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Virtual Assistants, Employees and Technology

A time will come in our business where you may need to decide whether you should hire an employee or not. This can happen for any number of reasons:

  • Business is picking up
  • Your available time is less
  • You don’t have time for administrative or clerical things
  • Your expertise isn’t adequate for the particular job.

The main problem with employees: employees are expensive! Costs can include:

  • Wages
  • Employment Taxes
  • Benefits
  • and materials to perform job functions

Some of these costs can be avoided by contracting, or hiring a virtual assistants or freelancers (if that is even an option for you), but the most expensive part of an employee is buying their time. Unfortunately, that is the one cost that you really can’t avoid. On top of that, you also have to pay for an employee’s inefficiency (ouch).

Virtual Assistants & Freelancers

What are the alternatives to hiring an employee? Firstly, I believe employees are extremely valuable to an organization, but it is easy to hire unnecessarily without considering your other options. As stated earlier, you can hire a Virtual Assistant or Freelancer, which is a specialized person that works remotely on your projects.

They can perform any number of tasks, so long as they are things that are capable of being done online. The cost and location of Virtual assistants will vary greatly. Many can be hired domestically, and there are plenty also available overseas. There are many websites that cater to Virtual Assistants such as:

While these types of employees are much more affordable than a local employee sitting in your office, they can still be terribly expensive. In some instances, they may even end up being more expensive. What other options are there?

Rescued By Technology

Technology is the first place that anyone should look. We are all familiar with the phrase “there’s an app for that” and largely it is true. Regardless of what you need done, there is bound to be a piece of technology out there that can make the job easier.

This isn’t to say that the technology will make everything effortless, but with a bit of education, and the right technology, you may be able to put off hiring an employee. Obviously, you should ensure that the technology will make things cheaper for you in the long run. There will always be someone willing to sell you an overpriced solution, so be sure to weigh all of your options.

Intimidation Not Permitted

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of using new technology. Every technology has a learning curve, but if you can overcome it, then you will save yourself a lot of money. One example I can offer from my own experience: I needed graphics for various online projects. What were my options:

  • Purchase Graphics – Expensive
  • Hire a graphic designer – Expensive
  • Use Public Domain Graphics – Generally, they are unappealing

What did I decide to do? I tapped technology for my answer. I found many pieces of software out there that claimed to make me into a professional graphics designer over night. Much of the software was in the multiple hundreds of dollars, and I just didn’t want to spend that much.

After a lot of research, I found a free, open source software called GIMP. It had a relatively steep learning curve, and it took me quite a while to master, but now I can make many of my own graphics in a few minutes. This free application has saved me hundreds of dollars easily (not counting the money saved from not purchasing a different software).

Don’t be intimidated by technology. Grab the bull by the horns and get the job done. Fear will cost you thousands of dollars if you don’t explore what you are capable of doing!

How has technology saved you money?

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