The Virtual Alternative, the new way of doing business; Part 2

Last week, we touched on why a virtual assistant makes sense financially for your business. This week we’re going to address some of the common concerns a brick and mortar business owner may have concerning the use of a virtual assistant compared to an in-house employee.

Concern #1: How do I know that the virtual assistant is actually working the time they are charging me for?

Answer: Most virtual assistants use time tracking software that captures exactly what amount of time is spent on which tasks for your business.  In the case of my business, Clerical Advantage, I provide each client with a print out that shows them the break down of tasks and time spent on each one.  And that in-house employee?  How do you know how much time they are spending on the tasks at hand?  Is their time logged? Sure they are sitting at their desk, but are they actually spending 4o hours a week strictly on business. I’m sure you’d agree with me when I say it is highly doubtful.

 Concern #2: My business deals with sensitive information, how can I be sure it’s kept safe with a virtual assistant working from their own office?

Answer:  Secure transfer of files, e-mail and other business documents is relatively easy to achieve online. In fact, logging into a secure online file sharing system is much more private and secure than having sensitive information lying around on desks or being passed from person to person in the office.  Even your conversations with your virtual assistant are more secure than discussing something with an in-house employee. Again, using Clerical Advantage as an example, all client files are deleted and/or shredded after 15 days unless a client requests otherwise.  So although at first glance it may not seem possible, a virtual assistant is a more secure option.

Concern #3: Won’t communication be a problem?

Answer: Absolutely not.  Your virtual assistant is available to you via e-mail, phone, fax, text message, instant message and in some cases secure message boards. In fact, most virtual assistants offer a toll free number allowing you to call them for free from anywhere.

Concern #4: But a virtual assistant works for more than just my business,  they can’t give my business the same commitment that an in-house employee does, can they?

Answer: A virtual assistant is more committed to the success of your business because you are their client, not their boss. Think about how much effort you put into pleasing your customers. Why? You want them to stay your customer right?  Your virtual assistant feels the same way about you. They know that if they are committed to the success of your business, you’re going to want to continue the business relationship with them. They are business owners too, so they understand commitment.  Can you say the same thing about your employees?  Or do they simply see their position as a job?

So what’s stopping you from going virtual?

If you’re a business owner and you have a question or concern about the possibility of using a virtual assistant, please leave me the question on our new Q & A page, Ask the CAVA and I’ll be happy to answer it!


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.