At some point, a growing business needs help with performing everyday tasks. Depending on the type of business you own, you may need assistance with data entry, graphic design, programming, content creation, SEO or any number of things. If you find yourself in this position, one of the most basic choices you face is whether to hire an in-house assistant or look to virtual assistant services. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each of these choices.
Pros and Cons of an In-House Assistant
The benefits of an in-house assistant mainly come down to the convenience of having someone around for specific hours. This is an employee who may work for you either full time or part time. The main advantage is that the person is right there with you, which can make it easier to communicate. There’s no need to go back and forth by phone, email or online chat. You also won’t have trouble locating an in-house employee. Even the best virtual assistants might not be available when you want to talk to them.
The main drawback to an employee who works in your office or other place of business is that it’s usually costlier than hiring a VA. If you hire someone for 40 hours per week, you will be paying him or her for 40 hours even during weeks when you only have 30 hours worth of work. Depending on the regulations in your area, you may also have to provide benefits for a full time employee.
Pros and Cons of a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are people who may live anywhere in the world. You communicate with them remotely, usually via the internet. There are now many platforms that make this easy, such as Skype, Google Hangouts and various instant messaging programs. Virtual assistant services allow you to hire people for specific jobs rather than taking them on as regular employees. Of course, when you find someone you like you can use them regularly. The upside to this arrangement is that you only pay for services you actually need. If business is slow, you won’t be paying someone to sit around the office.
Virtual assistants, however, come with the drawback that they are far away. If you have an urgent question, you may have to wait for your VA to email you back or come online. There is also the issue of finding a reliable VA in the first place. Since you aren’t meeting the person, you have to vet them remotely.
Finding the best virtual assistant services can be tricky. One of your most powerful tools for this is virtual job reviews that are posted on freelance sites. You can read reviews and seek out people who have proven themselves reliable. When reading virtual job reviews you also have to consider how experienced the VA is for the specific type of task you need done.
Which Option is Better For You?
Virtual assistants can help you run your business more efficiently if you are diligent during the hiring process. On the other hand, for some businesses a full time employee might be a better choice. The benefits of an in-house assistant should be considered if you need help all day long and you want someone who is available during specific hours. Whether you choose to hire an in-house assistant or a virtual assistant is an individual choice. You have to look closely at your own needs and weigh your options.