Why hire a virtual assistant for your small business?

There are lots of great reasons to hire a virtual assistant; I could write about them all day. The experience I’ve had using UK-based virtual assistants to grow my small businesses has been nothing but positive.

To keep this blog simple, I’m going to break it down into my top 5 reasons for hiring a virtual assistant and why hiring in the UK is so important for your business.

  1. Give yourself time to grow your business – the number one reason to hire a virtual assistant, sooner rather than later, is to give yourself that valuable time to stop and think about the next steps you need to take to grow your business. Keep a record of all the tasks you do each day and consider: which of these are the easy, repetitive tasks that take up your time? This is the perfect place to start when considering what a virtual assistant could do for you, how they could make your life easier and give you the headspace to start taking your business to the next level.
  1. Minimise your risk – the great thing about virtual assistants is the flexible nature of your relationship with them, something which is much harder to achieve when hiring someone in-house. Controlling cash flow is vitally important for your success and virtual assistants allow you to quickly remove cost from your business if you really need to. Even better, you don’t risk losing the person you have spent time working with and training. You can simply reduce their hours to an affordable level and build them back up when it’s appropriate.
  1. Add invaluable skills and experience – there is nothing more important to the growth of your business than bringing in people who can add value with their skills and experience. Working with virtual assistants at Virtually Colleagues guarantees your virtual assistant has a minimum of 7-years’ experience in their function. This means they bring with them a great wealth of experience from a range of different sectors that they can apply to your business. With a good virtual assistant, it shouldn’t all be about what they learn from you, but also what you can learn from them.
  1. Make your business robust – for a business to be robust, you have to manage peaks and troughs in demand and have a team that allows you to be responsive and agile to a changing business environment. Working with virtual assistants allows you to quickly increase your capacity – simply get more hours from your current virtual assistant, or quickly add another, with little hassle or disruption. Moreover, the more experience and skills you have at your disposal, the more robust your business will be in any given situation. Setting up your small business using multiple virtual assistants at a low rate, with a variety of skills and experience, allows you to create a more highly skilled and experienced team versus hiring one person in-house who might be excellent in one area, but potentially lacking in others.
  1. No office space? No problem – hiring remote virtual staff removes the need for your business to pay for any physical space for them to work from. You can grow your team without having to add expensive additional overheads. Moreover, virtual assistants have their own laptops, mobile phones etc. removing the need for you to pay for, and supply equipment (unless unique equipment is required).

Why it is important to hire UK-based virtual assistants

  1. Good communication – everyone knows the importance of good communication. There is nothing more frustrating than time and money wasted because instructions have got lost in translation. By using UK-based virtual assistants, you minimise this risk substantially. Furthermore, and arguably more important. Communication to your customers needs to be clear, concise, and accurate. The last thing you want is a customer’s experience of your business leaving them confused. You can be pretty sure they won’t be returning.
  1. Understanding UK business norms and procedures – you would be surprised at the number of sometimes large and other times subtle differences that exist in business around the world. By hiring a UK-based virtual assistant who has built their career in the UK, you avoid unexpected mistakes and the need to micro-manage. You want to hire a virtual assistant that saves time and resolves problems, not a virtual assistant that takes up your time and causes problems.
  1. Understanding your customer’s culture and expectations – understanding culture and expectations when dealing with customers is vital. It is very easy to be rude or impolite in a different country and culture and not even realise it. Professional UK-based virtual assistants ensure that you build and protect those important customer relationships. Don’t risk losing valuable and potentially long-term customers to save a quick buck, that by anyone standards, is not good business.
  1. Working UK business hours – clearly, the importance of this varies depending on your industry. However, we have all worked with that person that no one can ever get hold of. We know how frustrating and debilitating it can be when trying to progress an order, resolve a query or simply get something done. Don’t waste your valuable time chasing and waiting for responses, your customer might have gone somewhere else in that time.
  1. Reliability – it would be naive to say that simply being based in the UK makes you more reliable than somebody aboard. That is why at Virtually Colleagues we carefully vet and only hire experienced professionals with a history of delivering. That said, working with people and companies based in other countries can come with issues that might not be immediately evident. For example, poor treatment of staff, lack of laws and regulations (for example data protection protocols), unforeseen public holidays/events, a lack of accountability, difficulties resolving potential issues and it’s not unheard of for a person that you have spent time training and building a relationship with to simply disappear. By hiring in the UK from a reputable agency, you reduce hassle, get a better experience, and minimise your risk.
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