The benefits of sharing your workload with a Virtual Assistant (VA) are well known and clear. Recouping valuable time being the main benefit. But like any valuable strategy, myths and misconceptions are often present.

This article aims to debunk some of the illusions and get to the real truth on partnering with a Virtual Assistant.

1. It’s expensive to hire a VA.

Generally speaking, partnering with a VA is cheaper than if you were to employ a permanent office assistant. When you partner with a VA, you save associated employment costs such as superannuation, WorkCover and leave entitlements. These ‘hidden’ costs can be avoided while still achieving quality work productivity, making outsourcing a more affordable strategy than many assume.

2. VAs work in their pyjamas.

With days that are often include client meetings (either online or face to face) VAs rarely spend their working day in sleepwear. Networking is also an important part of a VAs day, and as professional business owners, turning up in our pyjamas is just not part of our professionalism.

3. VAs are based overseas.

Many business owners looking to partner with a VA, think that they can only found in the Asian countries. Australia’s VA Industry has been in existence for 20 years (although it may not have been recognised officially as a VA Industry then). With several VA networks operating within Australia, the awareness of home grown admin support is becoming more prevalent. Support local and use an Aussie VA.

4. Office staff are more qualified than VAs.

Of all the Virtual Assistants I know, each and every one of them has had years of experience in the corporate world, before embarking on their own business. Many were Executive Assistants and Personal Assistant to motivated and busy business leaders, bringing knowledge and experience to your business. It’s important to note, many VAs may also have formal qualifications, such as Diplomas etc.

5. A VA will need to be trained.

Again, similar to the above point, having already had substantial years ‘on the job’ training with their existing career paths, add to this formal training (Diplomas etc) and the experience from supporting other business owners. The right VA will have the required skills already established. The exception to this, is specific programs that are unique to your business or industry.

6. VAs take longer to complete required work projects.

This is a big assumption. If you have taken care in partnering with an established and experienced VA, you will have provided them with a brief of your needs and they will have the skill set to met them. With experience comes competency and speed. It is more likely they will be quicker than you expected and offer you advice on other efficiency options in your business.

7. My Privacy won’t be respected!

As business owners themselves, VAs understand the importance of maintaining privacy and confidences. Your VA may ask you to sign a service agreement, confirming how they treat your information both during and after the project has been completed. If you’re still concerned, ask the VA to sign your own confidentially agreement or look for a VA with an IVAA EthicsCheck Certification.

8. VAs can only type letters and complete data entry.

I’m sure you will find most VAs offer correspondence preparation and data entry as a part of their service – but the list of tasks that can be completed by a VA really is endless. From project management, social media to email and calendar management and everything in between, I think you’ll find a VA to capable to accomplish the project you need completed.

I hope this article has helped to eliminate some of the common myths you may have believed true for Virtual Assistants. If you have any other illusions in sharing your workload with a Virtual Assistant, let us know and we can confirm or dispel them for you.

by Sam Spence – Founder & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

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