How can a Virtual Personal Assistant Help your Business?

Posted by - Tom Allen on the 9th September 2020

If you’re a business owner, you’ll likely agree with me that the daily tasks that require completing can often be at times overwhelming. A helping hand can always be useful to speed your processes up and allow you to bring more success to your business. Well, there are solutions for this and one of these solutions is called a virtual personal assistant.

It’s likely you’ve heard of virtual personal assistants or PA’s as they are also known. It’s common for businesses to have them to support senior position roles and handle their day-to-day arrangements that might include meetings, lunches, appointments, and getting business trips booked.

There is a number of virtual personal assistants scattered across the internet where you can find them to help you with your day-to-day. You should always make sure that the personal assistant you’re getting is passionate about what they do and are readily available to help you.

Virtual personal assistants help with a range of tasks (generally more admin focussed roles) and can help you organise your workload while giving you more free time for projects.

That’s why we wanted to write an article for you on what benefits of having a virtual personal assistant can bring to your business. This article will outline for you what a virtual assistant is and the range of help they can offer to help you with balancing your workload to enable you to do more with your time.

If at any point through this article you’re wondering how a virtual personal assistant can help your business, please get in touch with an experienced member of the Cymphony team.

What is a virtual personal assistant?

Virtual personal assistants are people who help with administrative tasks, personal diary scheduling, organisation, writing emails, arranging meetings via email, booking business trips, acting as a gatekeeper to your contacts, and more.

As the name suggests, virtual personal assistants normally work from a remote location. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can expect virtual personal assistants to now be working from home and not from the provider’s office. Virtual personal assistants are great for giving you more time as a virtual assistant can act as an extension of your workforce to help get your schedule in order and tasks complete.

You can expect for the majority of your interaction with a virtual personal assistant to happen via calls and email. However, in this increasingly digital world you might also schedule in weekly or monthly catch ups via a video call.

Virtual assistants are especially in demand by entrepreneurs and online businesses that need help but do not want to spend the money on office space for staff or employ someone full time.

However, a number of small and mid-size businesses use virtual support, especially for specific tasks, such as social media management. Virtual assistants have become increasingly popular since the global pandemic broke out with businesses rapidly shifting work from the office to work from home.

It would not be surprising if virtual personal assistants were to exceed their current popularity levels and become even more popular over the coming years as companies adopt and realise the benefits to a remote workforce.

Now we understand what a virtual personal assistant is, let’s look together at the ways a virtual personal assistant can help your business increase its current success. Let’s start with understanding why it can be a great step in the right direction by hiring a virtual personal assistant for your business.

Why hire a virtual personal assistant?

Hiring a virtual personal assistant can likely decrease your workload which is arguably the most important role they play as this gives you time back to focus on initiatives you’re more suited to and can make more money for your business.

This, in turn, will likely increase your productivity and potentially increase the productivity of the business as a whole as you’ve essentially now got extra time to play with.

Time is precious in the workplace and in your personal life which is why virtual assistants can allow you to reach your full potential and help you realise your goals and refocus your attention on the areas that matter.

Providing you find the right virtual assistant, you can expect your personal assistant to be reliable and get the tasks done on time. The expression ‘two heads are better than one’ is usually evident once you welcome your first virtual assistant.

However, this does not mean you have to stick to one individual or one virtual personal assistant.

You can of course hire more than one and for a time period that suits you. The length of the contract you choose can vary and you need to spend some time to see what best suits you and your working style.

A common misconception is that virtual personal assistants’ duties are limited to clerical work. This is not true. Or at least it’s not true in the case where you get a virtual personal assistant from Cymphony.

You can expect a virtual personal assistant to provide support on initiatives that might include marketing, web design, bookkeeping, and many other services.

Some virtual assistants specialise in a specific skill set, and they only perform duties related to those skills. These skills are likely to be from their previous employment or skills they acquired on a course or learned from a university degree.

You need to consider how long you will need a virtual assistant for each week which is why it’s important to do your research and understand what you need your virtual personal assistant to do for you.

This leads us to our next point which is to know whether a virtual personal assistant is right for your business and your routine.

Is a virtual assistant right for me?

It is important to do research around the virtual assistant you are considering to welcome to your team and play a part in your week-to-week meetings because each individual virtual assistant has something unique to offer for your required situation.

The difference between hiring a good and a great assistant is huge with regard to the impact it will have on your productivity both in work and in your personal life as these tend to cross over.

You have to consider the recruitment process if you’re not going through a virtual personal assistant sourcing company such as Cymphony as it can take you longer to interview them, get their previous experience, and trust them on how they’ve been trained and how regularly.

If you are going to find a virtual assistant on your own, we will always recommend you factor in the time it takes to find someone and the costs it can incur if you get it wrong or have the wrong person on your organisation team.

Not to blow our own trumpet, however, we do like to point out that going through a premium provider such as Cymphony, you can expect for these issues to be handled. You will also have assurance the person is going to add maximum value to your tailored business and schedule due to consistent training, evaluations, and ongoing practice.

To give you an idea of why a virtual assistant is right for your business and illustrate the benefits a virtual assistant can bring, here’s a quick story to show you why a virtual personal assistant needs to be right for you!

A study conducted by Stanford University did an experiment that followed 500 workers at Ctrip, a travel agency based in China. The participants were randomly divided into two separate groups. One group continued to work as normal in the office, the other group was permitted to work from home. The experiment lasted for a total of nine months.

The relevant point from the study to this article is what was found in the findings to workers’ attrition. The office working group lost 35% of its employees compared to just 17% lost from the remote working group.

This clearly shows the benefits you can potentially reap if you do decide that a virtual personal assistant is right for your business.

What does it cost me?

According to Business Know-How, a number of business owners would say that they don’t have the money to hire a virtual assistant but this is not always the case. If you narrow down your expenses and compare the time a virtual assistant saves you, the investment is often worth it.

To give a quick overview of why virtual personal assistants are affordable, we’ve put some easy to digest bullet points to explain below. To make you aware, these benefits and affordability are based on using a premium provider like Cymphony.

  • You are not providing office space or equipment
  • You are not paying to educate them or upskill them
  • You do not pay taxes or benefits on their work
  • Little training time by you for basic tasks meaning you don’t have to spend time showing them from scratch
  • Virtual assistants will have other specialist and trained virtual assistants at hand to assist for specialist tasks

An article written on Medium found that virtual personal assistant can reduce your business operating costs by as much as 78%. That’s a nice number to reduce your operating costs by, am I right or am I right?!

Once you factor in the cost reduction over time, or another way to word is once it’s compounded over time, you will find the results get better and better as the costs stay down but the productivity and new clients increase.

Wrapping up

Overall, virtual personal assistants are there to accommodate to your business and your needs. If your virtual personal assistant is not doing that, we recommend you look at why this is and getting a replacement.

Arguably the most important aspect of choosing a virtual personal assistant is having someone who cares about their work, your priorities, your business, and communicates regularly and clearly with you.

You can hopefully now picture from the above points that having a personal assistant is likely going to be right for you as what they can do is suited to you, not only certain businesses you operate in.

Just make sure you always do your due dilligence on the company providing the virtual personal assistant or the individual you are looking to take on directly as a personal assistant.

Do you need a virtual personal assistant?

I want to give you a personal thank you for taking the time to get to the end of this article and going through these different considerations. Ideally, you’ve got an idea of how they can add value to your business and work-life in a general sense.

Of course, what we didn’t touch on is how a virtual personal assistant can add value specifically to you and custom to your business. That’s why if you are thinking this sounds like a solution to help your business challenge we encourage you to get in touch with a member of our experienced team where we can help guide you to the right solution.