Why you Should Hire a VA

Hire a Virtual Assistant

When you run a small business you are going to find that at times you don’t have enough time for everything you need to do. Whether it is the administrative tasks, website updates or simply sending out emails; hiring a virtual assistant might just be the ideal solution.

What can a VA do for you?

There are a wide range of tasks that you can hire a virtual assistant for.

These can be daily, weekly or as and when you need them and vary from social media marketing, SEO, WordPress maintenance and blog management to the more traditional personal assistant services including office support and appointment setting. It really is down to what you need and the specialist areas of business of the VA you choose.

If you are considering hiring a virtual assistant but not sure if it is going to be the right move for your business then take a look at these benefits.

It frees up your time

Every business owner wants to make money right? So why spend time sending out invoices, replying to enquiries or researching and posting on social media? By doing these tasks yourself you are not making any money for your business.

They are flexible

When you employ somebody then you will need to hold them to a contract, setting out hours that they will work. This may not suit every business, especially those that have seasonal peaks and troughs. Instead of hiring someone directly, why not contract a freelance VA instead? You can ask them to work for you as and when you need them.

More affordable than hiring an employee

Whilst you may think that paying out for a VA seems like an extravagance, when you compare it to the costs associated to hiring an employee it really is a more affordable option.

Why is this? Well, for a start you are not providing any office space or equipment for them to work from. They won’t require you to pay benefits such as a pension or taxes and you won’t need to pay for any training or development as this is something that they will already have.

Best of all, as we have already seen above, you only pay when you need them, meaning that you can hire someone based on your own budget at that time.

” Most small business owners have limited time and expertise. Hiring a virtual assistant allows the business to grow by allowing the business owner to hire for skill and/or to assign the VA tasks that are not income generating Michelle Mangen from thevirtualasst.com

Finding the right VA for you

Now you have decided that a VA is going to be right for your business, you will need to set out to find the perfect one.

There are a variety of options to consider when looking to hire a virtual assistant:

Independent worker or agency worker?  Finding a reliable, trustworthy VA is going to be pretty high on your list of considerations, so this may mean that you turn to an agency who has a database of different VA’s for you to choose from.

However, in doing this you will often have to pay a finding fee or even a monthly fee to the agency. Independent, freelance VA’s can be just as good quality and you can often find them on freelance websites where you can see feedback and ratings from previous clients.

Make sure they are the right fit. Just like when you hire a new employee, a VA that you instruct to work for you should be the right fit for your business. It is important to interview them face to face if they are local to you (or by Skype if distance is an issue). There is a good chance that you will want to entrust them to make some important decisions, so you will want to ensure that they won’t jeopardise your good name.

How much can you afford?  Another important consideration is your own budget. It is likely that more qualified, established VA’s will cost you more to hire; so if budget is no issue then these are the best bet for you.

For those companies that have a tighter budget, you may want to consider looking for a start-up or new VA who still possesses all the skills you need, but may accept a lower rate in order to gain experience and referrals. That way, you not only pay less for the service, but you will also grow and develop with the VA, making sure that you work well together.

No matter what VA you choose, there really is no argument that they will become a truly useful and important addition to the everyday running of your business.

Looking to hire a virtual assistant? Take a look here at how I can help you.

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Our Favourite WordPress Plugins

Wordpress Plugins

If you’re working with a WordPress website, you’ll soon realise how plain and boring it is without the proper plugins. Just like there’s an app for everything on your phone, there’s a WordPress plugin for anything you could need on your website. However, you don’t just want to add as many plugins that you can get your hands on – you want to pick the best ones so that your website can stay organised and functional. That’s why I’ve put together a list of my favourite plugins.

BackUpWordPress

Probably the number one must-have on the list, this particular plugin allows you to back-up your WordPress site. We’ve found that this has saved our clients skins more than once, and with the plugin also having a feature that allows you to schedule automatic backups daily or even twice daily, you don’t even have to think about it. It all just happens in the background!

Wordfence Security

The ultimate security plugin, this is a recommended option if you want your website to stay as safe as possible. It has a high-speed cache along with all of the security it provides. Wordfence Security prevents your site from ever getting hacked by identifying and protecting any malicious traffic. The plugin blocks out any potential attackers so that your website stays secure at all times, a benefit for you and all the others visitors who visit your site.

Yoast SEO

This plugin allows you to optimise your content so that you can reach out to a wider audience. Enhance your website with XML sitemaps, on-page content analysis, and more from the all-in-one SEO solution. Yoast SEO is actually one of the most frequently downloaded and most popular plugins from the inventory of plugins that WordPress offers. It not only analyzes and helps you correct common SEO mistakes, but it teaches you why you’re making those mistakes in the first place, enhancing your SEO skills every time you log onto your site.

Simple Share Buttons Adder

The title kind of speaks for itself, but you want your visitors to be able to share the content and pictures that they’re engaging in on your website – this plugin allows you to do just that. Giving visitors a share button for all of the popular social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, allows them to do your marketing and networking for you!

W3 Total Cache

This is a great framework for WordPress Performance. Not only does it increase the page speed and enhance the overall user’s experience, but W3 Total Cache also has a fantastic reputation as it is. It’s recommended by web hosts like Go Daddy and DreamHost and trusted by companies like AT&T, not to mention trusted and recommended by us on this very website.

Contact Form 7 and Contact Form 7 Style

These plugins allow you to make it easy for visitors to contact you, as the website owner, and it also works well on tablets and mobiles. Using both of these plugins simultaneously will allow you to format your forms to look great as the standard contact 7 form is rather basic and would need advanced knowledge to change the design.

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

A tracking code is automatically inserted into every page on your website when you use this plugin. That tracking code allows you to get real-time statistics for each page in your dashboard. Google Analytics reports and information are also available for display once you being to utilize this plugin.

TinyMCE Advanced

TinyMCE is an advanced editor in your wordpress control panel, allowing you to make changes to your pages with options that aren’t available with the standard wordpress editor such as changing the size of the font and font family.

OptinMonster

Create glorious pop-ups and opt-in forms that your readers will actually interact with instead of just finding annoying. You get to see all the analytics live and it has an exit-intent technology, which basically means when a user is about to leave your site, an opt-in form pops up. It also has features like split testing and page-level targeting.

Jetpack

This last plugin has a variety of features that makes it almost a must-have for the majority of our websites. It helps with, optimizes, and enhances everything from security to image performance. It can help protect your website, get more traffic, and optimize it for speed and performance.

These WordPress plugins most likely won’t complete your website, but it’ll get all of the basics and necessities that you need out of the way so that you can focus on niche-specific plugins in the future.

I’m a freelance web designer in London and can advise you on all aspects of WordPress design and set up!