What is a Virtual PA and why should I use one?

Why should I use a Virtual PA?                     

Virtual PA using keyboard

Would you benefit from using a Virtual PA?

Have you ever thought about using a Virtual PA but aren’t sure if it is the right thing to do?  If you follow the next few steps it may make things a little clearer on why you should use a Virtual PA.

Other names for a Virtual PA are: Business Support Officer, Virtual Personal Assistant, Executive PA, Office Angel, Freelancer.

Do I really need to hire a Virtual PA?

What are your reasons for hiring a Virtual PA?  Is it to help clear the backlog of work, is it to give you more time to enjoy your work/life balance, or is it to achieve more sales, more customer liaison, provide a buffer between you and your customer, etc.

Whether you are a Sole Trader, an Independent Consultant or a CEO of a top company a Virtual PA can provide an independent, professional and confidential service.

What would I give them to do?

This can be the tricky one as most people find it difficult to hand over tasks if they have been covering the work themselves.  This list can be as long or as short as you like but it is important that you identify what you want your Virtual PA to do.

  • Look at the tasks you want to keep control of yourself such as budget setting, financial reporting and customer liaison
  • Look at the ones you hate doing and can’t wait to get rid of such as Credit Control, updating databases or appointment setting/market research
  • Look at the ones that have deadlines such as creating weekly schedules, invoicing and collating paperwork for VAT returns
  • Look at the ones that may need tweaking such as, report writing, submitting funding applications and telephony work
  • Look at the ones that are specialised such as, digital transcription, PowerPoint presentations and website maintenance

Why not just employ someone?

There are so many areas of responsibility placed on you as an employer that it may not seem worthwhile for you to employ staff.  However, using the services of a Virtual PA removes those responsibilities as you do not have to worry about issues such as office space, equipment costs, staff training, NI Contributions, holiday pay, maternity leave and a host of other’s that would be too long to mention.

Can I afford them?

The answer to that is – can you afford not to? 

If you have already identified that you could benefit from using a Virtual PA then the question is already answered.  Initially some business owners are surprised at the rates charged by a Virtual PA – BUT – when you look at how much they are saving you in time and resources, and how they are assisting you and giving you time to develop your business, they can be worth every penny!  

Have you used a Virtual PA – what tasks did you use them for?