What is a Virtual Assistant?

June 3, 2024

Imagine offloading those pesky tasks you either don't have the time for, can't stand doing, or just aren't your cup of tea.

What is a Virtual Assistant?
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Virtual assistants make running a business smoother and allow you to focus on the things that matter most.


But, you might be wondering what a virtual assistant actually is. Well, you're in luck, let's unravel the mystery together!


What is a virtual assistant?


A virtual assistant (also known as a VA) works remotely as a 'highly skilled, independent professional who delivers administrative, technical, and creative business support services'.

Virtual assistants handle all the stuff you can't squeeze into your day or, let's be honest, the tasks you'd rather not do.


They're the missing piece of the puzzle for small business owners and solopreneurs, offering the kind of flexibility and affordability you just can't get when hiring an employee.

Yet, it's important to note that VAs aren't aren't one-size-fits-all. While they all share a knack for organisation and admin tasks, many specialise further, aligning their skills with particular industries or offering unique skillsets.

This tailored approach ensures that whatever your business needs, there’s a virtual assistant out there who can help.

But their value isn't just limited to their skillset - many virtual assistants are solopreneurs themselves. They've navigated the choppy waters of running a business, which not only makes them reliable allies in your day-to-day operations but also equips them with the insider knowledge needed to give your business a boost.


It's no surprise virtual assistants continue to grow in popularity - after all, who wouldn't want a business-savvy sidekick who gets the grind and has the skills to lighten your load?


When should I hire a virtual assistant?


It might just be time to consider hiring a virtual assistant if you can relate to any of these;


How much does it cost to hire a virtual assistant?


In the UK, you can expect to pay around £25.00 to £35.00 per hour for a virtual assistant.


If that price tag is making you do a double-take, let me ease your mind a bit.


You can forget about any costs that usually come with hiring someone. We're in outsourcing territory, which means there’s no National Insurance, employer’s liability insurance, or other bits and bobs like holiday or sick pay to fork out for.


You also don't need to pay for office equipment, common software licenses or office space. Plus, you’re paying for the exact time your tasks take – no money wasted.


If budget is a big concern, there's the option of hiring a virtual assistant from somewhere with a lower cost of living. This can be more cost-effective, but be mindful of things like language barriers and differences with insurance and data protection laws.


And if you find a virtual assistant with an unusually low rate, be sure to do a little digging. Ask if they're fully insured and ICO registered, and make sure they have professional documentation in place, such as contracts, disaster recovery plans, etc.


Better safe than sorry!


For those in need of a virtual assistant with a wide range of specific skills or industry expertise, be prepared to chip in a bit more. Companies that manage a team of specialised VAs typically have higher rates. But sometimes, the wide-ranging specialist skillset they bring can justify the extra expense. It's all about finding the right fit for your business.


Where can I find a virtual assistant?


If you are looking to hire a virtual assistant in the UK, there are a couple of places you can look.


Firstly, check out the Society of Virtual Assistants Approved VAs. To be an approved virtual assistant, members must meet specific standards, so you know you're getting quality.


Speaking of quality, if you're looking for the crème de la crème of virtual assistants, it's worth checking out the Be My VA directory. Run by one of the top virtual assistant coaches in the UK, it's chock-full of award-winners and industry stars.


Or why not check out our award-winning services to see if we'd be a good fit for your business?