Boosting Work Productivity by Hiring a VA

Will a Virtual Assistant boost my productivity?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Overworked and struggling to keep up? You are not alone. Thousands of business owners need help at one point or another and sometimes, it takes a moment for you to sit back and ask yourself an important question. Am I being productive? If not, it’s time to think about who to ask for help. Do you employ someone directly or hire a Virtual Assistant to help boost your productivity. This post aims to answer those questions.

Anyone who runs their own business (and is responsible for staff), will tell you, ‘Time invested is time well spent’, but only if the person you are teaching is willing and wants to work hard for your business.

Full Time, Part Time or Virtual

Before we get into how productive a VA is, let’s consider some facts.

Full Time Staff

  • Time to find the right staff with the right experience and / or qualifications
  • Higher cost with an annual salary to support
  • Additional costs with PAYE, NI, Pension etc
  • Sick Pay Factors
  • Maternity Leave
  • Time to train them up in your business
  • Risk of them leaving once trained up
  • Potential Agency Costs
  • Time to conduct interviews
  • Time to monitor progress, perform reviews etc

Part-Time Staff

  • Time to find the right staff with the right experience and / or qualifications
  • Additional costs with PAYE, NI, Pension etc
  • Sick Pay Factors
  • Maternity Leave
  • Time to train them up in your business with less time to do it, due being part-time
  • Risk of them leaving once trained up
  • Potential Agency Costs
  • Time to conduct interviews
  • Time to monitor progress, perform reviews etc

Unlike employing a member of full-time (or part-time) staff, who may have no previous experience and need to be taught from the beginning, an Administrative Consultant (also known as a Virtual Assistant) will enter your business armed with the expertise needed to support you in areas where you most need it.

Admin Consultants

  • No long term financial commitment
  • No need to worry about PAYE, NI & Pension Plans
  • No need to offer in house or external training
  • No agency fees
  • No need to train them up to support your business
  • No concerns over days off sick
  • No maternity worries

All you need to do, is spend some time researching the best assistant for your business, by evaluating their skills and matching them with your requirements. Once you shortlist the admin consultants who can support you, spend some time interviewing them to see which is the best fit for you.

Step 1: Identify the areas in your business where you need support

If you are reading this, you have already realised that you need an extra pair of hands. The fact you are considering a Virtual Assistant, means you already realise the benefits and now it’s a case of finding out which one to use.

Choosing the right people to support your business, will increase your productivity.

Introducing the right support at this stage will do the following:

  • Lighten your workload
  • Improve the performance and delivery of your admin tasks
  • Streamline your daily practises
  • Release you from the burden of mundane tasks which can be assigned to others

Do you relate the picture below?

Remember, you are not alone. Thousands of people every day, feel this way and it need not be this way.

Grab a pen and jot down 5 things which bug you

Do it right now ….

Jot down 5 things you hate doing in your business

*Writing things down can help. Start simple and jot down the areas in your business which have a negative impact on you.

  • entering invoices
  • remembering to send quotes
  • responding to emails
  • answering the phone
  • doing vat returns

This is an example list. If yours is the same, great. If not, write your own down and take the first step towards solving the problem.

Finding a solution to the problem

Virtuals Assistants have something unique to full time and part time staff. They have a knowledge of multiple businesses and multiple processes. They are in effect, multi skilled. 

The problems you have right now, are similar to the problems every other business owner has had at one time or another.

Choosing the right Virtual Assistant who has already implemented systems to solve and streamline businesses similar to yours, is what you need. Right now!

Step 2: Investigating Suitable Business Support

This might seem obvious to some people, but for the sake of total clarify, let me tell you how to take the next steps.

At this stage, the following must be true:

  1. You recognise the need for some extra help
  2. You have decided Part-Time / Full-Time staff is not correct for you right now
  3. You need someone skilled to help with specific problem areas in your business, that you have identified
  4. You have a list of 5 (or more) things which need business support
  5. You need to know what to do next

If these 5 things are true: read on …..

OK, great. You now need to find someone who is able to support your business.

Note: Unlike a physical member of staff, a Virtual Assistant can work for you from home, their offices or maybe on site (depending on their location).

You have identified the need and now need to choose the right business support. Choosing the right one, is key to the success of boosting productivity in your business.

Educate your VA and spend time to analyse the problems

Finding a Virtual Assistant

Unless you know of one already, it’s time to start looking. The best place to start is Google. Do a simple search for a virtual assistant in your area e.g virtual assistant cambridge or admin consultant cambridge. Visit the each of the sites and see which one stands out as having the expertise you need.

Short Listing a VA to support your business

Much like you would do, if interviewing candidates for a full or part time position, jot down the top 5 you might like to talk to.

Talk to the VA

This part is key, especially if they are going to be answering the phone for your business. Make sure you speak to the actual person you will be potentially hiring!

If they don’t come across properly on the phone to you, how will they do when talking to your customers.

Consider the following when talking to a VA

  • Do they sound friendly and professional on the phone
  • Are they eager to understand your problem and identify a solution
  • Are they quick to talk about their fees before identifying whether they can add value to your business first
  • What past experience do they have
  • Can they provide references
  • What are their payment terms
  • Are they local and how would they support your business

Step 3: Hiring Business Support

The difference with a VA (compared to a normal member of staff, employed directly by your company), is they are subcontracted. This means, you do not have to worry about adding them to your payroll. You do not have to pay any NI or PAYE for them and the costs you incur, come off your profits, which reduce your tax.

  • No PAYE or NI
  • No need to add them to Pay Roll
  • No sick pay or holiday leave to be concerned with
  • Monthly Invoice (as agreed with your chosen VA)

Unlike a member of staff you directly employ, the success of your business is vital to the success of the VA you choose to work with.

It is in their interests for you to succeed.

Once you have spoken to a few VA’s and chosen the one who best fits your business requirements, it’s time to agree the rates and define the working relationship.

Be sure to:

  • Take time to explain areas of your workload which cause you problems
  • Define the scope of work to be carried out
  • Specify the problem areas in your business which need solutions
  • Agree working times, targets and deadlines
  • Establish an open communication protocol
  • Pay bills on time

Step 4: Boost Productivity

Your VA will be up to speed, far quicker than a normal member of staff. The chances are, your workload dilemmas are something they have already solved for many other businesses like yours. Now is the time to take a moment, breath and relax.

Boost Productivity in your business

Now you have support for your business in place, here are some tips to consider:

  • Let your new VA take up some slack to release the areas which previously ‘bogged you down’
  • Communicate with your VA like a team member and discuss ways to improve areas in your business
  • Be open to change. The objective here is to boost productivity and that means change!
  • Don’t bottle things up. If you are not happy about something, be calm, express your concerns and work together

Keeping these tips in mind will help you build a healthy working relationship which will benefit your business and boost your productivity.

Ask Louise Lee for advise

Pick up the phone and talk to Louise on 01223 803666. She will be delighted to have a chat about whether hiring a Virtual Assistant is the best choice for your business.