Most of us are not likely to be hiring full time salaried employees, with the possible exception of a group practice owner. Because of this it is likely a good idea to use a combination of part time employees and contractor workers.
It is always more expensive to hire an employee than to use a contractor. You don’t have to pay a contractor for sick time, cover unemployment insurance or pay any of their taxes.
Not to mention that virtual workers don’t even need you to provide them with office space. These are some of the reasons that using a virtual assistant can be so amazing.
So, what is a virtual assistant?
Really it is anyone who does any task for you and is not physically located in your office.
The use of virtual assistants and the number of VA companies has grown dramatically in the last 5-10 years.
All over the world more people are working remotely and putting a high priority on having that type of flexibility and control over where they work. This ends up being a huge benefit for small businesses like ours.
This also includes what has been called the “gig economy” which gave birth to things like Fiverr, TaskRabbit and other similar services.
GVA vs. Specialized VA
I think it is helpful to distinguish between a GVA or general virtual assistant and a specialized VA. A GVA is someone who can handle and general admin task, such as managing email, calendars and scheduling, making travel arrangements, updating spreadsheets or ordering office supplies. You get the idea.
Having a GVA is amazing and I highly recommend it, both for your professional and personal life.
Usually a specialized VA will have a specific skill set and be able to help you with more complex specialized tasks, such as search engine optimization, graphic design, blog writing or phone support for a mental health practice.
Larger practices will likely have a GVA and several specialized VAs. Just like therapists no one virtual assistant is amazing at every type of task. However, it is great to find a VA who can handle several things well, such as . . .
- Phone support and therapist matching for a group practice
- Google AdWords & SEO
- Logo design & website design
- Social media management & email marketing