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They have been described as a Godsend. As a lifesaver for boosting productivity for entrepreneurs. As a game changer for small business. Virtual assistants are taking the entrepreneurial world by storm, and for good reason.

Most virtual assistants work remotely and use technological resources like DropBox and Google Drive to share files with clients, and Toggl to track their time. They generally work from home offices and offer a variety of services in areas like administration, marketing, graphic and web design and IT support.

Cloud Friday uses these softwares to provide our administrative support.

The best part? Hiring a virtual assistant can save you time and money.

No two small businesses are the same, however, so it is crucial to make sure hiring a virtual assistant is right for you before taking the leap. We have done some research to determine some helpful tips to make sure hiring a virtual assistant is right for your business:

Know the costs involved with hiring a virtual assistant

Understanding how opportunity costs impact your business is a crucial starting point when you consider whether to delegate tasks to a virtual assistant. In summary, opportunity cost is what can be gained by asking for help from experts to complete tasks that may allow you as a small business owner to spend more time on something you’re the expert at.

It’s about handing off tasks like scheduling, booking travel arrangements or producing blog content to someone who is capable of doing as good (if not better) a job at it than you would, likely in less time. Many virtual assistants charge rates between $25 and $75 an hour, which will likely end up being less costly than hiring a full-time, on-site assistant. Meanwhile, your time is freed up to focus on whatever your unique skill set is.

Prioritize what tasks to outsource to a virtual assistant

Before hiring a virtual assistant, it is important to prioritize the tasks that could be delegated. Virtual assistants are available to complete any number of things, but Entreprener.com cites scheduling, travel research, social media tasks, database entries and bookkeeping among the most common.

Communication is key, particularly using technology as the means to establish an agreement and make sure expectations are met. Trust can be a challenge at first, especially when you are entrusting someone you’ve likely never met to do something you’re not entirely convinced you can’t do better yourself. Whether you are able and willing to maintain an open and active line of communication is among the best things you need to keep in mind if you’re looking to add some remote help to your team.

Consider how a virtual assistant will become part of the team

While your virtual assistant will probably work off-site, he or she will provide their own technology and office space. You shouldn’t have to worry about investing time and money in training, since they are providing a service they are the expert in. But none of that matters if teamwork isn’t valued from the start. Since the virtual assistant is more often than not physically at the office, it is that much more important that he or she be a team player.

This business is your passion. It means the world to you. It’s not something you log in and out of throughout the day. It may not be all of those things to your virtual assistant, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary to ensure the person is a good fit for the team as a whole.

They may not be a good fit for everyone, but it is important to consider the costs involved, the tasks you need completed and how he or she will fit into the team before hiring a virtual assistant.

Because they can (and are) making a difference in the business realm, being described as everything from a Godsend to a game changer particularly for small businesses.

The best part? Hiring a virtual assistant can save you time and money by allowing you to focus on what you’re good at. To be more productive. To grow your business.