The word COVID-19 is literally everywhere you look right now. I’ve seen it on practically every news channel, social media platform, and even within the email subject lines of companies I haven’t heard from in years. There are signs at grocery stores, dentist offices, and even alerts on mobile banking applications reminding people to stay safe.
However, I don’t want to talk about the impact of COVID-19 on our health. There’s plenty of resources on that. I want to talk about if it makes sense for small businesses to have a virtual assistant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do I Really Need a Virtual Assistant During COVID-19?
Small businesses nationwide are having to shift their processes and cut back on certain expenses, including their labor force. However, does it make sense to let go of your virtual assistant during this time? Honestly, it all depends on why you hired them in the first place and if that need is still there. Consider the following:
1. Overwhelmed By Your Workload
If you initially hired a virtual assistant because you had a high volume of clients, but now you don’t, it’s okay to scale back. If the volume isn’t there and there’s nothing for them to do, then it makes sense to not have a virtual assistant during the COVID-19 pandemic. But also ask yourself, “are there some things I’ve been putting off for a while that need to get done?”. If yes, consider delegating that to your assistant.
On the flip side, if your business is booming, keep them on board. If you don’t have one, maybe consider hiring one. Virtual assistants are a cost-effective solution because you only pay for hours worked. Plus, you don’t have to deal with labor costs like taxes, medical/dental benefits, worker’s compensation, and more.
2. To Provide Support to Your Employees
Companies with employees benefit from virtual assistants, especially if their managerial employees are bogged down with administrative tasks. In fact, some of our clients hire virtual assistants to support their project managers and it makes a world of difference. But should you keep a virtual assistant during the COVID-19 pandemic to support your employees? Yes, if it makes good business sense.
If your team needs to focus on high priority activities, delegating tasks to a virtual assistant could increase your firm’s productivity and profits 📈. You can outsource the mundane, routine, or specialized tasks to a virtual assistant as needed.
3. To Focus on Marketing Tasks
Did you hire a virtual assistant for basic marketing help like social media assistance or monthly e-newsletters? If the answer is yes, it might make sense to keep them on board. Almost everyone is stuck at home right now and looking at their devices, so build brand awareness.
Maybe you don’t need your marketing virtual assistant during the COVID-19 pandemic as much, but a little support could go a long way.
4. To Complete Tasks You Don’t Know How To Do
A lot of the people we talk to hire a virtual assistant to complete the tasks they don’t know how to do, which is genius. Focusing your time on tasks that you don’t know how to do takes you away from the profitable tasks that you do know how to do.
As a business owner, you want to focus on what you’re good at and what’s going to improve your bottom line.
If business is slowing down, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should take back the tasks that you’re not good at. Instead, reduce your virtual assistant’s workload to match the current volume of work your business has. You don’t want to end up taking on too much and then diminishing the quality of work of those things you’re good at.
5. To Help When You’re Sick
Did you know some entrepreneurs bring a temporary virtual assistant on board to help out when they’re sick? A virtual assistant can be extremely advantageous to someone who still wants to run their business even when they’re not feeling their best. In order to successfully do this, it helps to have SOPs in place before you hire a virtual assistant. That way all you have to do is give them access to the necessary software and send over the instructions.
The Benefits of Virtual Assistants During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Some industries could really benefit from a virtual assistant right now to help them manage this outbreak. Here are a few benefits of hiring virtual assistants right now:
Most virtual assistant contractors focus on 1-3 key areas that they’re really good at. As a result, you’d ideally be hiring an expert, which means fewer errors and greater results. An example would be a commercial cleaning business hiring a customer service virtual assistant to handle their increased volume of phone calls. If you’re out in the field, you want someone manning the phone that’s experienced in doing so. You don’t want your cleaners trying to clean and answer the phone too.
Another example would be a therapy practice hiring a social media virtual assistant to promote his/her telehealth services online. You can focus on your clients and let them focus on the hashtags that’ll bring in new business.
Virtual assistants are great for companies that want to scale with less risk. For instance, maybe your business is one that suddenly has an increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic. You can hire a virtual assistant or two to handle some of the tasks on the backend. Invoicing, data entry, creating correspondence and more just to name a few. When and if the demand goes down, you can easily reduce their hours too.
3. They Work Within Your Budget
If you hire a virtual assistant for $1,000/month, then you’re paying $1,000/month. You don’t have to also pay for their Internet, benefits, and more like you would an employee. Once you establish what you want to pay, what you need to be done and for how long, a professional can be matched to you.
Flexibility Matters During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Having this sort of flexibility is important during the COVID-19 pandemic. You truly may not know if and how often you’ll need a virtual assistant next month. Being locked into a long-term contract where you have to pay someone a certain amount monthly would be challenging in a period of time with so many unknowns. This is why we don’t lock our clients into long-term contracts. You decide what and if you need anything month to month.
4. They Already Know How to Work Remotely
One of the biggest advantages virtual assistants have for business owners is that they already know how to work remotely. They know of the multiple platforms and applications that can help a business run with ease.
If you’re trying to switch you and your employees to operating online, hire a virtual assistant to help with the transition. This will take some of the burdens off of you.
Only You Know What You Need
So does it make sense to have a virtual assistant during the COVID-19 pandemic? The short answer is, it depends. Virtual assistants are incredibly valuable and can bring a skill-set to your team that is needed right now. If demand has suddenly increased and you need help, a virtual assistant is a good idea. Right now, things are unpredictable and you need a flexible option to get you through these times.
Let Us Help You – Book a Consultation
If you need a virtual assistant, but don’t know where to start, we can help. Most of the U.S. based virtual assistants we work with have at least an associate’s degree and years of experience supporting entrepreneurs. We match them to you based on the skill-sets and experience you need to help your business succeed.