Whilst some entrepreneurs have been using virtual assistants for years, there are many business owners who don’t know that the option to have remote support even exists. This often leads to questions about what I do and how I do it, so I have compiled the top 10 questions I get asked at networking events.

1.  What could I outsource?

  • It’s always useful to have a rough idea of the types of tasks you want to outsource. As an experienced VA, I will sit down with you and discuss your business to identify what your focus is, what plans you have to put into action and how we can work together to achieve your business goals. I offer a one-hour free initial consultation to discuss these things and to find out how I can support you.

2.  Would Virtual Support work for my business?

  • For the majority of businesses, distance really is no object. I work with both local clients I see regularly and clients from further afield that I have never met. Technology is readily available to ensure that we can work as if we are together – Skype, Whatsapp, text, email, Project Management software, Dropbox and Google docs all make it an effortless task.
  • Whilst there is a possibility that ongoing support might not be a viable option for your business, because I can work flexibly you can pay for as much or as little as you need using a Pay As You Go agreement or a one-off project rate. My minimum charge is one hour per month, and anything above that is charged in 15-minute increments to ensure that you only pay for what you use. Alternatively, you can pay in advance and pre-book a set number of hours each month allowing you to budget the costs for support.

3. How will you understand how my business works?

  • Trust is a major part of what I do. There will always be a learning curve, while I get to know your business but without that understanding, I can’t focus on what works best (or better) for your business. From the outset, we would set boundaries to establish how much I am involved in your business, and how much I need to know to carry out the required tasks. I appreciate that it can be hard to ‘let go’ of some tasks, but I am happy to start small and take on more tasks as we develop our working relationship, I learn more about your business, and we develop an increased mutual trust.

4. What are the costs for virtual support?

  • There are a few ways I determine costs, depending on what you need doing and how often it needs to be done. For client flexibility, I offer pre-booked hours, package or project rates as well as Pay As You Go hourly rates. It’s important that you are comfortable and happy with this, and that the costs are within your budget. Pre-booked hours start at 5 hours per month for £140, and this would be a great solution if you require a regular task completing each week, or daily email checking. Pay As You Go is £28 per hour and is suitable for one-off tasks or less regular support. Package and Project rates are also available.

5.How can I budget for the support I need?

  • My time can be secured for a set number of hours each month in advance if required. This enables you to budget and be confident that I will be available to carry out your work each month. Package or Project rates enable you to work to a set budget. For smaller projects or PAYG work, I can provide a weekly update if you prefer to pay by the hour.

6. What do I do if I don’t have regular work to outsource?

  • That’s fine. Not every entrepreneur wants or needs ongoing support. The great thing about virtual business support is that you only pay for what you need without the associated overheads of hiring a member of staff. The flexibility that this brings is a big bonus for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business.

7. How can I ensure you are available to give me regular support?

  • Regular support benefits from pre-booked hours – this works by paying for a set number of hours in advance to guarantee my availability  (usually, but not always, pro-rata’ed down into daily or weekly allocated time). This enables you to budget each month, as well as guaranteeing my availability over the course of the month.

8. How does GDPR effect virtual support?

  • I have a Data Processing agreement for each of my clients, which outlines both of our responsibilities under GDPR. I act as a Data Processor for you, you act as the Data Controller for all of your own clients. All the software I use is compliant, and I am working with my own clients to ensure that their processes are also compliant.

9. What do you actually do for your current clients?

  • The list of tasks I could complete is pretty lengthy – I like to think I have experience and wisdom, I have been working in various sectors for A LONG TIME. I have worked in offices for over 25 years, mainly in client-facing operational roles. Over this time I developed a wide range of skills and knowledge in general admin, operational procedures, project support and business development. Since starting my own business in 2016 I have expanded this knowledge and also have access to entrepreneurs who introduce me to new apps, tools and practices regularly. You can read a bit about my experience and some of the work I have completed on my About Page and some of the services I could offer on my Services Page.
  • Current tasks include:   Project Management (client and inward facing), Case Management, inbox monitoring (including responding to queries), social media posting, research, database updates, data entry.

10. I could do these tasks myself – Does virtual support benefit a sole trader?

  • I work with virtual teams as well as sole traders – there are no limits or set rules as to who benefits most from the services I offer. Basically, if you are spending time on non-income generating tasks (particularly ones you don’t enjoy) then working with me could benefit your business and give you time to focus on what really matters.
If you have any more questions about what I do, let me know. Business support isn’t an exact science, it’s about working together and teamwork, having that extra pair of hands (and eyes), working to your strengths, providing the time and breathing space to focus, putting plans into action and achieving your business goals.
If you would like to find out more about how I could support your business, please do get in touch and let’s have that chat .