You know that a successful entrepreneur doesn’t get by on good ideas alone, but with good help behind them. So you delegate; get others to take care of your business administration and nitty gritty while you perfect the product.

However, when it comes to your everyday admin, is hiring a personal assistant the best option? What about a virtual assistant?

Here are five factors to consider when you’re deciding on the best route for your business.

1. Budget Impact

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns for a small to medium enterprise is all about money: how much is it going to cost to maintain each?

A personal assistant is a long-term commitment; you won’t get someone to sit and take your calls all day and make your bookings without some guarantee of continued employment. Getting to work out their payment is good as you get to budget accordingly, but it’s not the most flexible option.

A virtual assistant is typically pay-as-you-go. If you only need them on Thursdays, that’s fine! They work as and when they’re needed and are paid by the hour, freeing up your time and your budget yet still delivering the same excellent service.

2. Office Space

An in-house assistant needs office space to work in, not to mention a PC with the latest up-to-date software packages. They can be a streamlining dream once they’re all set up, but that takes time and money.

A virtual assistant by contrast already has a PC, and works remotely from their home or other location. That means you can continue to run your business from home or a shared office space without worrying about relocating to a larger office.

3. Tech-Savvy

A personal or virtual assistant has to be efficient; that means training and experience.

Chances are you’ll only hire a PA that knows her way around Windows, but can she be trusted to manage your company blog? A PA can become a great company asset in time, but finding the right person takes time and you’ll likely need to provide intensive one-to-one training to ensure that they have the right set of skills for your company.

Working from home and fielding multiple contracts, virtual assistants are competent with web-based services. They can do far more than just email a memo; you may find your VA revolutionizing the way your admin runs! In addition, when you’re working with a virtual assistant company, you can take advantage of their team of on-hand professionals to create your own dynamic team of VAs to manage different tasks or duties.

4. Availability

Your assistant needs to be around to take care of business as it arises. Is yours?

An in-house assistant is just a stroll down the passage and they’re there at 9 on the dot – traffic permitting. But what if they get sick? Don’t they need a holiday? What does your business do during this period?

Working with a virtual assistant company ensures that you’ll always have a VA on-call, even during annual holidays or when your regular VA is sick. Business needs can shift at a moment’s notice, so having assistance that’s a constant ensures you’re never caught out.

5. Reliability + Availability

The best kind of help is the kind you can take with you should you need to work abroad or relocate for personal reasons.

While your personal assistant may be less keen to make the move with you, a virtual assistant is already based elsewhere and your physical location and business geography are inconsequential to the way they work – so they’re always available, even when you’re miles from the office.

A personal assistant and a virtual assistant fulfill the same role and are both accountable and loyal to the company. They offer different solutions for businesses, and the choice you make comes down to your requirements: traditional, one-to-one interaction or flexibility and virtual efficiency?

May 2022 Update: Times have changed, and Virtual Assistants with this level of expertise are now typically called Remote Executive Assistants.

Topic: Remote Executive Assistant