Woohoo! Business is booming and you need some extra help to stay on top of that never-ending to-do list.
If you've started looking for a Virtual Assistant (VA) to help you out, you've probably realised that within the industry, there are a huge range of options, each at a different price point.
While the price of a virtual assistant can vary significantly, the more expensive option isn’t always the better one for you and your business.
Let's break this down below.
Low-cost virtual assistant
On the lower end of the scale, you might hire a VA who is based in India, The Philippines, or other Southeast Asian countries. They are likely to charge around $5-15 USD an hour.
This is a great option if you’re just starting out and aren’t in a financial position to hire a local VA or agency. An international VA will work well where you need someone to do very process driven, repetitive work and you’re able to provide them with clear and detailed instructions. You can delegate things like:
- Digital filing
- Data entry
- Basic research tasks
- Email inbox sorting/filing
If client/customer interaction is not something you require, and you're happy for work to be completed overnight or out of office hours, ready for you the next day, a low-cost VA will work well for you.
You'll find that a VA at this price point is going to be more reactive than proactive to things that happen within your business, so you'll need to have the time available to take the lead on the tasks you want to delegate as well as the ability to check all work (especially anything client facing) thoroughly.
They need specific instructions, and are unlikely to be able to take ownership of something and ‘just run with it’ like you might hope. Be prepared to give detailed, specific and clear instructions plus answer questions.
Working with someone who is based in a country where English is a second language will come with challenges you may not have faced before, and communication difficulties, as well as the difference in time zone and geographical location can lead to an international VA not being as proficient and available as a local.
Many of the countries that you will find low-cost VAs working from, will also have unstable and unreliable internet connections and regular power outages. This can impact the continuity of the service your VA can provide you so it’s something to be aware of.
For many people looking for a cost-effective entry point into the VA market, a low-cost VA is a sensible option. It allows you to hire skilled, remote working team members to complete your low-level admin tasks, while freeing up a portion of your time for higher-level work.
A low-cost VA will: Complete the tasks you set out for them accurately following your detailed instructions.
A low-cost VA won't: Complete high-level tasks for you without a lot of training, or be proactively searching for ways to improve or streamline your tasks or processes.
Mid-range virtual assistant
Mid-range VAs will charge around $30-60 NZD an hour (they may also offer different packages and plans). This will be someone that is working on their own as a contractor/freelancer, most likely without the backing of a full VA agency or team.
Within this price range, you can expect that with clear guidelines and instructions, your VA will be proactive about getting your tasks done, requiring less management than a lower-level VA. This in turn translates to more of your time being freed up for higher-level tasks.
You have the advantage of having a team member with skills that are relevant to the main tasks needing to be completed at your business at a competitive rate.
As this is someone working on their own and not part of a wider team, you will be limited by the skills and experience that this one person has.
If you keep this in mind when searching for a VA, and ensure that their skillset matches with the work you need completed, this isn't likely to cause issues.
The main downside to a VA at this level is that if they are sick, on leave or decide not to work with you anymore there is no backup system. You will have to manage without them until they are back or you’re able to hire someone new.
A mid-range VA will: Proactively complete higher-level tasks for your business with less detailed instructions.
A mid-range VA won’t: Provide continuity of service if they are sick or on leave, or have the backing of a team with a full range of skills.
Premium virtual assistant
On the higher end of the scale, a premium VA or VA agency will cost you around $65 - 150 NZD an hour depending on expertise, experience and services. Nearly all agencies will also offer packages and plans. The main draw card for a VA of this level is that they are likely to be surrounded by a team of experts that can help you with any task you require, or they themselves will have a high-level skill set with many years of experience.
If you're looking for help with a wide scope of tasks such as bookkeeping, creative tasks and day-to-day admin, having this wide skillset or agency support will be an advantage. An agency will also ensure that you have continuity of service if your VA is on leave or leaves the company completely.
At this level, you can expect that your VA is going to take the lead and be proactive with your tasks, completing them while looking for and suggesting ways to further optimise your business. If you’ve got less time to manage your VA or higher-level tasks that need completing, investing in a VA at this end of the scale is likely to be the right option for you.
A premium VA will: Complete high-level or specialised tasks for you while proactively taking the lead and looking for and suggesting ways to optimise your business.
A premium VA won’t: be cost-effective for someone looking for low-level admin support.
Overall, it’s important to keep in mind that the more you spend on a virtual assistant, the less time it will take you to manage the workload that you are delegating. When analysing the cost of hiring a VA, this is something you’ll want to factor in.
Still unsure exactly which option is right for you?
Reach out to our team for a no-obligation discovery call and we can take a deep dive into the world of virtual assistants together.