The way we do business has changed in the last few decades.
Technology has transformed the way we work in every way – from our marketing and connections with customers to how we organise our business processes.
Employees are no longer tied to the office, and the ease and efficiency of remote work has provided businesses with more resources and options than ever before.
This is reflected in the rise of virtual assistants. A job title that was barely heard of ten years ago has now become a massive industry in itself.
Virtual assistants offer business owners more opportunities to scale, pivot, and grow – providing flexibility and agility that is much needed in the current pandemic climate.
In today’s blog, we’ll reflect on the relatively recent rise of the virtual assistant and the way they are helping to transform modern businesses.
The Rise Of The Virtual Assistant
Well before COVID-19 proved the efficacy of remote work, virtual assistants were supporting businesses from afar. Thanks to cloud software, video calls, and a host of organisational and communication tools, assistants no longer need to have a physical presence in the office.
In 2018, the global market for outsourced services was worth USD 85.6 billion; now, it’s estimated to be worth $105 billion.
The rise in the use of virtual assistants is also linked to the steadily increasing number of start-up businesses and entrepreneurs – many of whom work remotely themselves. For them, it makes sense to hire a virtual assistant to help them grow their business, rather than traditional, office-based employees.
The rise of virtual assistants shows no sign of slowing down either. As businesses adapt in response to uncertainty – and with many transitioning to online operations – the VA industry is set to keep on booming.
What It Means For Businesses
Virtual assistants are proving to be game-changers for many businesses. They provide resources and opportunities that were previously out of reach for many business owners.
Let’s look at some of the ways VAs are supporting and empowering businesses around the world:
More Options on a Smaller Budget
Hiring a virtual assistant is generally far more cost-effective than hiring an employee. Research has shown that a virtual assistant can save a business up to 78% in operating costs per year.
Even part-time staff members are entitled to holiday pay and sick leave, KiwiSaver and ACC payments, and the equipment (and possibly even training) required to do their jobs, such as laptops and phones.
In contrast, the rate provided by a virtual assistant is transparent. Because they work as freelance contractors, you won’t be paying any of the extra costs you would pay an employee.
Before virtual assistants were around, business owners were starved of choice. When they hit that awkward phase of needing more support to grow but not having enough money to hire someone in-house, they simply had to push through. This meant trying to do everything themselves or making the jump to hire staff before their budgets were ready – both risky moves.
This isn’t an issue now. Business owners that need help can hire a virtual assistant to do as little or as much work as they need at any given time. This means business growth is more achievable, faster.
More Scalability and Agility
If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s the need to adapt to the unexpected quickly. The businesses that have managed to survive the uncertainty have had the ability to switch direction at short notice and adjust their business practices to suit the circumstances.
Outsourcing tasks to a virtual assistant supports this agility. It means businesses can bring in the expertise they need rapidly, without making any long-term commitments. They can add on or remove VA services as required and receive the support they need without being forced to make tough staffing decisions.
Virtual assistants make it simple to scale up your business during growth periods or scale back when times are tough.
Access to Specialist Skills
The majority of virtual assistants are highly trained and hold qualifications to match. Many also offer expertise in a specific field, such as financial management, marketing, or web development.
SMEs are unlikely to have a broad range of skillsets within their internal team, so being able to work with a virtual assistant with more specialised skills is hugely beneficial.
Higher Productivity and Efficiency
What happens when business owners are set free from time-consuming admin jobs? They can truly start working on their business rather than working in it.
Virtual assistants boost productivity while helping implement systems and processes to increase efficiency within a business. With their experience and organisational skills, VA’s perform their tasks to high standards in less time than unskilled employees.
The Future Of Virtual Assistants
The last few years have proven without a doubt that remote work is viable for many. With remote work comes the need for professionals that are experienced in navigating a career based mainly online. Virtual assistants have become proficient in mastering the skills and tools needed to support this new model of business support.
If your business could benefit from increased expertise, flexibility, productivity, and agility, it might be time to jump on board and consider hiring a virtual assistant.
Contact Admin Army to talk about how we can support you today.