On your path to building a successful momstyle business, you will figure out how to absorb the cost of a virtual assistant. It’s not so much a manner of if as it is of when.
A virtual assistant is a person you hire on a contract basis to manage ongoing tasks in your business, from setting up your newsletter to providing customer service, to sharing your message on social media. A virtual assistant is going to help you create more flexibility in your business and will free up your time to be creating new digital products and enhance your online marketing system.
While it’s easy to think that hiring a virtual assistant is going to cost a lot of money, many business owners are surprised at just how affordable getting help is. Most wish that they would have started sooner rather than later.
Let’s look at 3 reasons that hiring a virtual assistant can cost less than you expect. Inside each reason, you’ll also learn how to structure your first VA agreement so that it fits within your budget.
#1 – Hiring a virtual assistant can cost less because the work may take them less time than it takes you
When we think about outsourcing, it’s natural to think that someone else, who isn’t familiar with your business, is going to require more time to do a task, and that it will be faster to just do it yourself. In my experience, this isn’t the case. More often, it takes my virtual assistant less time to do something than it would take me to do it.
One reason this happens is because we take the time to work through our business processes. Sometimes it’s because my VA has expertise I don’t have, and knows the faster way to accomplish a goal.
Another reason is that sometimes it’s not the work itself that makes a task difficult, but the emotional attachment you have to it as a business owner. A VA will not have the same angst about a task that you would experience. For example, while you are setting up your newsletter, you might be worried about whether you got a particular phrasing right, how the message will be received by your readers, and what your opt-out rate is going to be. Your VA on the other hand, focuses just on the task.
This means that even if you can only afford to outsource 1-2 hours per week, you could potentially free up 3-4 hours of your time for other activities that will help start your new business.
#2 – Hiring a virtual assistant can cost less than you expect because the rates can be lower than you think
Hourly or package costs for virtual assistants vary widely. I’ve seen VAs inside the US charging as low as $15/hour. You can get an even lower rate if you outsource internationally by taking advantage of the differences in cost of living.
A virtual assistant who can work more independently may cost you $30-50/hour. For a very specialized task, you could be paying $75/hour or more.
Keep in mind that as a general rule, the lower the rate you pay the more you’ll need to be involved in managing and overseeing work. And, someone who is charging a lower rate may end up costing you just as much as someone who chargers you more hourly, as they may work slower and bill more hours.
The question to ask yourself is could you afford to pay someone about $80/week to complete work that takes you 3-4 hours to do? This might be 3-4 hours of work for a lower paid VA or 2 hours of work for a higher paid, more efficient, VA. In this space is your sweet spot to get starting with absorbing the cost of hiring a virtual assistant.
#3 – Hiring a virtual assistant can cost less IF you set expectations and control the budget
When you are new to outsourcing, it’s natural to be afraid that you’ll receive unexpected bills from work that you didn’t even know was being done, or didn’t realize would take so long.
When you are getting started with a new virtual assistant, it’s a good idea to start with a pilot task and agree to guidelines about the number of hours. You can also ask for weekly reporting so you know exactly what was done and how long it took. Some VAs offer packages for specific types of tasks, in which case you don’t have to worry about actual hours so much.
If you’ve hired the right VA, you’ll quickly transition into a more trusting relationship. Still, whenever you outsource to a new person or even give your current virtual assistant a new type of work, it’s a good idea to invest more time in setting expectations up front until you both get a handle on it.
Go Hire Yourself a Virtual Assistant!
If you are making even a sliver beyond the money you absolutely must be making in your business, it’s time to hire a virtual assistant. Each hour they work for you will free up at least an hour, probably more, of your time. And you can invest this time in activities that will grow your business more quickly. Before you know it, you’ll be increasing the budget you have so your virtual assistant can do even more for you.
And if you aren’t sure what to delegate, be sure to download my free guide Build Your Business the Momstyle Way, where we talk about outsourcing and delegating as part of creating a profitable, flexible business.