Virtual Assistants – The Myths Debunked
I’ve written lot’s about VA’s; how they can save you money, and how to work effectively with a VA, how to know if you’re ready, what questions to ask before hiring a VA and more. However, I thought it was about time to debunk some of those myths about VA’s out there.
Hold on to your seat, you might be in for a shock or two….
Myth 1 – It doesn’t cost much to run a VA business
It is possible to set up a VA business with minimal or low costs, however, it costs more than most people might think. Last year 2019/2020, I spent over £1200 on software subscriptions, £1300 in training, £600 in industry memberships, £1200 in compliance fees and more than £800 upgrading technology.
That’s over £4000 in ensuring I’m compliant and can offer the best possible service to my clients. That doesn’t even include all of my day to day business running costs.
Myth 2 – VA’s just do basic Admin
Last year more than 65% of my billable hours were spent on specialised services. That translated to over;
- 100 hours of project management,
- 280 hours managing executives’ emails,
- 200 hours bookkeeping and more than
- 50 hours completing HMRC declarations.
Myth 3 – A VA can’t get you coffee
I’ve worked as a PA and an EA, and I made coffee in both those roles. Not as part of my job role, but because I could tell when it was needed and like to help. I was also only too happy to point out that if I wanted to be a barista I’d have applied to a coffee chain and I’d write your name wrong each time too 😉
However, last year (before lockdown!) I sent all my clients a Costa voucher. They’re busy, and I’m busy, and it just not always possible to meet for a cuppa and a catch-up. While doing that in person is even less likely right now, they can at least grab themselves a takeaway coffee or two, my shout.
Myth 4 – A VA can steal my confidential information
Okay, like any industry, there are a few rouges out there. As and when you engage with anyone, you’re looking to collaborate with, do your due diligence checks. Firstly, see if they’re listed or approved by both the Society of Virtual Assistants and the Association of Professional Virtual Assistants to ensure that they comply with their standards. Secondly, speak to them. Most offer a free discovery call to find out if you’re a good fit.
There are three things you should know about me and your data:-
- If I don’t feel like we’re a good fit, then I won’t take on the work.
- Integrity and honestly are a big deal for me. They’re part of my make-up and factor in every decision I make about everything. I’ve never shared information. Even when I was employed and was headhunted because of the clients I worked with. I never once gave any information, to anyone – regardless of what was on offer.
- Data security is not only important to me, it’s a priority. I’m ICO registered, have robust security and data policies in place; and am happy to sign an NDA if required before I begin working with anyone.