If you own a small business, there are probably many items on your wishlist that could make things run more smoothly, but you have to prioritise and build gradually to stay within budget. Whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise seeking to grow, how do you decide which resources are essential and deserve a slice of your previous budget and what should go on the backburner?
Cost-effective resources provide instant benefits and do not require a long-term commitment, present a low-risk option you can trial and review. A virtual personal assistant (PA) offers just such a low-risk option. Many cost-effective live PA services allow you to demo the service before signing up to a rolling contract. A virtual personal assistant can make an instant impact on business in several ways. Check out our top five reasons why your business needs a virtual PA.
- Save the business money. It may sound counter-intuitive to suggest that paying for an additional service could save a business money, but a virtual PA can do just that. If you or highly-skilled members of your team are currently spending a significant percentage of the working day completing administrative tasks, this is a poor use of time and money that could be restricting business growth. Why pay senior members of staff to do work that could be completed (possibly to a higher standard) by a professional personal assistant for a lower salary? By hiring a virtual PA to take care of tasks such as message taking and call handling, you’ll only pay a higher rate to senior staff for completing the expert tasks you hired them to do.
- Increase productivity. Passing on some of the workload to a virtual PA allows your employees to focus on growing the business by spending more time doing the work you hired them to do. According to research by the Harvard Business Review, “knowledge workers” spend an average of 41% of their day performing activities that offer little personal satisfaction and could easily be managed by others. The three-year study showed employees who delegate repetitive, less productive tasks saved as much as 20% of their day, which equates to one full working day per week. This time is better spent on tasks that require the specific skills and knowledge of the individual employee. Attributing work based on competencies makes for a more productive and profitable business.
- Improve employee wellbeing and retention. Reducing your employees’ workload — especially at peak times — will improve wellbeing, morale and motivation. A recent Gallup study of approximately 7,500 full-time workers, found 23% of employees feel burned out at work “very often” or “always” and a further 44% feel burned out “sometimes”. Removing tasks that do not require the specific skills and knowledge of an individual worker could significantly lighten their workload and reduce the risk of burnout. A company that values the wellbeing of its employees will have a happier workforce and find it easier to retain and attract the best staff. Hiring new staff is one of the biggest costs to a business. Consider the price of recruitment, onboarding and a period of lower productivity as the new employee gets up to speed with their new role. It’s simply good business sense to take care of your employees.
- Only pay for the services you need. Most virtual personal assistant services are available on flexible terms, meaning you need only pay for what you use. When a business hires an in-house, permanent member of staff, it must pay their salary regardless of how much work there is for them to do. This could mean that during quiet times, an employee is paid to do very little. Conversely, in peak times, one member of staff may not be sufficient to manage a sudden influx of calls or to complete work by an important deadline. You can purchase a virtual PA service without the need to commit to a lengthy contract. Adapt the time and tasks allocated in line with business needs. This could save hundreds of pounds and ensure that employee wellbeing is protected.
- Reduce the time and money spent on recruitment. Advertising for new staff, conducting the recruitment process, onboarding and training new staff is time-consuming and expensive. By hiring a virtual PA through a professional service provider, there is no need for lengthy interviews or weeks of training. A virtual PA will be qualified to perform a wide range of administrative tasks to a professional standard. They provide an “out-of-the-box” solution. You won’t have to pay for benefits such as sick pay and pension schemes either. Many services offer 24/7 support by providing a team of live PAs for your business — another benefit over hiring a full-time in-house employee who certainly will not be working round the clock!
Whatever industry your business operates in — whether you have a small startup or an established enterprise — your business needs a virtual personal assistant. It’s a cost-effective solution that will improve employee well being, boost productivity, cut cost and allow you and your employees to focus on taking the business to new heights.