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Virtual Assistant Vs Employee: What Successful Entrepreneurs Choose



Hiring the right employees for your business is just not crucial, but also essential for the growth of your business.

Finding the right talent is always challenging, time consuming and mentally draining.

If you are a startup owner and juggling between hiring a full time employee, or a virtual assistant – I would help you with the dilemma of who you should choose – a virtual assistant or an in-house employee.

After you finish reading this post, you will be able to make an informed decision based on your needs.

What virtual assistant can do

Gone are the days when virtual assistants used to be only virtual personal assistants.
Now they are skilled professionals who are adept at completing a wide range of tasks from social media promotion to eCommerce product listing.
In case you haven’t heard about virtual assistants before, let me tell you that they are not new.

Many successful companies, such as Buffer, Mozilla,Genuitec, etc. only hire virtual assistants.

So a virtual assistant is not someone who is sitting in an ivory tower.
Instead, a virtual assistant is a real person who is skilled in their chosen skill set.
You might be wondering!

What tasks can you assign to your virtual assistants?
Here is the list of some tasks that you can outsource to a virtual assistant

  • Social media management
  • Real Estate
  • eCommerce listing
  • Email & chat support
  • Internet research
  • Accounting & bookkeeping
  • Administrative tasks such as booking flights & hotels
  • Creating documents/spreadsheets/PowerPoint presentations
  • Creating of a corporate blog
  • Emailing potential new clients
  • Customer service (calls, follow up, getting billing, etc.)
  • Newsletters (Aweber, Constant Contact, InfusionSoft, 1ShoppingCart, MailChimp)
  • Website creation / design / development / maintenance (versed in WordPress, Dreamweaver, Joomla and Weebly)
  • Managing Google/ Outlook calendar on your behalf

Virtual Assistants Vs In-house Employees:

Cost Comparison

A virtual assistant or in-house employee?
To answer this question, let us consider this imaginary situation – you want to do social media promotion of your business.
You have two options: the first is to hire an in-house employee and the second is to go for a virtual assistant.

Let us consider you hire an in-house employee for social media promotion.
For social media managers salaries, Indeed’s national average was $61,000 per annum.

While, Glassdoor’s national average was $47,190.

And PayScale showed a median salary of $46,984 per annum.

The point here is you will pay around $40,000 to $60,000 per annum for the social media management of your business.
That makes around $23.43 per hour, considering an employee is working 40 hours per week with an annual salary of $45,000.
Now, let us have a look at how much a virtual assistant costs.

This is a virtual assistant cost comparison chart of Acelerar:

Suppose you choose the Gold plan, you will have to pay $4.5 per hour*, while you will have to pay $23.43 per hour for a regular employee.

What’s your benefits in hiring a social media virtual assistant?

You can save $ 18.75 per hour by hiring a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistant wages are so low that you can save lots of money.

Click here to start a free trial of your virtual assistant.

Cost of Training:

Virtual assistants are skilled professionals. So you don’t have to spend any money to train them.
In case you don’t like the work of a virtual assistant, you can ask for a replacement.
Leading companies, such as Acelerar, easily replace virtual assistants if clients are not satisfied with their work.
What’s more, Acelerar offers a free trial of its virtual assistant services.
Sometimes, the employee you hire needs training. Of Course, it is you who are going to bear the cost of training.

As per 2014 Training Industry report from training magazine, the annual training budget totaled an average of $308,000 in 2014.

But this is not the case with virtual assistants.
They start working the moment you hire them. Only you have to provide them with a brief information about your business, objectives, and goals.

Cost of operation
When you hire an employee, there is an operating cost (office expenses & equipment) associated with it.

Even if you go for used work cubes, you will spend around $2,000 to build a proper working space and $1000+ for a computer and $500 for useful software. And don’t forget the periodic expensive upgrades.

Hiring a virtual assistant can save you more than $3000 initially.

Other Expenses

Needless to say, when you hire an in-house employee, you will have to think about payroll taxes and vacation pay.

But if you hire a virtual assistant, you won’t have to worry about anything.

Virtual assistants pay taxes themselves or the agency sourcing them. And you will not have to pay any retirement benefit to the virtual assistant you hire.

Here is a list of top benefits you need to pay to a regular employee:

  • Health/medical care
  • Paid sick leave
  • Short term disability
  • Paid personal leave
  • Long term care insurance
  • Paid family leave
  • Payroll taxes

If you hire a virtual assistant, you won’t have to provide these benefits. This can save you a huge amount of money.

“I love my virtual assistant because I only need her for a few hours each month. I pay a reasonable amount for a block of hours, and I share her with her other clients, so I don’t have to pay someone to sit around my office waiting for me to think of something I need help with”, says Marisa Smith in her post on the whole brain.

The biggest benefit of hiring virtual assistants is that you can scale up business operations without any risk.
As virtual assistants are paid on an hourly basis, you can hire them as long as you need them.
However, this is not the case with an in-house employee. You cannot ask them to leave at your will, even when there is no work.
What’s more, virtual assistants work as per the schedules of their clients. So, they can add flexibility to your business.
Suppose, if you want to offer 24/7 phone support, hire a virtual assistant from a different time-zone and you are all set.

To know more about how you can get benefit from hiring a virtual assistant, read my previous post: Why are Virtual Assistants Hired by Successful Entrepreneurs?

What Industry Leaders Says:
Author, Blogger, and Speaker Michael S. Hyatt said in his article 7 Reasons You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant,
“I’m convinced that virtual assistants are the future. Tricia has worked for me, fifteen hours a week, since last August. Honestly, it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. Many successful entrepreneurs I know are following suit.”

Dave Nevogt said in his article Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Virtual Assistant,
“A good virtual assistant can be the difference between a productive a non-productive small business. By outsourcing administrative and non-core tasks through a virtual assistant or BPO, small businesses free up its time to maximize business efforts.”

Renée Warren explained in her article The Virtual Assistant: A Startup’s Secret Weapon,
“If it doesn’t make sense to hire a full-time employee, but having an extra hand on projects is essential to your growth, it’s probably time to hire a virtual assistant.”


Virtual assistants are a secret weapon for startup owners. By hiring a virtual assistant, you not only save a great amount of money, but also add flexibility to your organization.

You don’t need to train them, you don’t have to offer them office space, and you don’t have to provide them with sick or earned leaves. Neither you have to provide them any retirement benefit.

So whenever you need to increase headcount in your organization next time, think about hiring a virtual assistant first.

What about you?
Have you ever hired a virtual assistant?
Do share your thought in the comment section. I’d love to hear about it.

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