BCW: What systems do you need to be able to work with a VA?
The great thing about using a VA is that we can seamlessly fit in with your existing systems. We can connect with you via platforms such as Facetime, WhatsApp or Zoom. We can use your existing CRM system, finance system, social media channels, and storage systems, all with a few clicks to sign me in. You decide the level of access within each system as well, so you have added security and remain in control. The last 2 years have taught us all that working remotely is more viable than ever and it also means that out of sight does not mean out of mind. As long as you are online, you can use a VA… we are virtual after all!
BCW: How do you work successfully with a VA?
The onboarding process is key to a successful relationship with a VA. Outlining your specific requirements and the areas of your business that need attention is the first step. Together you can then come up with a clear plan of action and set any deadlines that need to be met. It will ensure that you are getting value for money and that your VA is spending their time (and yours) on the crucial tasks assigned to them. It is also good to know if there is a particular way you like things to be done so we can make sure your business runs how you like it. At the same time, we are also experts in our own right, so we can add some great systems to your business to help it run more efficiently. Regular communication is essential to successfully working with a VA. Although, as a business owner you are very busy, to get the most out of your VA, they will need to be as informed as possible to fully utilise their time for you.
That’s seriously great advice – thanks Rosie! Feel free to reach out to Rosie for more info and make sure you check out her website, Everything is Rosie.