Why a Virtual Assistant and not an Employee?

Yvonne Weld

Yvonne Weld is the owner of Canadian based ABLE Virtual Assistant Services specializing in providing administrative and bookkeeping support to busy entrepreneurs. She is also the author of The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Thriving Business which provides a step-by-step guide to documenting your business. For your free audio teleclass on the areas you should consider when documenting your business and for more information about The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Thriving Business, visit the Web site.

Yvonne Weld has written 8 articles for SB Informer.

The Virtual Alternative – Why a Virtual Assistant and not an Employee?

by Yvonne Weld

April 18, 2007

A Virtual Assistant is a business owner who provides administrative support and specialized services to assist businesses and executives with their overflow. A Virtual Assistant can handle any task that is usually handled by an in house employee, but unlike an employee, a Virtual Assistant shares your goals to succeed in business; they only succeed if you succeed. But why would you want to work with a Virtual Assistant instead of having the physical presence of an employee?

No Hidden Costs

A Virtual Assistant takes care of all the usual employee related costs including such things as wage related costs, vacation pay, sick days, statutory holidays and benefits. Not only that, when you hire a Virtual Assistant, you are no longer required to pay overhead costs associated with an employee such as providing a computer and the associated software programs or even a desk. With an employee, these costs can add up to 50%-100% over the hourly rate of pay you are paying your employee. With a Virtual Assistant, what you see is what you pay; if the Virtual Assistant charges $35 per hour this is the price you pay.

No Time Commitments


Virtual Assistants can provide you with services on an as-needed basis. If you only require 1 or 2 hours of service this month, that is all you pay for. Where would you find an employee who is willing to work for just 1 to 2 hours per month? In most areas, labour laws require you to pay your employee(s) in 3 to 4 hour blocks of time. So even if you could find someone willing to work for just 1 day per month, you may have to find enough work to keep them busy for those hours or pay them even though they are not being utilized.


Most Virtual Assistants specialize in a niche area where they have experience and/or expertise. This allows you, as a business owner, to work with a highly skilled and experienced person no matter the task at hand. As a business owner you could easily utilize the services of several VAs, each with their own specialty. You could have one VA handling your bookkeeping, one maintaining your Web site and another still planning your corporate events and meetings.

No Wasted Time  

Productivity inefficiencies are a huge concern for employers these days. Many employees, when asked, admit to wasting their employer's time on such things as personal matters, surfing the Internet and socializing with other employees. With a Virtual Assistant you only pay for the time they are actually working on your job. When they are talking to their mother on the telephone, surfing the Internet or socializing, it is on their time and not yours. Many Virtual Assistants take this one step further and dedicate blocks of time completely to your job and will not even answer phone calls or emails during that dedicated time. When they are working on your project it has their complete and absolute attention until the task is completed.

Fellow Business Owner

Perhaps the most important consideration when comparing Virtual Assistants to employees is that unlike an employee, a Virtual Assistant is also a business owner like you. Both you and your Virtual Assistant are interested in achieving success because as your partner they only succeed if you succeed. VAs, more than employees, understand what it takes to run a successful business.

Remember, however the biggest advantage to working with a Virtual Assistant is that you are not limited by the talent pool within your geographical area. Thanks to technological advances, your Virtual Assistant can be the person that best fits your needs and personality, regardless of whether they are in the next state or province, on the other side of the country or even in a completely different country than you are.

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