Although the popularity of Virtual Assistants has been growing over recent years, it’s still a relatively new concept for many people. In talking about my business, I usually get asked the same questions. “What is a Virtual Assistant?”, “How does it work?”’ and “Who’s Polly?”. This is usually followed by a number of reasons why a VA wouldn’t be suitable for some businesses. So, in this post, I’m taking on some of these objections.
1. “It’s too expensive”
Only you can decide if the benefits of using a VA outweighs the cost of using one. In my own business, my hourly rate is calculated by using my costs, plus the value I put on my time. I then work out if a service is going to be cheaper than if I was to do it myself, or if the income generated by using that service will outweigh the initial outlay. I would encourage my clients do the same. If by hiring a VA for a couple of hours a week you are able to attend on additional client meeting which in turn generates a new contract, it could very well be worth the investment. If you hire a VA to improve your website content and this drives more traffic to your site and more customers to your door, it could pay for itself in no time.
2. “Why pay someone to do something I can do myself?”
Once a month I take my car to the garage and get it cleaned inside and out. Yes, I could clean it myself, but I chose to pay a professional to do it. They have all the equipment and do a better job than I could do in a fraction of the time. It also gives me 15 minutes to grab a coffee and draft my next blog post which is beneficial to my business. For me, it’s money worth spending. We pay people to do things we could do ourselves all the time. We hire window cleaners and have our groceries delivered when there’s a perfectly good car sat on the driveway. It’s usually because they do to it better, more quickly or because we are busy doing other things. Using a VA is exactly the same.
3. “I find it difficult to delegate and don’t want to lose control of my business”
Do you think Sir Richard Branson or Sir Alan Sugar manage their own expenses or write their own company newsletters? Delegation is a very important skill in business and even the most successful entrepreneurs are not experts in everything. If you do not delegate, the growth of your business will be limited.
4. “A Virtual Assistant won’t do things my way”
Good! I would not be doing my job If I didn’t look for ways to improve your processes. I can suggest and implement more effective ways to work and as a result, improve productivity. Why would you not want this? Obviously, everything I do will be with your agreement, but if you are concerned about losing control, see point 3 above.
5. “I need someone on-site”
This can be a valid reason why a VA may not be a suitable option for your business. However, when looking at the admin services needed by clients, the majority can be effectively managed off-site. It’s a change of mindset more than anything. With IT developments evolving all the time, there is not always the need to have a physical presence in the office. OK, so I can’t make your morning coffee, but many businesses are moving towards remote working and with good reason. It’s flexible for a start. A VA can work evenings, weekends or bank holidays when the office is closed, great for those last minute meeting preparations. Office space is not an issue and you aren’t responsible for expensive hardware and office equipment. If you are local to Cheshunt Hertfordshire, I am also happy to visit your premises if the need arises.
6. “A freelancer won’t be as committed to my business as permanent member of staff”
In order for me to be successful, I need repeat business, retained clients and recommendations. Reputation is everything. If I don’t do a great job, I won’t get hired. As the agreement is flexible and can be terminated at any time, I strive to make myself indispensable to you. The success of my business is dependent on the success of yours and you won’t get much more commitment than that.
So, what are you waiting for? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to address any concerns you may still have. I’d also recommend reading my previous blog A Virtual Assistant or a Personal Assistant? for more advice on getting the right help for your business.