You’re probably one of those aspiring entrepreneurs who wants to start a profitable business, whether it’s brick-and-mortar or online by nature. You’ve got a terrific idea for your venture, and now you’re browsing over your business plan again for the nth time. Since the name of the game is to be profitable while maintaining operations as cost-efficient as possible, you need to make sure that all areas of your business is well thought, and that includes your staffing needs.
You have several options at your disposal: a) hire a regular staff, b) hire a temporary staff, or c) do everything yourself. As natural as these choices are, it pays to do a little more foresight on what you can expect with each choice.
Hiring a regular staff: The tried-and-true model for most businesses. Hire a competent staff and retain him or her in your payroll. While this is the most likely route most startups will consider, there is a downside as well. As with any new company, it usually takes time and patience to build your customer base and generate enough sales to make your venture stable. During this period, your cash reserves will probably deplete faster than it being replenished (with sales), and a big portion of your expenses will go to employee salaries. Also, consider the costs of retaining a regular employee: not only do you have to contend with the usual salaries and government taxes, you also have to consider the other expenses associated with hiring one: office equipment, paid vacation/sick leaves, insurance, bonuses, training, and so on. If your business is just starting, this can prove to be both inconvenient and expensive.
Hiring temporary staff: While not exactly on the same level as hiring a regular employee, and may also prove cheaper, you are still most likely to encounter a majority of the expenses mentioned above. You will still have to train them, pay for taxes, insurance, etc.
Do everything yourself: This is to assume the role of the proverbial “chief cook and bottle washer”. While there is also nothing wrong with this model, as an entrepreneur who’s starting to build his or her business empire, you have to ask yourself some fundamental questions: will I be spending my valuable time more effectively if I, aside from building my sales network and marketing my product, will also have to finish my sales journals, do the inventory, answer phone calls, maintain my website, etc.? Perhaps not. You’ll be spreading yourself thin on so many areas of your business that at the end of the day, you may not have enough energy left for yourself for the next day.
As a budding entrepreneur building a business empire from the ground, it pays to know that there is a fourth alternative whose appeal is increasing these days: hiring a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant (or VA in short) is a highly skilled professional who provides administrative, technical and/or creative support to business owners or other professionals. Virtual assistants have a variety of business skills in the field of administrative, marketing, secretarial, customer support and other areas of expertise that you can use to help you become more effective and productive in your business.
In effect, you can practically outsource any task, however significant they may be, to one or several virtual assistants, freeing you of time which you can spend more on building your network, marketing your product, meeting your clients, dinner with your family, or simply brainstorming on the “next big thing”. Distance is no longer an issue; with the advent of the Internet, hiring the services of a virtual assistant is both practical and convenient, however remotely located they may be. Real-time distant support from virtual assistants can be as ubiquitous as you need them, as if these individuals were physically present in your office or work area. Additionally, you won’t have to put up with the usual expenses associated with hiring regular staff (ie. office equipment, software, training, insurance, taxes, etc.), because a virtual assistant is expected to handle these on their own. All you get and pay for is professional, dependable service when you want it, where you want it. That leaves you with only one regular employee left to take care of, yourself, and as a one-man business empire, isn’t that the only person that matters most?
Building a business empire with only one employee is possible and need not be a lonely effort. There are alternatives available to you, and hiring virtual assistants is a good way to get that much needed support in your chosen venture.