On a forum I belong to, this morning a few questions came up around whether or not it really is financially beneficial using a VA. I thought it worthy of a blog post.
These were the questions asked:
Ummm, sounds like I’m right, $40 p/h vs. $20+super. Any staff need to be trained on what to do, what equipment does a VA come with? A computer? What would they need? Even if full time employed it’s still cheaper than a VA. I don’t think I could trust someone I hadn’t met or had any relationship with other than here’s my credit card details do this job please that I can’t be bothered with. How would you account for the hours? It’s just wide open to getting screwed for time. How on earth will the VA do my filing when they’re somewhere else, if they’re calling people outbound does the rate include the calls?? How is their time logged?
Here was my response :
As a VA myself, I may be a little biased .
You’re right [member’s name], any staff need to be trained – and a VA may need some training too, but they are not staff. I have spent many an hour learning new technology that my clients use – and I don’t generally charge them for more than the agreed learning time. I figure it’s my PD because it’s another skill set that I can add to my repertoire.
As for equipment, we generally have all the software required downloaded onto our computers… as well as our own computers. The client also doesn’t need to provide office space, office furniture, electricity, heating, stationery, not even paperclips as the VA provides all that stuff. This stuff all adds up – and all the business owner has to pay is $40 an hour! Good value IMO.
The trust issue is a very valid point! Most VAs are happy to have a meeting with you, or if they’re too far away, a Skype meeting. You can really get a feel for people when you meet them. Most VAs are also happy to have a probation type arrangement where both can assure that they are a good fit with their clients.
Most VAs use Time tracking software to account for their time and will provide that with their invoices.
Most VAs are highly trained professional business owners who can help you with your business so efficiently that you will have time to do your own filing. If you need outbound calls made, you will have that discussion around rates including calls or not – and come up with a mutually agreed decision.
[Member’s name], most VAs in Australia are highly skilled, indpendent business owners. They are not employees and as such they bring a different dimension to the client/VA partnership. They bring business experience and practical experience. They work as a sounding board and sometimes very unofficially as an advisor. They are in business, so they understand what a business owner needs and wants.
But of course…. I am a little biased