Thinking about hiring a Virtual Assistant?

You’re bound to have questions if you have never worked with a virtual assistant before. Here are our most frequently asked questions. They’ll give you a good idea of what we do, how we work, and how we can help you. If your question hasn’t been covered, please get in touch and we’ll happy respond with the answer.

What is a virtual assistant?

A virtual assistant is someone who works on a freelance basis to support you, and your business, with a range of administrative and technical tasks. It’s our job to free up your time to focus on your clients or even take a break!

What can you do to assist me?
Banks’ Business Solutions currently offers a range of services, from general administration and customer service, through to email management, website design and technical support. You can find more details on our how we can help page.

How do you ensure that my brand is represented at all times through your work?
We know that your brand and business voice is important. That’s why we work hard to understand your business from our initial conversation with you, and prefer to work with clients within the Derby area, so we can meet and develop a strong rapport. When producing work for you, we will spend time ensuring that we fully understand your needs and requirements, and nothing will be finalised until you are completely happy with it.

Initially we will get it wrong – we aren’t perfect! But overtime the more we work together the more we will understand your brand and message and will therefore consistently get things right.

How do I know if hiring a virtual assistant will work for me?

You don’t, but you won’t know unless you try!

Both of us need to be happy working together with a strong working relationship to get things right. Not every virtual assistant is going to be the right fit for every business. This is why we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, followed by a two month trial period. This ensures that we can work well together.

I need someone on a regular basis. Why should I work with a virtual assistant instead of hiring an employee?
There are pros and cons to working with a virtual assistant and taking on an employee. Whilst the hourly rate of a virtual assistant might seem higher to that of an employee, you are saving money by not having to pay sick leave, annual leave, NI and other employer contributions or a permanent desk space.

We find that a lot of companies only need support on an ad-hoc basis, so they don’t want to commit to an employee. A virtual assistant can be a great option, even on a temporary basis, to support you and your business before you are big enough to be able to take on permanent staff. If you want to understand more about the benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant, take a look at this blog post ‘Benefits of working with a homeworker’.

I already have a team of staff but need someone with specific skills for a project I have. Can I still work with a Virtual Assistant?
Of course you can! You probably have a great workforce, but if they’re lacking in a particular skill set that you require for a short time, it makes perfect sense to hire an expert for the job. A virtual assistant can bring fresh eyes to a scenario as they aren’t as invested in the business as you and your employees. They can also draw on their knowledge and skills from other clients to present you with new solutions to old problems. This enables you to work more efficiently, and effectively.

How will I send work to you?
Work can be sent via email, agreed over the phone or shared via your current task management/crm system.

Where will you work?
Most of our work is conducted from our home office, however we are happy to discuss working on site, if that is what you need.

How will you keep me informed of work progress?
We like to treat each client individually rather than having a standardised way of doing this. During our initial consultation we will agree when, and how, you will be informed of completed work. As a minimum, all clients will receive a monthly phone consultation with Sarah to discuss details of work completed and review priorities for the coming month.

What software do you use?
On a day to day basis, we work with Microsoft Office Suite, Google Docs, Mailchimp, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Hootsuite, Buffer, Co-schedule, Canva, WordPress, and other bespoke software for our clients. We also back up our work and share files with you using Dropbox, OneDrive and GoogleDrive.

If there is a software package that you specifically use for your company, and we aren’t familiar with it, we are more than happy to learn how to use it so that we can support you better.

I know I need help, but I have no idea where to start?
This is more common than you think. A lot of entrepreneurs start out on their own and get to a point where their business has grown, and they are totally overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do.

Identifying the key areas where a Virtual Assistant can support you can be difficult. So before you consider contacting anyone, I suggest you start by writing down everything you do for at least a week. At the end of that time, review the list and identify the tasks that took you less than an hour, or that could have been completed by someone else. These are the tasks that you should consider outsourcing to a virtual assistant.

Is there a minimum number of hours that I need to commit to?
No. We provide a bespoke service, and you can either ask for help on an ad-hoc basis, purchase a block of hours and use them when you need them, ask for support with a one-off project, or request regular ongoing support. The choice is completely yours, and we would be very happy to talk to you about your specific business requirements.

Do you have set working hours?
We work on a flexible basis in order to meet the needs of our clients, however we do have set days when we are in the office and can be contacted. All clients are sent a newsletter at the start of each month that details any changes to the current working hours, as well as notifying you of any days when we won’t be available.

What happens if you are sick or on holiday?
This is an understandable concern for someone working with a virtual assistant. We are lucky to have a number of Virtual Assistant’s that we work with to provide cover, and if you sign up to regular support we will discuss this with you and introduce you to the most appropriate person for your needs.

Everyone gets sick from time and time, and we will always let you know if your work will be affected. The benefit of working with a freelancer is that if we are sick, we will usually work additional hours once we are better to ensure that your deadlines are still met.

Of course we need to take a break as well! We usually take 2-3 weeks annual leave a year, and will always give you at least three months’ notice of holidays and arrange cover, if required.

My work is confidential, will you sign a confidentiality agreement?

All information and data that we handle for our clients is treated in the strictest of confidence, and used only for the purposes of fulfilling our commitments to you. We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a data controller. Click here to view our registration certificate.

Our standard client agreement includes a confidentiality clause, however are also happy to sign any additional confidentiality agreements that you may require.

How much does hiring a Virtual Assistant cost?

You can choose to work with us on an ad-hoc basis hourly basis from £28.00 an hour, or you can purchase a block of hours for a fixed price.

We also provide fixed feed quotes on a ‘per project’ basis, and have fixed price packages for our email marketing, WordPress website design and technical services.

For our general administration services, we are also happy to provide you with a fixed price quote for a set number of tasks.

For more information, please take a look at our pricing page.

How do I get started?
Contact us today via our contact form, and arrange an initial conversation. Or, you can visit our how we can help page to find out more about how we can assist you.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.