Being a small business owner is hard. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 60% of startups fail within their first three years running.
Running a startup is even more difficult – according to some, up to 9 out of 10 startups shut their doors.
The jury’s still out on what the causes are exactly. What’s indisputable however is that running a startup is very different from running a traditional small business, and comes with its own challenges. Not only do you have to accept initial losses and run without a rainy day fund, but owners of startups are always questioning whether their innovative product or business model is even viable in the long-run.
And of course, who could forget about one of the biggest headaches that come with owning a startup – the staffing?
If you run a startup, you’re probably intensely familiar with carrying a lot of your startups business operations on your shoulders. After all, it’s not like you have the money needed to bring specialists in in-house.
These factors can make running a business challenging for the first months (or years!) With these hurdles, growing your business might seem like an impossible task, even if your product or business model are fantastic.
Just because your business is new however, doesn’t mean growth is out of your reach. In fact, there are ways you can grow your staff, gain access to specialists and take work off your hands… without breaking the bank.
If your startup has entered the new year without any signs of turning around, it might be time to seek the help of a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants Melbourne
Despite the misleading name, a virtual assistant isn’t a computer program that looks after all your appointments and emails.
Rather, a virtual assistant is very much a real person – they just happen to be based in another place or country!
Virtual assistants are staff members that work remotely, using the internet to keep in touch with the rest of the team – hence “virtual”. And when they’re based overseas, the cost of living can be considerably lower.
As the owner of a startup, staffing can be a major issue. Virtual staff can help you expand your team and bring highly-qualified specialists into your team without having to pay Australian wages – or even an extra desk and computer.
The result: you get the know-how of a specialist or an extra pair of hands to lighten the load while only paying a fraction of what you’d paying for hiring traditionally.
Yes, that’s right! There are plenty of ways a virtual assistant or a “VA” can help you boost your business. If you’re not entirely convinced, VirtualStaff365 has come up with four of them:
1. Cost saving
Without a doubt, the most obvious benefit a virtual assistant brings to the table is huge cost savings. Business expenses can kill a startup. A virtual assistant could save you up to 80% on wages – a godsend if your startup is still running on your own money.
Australia is known for its high cost of living – and its high wages. By comparison, much of the world is cheaper to operate in. That means lower cost of living, lower salaries… and of course, less money coming out of your pocket.
Additionally, in most cases, virtual assistants aren’t salaried – you only pay your VA their wages hourly. So i fthey don’t come to work, or log ogg early, you are not paying them. A good virtual assistant provider will supply timekeeping and monitoring software – not only can you keep tabs on how much time your virtual staff spend being productive, you can also see screenshots of what they’re doing exactly.
Even if your business model or product is truly innovative and will take the world by storm, you’re still running a business. And like any other business, it’s important to always look at minimising costs.
Apart from saving costs, one of things that can be improved on by a VA is your business’ efficiency.
Raise your hand if you spend all your time in the office or working from home. If you or your staff feel overwhelmed with the amount of work on your plate, it may be time to take on additional help.
While the VA may not be physically near you, they can still effectively take a lot of the routine business practices off your hands. If busy work is constantly dragging you and your team away from the work that you’re best at, hand them over to your Virtual Assistant and start seeing immediate improvements in the way your business runs.
Some tasks a virtual assistant can do for you include:
- Email management
- Call handling
- Calendar management
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Online research
- Lead generation
- Website management
- Social media management
These are only a handful of the more common requests for virtual staff that we receive here at VirtualStaff365 – there’s no limit to the roles that can be sourced through a Melbourne virtual assistant provider. Whether you need someone to take the busy work off your hands or a true specialist, virtual assistants are a valuable asset to a startup.
Speaking of specialists…
3. Specialists on a budget
Let’s face it, specialists are expensive. It makes sense – there are only so many neurosurgeons going around. It’s only natural that specialists demand high salaries.
Unfortunately for the vast majority of startups, that also means that specialist knowledge is often near impossible to access.
Or at least, it was.
The VAs that you work with usually have solid and vast work experiences. And as you work with them, they bring in their knowledge and experiences – we can supply fantastic data entry workers, personal assistants and customer service VAs, all thoroughly vetted.
But as we said before, the sky’s the limit on the types of roles we can source for your startup. Our service is bespoke – we find you the perfect person for your business and its unique requirements. This has seen us sourcing some rather esoteric positions: lawyers, architectural draftspeople, financial planners, data analysts… if you need a highly specialised role, VirtualStaff365 can source one.
4. Scale up (and down) quickly
If you’re lucky, everything could just fall into place – your product could be a smash hit or your unique business model might run circles around the competition. Whatever’s happened, your startup has been a smash hit… you’ve made it.
The only problem: who’s going to do all the extra work now? All the customer enquiries that didn’t exist before, the influx of admin work, the added strain on your core business… you need someone yesterday. Where can you find an extra pair of hands on such short notice?
The environment a startup works in is volatile, to say the least. Startups come and go – remember that 9/10 statistic from the opening line? The fortunes of a startup can turn suddenly. The best ones need to be flexible and responsive to changes.
And that requires a very flexible staff body.
Virtual Assistants can be selected, vetted and onboarded in a fraction of the time it would take to process an employee through the regular channels. If your startup is operating in a volatile environment (and let’s face it, as a startup that’s more or less always), having staff that can be quickly onboarded to meet sudden changes in demand doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.
We also offer a 24-hour notice period for the first 6 months. If your sudden good fortunes reverse – or if you feel that it’s just not working – you can walk away without losing any upfront investment or deposit. Please note we do not charge any upfront set up fees for virtual staff working from home..
Improve your start-up this new year! Talk to a Melbourne Virtual Assistant agency!
Running a startup is difficult. Owners of startups need to be switched on, to say the least if they want their unique business to survive the ruthless startup economy.
If you are looking at improving your start up, why not start with hiring a Virtual Assistant today?
If you want to get skilled, cost-effective labour that’ll help your startup “make it”, call Neville from VirtualStaff365 on 0402 11 66 06. And if you’re ever in Brighton, why not stop by my office to see how we can grow your startup?