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The benefits of a virtual PA

A virtual PA, also known as a virtual assistant, is an external partner or contractor who provides administrative duties to a company or small business, eliminating the need for a full-time member of staff

Start-ups are often faced with a dilemma. The key players spend too much time on admin – a recent study by US retailer OfficeMax suggested the nation’s 23 million business owners burn more than 4 billion hours each year on such tasks. They need assistance, but can’t justify the cost of a full-time PA.

The solution? A Virtual PA. This business model is booming. It was recently selected as one of the 14 best start-up ideas for 2014 by The Daily Telegraph finding corroborated by startups.co.uk, which has predicted a significant increase in demand for virtual assistants in 2014. Full-time personal assistants may soon become an expensive luxury for the rising number of start-ups and small businesses with an admin gap.

Four reasons to hire a virtual PA

1. Flexibility

You can negotiate for a virtual PA according to your requirements. Typically they can handle most or all of the following, but if you don’t need help with research, say, you can exclude that from their responsibilities.

  • Telephone answering and call placement
  • Research
  • PowerPoint presentations and templating
  • Editing
  • Scheduling and bookings
  • Database and email management
  • Bookkeeping and accounts
  • General administration

2. Cost

The services of a virtual PA are usually affordable, typically ranging between £10-£30 per hour, with time acquired according to need. The flexibility alone will usually result in a significant cost saving, as many small companies don’t need a salaried PA on a full-time basis.

3. Confidence

The illusion of a larger setup can be invaluable to a small business – helping a young company to instill confidence in clients and win new business from prospects.

4. Playing to your strengths

CEOs and senior employees shouldn’t be doing admin in small businesses. Hiring a virtual PA frees up the time for members of staff to focus on the things they’re good at.

Free up your time for the important things

How to hire a virtual PA

There are many sites out there that help companies connect with freelance virtual assistants such as Elance and Odesk. Some of the UK’s larger serviced office companies, like Executive Offices Group, also offer trusted virtual PA services at a more expensive rate.

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