As a business owner, you may be wandering around the internet looking for an answer to get on top of your administration. You’ve stumbled across the term Virtual Assistant, and you understand what they do. So why would you hire a Virtual Assistant over an Administrative Assistant? VA vs Admin?

What’s the difference between an Administrative Assistant and a Virtual Assistant?

An Administration Assistant is someone who works solely for one company and takes care of only that companies admin needs. A Virtual Assistant works across several businesses and may juggle several projects and clients during the work week.

ZVA Blog Difference between VA Admin Pinterest

As mentioned in my article What is a Virtual Assistant? A VA is an umbrella term used for people providing business to business administrative services (B2B). Many VAs use more specific terms that describe their speciality, such as a bookkeeper.

Why would you hire a Virtual Assistant over an Admin Assistant?

First let me say, without Administration staff, the world of Virtual Assistants wouldn’t exist. Our skillsets come from the same source, that is, being able to organise the behind the scenes of a business in a variety of roles in a variety of ways. There are differences however, and each has their place in the world of business.

Administration staff tend to be employees, and they are often charged with a specific job description. As is the nature of employees, they start and finish at the specified times and take leave. These are all normal and expected in the role of employer/employee HR relationships. Administration staff are perfect if you have tasks that need to be completed on-site, such as customer greetings, or physical bookings. I’m thinking about in a doctors office or perhaps a mechanics workshop. An Administration person is needed on site to do these tasks.

A Virtual Assistant steps in where an Administration person cannot, which is usually in the world of small business. A Virtual Assistant may be generalised or very specific in their services offered. Being self-employed means that a business owner hires a VA on a contract basis, with agreed terms and conditions. On the surface it may look like you are paying more for a VA than an employee, often your actually not. Calculate the true cost of an employee at KiwiTax’s hourly rate calculator.

The biggest benefits of a Virtual Assistant

The biggest benefits I see are these;

You likely won’t need to provide equipment.
Going back to the, What is a Virtual Assistant? article. One key point is you may not have to provide office space and equipment for them.

The cost of a VA contractor is a business expense.
As a contractor, their cost to your business may be tax deductible (please see your accountant for more details). Also, employee costs such as leave and kiwisaver etc are taken into the final agreed rate. You will know exactly where you stand when it comes to your budget.

We’re business owners too.
VAs are often running their own company as well as looking after yours, so this means they are likely to have business sense. We all know how brave you need to be to run your own business! There’s so much knowledge there as work in a multitude of different businesses and therefore much of their experience is transferable. Take advantage of it.

VA’s know where to look for answers.
It’s likely that we’ve seen that scenario before, and if we haven’t, we’re likely to know where to look for the answer.

100% on task.
VAs usually work to deadlines rather than strict hours. If you need your payroll completed on Wednesday, then that’s the deadline. If you need your business cards ready to go by 1st October than that’s the deadline. VA’s don’t work to keep themselves busy; they get that task done and get onto the next.

Delegate and tick it off your list.
There’s no need to micromanage. VA’s are all about collaborating with you to get the best out of your business, and so the work is about delegation. Hand over the work that needs completing, then you can get onto the projects that need your full and focused attention.

Someone to bounce ideas off
Many a night have I been pleased that, when my husband and I owned a butchery, we were in it together. It was a tough time in our life and in our marriage. We are a strong couple and this made us stronger. This isn’t always the case. When you’re a “solopreneur”, you don’t often have someone you can talk to about what’s happening. If you’re struggling to get an order filled, or if one of your staff members are giving you grief, having someone other than your spouse to talk to is a massive relief, without compromising your position as a boss. Some things just can’t be talked about in-house, and that’s when our shoulders are there.

So now you have a good idea of the differences between hiring an employee Administrative Assistant and a Virtual Assistant. Both have grown out of the same line of work, however both have very different and important roles within businesses. Now you will also have a better idea of what type of Assistant you should hire for your business!