How do businesses justify the costs of hiring a virtual administrator like Blue Ninja Business Support? Let’s explore the value of hiring a professional virtual administrator, and why in the long run it can bring so much value and is such a good investment.
An excellent administrator is like gold dust to a business. Many businesses often don’t realise the value of and knowledge held by their administrators until the administrator leaves. Years of knowledge and experience walks out the door. Administrators are being asked to do so much more within the scope of their current job (and usually with the same salary). Discussions at Office Show in London, UK on 1-2 March 2017 were very concerning when Personal Assistants (PAs) mention that they are now expected to manage between 1-3 Directors are in some instances to cover up to 6 Directors or more. That’s a very troubling thought. Is there an expectation that the PA can do all that work at the level they have been doing it in the past? Probably not. The reason behind it is often that the PA will just have to deal with it. It’s such a worrying situation and one that in this political climate will change back to a more manageable situation.
A virtual administrator (VA) can be brought in to help share the load, ease the burden on the team as much as possible. VAs are excellent at our jobs and we care about the end result. The value we add is as follows:
1. A virtual administrator is only needed when needed
Many businesses don’t even know about VAs, or how they can hire a VA simply and efficiently. Traditionally the scope of business support as been defined as full-time and temporary (temp). From experience being a temp is hard work, and the expectations of support are sometimes misaligned with what the business actually requires. For instance, an administrator was brought in to support a Board meeting over 2 days that was very technical. The person tried their best and did a reasonable job, but what that company needed was a consulting administrator who has been briefed on the business and could adequately prepare for such an important meeting.
By recognising what specific skill-set is actually required at the time means a business can bring in an administrator who has a high-level proficiency with that skill. Blue Ninja professionals have a broad skill-set, but it’s recognised the team are not experts in everything. Administrators find their talents and work hard at maintaining and growing those talents. If they don’t know, they will find out and learn (on their own time) to become more proficient. Blue Ninja CEO Louisa is excellent at managing administrative processes, projects and people – grants programmes, meetings and conferences – she anticipates and plans with a very detailed, logical mind. She wants whatever task is being worked on to be a success.
Businesses could consider hiring a virtual administrator to assess and advise on what administrative support is needed. This can save so much time and money in the long run as the company will know what administrative support they need most and bring in administrators with those key skills, with clear deliverables. Administrators can also help train and bring other administrators up to speed if necessary – there are so many possibilities to the support a VA can provide.
2. Hiring temps will not solve the team’s administrative burden
Businesses want to save money. Administrators, secretaries and office support staff are usually the first to go when it comes to the crunch, or family is often asked to help, possibly very reluctantly. In order to balance a loss of support, businesses often turn to agencies to bring in temps to fill the void. To be honest, in many situations you get what you pay for. The chart below shows the UK national minimum wage rates that came into effect in the UK as of April 2018.
A search of a national administrative job website shows temp administrator positions are hiring between £8 – £13 per hour for receptionists, administrative assistants, data entry administrators, medical secretary, business support, customer service and more. Senior administrators are coming in around £12 -£14 per hour on a search of the same website. Positions that require someone to be the ‘professional face’ of the company, relate to customers and stakeholders, understand and support the needs of the team and the business are earning just above the UK national minimum wage.
How long does that temp last for? Is there are a relationship of trust and commitment that can be developed with a temp? Some businesses have hired temp after temp and in the end re-established a full-time administrative position because they were spending so much more on hiring than they had for the position. Businesses need to account for agency costs, staff time and team frustration at the turnover of support staff.
A professional VA will likely start from £25 upwards. Don’t be shocked. This should be expected if you’re getting someone with the level of training, experience and skills that VA’s have. Think of us as being at the level of executives and managers. We are valuable, and by giving us a chance we can really show you what we can do. Administrators are often at the heart of companies – we’re the hub of everything. Want to plan a meeting – who do you go to first? Who runs your office? What team can operate without an administrator? Think of what you would do if you didn’t have an administrator supporting you, then think of what value you place on that person versus what you pay.
3. You do not need to pay all the extras with a virtual administrator
What you see is what you get with a VA. Businesses do not have to pay tax, leave, sick pay, equipment (extra fees) for this wonderful person. We are business owners ourselves which mean we pay tax ourselves, we train ourselves, we have insurance, we have contracts and legal support, we have our own office setup – it’s a dream come true! Why are businesses not using VAs more and more? As mentioned previously, it may be that businesses don’t know that VAs are a feasible option for business support. The usual channels of hiring are used time and time again. The value of a VA cannot be understated. VAs know our stuff, it’s why we’ve gone into business offering administrative services. We want to help, we want to build a relationship of trust and commitment with a company so we can be useful when an administrator is needed.
VAs are very careful and discrete about client confidentiality, and we make sure we have strict protocols in place to protect our clients and their information. We work with businesses and maintain procedures to protect data, and we are mindful of what information we have and where it’s stored. We are GDPR compliant and have taken training to make sure we understand what requirements there are under GDPR. If you’re not sure about how a virtual administrator works, please ask. Blue Ninja Busines Support is very happy to have a chat – the more relaxed a team is with using a VA, the better the service and support will be.
4. All the cards are stacked for businesses to win by using virtual administrators
What negatives come from using a VA? Businesses win every time. VAs are fast, efficient and careful with our time. We know you’re paying for what you get, so we make sure we use our time wisely. Not happy, let’s talk. Still not happy, hire another virtual administrator.
What do you have to lose?