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A cost comparison for a full-time employee versus a Virtual Assistant
|Hourly Rate of Pay||
|Fringe Benefits @ 35%
(Health/Dental/Life Insurance, Retirement Plans)
|Overhead Rate @ 50%
(Office Space, Equipment & Office Supply expense, UI Insurance, Worker’s Compensation, Overtime Pay, Administration Costs)
|Total Effective Rate of Pay||
|**Hours Per Year||
|TOTAL Annual Labour Cost||
Although the Virtual Assistant’s hourly rate is more than the employee’s rate in the first place, you save the cost of benefits and overhead that would have to be applied to the new employee’s wage. And, because Virtual Assistant’s are usually more experienced, more efficient, and better connected than the employee, you’ll need to devote far less time to the project to get the same results, only 480 hours a year versus 2,080 for the new employee.
Your employee’s 8 hour day can be crunched into 3-4 hours with a Virtual Assistant.
Simply put, you should contract with a Virtual Assistant because it’s more cost-effective and Virtual Assistants go above and beyond the normal assistant’s duties to impact your own productivity. No task is too big or small for a Virtual Assistant to handle. Even if you only have 1 hour of work a month for a Virtual Assistant to do, a VA can (and will) do it.
*Souce: Virtual Assistant Networking Association Cost Comparison
The Largest Global Network Online for Successful and Aspiring Virtual Assistants
Check out the link or watch the video below:
This is just a reminder, that you are on the right track or you need to be on the right track. However you take this message, the one thing that I know is, if you are every position in your business or company you can’t get bigger than you. Remember to keep the main thing the main thing. Stay focus and your dream will come true. You can delegate work so you can focus on what is important.
I’m a creative independent contractor (film/video editing) who also runs a healthy-living blog on the side. I own my own two family home, which doubles as rental property/income. I don’t sell “widgets”, I don’t have an inventory and I don’t have a staff. What I do have is a disorganized client list, a website in desperate need of updating, an exploding blog readership, a separate a accountant, book keeper, payroll company, tenants, two cats, elderly parents and a 115 year old house.
I don’t need a glorified answering service. What I need is some help.
The other thing that I don’t have was a huge budget for my outsourcing needs. Unlike most dedicated “competent” assistants the most my budget allows (right now) per month for some outside help is approximately $200 or less. So armed with that information I set out to find a VA service suited to my needs. I decided to share that info here in a series, so that maybe it might help someone else drowning in work, that could use some affordable help.
Make a List
From working with virtual assistants in the past, before I started pricing companies and individuals, I knew I had to determine EXACTLY what I needed to use a VA for. So I grabbed a legal sized college ruled notepad and set aside a couple of hours on the weekend, to do what I call a “brain dump”. That’s when I just make a huge list of everything I can possibly think of that I need to do. I didn’t really separate that first list into categories, because that would slow me down. I just needed to get everything out of my head and onto that pad. What I ended up with is probably the longest todo list in the history of anything, but I was satisfied that I had a handle on everything that I needed to get done.
Next I separated the list into broad categories. Things like “Work”, “House”, “Personal” and “Car”. Nothing too specific. I transferred tasks from the big list into these categories so that things would be easier to narrow down later. Don’t jump ahead and start putting everything into some fancy productivity app yet, because these lists will change trust me. But be specific. For instance, if you work from home and you need to file a mix of both home-related bills and business-related expenses, don’t just list “Organize files”. Instead, narrow it down to category-specific tasks:
Being as specific as you can now, will come in really handy later, when you’re trying to explain a task to a potential assistant. Trust me.
This next step requires some thought. Because it requires you to really think about what tasks you absolutely have to do and what could really be done by someone else. Starting with your first category, let’s say “Work”, make a notation next to the tasks that someone else could actually take care of for you. At first, this might seem daunting, (especially if you’re a “Type A” like me, who feels that you need to do everything yourself in order for things to get done properly), but don’t think of your harried, crazy schedule right now. Think ahead, to the utopia your freelance life could be if you didn’t have to do everything yourself. This step might also seem foreign to you if you’ve been someone else’s assistant for most of your career. But think about it, what would you do if there were two of you? As you complete one category, move on to the next.
Take the rest of the week to revise and review your lists. Eliminate things that are unnecessary or push them onto the delegate pile if it still seems like it’s all too much for you to do yourself. Even if you don’t yet know exactly how you would delegate a particular task.
In the next installment of this series, I’ll talk about different apps to help you manage your lists, as well as how to search for an actual virtual assistant.
O/A @ Technorati written by savvybrown.com
When it comes to developing a comprehensive social media strategy, it’s never too late to get into the game.
In fact, Forbes suggested last week that even companies that don’t have a defined social media strategy actually do have a strategy of sorts – a lack of participation means that online opinions about your brand are being shaped all the time, and firms without a social media presence may not be doing enough to control their message.
The end of the year is right around the corner, so whether you’re looking to venture into the social media space ahead of the busy Christmas retail season, or your new year’s resolution involves becoming more proactive on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, there has never been a better time to re-examine your social media strategy.
Not all social media sites are created equal – and there are some that are better suited to certain kinds of communication than others (Twitter, for example, is short and sharp, where Facebook may be an opportunity to foster a longer-term customer dialogue). Think carefully about the following questions:
Who are you trying to connect with? Is your target market B2B or B2C? Clearly identifying who want to communicate to can help to inform your social media strategy.
What do you want to achieve? Different social media sites can support your overall strategy. Perhaps you want to engage prospective consumers in a dialogue, or maybe you simply want to use social media as a way of creating awareness about your products and services. Depending on your goals, there are a number of networks to choose from – each with their own pros and cons.
How much time and resources do you want to spend on your social media strategy? You might prefer a hands-on approach where you reply to individual messages and customer queries, or you may instead wish to keep things simple.
What information would you like to share through social networks? Are you planning to run contests? Show off your latest products and services? Introduce your newest member of staff? Tweet and re-tweet posts from your company blog or the latest infographic? Host an interactive Q&A?
Castleford Media’s custom content can help to drive your social media strategy – check out our Social Media Marketing 101 page to get you started.
Posted by Kaitlyn Critchley
O/A @ castleford
It’s not easy for most small business owners to accept the fact that they don’t or really shouldn’t do everything themselves. Learning to let go and delegate responsibilities can reduce stress, give you more free time and even make you more money.
The first step is to acknowledge that you really shouldn’t do everything yourself. It’s not unusual to believe that you are the only one who can properly perform the day to day functions that keep your business running. In fact, when you are first starting out this may indeed be true.
If you’re a typical small business owner just starting out, more than likely everything about your business is in your head. You don’t have documented systems or processes in place for dealing with things like customer contact, invoicing your clients or creating your newsletter. Many small business owners decide to “wing it” when starting out, but if you really are serious about growing your business, you need to develop and document the “hows” of running your business.
Why is it necessary to document how things are done in your business? Well, it’s definitely much easier to delegate a task if it’s clearly documented. Say you’ve decided that you want to hire a Virtual Assistant to create your monthly newsletter.
In scenario one, you tell your VA “Please send out a monthly newsletter to my clients.” and leave him or her to work their magic. How successful will the VA be in creating your newsletter and how happy to you think you’ll be with the results?
Consider the results if you tell your VA “Please send out a monthly newsletter to my clients. My clients expect to receive the newsletter on the 3rd Monday of the month. My newsletter consists of the following sections: Delegating Tip, a Personal Note from me, a Feature Article, and Calendar of upcoming events. I would like to have three days to review the newsletter before it is sent to my clients.” and so on. In this example, the chances that you will be happy with the results definitely increase. You’ve provided your VA with guidelines for developing your newsletter, but have still left them plenty of work.
If your new to delegating, it’s best to start out small, until you feel comfortable in outsourcing bigger, more important tasks. Always remember that you have to maintain regular communication with your VA. Outsourcing is one area where you definitely don’t want to “set it and forget it”. Regular communications ensure that your VA knows what your expectations are, and provides opportunity to make corrections early on.
Take a few moments to think how your business would benefit from outsourcing by listing all those things you would do if you just had the time.
At some point, most small business owners realize that in order to grow their business, they need to admit that they can’t do everything themselves. That’s where a Virtual Assistant or Online Business Manager comes in to play.
I’ve read so many stories of successful entrepreneurs who credit their success to admitting that they needed help and taking advantage of the services of a VA or OBM. In fact many of them admit they wish they had done it sooner.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2952743
You’ve made the decision to begin delegating many of the tasks that eat up your time, which in the long run eat away at your profits. Good for you, you are hiring a virtual assistant!
In my last blog I gave a few suggestions on how to find a qualified virtual assistant and a few tips on finding the one who is right for you. This month I want to share how to successfully get the most out of your VA and keep her or him around to help make your business a success for years to come.
Get to know your virtual assistant.
Like any relationship, whether personal or professional in nature, it is going to take time to build a strong, trusting, mutually respectful association with your virtual assistant. Your VA is eager to please you and will be working hard to gain your trust and respect. I say this because it is really important for you to have the same mindset. Put the effort into gaining your VA’s trust and respect. She or he will take notice of your efforts, which is going to lay down a solid foundation for a successful relationship.
Clearly describe your needs and provide detailed instructions.
Now it is true that virtual assistants are all professionals and we are absolutely experienced in our niches. We don’t need a step-by-step manual on how to upload documents or – well, you get the picture. However, it’s important to take the time to explain your preferences. If your VA is going to take charge of your out-of-control email accounts, clearly state what stays, what goes, what receives a reply, what gets routed, etc. If your VA will be handling your calendar, please be clear about what times of your day/week/month are off limits to accepting invitations. This is where you really want to take the time to clearly explain how you run your business.
Include your virtual assistant in your business.
By this I mean just because your virtual assistant may only be performing certain tasks, invite her or him sit in (virtually, of course) on meetings, discussions, or other events going on with your business. If your VA has the time to do so, she or he will be more than happy to be a bigger part of your business. She or he will absorb all of this information like a sponge, ultimately providing you with an even higher level of support.
Honor your virtual assistant’s schedule.
In most cases, your virtual assistant has other clients. This does not mean you are not important – but remember that she or he is most likely working throughout the day with other tasks. Discuss the best times and ways to communicate with each other. Will you need to touch base each day? Will having a meeting once a week be enough? Personally, I look forward to my scheduled calls with my clients. Even if there aren’t pressing topics to go over, I still enjoy a small chit-chat, which I feel only enhances a growing relationship.
One of the main reasons you decided to hire a virtual assistant was to ease your workload. You needed to rid yourself of many of the tasks that were weighing you down and keeping you from being the success you know you can be. The above tips are only my own points of view. But if you remember that your VA’s goal is to help you and you remember that she or he is a professional just as you are, I can guarantee you that your virtual assistant will be around for you for many years to come
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6628852
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