This all mounts up to a lot of work. And while a lot of small business owners will happily outsource to an accountant or social media manager, they can be a lot more resistant to hiring someone to take care of the admin.
A Xero study a couple of years ago found that 17% of small business owners admitted to being ‘highly stressed’ with 35% of those responding to the study citing admin as a main cause of stress. So why are they reluctant to outsource their stress? I found 5 key reasons why business owners put off hiring a VA. And I'm explaining why they're wrong.
Reason 1: A VA is more expensive than an employee
The average hourly rate for a virtual assistant is £27 per hour. The average office administrator earns just over £10 per hour. So on the face of it a VA seems expensive. However…
What would the hourly rate for an average administrator look like if we broke it down to the work that actually gets done?
Once you take into account NI pay, holiday, average sick leave taken, time making tea, going to the loo and scrolling social media the hourly rate you’re paying for work actually completed is closer to £18 per hour than the £10 on the payslip. That’s before you add on the cost of office furniture and stationery, a PC, software licences, insurance, and pension contributions.
Then factor in minimum working hours. It’s unusual to employ a part-time administrator for less than 15 hours per week – what if there’s only 5 hours’ worth of work to do? A VA only works for the hours needed. Plus, it’s in a VA’s interest to do the work quickly in order to maximise their earning potential. The chances are they’ll spend less time doing the tasks and charge a lower overall bill than you anticipate. Not looking so expensive now, is it?
Reason 2: It takes too long to onboard a VA
It’s common to hear business owners say, “by the time I’ve explained it I could have done it myself”. Hmm. Admin is often made up of repetitive tasks. You won’t have to explain the task every time you ask your VA to do it. Admin is a VA’s speciality, so we have learned skills and shortcuts to make our ways of working more efficient and get it done more quickly than you can. Taking some time to explain how you like things done on day one can save you hours in the long run. There are lots of tasks that can be handed over very easily – take a look at this blog post to get some ideas.
Reason 3: I need more than ‘just admin’
VAs don’t just do traditional admin. We have a myriad of skills including social media management, project management, and process creation, to name a few. VAs also tend to be good at spotting inefficiencies in business processes and advising their clients on how to implement more structure and efficiency in their day-to-day working. So you’ll get more than ‘just admin’.
Reason 4: A VA is just a glorified temp – I need long-term assistance
Long-term assistance? Music to a VA’s ears – we love a long-term client. Your average VA is not interested in jumping from job to job, constantly on the lookout for new clients. Our raison d’être is to help people and we can do that best by building solid relationships with clients over a period of time. Over time we can identify how you can improve ways of working to increase efficiency and help you to implement and refine processes.
Reason 5: I can do it myself, it’s just admin
Well, yes, anyone can do admin. Anyone can grab a pair of scissors and cut hair as well but it doesn’t mean the outcome will be what they wanted.
VAs are experts in their field. We have spent years learning how to manage spreadsheets, set up templates, create fancy PowerPoint presentations, and how to organise processes and workflows for maximum efficiency. Plus, we really enjoy what we do. Most business owners happily state that they loathe admin. So why would you want to keep doing something you hate? Especially if you could spend that time bringing in extra business?
If you are happy to continue over-paying for your admin, struggling with tasks you find difficult and spending time doing things you hate then ignore the above and carry on. But if you’d like a different way of doing business where you have reliable support, peace of mind and spare time then contact me and we’ll book in a discovery call to see how I can help.