12 Most Common VA Misconceptions Debunked: How to Overcome Them

Despite the growing popularity and obvious benefits of Virtual Assistants (VAs), some businesses are still reluctant to hire one. This reluctance stems from several misconceptions surrounding this valuable position. This post addresses and corrects the common myths and misunderstandings about virtual assistants and their capabilities. It also includes the steps to overcome these misconceptions.

Benefits of a Virtual Assistant  

First, a brief introduction to the VA position and its benefits. A virtual assistant is a professional who provides administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely from a home office. A VA can perform an unlimited variety of tasks, from specialized like creating graphics to general like answering calls or emails. The benefits of hiring a VA depend on their roles and responsibilities, but the general VA benefits include:

  1. Cost Savings – VAs are often more cost-effective than hiring full-time employees. Businesses can save on overhead costs such as office space, supplies, equipment, and employee benefits.
  2. Time Savings – VAs help their clients save time by doing time-consuming tasks. Thus, they allow business owners and professionals to focus their time on core activities.
  3. Increased Productivity – VAs help businesses streamline their processes to increase productivity and efficiency, leading to improved overall performance.
  4. Flexibility – VAs offer flexible support, allowing businesses to increase or decrease the working hours based on the changing business demands or needs.
  5. Access to Specialized Skills – VAs come with specialized skills in various areas such as accounting, marketing, real estate, etc., providing businesses with access to expertise they may not have in-house.
  6. Round-the-clock Availability – VAs can work across different time zones, providing businesses with 24/7 support if necessary.

VA Myths and Misconceptions

Knowing and understanding the misconceptions surrounding the VA position helps potential clients and businesses hire the best VAs for their needs.

Myth 1. VAs are only for large corporations.

This is a myth because VAs can cater to businesses of all sizes, from startups to large corporations. Even individuals offering professional services or those who are yet to launch their businesses can delegate some of their routine tasks to a VA. Similarly, an established company with a complex organizational chart can utilize VA support wherever it is needed.

To get the most out of VA support, make sure that you define your business needs completely. Create a detailed list of the tasks you want to delegate to a VA, highlighting the skills and knowledge you require from them. Hence, you are poised to find the right match for your business, no matter the size or stage.

Myth 2. VAs can only handle basic tasks.

Because the most popular VAs are those who perform routine administrative tasks, most businesses fail to recognize that VAs are professionals with varied specialized skills. VAs can take on complex tasks such as data analysis, content creation, and project management if given the chance and proper training.

Like any employee, VAs can improve their skills and advance into more complex tasks with your proper guidance and support. Provide clear instructions and the right tools to motivate your VA to keep developing and improving their skills and capabilities. 

Myth 3. VAs cannot compare against in-house staff.

Most VAs have extensive backgrounds and experience in a certain field, making them just as competent as, if not more than, an in-house staff. You will not find a VA without a particular skill in areas such as marketing, graphic design, writing, social media management, and many more.

Your VA can be better than an in-house staff with the right training. Remote conditions should not limit you from sharing your knowledge and expertise to make your VA the ideal employee and company asset you want them to be.

Myth 4. VAs are not reliable or accountable.

Physical presence is no longer a guarantee of reliability and accountability. Traditional in-house employees are now more prone to low productivity and performance than remote workers. With the right tools, clear communication, and focus on results, employers can expect high reliability from VAs.

Provide tools and platforms to track your VA’s work and ensure they meet deadlines. Use communication tools such as video calls and instant messaging to keep in touch with VA and monitor their progress. Create a culture of accountability through responsible leadership, supportive and constructive feedback, and positive reinforcement.

Myth 5. VAs are expensive.

VAs seem expensive because businesses only see the additional cost to their operations. The cost-effectiveness benefits of hiring a VA are only evident upon closer inspection. In reality, VAs cost only a fraction of the price of a full-time employee yet produce larger amounts of work in shorter periods.

Track the costs of hiring your VA to make sure that these align with your budget and other considerations. Evaluate your VA’s output in comparison to the amount you pay them to gauge the cost-saving benefit and improve it if necessary.

Myth 6. VAs cannot provide personalized service.

VAs are experts when it comes to providing personalized services. Most VAs have experience in handling multiple clients all at once and can adapt to varying client requirements and management styles. With the right training and clear work instructions, VAs can deliver high-quality personalized service.

Empower your VA to keep up with your changing business or professional needs through constant and transparent communication. Train them to anticipate your needs by keeping them in the loop about your business activities, current challenges, and potential directions in the future. Also, encourage your VA to take initiative, contribute their personal insights, and participate in strategizing for your goals.

Myth 7. VAs are not secure.

Most clients are reluctant to hire VAs because of security concerns. In reality, VAs are among the most experienced employees in incorporating data security and confidentiality in their work practices. The protection of sensitive information and the importance of following security protocols are at the top of their priorities because these not only benefit their clients but themselves.

Before hiring VAs, you must take the necessary data security steps to ensure your protection. Discuss your security protocols with your VA and train them to abide by these protocols. Some of the common security protocols implemented when hiring VAs include the use of secure communication channels, encryption of sensitive data, and the use of NDAs (non-disclosure agreements).

Myth 8. VAs lack long-term commitment.

Most businesses do not see VAs as a long-term solution for their needs, thinking that these freelancers can only provide temporary assistance. In fact, most VAs seek long-term relationships with their clients and are committed to their business’s success. With proper management and training, a VA can easily adapt and grow with the business, providing valuable support for years to come.

Whether you plan to have your VA for a short or long-term engagement, be transparent and communicate your plans with them. Establish your clear expectations, provide regular feedback, and foster a supportive work environment to help build loyalty and long-term collaboration. 

Myth 9. VAs are difficult to manage.

The remote working setup and requirements of a VA can pose difficulties when managing them. Most businesses get discouraged from hiring a VA once they learn about the software, applications, and tools needed in onboarding, managing, and communicating with them. But these requirements and steps seem more complicated than they really are. When you hire the right VA, there is a great chance that they are already well-versed and experienced with these steps, helping you go through the process with less effort.

If it’s your first time hiring a VA, do your research. Read and ask your colleagues or business associates about their experience in hiring VAs. Research project management software, time-tracking applications, communication platforms, and other tools that can make managing VAs more efficient and effective. Once you get past the initial adjustment and training period, you and your VA can work together to find ways to improve your setup and further streamline your processes.

Myth 10. VAs are not trustworthy.

This myth comes from the unsupported belief that you need physical presence to trust somebody. Add to that the negative experiences that some people had in the early days of remote work when there were less effective management practices and tools available. Nowadays, the remote work industry has more advanced technologies and communication tools to ensure that VAs are productive, reliable, and trustworthy.

To ensure that you hire a trustworthy VA, hire a certified professional who comes with verifiable recommendations and references. Perform a thorough vetting process and use security measures and the right performance monitoring tools. Finally, foster a relationship of trust and accountability through open communication, supportive actions, and constructive feedback.

Myth 11. VAs have limited working hours.

The best benefit of hiring VAs is their flexible hours and their ability to adjust their schedules to meet the needs of their clients. They can also work in various time zones and thus, can work outside their client’s business hours if necessary. They can also work part-time or full-time, allowing their clients to hire them on an as per needed basis.

The limit on a VA’s working hours is dictated by their clients. Ensure the adequate availability of your VA by clearly defining your time requirements from the outset. To further ensure that your VA meets your requirements on availability, response times, and working hours, consider using SLAs or Service Level Agreements. Using effective scheduling tools and maintaining regular communication also helps ensure that you get the correct amount of support from your VA.

Myth 12. The best VAs are hard to find.

With the large influx of remote workers seeking virtual assistant positions, finding high-quality VAs can be challenging and time-consuming. In reality, there are many helpful platforms and agencies that can bring you closer to the best VA that fit your requirements. The VA industry is growing significantly and widening its global reach, providing more and better options for different business needs.

You can easily find the best VAs using reputable platforms and agencies that pre-vet and screen their VAs to match your specific requirements. You can also ask your professional network for their recommendations. Once you’ve made a list of potential VAs, conduct a thorough interview process to discuss your expectations and assess their qualifications and skills. Don’t skip the checking of their references and investigation on their backgrounds.

Demystifying VAs with Remote Raven

Believing these myths are keeping you from enjoying the valuable benefits a VA can give your business. In these fast-paced and demanding times, you need a VA to compete, thrive, and stay relevant. Let Remote Raven help. Leverage our decades of experience connecting VAs with businesses and our large pool of diverse talents.

A single call is all it takes to find the best VA for your needs. Let us know what you need a VA for, and we will pick the best for you to interview. Rest assured that you will only be referred to professionals with years of experience, rigorously trained and background checked. Remote Raven also handles the onboarding, time-tracking, and other VA management tasks for you. Schedule a call with our outsourcing experts today!