There’s often a misconception about how business owners and leaders see their in-house staff and virtual assistants. Often, they allow themselves to view their employees and virtual assistants as liabilities rather than assets. For example, if a crisis or disaster strikes, what is usually the first response from the business owner? The business owner is not going to give sign on bonuses, host company retreats or go through with a merger or acquisition. The first response is to do a lay-off. They see that cutting their biggest expense will keep their business afloat. They act and respond to a crisis as if the very source giving their business life is too much risk to keep.
However, we propose that this strategy and mentality is a short-term fix that won’t benefit the growth and health of your business in the long run. Rather, seeing your employees and virtual assistants as an asset to the company that can generate positive ROI will be more fruitful than viewing them as a liability that could cost your business.
Below are 4 reasons why your employees and virtual assistants are assets and how to create a hybrid team of in-house staff and virtual assistants for a leaner workforce.
1.) Produce a Positive ROI Through Employees’ Hard Work and Skillset
Your employees and virtual assistants alike, can bring a high level of labor, skill, and diverse perspective to the workplace. Even new employees who have never had experience with your company, can bring so much experience and skill from their last role. This can enable fresh ideas and new campaigns to be formed that can catapult your company’s brand awareness and sales.
Additionally, as a business owner, it can be difficult to do all of it yourself. You may be finding yourself hustling so hard to complete a lot of the grunt work that doesn’t directly contribute to sales or business growth. That’s why your employees and virtual assistants are so important. Your virtual assistants can complete much of the grunt work or repetitive work so you and your in-house staff can focus on business strategy, closing sales, and other aspects that contribute directly to business growth.
Over time, your team of in-house staff and virtual assistants can produce so much work and unique value to your brand and company that you as a business owner wouldn’t have been able to do alone. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the value of your team.
2.) They are Your Brand Ambassadors
Your in-house staff and virtual assistants are also your brand ambassadors. Not only did you hire them, because you thought they were skillful enough for the job, but you saw how their passions, interests and personality fit into the company like a glove. They may have expressed an appreciation for your product during the interview, they may volunteer their free time towards a similar mission and hold the same values you do, or you may have seen something else in them that showed you they care about what your company is doing. Every time your employee talks to an internal or external stakeholder, or uses your product or service, they are sending out more knowledge and awareness about your existence to others. Over time, as you hire more in-house staff and virtual assistants, the more influence you will have.
3.) They Invest in You as You Invest in Them
In order to gain a higher return on the investment you make when you hire in-house staff and virtual assistants, treat them as if they will stay with you forever. Invest in yo
ur employees by giving them help on educational pursuits, year-end bonuses for performance, and more. Doing this will create greater trust and confidence between you and the person you have working for you. When you have that long term mindset, and are willing to support their journey too, they will feel motivated to achieve more for your company. They will feel recognized for their work and effort.
At Virtudesk, we helped our virtual assistants during the typhoon that occurred in mid-November this year. Many of our virtual assistants’ homes were damaged or lost their possessions. Our founder, Pavel Stepanov, made sure to provide relief to our virtual assistants so that they can feel safe and secure in their job and home. We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but it’s a good example of how you can care for your business family.
4.) In-House Staff and Virtual Assistants Together Create a Leaner Workforce
We often find that business owners will hire a virtual assistant for the interim, and then decide to leave their virtual assistant for an in-house employee. Although this strategy has good intention, it may not be the best for maximizing a lean workforce and business growth. Here’s why.
When you hire an in-house employee to replace your virtual assistant, you are only replacing the source in which the business output is achieved. What this means, is that by replacing one person with another person, the same amount of work will be done. This doesn’t contribute to business growth.
However, by keeping your virtual assistant on staff when you hire an in-house employee, you can double or triple the work you did before, enabling growth. This way, you can use the in-house employee for important business work that will contribute directly to sales, while leaving your virtual assistant to do much of the grunt work or work that can be done remotely. This way, you are conserving resources by not paying for two in house employees, as virtual assistants are much cheaper to keep on your payroll.
Bonus Lesson from the founder: Pavel Stepanov
“Being an entrepreneur is a long and hard job. People look up to you for lead
ership. When a crisis happens, what’s the first response of a business owner? The business leader decides to lay off employees. They do this without even realizing the consequences. It’s just their first reaction—cut, cut, cut. They believe if they cut the expenses of the business, then they will stay afloat. Once you cut, you may as well cut your business. I understand cutting the fat off the business, but don’t cut the muscle. Let’s look at what is the fat and what is the muscle.
Your virtual assistant is the muscle. Your gym membership is probably the fat. Your Netflix subscription is a fat.”
This is a really good reminder to think deeply about the consequences of what we are cutting in our businesses. It may seem like we are doing ourselves a favor by cutting the biggest expense. However, it may just backfire, where we lose a resource so valuable to our company—one we can’t get back.