So you’ve decided to delegate some of your growing workload to someone else. Well done! You’ll soon see the benefits first hand of freeing up your time to focus on generating more revenue for your business. But now is the tricky question, should you hire a Temp or partner with a VA? You understand how hiring a temp works, but other business leaders have been talking about hiring a Virtual Assistant. What should you do?

Consider the following points before making your decision.

1.Consistency. Picture this – You call the temp agency you have used in the past, the consultant you prefer to deal with is on holidays. You like dealing with the same consultant to ensure she sends you staff who meet your needed skill set. Then you find out the temp you have used in the past is no longer available! So, the agency sends you a temp you haven’t worked with before, she is capable, but just doesn’t understand how your business operates. You end up spending more time explaining your specific requirements to her. When you partner with a VA, you maintain the consistency. It’s always the same VA, working for you and ensuring your ‘quirks’ are remembered and considered. Plus if you partner with a Virtual Assistant who has a team support the business, usually a procedure guide is created to ensure your processes are always followed with the same accuracy.

2.Caring. Like you, a VA is a business owner. Business owners understand the importance of client satisfaction to ensure their survival. For that reason, a VA will take a great deal of care to ensure their clients (YOU) remain satisfied and business relationship continues. Therefore your business is just as important to them as their own business; they take additional care to ensure your expectations are exceeded. This includes when they are dealing with your clients, a Virtual Assistant is focussed on your business growth and success as much as their own.

3.Cost. Temp agency costs are high, consider how they are calculated – They include the employee’s hourly rate, superannuation, work-cover, as well as their company commission and administration charges. A VA is contracted for a set hourly rate or retainer, but you are not expected to cover addition costs such as superannuation and work-care etc. Now consider the ‘hidden costs’ – electricity to run the equipment your temp uses, and other office consumables, etc. As a VA works remotely to you, all consumable costs are covered by the VA! More money in your business bank account, not the temp agencies.

4.Clock Watching. So the temp arrives at your office at 9am, you show her around, and get her started at the workstation. After lunch, the temp has a social chat with one of your other employees, the conversation lasts for 15 minutes. Do you realise, you are charged for the non-productive time? A VA will stop the clock to take another call, make a cuppa etc. With a VA, you pay only for the task related hours. Now let’s consider the end of the day. The Temp knocks off at 5pm, most of the work is done, but a couple of items remain incomplete – a VA is focused on completing the task and meeting your deadline.

5.Collaborative. Every VA is usually a member of  several networks. They have connections in a variety of industries with a varying skill set. If you need a task completed, and your current VA is unable to take on the project, chances are she will know another VA or service provider who specialises in that field. A quick phone call or email and you can be connected with a specialist in that field.

6.Current. Don’t forget VAs are responsible for their own training and development. It’s imperative their skills remain current and relevant. They will often attend conferences, workshops or online training course. When you partner with a VA, you have the opportunity to access this knowledge. A confident VA will share ideas they have learnt that will benefit their business.

7.Confidential. As mentioned previously, a VA is a business owner in their own right. Their reputation is critical, and a crucial part of maintaining their reputation is not sharing information about your business or it’s clients. They will ask you to sign an agreement, which will set out the mutual partnership – including privacy. A temp may be asked to sign an agreement, from our research it was not consistent and could easily be overlooked.

Hopefully that helps you understand some of the differences between a Temp and a VA.  Take the time to evaluate your needs, look at the real costs and make the best choice for your business. It’s important to always get the best service possible and the best return on your dollar!

Need more support that adhoc, perhaps you need a Online Business Manager.

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

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