Fully Booked VA Blog

5 Myths to Let Go of Before You Work with a Virtual Assistant

We got a great response last time we talked about misconceptions you should ditch before you work with a virtual assistant.

What was interesting was that our readers reached out mostly in private (via emails and private message) because, no matter how safe a space we’re trying to create, it’s hard to admit your fears in public, especially as an entrepreneur.

And as in every relationship, the beginning of your client-VA collaboration is always a balancing act between “how much can I trust this person?” and “how much will I waste our time if I don’t trust them enough?”

We decided to follow up with five other myths that you should let go of before outsourcing work to a VA. If you truly want them to help you grow your business, that is.

1. VAs do everything I want, and at the same rate for every service.

Virtual assisting isn’t a one-size-fits-all work.

You can certainly expect to find a virtual assistant who can handle any task in your business, but most VAs don’t perform any and all tasks. It’s common for a virtual assistant to focus on offering only a small range of services. It’s also pretty typical for someone not to have any experience in some of the more far-flung or highly specialized tasks.

The same way an HR manager wouldn’t expect to hire one person to answer the phones, do all the marketing, and run payroll, you shouldn’t expect to hire one VA to maintain your website, handle all your customer service, write your emails, and build your sales funnels.

It should also make sense that some of the more highly specialized tasks command higher rates. It requires some skill and experience to manage your inbox, for example, but it takes an extremely high level of experience and competence to be able to write an effective sales letter or manage a Facebook ads campaign.

Those two tasks aren’t going to command the same rates, so always expect to pay more for in-depth knowledge.

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2. My business is too small. I don’t need to work with virtual assistant.

This is something I hear a lot.

It’s also something I’ve said on occasion.

The truth is that if you have steady money coming in, and your own personal effective hourly rate is above the $40 threshold, then you can afford to outsource (and arguably you should).

The benefit of outsourcing is that it frees you up to make more money. If recapturing five hours of your own time per week will allow you to work on something else and make an additional $500, then it definitely makes sense to start outsourcing. It’s about calculating your rate of return, and if the return would be greater than the expense of a VA, then it’s time to hire!

With most new virtual assistants starting out between $20 and $25 per hour, all you need to do is get to the point when your own “effective hourly rate” is solidly higher than about $30 for some outsourcing to begin to make sense.

3. VAs require too much time and supervision.

If you’re worried that hiring a VA will eat up too much of your time, you might not have a clear understanding of how easy it is to work with a virtual assistant.

While every virtual assistant will need some time for onboarding and orientation, a good assistant will make your life substantially easier … and quickly. They’ll take their tasks and get them done, almost like magic, behind the scenes.

If you find yourself spending too much time supervising your VA, then either you chose someone completely unqualified for the work or you’re probably micromanaging.

Think about what you’re doing during your “supervision” time.

How much of it is truly necessary? Are you checking in daily? Are you asking for more reporting than you actually need? What would happen if you loosened the reins a bit?

If you try backing off and things fall apart, you might not have hired the right person. The vast majority of virtual assistants are self-starters and go-getters who can take their tasks and run with them. If you don’t have the right person, there are plenty of others who might be a better fit.

4. Outsourcing isn’t right for my business.

Some people think that it’s only the online-based solopreneur that is cut out for hiring a virtual assistant, but that’s just not true!

Any type of administrative work that’s conducted online is ripe for the virtual picking. Even brick-and-mortar shops can benefit from having a remote assistant.

Whether it’s email management, bookkeeping, online marketing and advertising, maintaining the social media accounts, or more, there are plenty of ways to free up your staff by bringing on a VA.

5. A VA shouldn’t make more than an admin assistant

Last but not least, let’s talk about money!

A lot of business owners think that a virtual assistant is the online equivalent of an administrative assistant. In a sense they might be – some of the roles a VA takes on will mimic what an admin will do – but there’s no equivalency in terms of hourly rates. Here’s why:

An admin working in an office carries zero costs of doing business. The admin doesn’t pay for the phone lines, the copy machine repairs, the furniture, or the building maintenance costs. The employer carries all of those costs, as well as all the other costs of doing business.

That’s definitely not the case for a virtual assistant. A typical VA charges a higher hourly rate than most admins, but a VA also saves you a significant amount of money. The virtual assistant carries most of the costs of doing business, from equipment to internet connection to taxes.

With a virtual assistant, the only costs you’re responsible for are the VA’s compensation and, in some cases, some software.

You may also spring for extras such as special training, conference tickets, and more, but those are at your discretion.

For that reason, a VA’s rate will naturally be higher than the typical admin assistant. There are simply more costs to cover, and you, as the client, are relieved of covering those costs in exchange for the freedom of working with a virtual assistant.

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Have you thought about hiring a VA but felt hesitant because of any of these misconceptions? Which reservation has been the biggest for you?

If you’ve decided that you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant, you’re in the right place! Our VA Finder is a premium tool that will save you time and money by sending a group of highly qualified applicants straight to your inbox.

Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey


Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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