Its finally happened.
You’ve reached the point where you think your business could use some additional help. Congratulations! That’s a HUGE step towards growing the business you have into exactly what you want it to be.
Now the real question is: do you hire an in-person assistant, or a VA (virtual assistant)?
This is something that ALL business owners should consider when hiring someone, because both options could potentially be the perfect fit, depending on what you are looking for. Below are some questions to ask yourself while making this decision:
What tasks do you plan to offload?
If your goal is to have someone teach your group classes or take over private lessons, you need in-person help.
If you are looking to offload the many hours you spend responding to emails/client calls, sending reminders, scheduling social media posts, moderating groups, or writing blog posts, then a VA might be the perfect fit for you.
A VA can also be a sounding board for your business ideas or difficult clients, taking some of the mental and emotional load off of you as the owner. Sometimes just having another trainer to discuss a difficult case or client with can help make things more clear to you. When growing your business, a VA can also help keep you accountable in tasks that need to be done!
How many hours do you have to offer?
This is a big factor when deciding whether to hire a virtual assistant or someone in-person. If you are looking for help for 10 or less hours a week, it may be a lot harder to find in-person help, and if you find someone it might be hard to keep them unless you find the perfect fit. This could potentially leave you in a cycle of hiring, training, and then starting over a few months later when the employee moves on to a job with more hours.
On the contrary, a VA can often start with a contract for as little as 10 hours a month. This gives your business a lot of flexibility in figuring out how many hours you have to offer. Generally, a VA will also let you increase the hours you need for times when you are out of the office and need more help.
Do your tasks have set hours?
If your tasks need to be done at specific times, such as “clean dog runs every morning before opening”, an in-person assistant will be a better fit and they will be your employee.
If the tasks you have just need to be done by certain deadlines (ie: newsletter written and scheduled to send the first of every month, class scheduled updated, etc), a VA can be a great fit. Your VA will be a service you contract to represent your business, and they will do the assigned tasks by the date needed, but they may or may not have set working times for your projects. This means if you ask your VA to write you 4 blog posts, they might write all 4 posts in one long sitting, or spread the writing sessions out, depending on when you asked to have them by.
Do you want to offer benefits?
Typically an employee would expect benefits. A VA, being someone your business hires to handle just some tasks, does not require benefits. This can be a huge money saver, especially for small businesses.