When thinking about hiring, it’s very likely that you’ve struggled with deciding whether to hire an employee or an independent contractor, more specifically a Virtual Assistant. Ultimately, the choice is up to you, so we can’t actually tell you which one to go with. Personally, we’ve worked with both and don’t necessarily have a huge preference. We go with what makes the most sense for our businesses.
On the Simply Elegant side, Ashley has employees for her wedding planning business, but The Abundance Group works with Virtual Assistants. A big reason for this is because, of course, wedding planners need to be in person. With TAG being an online business, Virtual Assistants who work remotely are just fine.
So to help you decide even further, we want to give you 10 honest pros and cons to hiring Virtual Assistants!
5 Pros of Hiring Virtual Assistants
You save money.
The only real cost associated with hiring VAs is payroll– their monthly pay. You don’t have to provide benefits, pay employee or unemployment taxes, etc. (In fact, we’ll be covering all the costs associated with employees in next week’s email.) This could save you tons of money in the long run.
You don’t have to train.
ICs are their own business owners, and they’re already experts at what they do. You don’t have to train a Social Media Manager on how to post on Instagram for you. You don’t have to train a copywriter on how to write blog posts for you. The only “training” that would come into play is if there’s a particular process that you prefer to do that you want to make sure your IC follows.
You can strengthen specific weak areas.
There are countless VAs out there who are experts in numerous fields. Because of the flexibility of who you can hire to do certain tasks, you’re able to specifically pick areas of your business that need work and hire an expert to help you strengthen them. If marketing isn’t your thing, you can hire marketing experts for specific needs (Facebook ads, social media, Pinterest, etc.). If you need graphics made often but aren’t the best at it, you can hire graphic designers.
Ability to hire ongoing or per project.
There’s a lot of flexibility involved with VAs when it comes to when and how long you want to hire them for. You can hire a VA on a monthly retainer pay, so their work for you is ongoing, or you could hire someone for a one-time project. You can even hire someone for a bigger project, and then keep them on a lower-cost monthly retainer for maintenance (like a web designer).
Stay in your zone of genius.
Because you can hire specific VAs to handle the areas of your business you need the most help with (or that you simply just don’t like doing), you’re able to stay in your zone of genius and focus on the tasks that you actually enjoy!
5 Cons of Hiring Virtual Assistants
Little to no control.
The main difference between VAs and employees, which could be a con to some, is the fact that you have little to no control over VAs because they’re operating as their own business. They get to create their own schedule, can choose their days off, can decide where they want to work, etc. This isn’t a huge problem as long as there’s open communication and understanding.
No regular supervision.
You may like the idea of being able to regularly and directly supervise your team members, which is something you just can’t do with VAs. This all comes back to that low level of control you have of them.
You aren’t their only commitment.
VAs can, and usually will, have multiple clients at a time, so you won’t be their only commitment or priority. How the work they do for you fits into their schedule is up to them. But again, this is a small disadvantage as long as there’s great communication and understanding between you.
Communication can be exclusively virtual.
If you’d like to see team members in person, that may be a problem when hiring VAs because communication can be exclusively virtual depending on a couple factors. Of course, you could always choose to hire VAs that are local to you and able to meet up, however, because many VAs are remote workers, they may not offer in-person meetings. If you live in a small area, there’s also the chance that there simply might not be many VAs that are local.
Minor security risks.
When working with remote VAs who need access to certain account details, there’s always that security risk in the background. The reason we say this is “minor”, though, is because, with a tool like LastPass, you can share encrypted login information without the other party actually being able to view your passwords. Also, you should choose a VA that feels trustworthy and has dependable testimonials available. (This is another reason we recommend asking around in your network when looking to hire!)
And there you have it! For many, Virtual Assistants are the preferred type of team member (and for good reason, as you can see!). We do want to quickly reiterate that, in the end, it’s up to you to decide who you want to hire. With that said, if you’d like more assistance in growing a team, adopting a leadership mindset, preparing your business to hire, and so much more, we highly recommend checking out our 12-week Building Your Team Intensive!