Are virtual assistants value for money?

Posted by Archie on 25/10/17 09:42

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There is a strong chance you’re reading this blog as you have heard about the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant. Whether it’s the range of skills, the efficiency savings or the peace of mind that has piqued your interest, your decision to take the plunge will ultimately boil down to cost. Is it worth the money?

Efficiency is the currency of an assistant. Like heading to the foreign exchange, assistants will convert your money into time; time you can then spend on growing your business or devote to your personal life. In 2013, the Harvard Business Review conducted a study of 15 different executives, whereby they ‘eliminated or delegated unimportant tasks and replaced them with value-added ones’. The result: nearly a fifth of their working week was shaved off. A full day’s work, in other words.

Yet, delegating low-hanging fruit to an assistant doesn’t just free-up your time for more business-critical activities. That low-hanging fruit will be picked and peeled more proficiently than if you did it yourself. That’s because virtual assistants are all clerical specialists. Some, like our Fyxers, also have a minimum of five years executive assistant experience. Handing over tasks to a virtual assistant, therefore, it is like giving your racket to Roger Federer.

Then there is the issue of flexibility. Hiring a virtual personal assistant is not the same as shelling out for a gym membership in January: it’s a pay-as-you-go model. Workloads fluctuate, so if one week you need more support and the next you need less, you only ever pay for what you use.

Ok, ok, I hear you say, but what are the figures? When comparing a virtual assistant to an in-house PA, there is no contest in terms of value. A top-level executive assistant commands a salary of between £40-50,000 pa (according to job site Glassdoor). Yet, a full-time employee costs more than just their salary. Factoring in potential recruitment costs of 20% (£8-10,000), desk rental (£6,000 @ £500 per month) and employers’ National Insurance contributions (circa £3,300), it’s no wonder that hiring a virtual assistant over a full-time employee has been estimated to save up to 78% of operating costs.

Soft costs such as training and management time aside, our Fyxers are a fraction of the cost at £12,600 per year. Yet, comparative value is one thing, how do Fyxers fare on their own? Well, let’s say you make your company £250,000 per year (and a Fyxer costs you £12,600 per year). For your company to break even, your Fyxer must make you roughly 5% more productive. In other words, save you three hours in a 60-hour working week. In reality, a Fyxer will save you considerably more than that. It may even be three hours per day.

Even three hours is a conservative estimate, as this only takes into account the direct time your Fyxer takes off your hands. When delegating non-critical tasks to a virtual assistant, a domino effect takes place. For example, less hours spent on draining administrative tasks will increase your productivity elsewhere. The same can be said for the reduction in stress and the increase in personal time. Hiring a virtual assistant fuels an efficiency economy.

Of course, not all virtual assistants’ services are the same. Like with a foreign exchange, the conversion rates vary immensely and executives should ensure they’re getting the best rate before heading to the productivity ATM.


Topics: Virtual Assistants, Executive Assistants, PA, Personal Assistant, Remote Working, FYXER, delegation, efficiency