Virtual Assistant Companies vs. Freelancers: Which is the Right Partner for you?
Small and medium-sized businesses are turning more and more to Virtual Assistants to tackle an array of tasks that, only a few years ago, could only have been handled by in-house staff. In the era of Dropbox, Skype, and Google Drive, however, it has become a lot easier for businesses to work with V.A.s if they can’t find, afford, or need local employees.
But before making the decision to hire a Virtual Assistant, you need to know your options when it comes to partners. It ultimately comes down to choosing between a Virtual Assistant freelancer, and a company that specializes in providing remote V.A.s. In this article, we’ll convince you why working with a VA company is going to make your life a lot easier than working with a Freelancer.
Since Freelancers, as a rule, usually have multiple projects going at the same time, it’s quite possible that the freelancer of your choice might not be available when you need him or her the most. Even when they are available, you can be pretty sure that they are juggling a few different responsibilities, and so will be less than 100% focused on your needs. With some negotiation and planning on both sides, you can often find a solution to reconcile a Freelancer’s schedule and work load to your needs. That being said, if you need someone whose availability you can count on, a VA company is the better option.
Remote Assistants at a company specializing in V.A. services have a fixed working schedule and are required to come to the offices of the company they work for. This type of assistant is dedicated to your project/company on a full-time basis, and is thus always available when you need work, reporting, or a quick follow-up on an earlier question or activity.
Another pitfall of working with Freelancers is the fact that you can’t guarantee they will stay with you until the end of their contract or the project you hired them to work on. How many times have you heard horror stories about a Freelancer ditching a company for a more lucrative offer after just a week or two? It happens.
At remote assistants companies, though it works differently. For example, at Mindy Supports we guarantee a painless (and free) replacement process in the unlikely event that your VA decides to leave. If a VA does decide to leave, though, they’re required to give one month’s notice. That’s time enough to hand over your assistants tasks to a new VA and make sure they’re on firm-footing from their first day on the job.
It is an unavoidable fact that you will have less control over a freelancer than an in-house employee. This can be a real problem if you wind up with a freelancer who’s fond of taking afternoons off and working on other clients’ projects when he should be working on yours. .
At VA companies, you’ll have team leads or supervisors to make sure that the assistants you hire are actually doing the work you pay them for. Is that so much to ask? We don’t think so.
At Mindy Supports, your Team Lead will help you plan your assistants work, establish milestones, and set clear progress reporting rules, meaning less time micromanaging and more time getting stuff done.
While this doesn’t affect each and every SMB, there are lots of industries and companies out their which confidentiality concerns prevent from working with freelancers.
Of course, you can ask that they sign an NDA, but you’ll be playing a game with calculated risks. A contract with an actually company gives you more assurance that there is a legal entity liable for unexpected information leaks or disclosures.
What to Look For
There might be thousands of freelancers available, but if you don’t know how to pick the right one, you’ll drown in a sea of choice or settle on the wrong candidate Working with a VA company, though, will give you access to project managers and HR specialists who can help you select and interview candidates. They’ll help you understand a person’s skills, background, and strong sides, enabling you to confidently choose a person who will actually add value to your team.
There are many things to consider when working with freelancers and, if you are new to it, there could be a lot of bumps on the road. When you work with a VA company, however, you’re delegating the work of an assistant to someone with industry experience, who can help save you time, effort, and money.