First off, yes, I have a virtual assistant. Maybe you’ll ask me “What the heck do I need a virtual assistant for?” Well, I need one because I want one. It’s convenience. I only have so much time in the world. It’s like when a small business hires its first employee — its Sterling, Inc. plus one now.
Anyways, I’ve been testing out a company called FancyHands for my personal needs. 15 tasks per month cost $45 (unlimited tasks for $65 per month). The first task I asked the virtual assistant was a common list of items delegated. It ranges from the complex to the simple.
This being said, I think this is an extraordinary opportunity for government. Let’s be clear — I’m not advocating eliminating in-person administrative assistants. There are some things that must be done in-person.
The possibilities are almost limitless, but the two biggest ones I see right now are this:
1) Making your people productive. This is like having a team of people available at all times. Do I need market research or average pricing for a product, but don’t have the time? I could outsource it to my VA.
2) Cheaply identifying and training future managers. So you want to train managers but don’t have a lot of money? Well, this works great. Emailing VAs requires clear, crisp goals and instructions. That is a lot of management right now. Better yet, if your employee works with a person right away.
Yes, there are some possible issues (wage determinations, etc.) But the advantages of decreased cost and increased productivity are too great to ignore.