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Robert Nickell Explains Why Hiring Virtual Assistants Gives You an Edge

It looks like the economy may be operating unimpeded soon as more and more states lift COVID restrictions. That’s good news because it’s been a tough year for a lot of people. Many business owners are focused on scaling their businesses in hopes of building their companies back to where they were this time last year. However, scaling means creating more work which usually means hiring more help. 

That’s not an expense everyone is ready to take on right now.

Robert Nickell, founder and CEO of Rocket Station, a virtual assistant agency, is sure that he knows how to solve that problem. “Every business owner and entrepreneur wants their businesses to grow. A lot of them are choosing to err on the side of caution for a while yet keeping their expenses as low as they can—and, of course, that’s perfectly understandable,” Nickell said.

He suggested that instead of debating whether or not you should commit to hiring a new W-2 employee, hire a VA. Virtual assistants can take on the increased workload and Nickell says that will lower your expenses in a number of ways.

There Is No W-2

When you hire virtual assistants they’re usually considered to be an independent contractor. Independent contractors report their income via 1099 so you’re paying less taxes. Moreover, there’s no need to consider benefits, insurance or paid leave.

Using a virtual assistance agency saves you from dealing with all the above as well because you sign a service agreement to work with one of the agency’s employees.

Sounds good so far, right? There’s more!

About Wages

Virtual assistants don’t have to invest a portion of their income on proper office attire, meals, or commuting. Many are willing to take on jobs that pay a lower wage for that reason because those things add up pretty quickly! Don’t be afraid to offer a lower wage than you would an on-site employee. 

That said, going through an agency, like Rocket Station, for example, can be even less expensive than hiring someone on your own. If they’re doing it right, they will line you up with a stellar assistant right out of the gate. 

Nickell says they hire all of their employees in the Philippines. Anyone applying for a job with Rocket Station undergoes a series of tests to identify all of their skills. The tests also determine the applicant’s level of expertise. Only the cream of the crop makes the cut, and those who don’t are encouraged to come back when they feel ready to try again.

Virtual assistants living in the Philippines work for much lower wages than those living here in the United States because the economy isn’t as robust. That’s great for Rocket Station’s clients, of course, but there’s no way that it’s considered bad news for Nickell’s employees. Due to differences in our economies, the wage they earn affords them the ability to provide a very comfortable life for themselves and their families.

Increased Productivity and Lower Absenteeism

Research shows that hiring virtual assistants can reduce your operating costs by as much as 78% over expenses incurred by hiring an on-site employee. That is huge! 

Moreover, 37% of on-site workers surveyed stated that they had experienced instances of work-related stress and anxiety. Only 17% of employees who work remotely from home reported the same.

Statistics also show that remote workers—as in your new VAs—are more productive. As much as 13% to 16% more productive as a matter of fact! Furthermore, absenteeism drops which affects your productivity level in a positive way too.

How to Get Started

The very first step in the process is to determine which tasks your virtual assistant will perform. A good rule of thumb is to outsource the everyday tasks leaving your key employees to focus on their strengths so they can focus on growing your business.

Nickell discovered the key to success when hiring virtual assistants to outsource his everyday tasks. “After lots of trial and error,” he said, “I finally realized that there was no way that my VAs could fail if my Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were extremely detailed. So I sat down and documented every single step I took to see a task through from start to finish.”

Once Nickell presented the new SOPs, things took a turn for the better—immediately! So much so that Nickell was inspired to start Rocket Station because he knew the remote workforce was going to become an increasingly valuable resource for business owners.

After deciding which tasks to outsource and thoroughly documenting your SOPs, Nickell says there are just two more steps to take before you’re ready to begin your talent search. 

1. Put objective Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in place so you can accurately measure performance.

2. Take time to create an in depth want ad that completely outlines your job description and lists the required skill set needed to complete the tasks. Take some time to share information about your company and to explain the personality traits you’re looking for that you feel will be a good fit. 

If you’re planning to scale your business, do it by getting an edge on the competition right out of the gate. 

The remote workforce has already experienced phenomenal growth and will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years. There’s no doubt that the industry is going to play a huge role in how we do business from now on. Choosing to hire a virtual workforce puts you on the cutting edge because you’re going to increase revenue at a minimal cost to you.

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