Hiring a Virtual Secretary and How It Can Help Your Business

For a lot of businesses, hiring a secretary or a full-time personal assistant is a major milestone. It’s a sign that the business is growing. So much so, in fact, that administrative support is no longer a nice option. It’s a necessity.

But how do you know when it’s time to hire a full-time secretary?

You may never have to do it at all. Here’s why.

In this article:

Do You Really Need a Full-time Secretary?What a Virtual Secretary Can Do For YouWhat are the Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Secretary?How to Get Set up On Delegated and Hire Your First Virtual SecretaryFAQs About Virtual Secretaries

Do You Really Need a Full-time Secretary?

There are millions of secretaries (over 3.7 million, in fact). That’s in the United States alone. These secretaries fulfill obligations like scheduling management, data entry, administrative tasks, phone calls, and even bookkeeping. That shows that there’s substantial demand for in-person services that help manage the everyday life of an office.

A full-time secretary averages well over $35,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On top of that, any business that hires a secretary full-time will be expected to pay other expenses, such as benefits. Vacation time is also a must. Add it all up and the overall cost to your business is much higher than you might imagine. It’s certainly higher than what the salary says.

Working with independent contractors in the forms of virtual secretaries is an easy solution. It means you can hire someone on a part-time basis, pay them with a straightforward by-the-hour arrangement, and still enjoy a high quality of work, skills, and experience.

Do you really need a full-time secretary? Even if you do, hiring a part-time virtual secretary can be a great introduction into what it’s like to delegate. 

Female Virtual Secretary on a Phone Call

What a Virtual Secretary Can Do For You

Maybe you have a vague sense of what a secretary can do, but you’re not quite sold on the idea of hiring one just yet. How do you know if you should hire one?

Let’s take a look at many of the basic tasks that a virtual secretary can handle remotely:

  • Bookkeeping. Sick of tracking expenses or logging in receipts? Plug a virtual secretary into your bookkeeping software and you’ll be amazed not only at how easy the process is, but how quickly it can go. 
  • Phone calls. Not only can a virtual secretary handle your phone calls remotely—answering on your behalf—but they can even place phone calls for you. This is great for all sorts of needs, from making travel arrangements to scheduling meetings and appointments.
  • Managing social media. Don’t always have time to update Upwork or reach out to potential clients? Let a virtual secretary handle it for you.
  • Email management. According to the American Psychological Association, “multitasking” is a bit of a myth. There is a certain psychological inefficiency to managing emails throughout the day, for example, which means that every time you check email, you’re losing more than just the time you used to check it. You’re losing focus. Outsource your email management to a virtual secretary so you can focus on your work.
  • Proofreading. Any business will go through a lot of documentation—contracts, proposals, follow-ups, and the like. You’re not always going to have time to read it all. So instead of sleeping on it and forgetting to proofread before it’s time to send out your documentation, it’s a good idea to simply hand it off to a qualified virtual secretary.
  • Real estate administrative tasks. Do you work in real estate? You may find it hard to always follow up with people, especially since real estate can be such an “off-hours” job. Having a virtual secretary ready to pick up phone calls will give you the appearance of running a much larger, professional business—even if it’s just you in the office.

An administrative assistant who works on-site can handle all of these tasks easily. But hiring a virtual secretary is a great starting off point. It will help you to learn how to better handle the responsibilities of leading a business, especially if you’ve never been in the position of “boss” before.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Secretary?

In addition to completing the tasks above, we have to ask a very simple question: what are the benefits of hiring a virtual secretary? Other than outsourcing your tasks, why hire a virtual secretary specifically? Why not any virtual assistant?

For starters, it’s true: any virtual assistant can save as much as 78% on operating costs every year. That’s a drastic reduction. Too often, business owners and managers make the mistake of looking at the upfront hourly rate of a virtual assistant or virtual secretary. They then compare this with the ostensible hourly rate of a full-time, on-site hire.

But for the reasons listed above, including expensive employee benefits, hiring a virtual secretary can be drastically more cost-efficient.

Let’s go beyond cost. Why hire a virtual secretary if you need a secretary to help grow your business?

  • Efficiency. A virtual secretary with experience in handling the tasks like those listed above will be more efficient at them. They may arrive to their first day of remote work with the knowledge and tools to proofread more efficiently, for example. Or they might have a better system for bookkeeping. This makes them worth the cost because they aren’t only taking these tasks off your hands, but performing them more efficiently than you would have.
  • Flexibility. If you hire a remote worker who’s done remote work before, you may find that the process is far more streamlined than you expected. After all, a remote worker has done many of these tasks before. They may need an adjustment period while they onboard to your system (more on that in a minute), but overall, their flexibility and adaptability will only benefit your business.
  • Minimal investment. In addition to the cost considerations listed above, remember that a virtual secretary can be hired on a part-time basis. That means that you don’t have to make a full commitment before you start outsourcing your tasks. You can learn what it’s like to manage a secretary, how to onboard a new “employee” (or, in this case, an independent contractor), and smooth out the overall flow of your business. You can do it all for minimal investment, only paying the hourly rate for a part-time remote worker.

Of course, those benefits are just a few of the general benefits of hiring a virtual secretary. Hire the right one, and you may find that not all virtual assistant jobs are made the same. 

How to Get Set up On Delegated and Hire Your First Virtual Secretary

By now you may be sold on the idea of creating new virtual assistant jobs at your business, but are unsure about the actual process of hiring a virtual secretary. That’s why we’ve decided to break it down into a few key steps:

  1. Sign up with Delegated. The easiest step of all! All you have to do is sign up with an account at Delegated and you’ll have access to the rest of the steps mentioned here. You’ll also be able to review the available options and start looking around for a virtual secretary who’s right for your business.
  2. Work with a customer success manager. We know that the hiring process can be intimidating at first, especially if you’re working with a new site. It’s a new platform. That’s why we assign a customer success manager to help guide you through the steps. Just let them know what they can do for you, what your goals are, and what you need to know before you get started. They’ll guide you the rest of the way.
  3. Select and hire your virtual secretary. Sounds like a major step, right? Work with your customer success manager and you can quickly parse through the various options. Look at who has executive assistant experience, for example, and browse the kinds of skills that the available candidates have. You should try to match up your job requirements with the experience and background of the potential virtual secretaries on your list.
  4. Onboard. Onboarding is one of the most underrated aspects of a new hire. If you want someone to fully integrate with your business, you can’t just expect them to sit down and get to work. You have to familiarize them with your business needs, your current systems, and more. Create an onboarding document, or even have your virtual secretary help out by recording everything they do to onboard. This can help in the future, in case you ever need to make full-time hires or hire new virtual assistants.

Sound complicated? It’s not. It’s just a few short steps between you and a hire that can change your business forever.

Start growing your business and reducing overhead with Delegated

1. Meet your assistant

We’ll ask you some questions to match you with one our virtual assistants as well as a backup assistant.

2. Create a workflow

Our platform gives you the power to create a workflow that fits your lifestyle. You choose how to track time, communicate, and share files with your assistant.

3. Start delegating

You have access to your virtual assistant 8am-5pm your local time. Start delegating tasks and grow as you need.
Get Started »

FAQs About Virtual Secretaries

Still stuck? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers:

Why shouldn’t I hire a full-time secretary?

There’s no reason you can’t. But you may be surprised to find out everything that a virtual secretary can do remotely. We live in the digital age, after all. Fully remote secretaries can handle everything from phones to email management even if they’re not physically present in the office with you.

How do I know if it’s time to hire a virtual secretary?

The great thing about hiring a virtual secretary is that it’s a very low-commitment way to start hiring help. So there’s flexibility in that you don’t necessarily have to know when it’s time to hire a virtual secretary. You can do it quickly and easily right now, try it out, and see if you get your money’s worth. But you should also recognize that hiring a virtual secretary means that you’ll actually have work for them to do. As long as you have a list of tasks that you no longer want to handle yourself, you can hand these tasks off to a virtual secretary.

What if I want someone who’s in my office?

If you have a physical office and you need someone there, a virtual secretary obviously can’t be there. However, you should be aware of everything that a virtual secretary can do remotely. They can answer phone calls, handle project management, and do just about anything that you would do when you work from home. All that’s required is that you set them up with the appropriate accounts—Slack, cloud storage, etc. 

What do I do next if I do want to hire a virtual secretary?

Easy—sign up with Delegated! Break it down step-by-step as we outline above. This is a straightforward process, but if you feel any part of it to be overwhelming, one of our customer success managers will help you get to the next step with ease.

What can’t a virtual secretary do?

A virtual secretary will have all of the same limits of any employee, but with the obvious caveat that if they can’t do the job in person, they can’t do it. But given the state of today’s technology, that’s an increasingly small amount of work that can’t be done. Empower your virtual secretary and they may surprise you with how much they can contribute. 

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