22 Jun Which Is Best For Your Business, A Virtual Assistant Or Personal Assistant?
As every business owner realizes sooner or later, we can all use a little help. Having an assistant on hand to take care of all those routine and mundane—but ultimately necessary—tasks is essential to free up our time so that we can focus on larger, skill-based projects. In today’s digital world, however, entrepreneurs are faced with multiple choices when selecting an assistant: You can hire either a personal assistant to work with you directly, or you can hire a virtual assistant to work with you remotely. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand how they operate before you make your final decision. The major differences between a virtual assistant and a personal assistant are outlined below:
The primary difference between a personal assistant and virtual assistant is location: A personal assistant will be located on your physical office premises whereas a virtual assistant will work from a remote location, such as their home or office. While many people automatically assume that having your assistant near at hand will result in a better experience, this is not always the case. While hiring a personal assistant is necessary if the kind of work you do strictly requires having someone on site, if it doesn’t, you’re probably better off hiring a VA. Why? Because space is expensive! Virtual assistants don’t require a physical workspace, which is a lifesaver if you want to keep operating in a home office, from a coffee shop, from a small office, etc., in order to keep costs low.
If you hire a personal assistant, he or she will probably only agree to working standard business hours. Virtual assistants, on the other hand, tend to be more flexible with their hours—after all, they’re essentially freelancers. This can be highly advantageous if you want someone to take care of tasks while you’re sleeping, but there is one caveat to consider: Your VA will probably be living and working in a different time zone than you are and this can potentially cause inconveniences when it comes to establishing “real time” communication. Make sure you work out where you VA is located and compromise on hours that work for both of you.
Note, too, that some outsourced virtual assistants work from agencies which have multiple locations and/or staff night shift workers. If you work with an agency like this, you will have access to 24×7 virtual assistants. Obviously, most business owners find this arrangement to be the most convenient and efficient of all.
Because virtual assistants are located off-site and typically operate in countries where wages are low, you’ll probably save a lot of money if you hire a VA rather than a PA… Especially when you factor in not having to provide office space for him/her or a great deal of training.
In summation, unless your work is very location-specific, virtual assistants are almost always the better choice. And remember, just because they work remotely, that doesn’t mean they have fewer skills to offer—In fact, the opposite tends to be true. VAs typically work with multiple clients, meaning that they acquire highly diversified expertise. For most business owners, virtual assistance therefore offers a higher overall value than physical assistance.