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The Main Differences Between A Personal Assistant And A Virtual One – How Best To Choose

The Main Differences Between A Personal Assistant And A Virtual One – How Best To Choose

Personal Assistant

If you are a business executive or an entrepreneur, you know you need all the help you can get – especially with minor or repetitive tasks that could very well be done by somebody else. Many entrepreneurs and businesspeople choose to hire assistants for this reason alone.

They also know that the key to a successful business is to delegate – getting other people to take of your administrative tasks and duties whilst you take care of the real issues. But nowadays, more people prefer virtual assistants rather than personal assistants.

Why is this so?

What is the difference between the two, anyway? Here’s what you need to know about the main difference between a personal assistant and a virtual one – and how best to choose according to your needs.

What Is A PA?

A personal assistant is sometimes referred to as a secretary or personal aide, and they will perform in-person work around your workplace. They can run errands, for example, or perform tasks like scheduling, managing your inbox, printing and filing documents, setting up meetings and arranging conference rooms, picking up or delivering mail or parcels, sending out ‘thank yous’ or small tokens of appreciation, and even help you with shopping and childcare.

Front view of elegant businesswoman holding clipboard with copy space

What Is A VA?

Meanwhile, a virtual assistant usually provides lower-cost services that involve more accessible, iterative, or one-off duties that are not too complicated and don’t require them to be in the workplace.

Most of the business people who choose VAs are those who have small businesses or are entrepreneurs. People also choose VAs because they are easier to deal with and do not require compliance with salaries, benefits, and the like.

Many virtual assistants can perform several essential tasks as well. For instance, a virtual assistant can perform scheduling, and they can find and book meeting rooms or restaurants for you.

Aside from this, they can do research or data entry tasks on your behalf, and they can also do copyediting tasks for you. But there are VAs who can do a lot more because they are well-trained, and it’s not uncommon to see VAs adept at bookkeeping and accounting, managing your social media, and taking charge of your graphic design needs.

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The Top Factors That Will Influence Your Choice

Several significant factors may influence your choice and help you decide whether or not you are getting a PA or a VA. For instance, the number one deciding factor for many is their budget. How much is their service?

Getting a PA is more expensive than getting a VA because not many PAs would agree to work on an as-needed basis, which many VAs are willing to do. If you only need a VA once a week, it’s no problem – they have a flexible schedule and are often paid per hour.

Another primary consideration is the space you have at work – do you have enough space at work? More than this – if you hire a PA, you would need to provide them with a computer and other equipment, not to mention software. You also have to consider the overhead costs you will have to contend with at your workplace – extra electricity, bandwidth, and so on.

On the other hand, a VA already has a computer and equipment, and since they work remotely, you don’t have to worry about their connection or other overhead expenses.


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