Running a business involves many managing a huge number of small components to ensure everything goes smoothly. Large and midsize businesses traditionally have used administrative assistants to handle much of the work, but this tends to be out of small business owners’ budgets.
Today, though, it is unnecessary to hire someone to work out of your office, as it’s possible to carry out almost all admin work virtually. Hiring a virtual admin costs much less than a traditional office assistant, making this option accessible even to small business owners. Plus, this model comes with a number of additional benefits.
How Much Does a Virtual Admin Cost?
Virtual admins are among the least expensive of virtual workers, as the work they do tends to be relatively straightforward. However, there is still some variation in the rates they charge, depending on factors like the experience and proficiency of English.
For this reason, you should expect to pay at least $10 an hour for virtual admins based in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries, although the average is between $12 and $25. At the low end, you’ll find virtual admins with limited experience. For a virtual admin based in a country where living costs are low, such as the Philippines, rates start around $6.
If you hire a virtual admin through an agency, you can expect prices to be slightly higher. This is because you’ll receive additional services and perks. For instance, you may have access to premium tools, it may be possible to receive an additional virtual assistant if you need one, and it’s likely that someone else will be able to step in if your regular virtual admin is unable to work for any reason.
What Administrative Tasks Can You Delegate?
A virtual administrative assistant can do anything that doesn’t require a physical presence in the office. Most tasks fall into these categories.
Routine Office Tasks
You can delegate any essential office work that has nothing to do with your job title. This may include administrative assistant tasks like inbox management, buying gifts, customer support, and preparing documents.
A virtual admin can even manage your office and employees. For example, your virtual admin assistant can handle financial tasks like invoices, payroll, and expense reports or even oversee projects.
Experienced executive assistants, in particular, can improve your schedule to help you become more productive. Your virtual admin will learn about your habits and working style to create a calendar for you that will keep you organized and on track. If you need to travel for work, your virtual administrative assistant can also handle all the arrangements.
Administrative support can include all the communication you have with clients, employees, coworkers, and suppliers. Your virtual admin can take phone calls, respond to emails, and proofread important correspondence.
A time-intensive task that’s ripe for outsourcing is research. Whatever your business, you likely have some research needs. For instance, a virtual admin can track what your competitors are doing (what product they’re selling, what new services they’ve introduced, and even what posts are receiving engagement on social media). Your virtual admin can also look at consumer trends in your industry as a whole, find new opportunities for your business, and even determine the right layout for a new type of document.
These are just a few examples of the type of administrative support you’ll receive. A virtual admin can do much more, tailoring the service to your individual needs.
Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Admin
Of course, you could handle all the above yourself or share the work among your employees or subordinates. However, there are significant benefits to hiring a virtual admin.
You’ve already seen how much a virtual admin will likely cost you. But how does this compare to carrying out the work in house? It’s certainly less than hiring a full-time assistant, as you can choose to contract a virtual admin for just a few hours a week.
However, you may think that having a virtual admin will cost you more than sharing the work among your teammates — it is, after all, another expense. In reality, when you factor in the amount of time you’ll save, you’ll definitely be saving money.
You’ll also save money on training costs. Although you will need to provide your virtual admin with some training, this will mostly involve explaining how you want each task completed and providing information specific to your business. Virtual admins keep up with their own skills training in their own time.
Focus on Your Specialty
Every member of your team has an important role to play — and carrying out administrative work takes away from that purpose. Many admin tasks are boring and require no skill. Not only are they demotivating, no matter how essential they may be, they’re still a waste of your time.
Some administrative activities do require some skill, such as customer support and project management. In these cases, an experienced admin assistant may be able to carry out the work to a higher standard than you.
Furthermore, handing off these tasks makes it easier to maintain your focus. If a customer calls asking for support, your virtual administrative assistant can take care of it. If a supplier needs to reschedule an appointment, your virtual admin can find the ideal time in your schedule and even handle all of the communication.
In addition, you’ll never need to worry about inventory, finding the best deal on a hotel, making sure your employees are paid on time, and so much more. You’ll stay fully focused without needing to deal with other issues that crop up.
A final way you’ll spend less is on office space and resources. It’s up to your virtual admin to find somewhere to work with a fast internet connection and to purchase all the equipment necessary to do the job.
Take a Break
To avoid burnout, you need to take time off occasionally. With a virtual admin, there’s no need to worry about your business falling apart while you’re away. There will be someone taking care of all the underlying business tasks — and your virtual administrative assistant can even alert you of any urgent problems that arise.
Who Should Consider Hiring a Virtual Admin?
No business is too small nor too large for a virtual admin assistant. The likelihood is you’d benefit from a virtual admin. This is especially the case if you are a:
*Small business owner — Your schedule is busy enough without admin tasks. Free yourself up to focus on taking your company to the next level.
*Entrepreneur — Live the dream of running your own business without any of the boring aspects.
*Executive — Your time is far too valuable to be spending any time on monotonous admin tasks.
*IT company — Stay competitive by just doing the work you do best.
*Sales professional — Every minute you spend on admin could be time spent converting customers.
*Real estate agent — Focus on closing deals rather than paperwork.
*E-commerce seller — Find someone to handle all the tedious aspects of selling online, like data entry and order management.
*Coach — Use your entire day to support current clients and reach more potential clients.
*Blogger — Turn blogging into your full-time business with administrative support for activities you struggle with.
*Non-profit — Save your volunteers and staff for work related to your cause.
If you’re still unsure that a virtual admin would be right for you, consider if any of the following apply to your situation.
Productivity at Your Company Is Suffering
Whether you bring your work home with you or your team consistently achieves less than you expected, you need to take action to improve productivity. Eliminating (or at least reducing) admin tasks will free up your team to allow them to finish everything — and give you plenty of time left over for personal pursuits.
Hiring Another Employee Would Be Too Expensive
Another employee may be out of your budget, but a virtual admin is still affordable. There’s no need to delegate all your admin tasks from the start — just choose those that take up most of your time or even the ones you dislike the most. As your business grows, you’ll notice that you’re saving money because your team is more productive, and then you can assign more tasks to your virtual admin.
Your Workload Varies
There’s no need to hire your virtual admin for the same number of hours each week. Many virtual admin assistants are flexible and will be willing to work on an as-needed basis. If you have less work one week, you can hire your virtual admin for fewer hours. On the flip side, if you have less time than normal to carry out routine business activities, simply ask your assistant to pick up more hours. This is something that is only possible with outsourcing.
The reason virtual admins are so useful is that they can carry out practically all routine tasks. Virtual assistants range widely in their skills, experience levels, and rates, meaning you can find the perfect fit for you — no matter if you’ve been in business for years or you’re just launching a new startup.