What is a Virtual PA and how can it help your business?

There has been a considerable rise in self-employment since the financial crisis of 2008.

One of the challenges of being self-employed is dealing with all the administrative aspects of running a business while still having time to do the work you’re actually paid for.

And it’s not just the amount of time spent doing admin that’s a problem. I mean let’s face it, it can be pretty boring.

Fortunately, there are people that can help.

A virtual PA or a virtual personal assistant can provide the support you need to run your business without having to splash out on another full-time wage.

Can you really afford a Virtual Assistant?

When you started your business you probably considered getting an assistant or a PA until you quickly realised it’s a massive outgoing to have in a young business just finding its feet.

However, that doesn’t mean you should discount the idea of a virtual assistant.

A virtual assistant is someone who provides assistant services on a per hour basis remotely. It works a bit like employing a freelancer – you simply pay them for the work they do, not a full-time salary.

This means that if you only have a couple of hours’ worth of admin a week to do, you can simply pay the virtual assistant for those few hours work, rather than having to pay them a proper salary like you would a real assistant.

The virtual assistant will provide their services to a number of different businesses, which when added together will make up their entire wage.

It’s a process that works for the employers and for the virtual assistants.

Where to find your virtual PA

Like anyone who works freelance, the best place to find a virtual assistant is online.

Sites like people per hour, fiverr, and upwork are full of people offering virtual assistant services.

Alternatively, if you know other people who run their own businesses, chances are one of them will be using a virtual assistant service.

Finding a virtual assistant through a referral has a number of benefits as not only do you know they’ll be good at their job, but there’s a chance they’ll live locally and you could meet them in person from time to time.

What services can your virtual assistant provide?

When it comes to the kinds of services your virtual PA can provide, the sky is the limit.

This is why it’s so important when it comes to researching virtual assistants when choosing one for your business.

Some people offering virtual assistant services may have backgrounds in fields like finance, making them a dab hand when it comes to doing your tax returns.

Others may have had a former life in customer service or sales, making them perfect to manage your emails.

Of course, there is nothing to stop you using multiple virtual assistants for different things as and when you need those specialisms.

Generally however, there are certain skills almost all virtual PA’s will be able to offer. These include things like:

General admin: Whether it’s completing forms, helping you with invoicing or doing tax returns, a virtual assistant can help.

Responding to emails: A virtual assistant can a manage your inbox and make sure all your correspondence are up to date.

Taking calls: Some virtual assistants will be able to take your calls as well as doing admin. If you’re only looking for someone to take your calls however, you should try a virtual receptionist service. Read more about it in our remote reception blog.

Research: If you want to find new clients, new information on products, or check up on your competitors, a virtual assistant can do the leg work for you.

This is just a basic overview of the services a virtual assistant can provide, and almost every virtual assistant will be able to create a relatively bespoke service to suit your needs.

At alldayPA we don’t provide virtual assistant services themselves, but do provide highly effectively Virtual Receptionist services to manage your calls while you’re out and about.

You can find out more about them on our Virtual Receptionist page. If you need these services on a bigger scale, check out our outsourced switchboard blog.