You might assume that a virtual assistant’s main business comes from solo entrepreneurs and one-man-bands; businesses which operate with a single person at the centre, spinning lots of plates with few resources. An ideal customer for a VA, right?
Absolutely. But you’d be surprised by the demand that exists for VAs in other types of organisations too. From small teams, to big companies, to charities and social enterprises – a need for flexible, hands-on support with business tasks exists in all of them.
But how can each of these groups benefit from working with a virtual assistant?
Freelancers and Soletraders
These clients often start their business to deliver a specialist skill. They have a passion for what they do, not the admin burdens that come along with it. By the nature of their work, these groups often sell units of their time. If they are spending it on admin tasks instead of billable projects then they are losing money, and it would actually increase their bottom line to delegate them to a virtual assistant!
Furthermore, many freelancers and one-man-bands choose to run their businesses from home. They don’t want to increase their overheads by taking on premises and supplying equipment for staff. Working with a virtual assistant is an ideal way for them to grow.
The staff of small companies have diverse responsibilities, with individuals often straddling multiple roles. This can make it difficult to cope with fluctuations in demand or busy seasons. It also means that if someone is off work for any length of time, the team might struggle to keep up. A virtual assistant offers the flexibility that these businesses need, but with the benefit of a long-term relationship where training need only happen once.
VAs are also very knowledgeable when it comes to implementing efficient systems and processes – tapping into their experience and getting these right while the business is still small will help to lay the foundations for future growth.
Established companies often require the assistance of a temporary staff member to cover holidays and sick leave, or to manage one-off projects. Virtual assistants offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional ‘temps’, providing flexible services but bringing with them a wealth of experience and business acumen, as well as the opportunity to build a lasting relationship.
Individuals within bigger companies may also have a need for a virtual assistant. They might benefit from PA services such as diary management, email filtering, typing and document formatting, but perhaps don’t want the hassle of recruitment.
Social enterprises, charities and non-profits
Managing a social enterprise, charity or non-profit can be a tricky task. Not only do these organisations face the challenges associated with pursuing a commercial mission, but they must also prioritise the social objectives of the organisation – a delicate balance. With budget cuts across the board, and a lack of funding for permanent staff, it can be difficult to maximise the potential of the organisation and meet the needs of stakeholders.
The flexibility offered by a virtual assistant means that these organisations can call upon practical help when they need it. They know that they are only paying for the work that needs doing, and can plan their budgets accordingly.
Hopefully that provides a little insight into the varying needs of these organisations! I love to hear your feedback – please leave a comment.