How to work with a virtual secretary

Hiring a full time, in-house personal assistant is a laborious and expensive process. There’s the recruitment stage (time and money), the office space (more money), the constant management (time and money), the annual salary (money, money) and a constant flow of work to delegate, because if you’re not delegating you’re paying for someone to procrastinate (lots of money and stress).

If you’re a big firm with a backlog of administration to carry you through to Christmas, you’ll need full time helping hands, but for most small businesses and entrepreneurs it’s a waste of money and more stress. The solution? A virtual secretary who works a set number of hours a week, exactly when you need them the most.



Here’s how it works:

Choose one of AVirtual’s price plans according to the hours of assistance you need. The entry package provides 15 hours of dedicated assistance a month for those who need someone to keep their accounts ticking over, manage spreadsheets and prepare research for just £270 a month, but if you’re suffocating under piles of disorganised papers and a bursting inbox you might be better to opt for an enterprise package for up to 160 hours of assistance a week (it’s still cheap at only £1,829 a month). There’s several packages in-between or we can even prepare you a bespoke deal to suit your specific needs. You can also request a 5 hour free trial as an introduction to the virtual world of business.


See why Cape Town can provide UK quality virtual secretaries for so much less


So when you’re choosing the hours your virtual secretary works according to the work you’re delegating, you know the time you’re paying for is productive, but how can you be sure it’s actually cheap?

What if we told you that it will cost you 137% more to employ an in-house PA in the UK compared to the cost of hiring a part-time AVirtual virtual secretary? Plus, AVirtual saves you time by handpicking only the very best secretaries so that when you sign up you know it’s not only much cheaper, but also completely reliable. Every secretary is trained to the highest level and background checked to ensure the secure handling of your confidential data. You don’t have to worry about the finding or paying for extra office space, HR costs, sickness or maternity leave, or even technical issues. In our Cape Town offices, we expertly manage the whole process for you so that you never have to see the seams.

Right so we know it’s going to save you time, money and grey hairs, but what about the importance of establishing a team and company loyalty? Here are our top 5 tips for integrating your virtual secretary into your professional culture:


Introduce your virtual secretary to your team

Your AVirtual secretary might be based in Cape Town, but it’s important that your office get to know who they’re speaking to on a day to day basis. It will create a greater sense of trust and a feeling of togetherness. Provide your virtual secretary with profiles of your in-house employees, explaining exactly what their role is within the company and ask them to prepare their own profile that you can show your team. If you’re the type of business to hold regular meetings, invite your virtual secretary to join over Skype so that they can take notes, listen and learn the inner workings of your organisation.

Provide formatting templates, colour schemes and logos

We ask all of our clients to send us profiles so that our virtual secretaries can be briefed before they start working for you, but it’s always a good idea to share any style guides you might have so that your secretary can get to know how you like things to be presented. If you do this early on it will save you time and it will make your virtual secretary feel part of the business.



Encourage your virtual secretary to share their ideas

Make it clear from the start that your virtual secretary’s ideas and suggestions are valued and appreciated. They might discover a new app that your company should try or be able to recommend a particularly good graphic designer. The more you encourage collaboration, the greater enthusiasm and loyalty your secretary will feel for the business.



Keep communication channels open

Make sure that your virtual secretary knows how you prefer to be contacted when they have a query or urgent request. Sometimes calling someone seems like more of an effort than sending an email, but generally it’s a better way to communicate with your virtual secretary as you’re able to clearly explain the tasks and respond immediately to their questions. It’s more personable than sending an email too, especially if you use Facetime or Skype.



Provide feedback

You might not always have the time to fully respond to tasks your virtual secretary has completed, but make sure you show your gratitude when you can. Set a time for regular feedback so that your secretary can update you on their progress and achievements, and you can offer suggestions for future improvements. However talented your virtual assistant is, they’re not mind readers. Be patient and clear with your instructions and expectations.

If you’re still unsure as to how much and what kind of assistance you need, why not sign up to a free trial so that one of our talented virtual secretaries can impress you first hand.