I posted a question in a Facebook group today. “If you haven’t partnered with a virtual assistant, what’s holding you back?”

virtual assistant or employee

I received many great replies, yet one has stuck with me. A business owner who,  has a ‘brick and mortar’ business with employees, mentioned being more comfortable with having staff on location because he can communicate in real time and face-to-face.

Hey, that’s okay!

Many entrepreneurs are accustomed to collaborating in a physical setting. Here I’ll explain a few of the perks of working with a contractor virtually.

The first thing to consider is the cost of having employees.

Employees cost money.  Sorry, but it’s true. There are employee benefits such as vacation and sick days (not that they don’t deserve them), as well as those pesky payroll taxes that must be paid.

Another thing that most employers don’t think about is how much “downtown time” happens while the meter is running. Salaries are in full force when your employee takes a break or is in between tasks or projects.

Let’s talk about overhead. It’s another BIG issue at hand with maintaining employees in a geographic space.

Offices cost money. Rent, furniture, telephones, computers…all of which you have to buy and supply to each employee. It’s never cheap, or even reasonable.

Administrative services (keeping computers working, office furniture serviceable, ink in the printer, coffee in the break room, bathrooms working, janitorial service to clean up after these human beings…) represents approximately 20% of the average small business’s cost to keep the doors open.

And what about the real pain for all entrepreneurs… Human resource issues! Putting workers into a shared space creates an endless need for HR to manage the workplace minefield of interpersonal interactions. And I know that in the world of small business, YOU ARE THE HR DEPARTMENT! Imagine never having to ask someone to cut back on their perfume usage or refrain from making offensive jokes in the break room ever again!  With virtual partners, you can quit being a referee on your own turf.

Having on-site employees impacts the environment.  Every person in the office has to get to work somehow. They drive; take the bus, train or maybe a cab. By having a remote staff or contractors working from home, you are giving a little bit back to our planet, and you can decrease the carbon footprint of your business.

Out of “site” is NOT out of touch. The majority of entrepreneurs who partner with a virtual assistant, remote graphic designer, or OBMwork from their homes and use email, teleconference services, or just the phone to communicate. This works extremely well.

I challenge you to calculate the costs today. If you are a business owner working out of an office with employees, put the pencil to it and assess the costs, both numeric and spiritual, associated with having employees, and compare it to hiring a remote worker. You may be surprised at the savings to your business and your peace of mind.