Virtual Assistants: Freelance, Part-Time or Full-Time?

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As a business owner looking to outsource to a Virtual Assistant there are many different options on how to hire and in what capacity. You can work with a number of different freelancers at once, one person casually, one person at a set number of hours or even on a full-time basis.

There can be many reasons for each but at the end of the day it comes down to the role, what your need is and what your goal is behind outsourcing that need.

Hiring a Freelance Virtual Assistant 

You’ve got a lot of ‘odd jobs’ arising in your business. Maybe you need someone to design you a logo one day, sort some data the next and set up a webinar sequence for you the following week.

Needs like this are very ad hoc and presumably the goal is something along the lines of both saving you time and also gaining someone else’s expertise in areas you may not be skilled in. If your goal is to fulfill odd tasks at random times and they are for activities that require greater professional knowledge and experience, your best option will be to work with freelancers so you can specialise each task to someone’s existing skillset.

The downside to freelancing is that you open yourself up for working with someone new each time and with that comes unknown abilities, varied commitment levels and increased risk in overall quality and time of delivery. This is really only something I would recommend if you do not have the capacity or resources to work with someone on an ongoing basis.

Hiring a Full-Time Virtual Assistant 

Your best bet in setting yourself up for success with a Virtual Assistant is to have them secured to your business on an ongoing basis. Whether that means x number of hours per week, or in a full-time capacity. Securing the right someone on an ongoing basis gives them a reason to be truly committed to your business and it will 100% show in their output. It can also lead to innovation as they will learn more about you and be able to contribute ideas for growth. This is truly how you will benefit from outsourcing. Someone who can own their tasks and show loyalty to the company is going to maximise the benefits you see from outsourcing to begin with.

My personal preference is to exclusively work with full-time VAs, even if I don’t have an immediate need for them full-time. This approach achieves a few aims:

  • It shows that I am committed to a long term relationship with them, and that their job is safe
  • Allows them to start to think of new ways they can help.
  • Means they are 100% devoted and solely focused on my business – no pulled attention, distractions or lack of buy in.
  • And generally, once you have someone there ready to go it can be very easy to find new things to outsource to make your life easier and give you back time to focus on truly growing the business, rather than working IN it.

The problem with hiring a part-time assistant is that most VAs will then have multiple jobs or be looking for a full-time job and it is not conducive to a productive employee that is going to bring results. When your VA is bought into your business, feels valued and truly cares whether you succeed, it really shows. Working with a full-time virtual assistant goes a long way in helping you achieve that. Of course, culture and ongoing management will play a factor in that – but that’s a topic for another post. 

So, when thinking about how you want to start working with a VA, think about your business needs but also the goal of outsourcing. With that clarity, you’ll be able to choose the right option for you.

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