Slowly but surely the business world is getting accustomed to a new way of delegating. For generations we were used to the idea of hiring people to work for us if we needed a specific job to be completed and would take on the responsibility of training them, as well as looking out for their welfare in many respects too. In relation to the work involved this was quite a considerable undertaking and associated cost, but it was the way that things were done and was seen as just the cost of doing business.

In the space of the last generation, however, our ability to communicate with others a lot more efficiently has enabled us to look at this rather differently. Now we are able to interact with others on a worldwide basis without thinking twice about it, efficiently and productively. This has enabled us to outsource work that we would otherwise have kept in-house to virtual assistants, wherever they may be.

There are so many advantages attached. When you have located the person (or organisation) with whom you want to work, you have a professional entity willing to provide you with first-class service without any strings attached. The virtual assistant is ready and willing to do the work required, has undertaken the appropriate training to enable them to get to that position and will be responsible for ongoing training to ensure that they remain fresh. Compare that to the in-house employee situation. Firstly, will you find a person locally with the appropriate training? Remember that if they have to come into your office each day then that automatically restricts your potential pool of applicants, geographically. Assuming that you find one, it’s in your best interest to ensure that they are “up to speed” with developments in relation to their work and this means that you will be responsible for ongoing training.

It’s very important to look at productivity. Even the most ardent and enthusiastic employee is not productive for 100% of the time. There are so many reasons why this could be the case and only so much you can do about it, in realistic terms. Compare that to the virtual assistant who only charges you for the work they complete. You don’t have to worry about their productivity.

Whenever you employ someone there are some quite substantial additional costs to consider. Legally, you’re responsible for their welfare at work and have to maintain insurance accordingly. You have to pay employee related taxes to the government and “your share” of national insurance contributions. Normally you have to contribute to their retirement fund. You have to allow them time off with pay for up to a month of holidays, typically. You have to give them a certain allowance for those sick days now and again.

When you add it all up and apply it to a single project for comparison purposes you’ll see just what you’re getting and how much of a bargain the virtual assistant really is. Welcome to the new generation!

Have you used virtual assistants to help with the day to day running of your business? I’d love to read your comments.

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