Virtual assistants have become on-demand especially during the pandemic where even CEOs have to stay inside their homes. With that, it’s better to have menial tasks being handled by virtual assistants for a cheaper price. This kind of situation bides well when you’re an entrepreneur struck by the pandemic and cutting costs. Because of that and more, we can see that more and more people are relying on virtual assistants.
What are Virtual Assistants?
Virtual assistants are people who provide administrative assistance to entrepreneurs online. Unlike typical assistants or secretaries who are in the office, virtual assistants work in the comfort of their homes. However, this doesn’t lessen that their workload just because it’s online. The number of responsibilities and tasks are still the same. They would use software such as Google Calendar, Zoom, and Xero to conduct business.
Duties and Skill Requirements
In a nutshell, their primary duties are to carry out the menial tasks for the CEOs. They have to make the lives of the CEOs easier. Mainly, the reason why virtual assistants are crucial for businesses is that they can do menial tasks for CEOs. From ensuring the departments are doing their deliverables to reminding today’s schedule, these lighten the workload of the CEOs.
Aside from the typical administrative duties, they sometimes do minor bookkeeping, graphic design, and content writing. They may not be focusing on those matters but they would still get involved during the process. This is important as the virtual assistant deals with other departments in the company. Being familiar with how certain things work helps the virtual assistant create better assessments and judgments. They may also do customer services and provide consumer-friendly assistance as well.
Because of those aforementioned duties, it is common for a good virtual assistant to have a wide set of skills. They don’t have to be a master, but a basic understanding of how to make them work is enough. Another requirement is enough patience and multitasking skills to juggle workload and dealing with clients and the CEO.
Virtual Assistant in Numbers
Virtual assistants tend to be cheaper than actual secretaries. Usually, you can have a virtual assistant for $10 per hour as the lowest price. Meanwhile, in Gabtech Global, the cost of a virtual assistant can go as low as $4 per hour. This is why having virtual assistants is a good choice for CEOs. About 59% of companies state that the lower costs are the reason why they prefer outsourcing virtual assistants. Meanwhile, other sources say that 57% of them prefer it because it helps them focus on the core business
As of 2020, the Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) market was valued at $2.58 billion according to Mordor Intelligence. Additionally, it is expected to rise by up to $6.27 billion in 2026 with a rate of 36.45%. The factors behind this increase are the roles it fulfills like being a personal assistant and customer service agent.
It was also amplified during the pandemic where almost all businesses have switched to remote working or work-from-home setup. It was shown in the Spring 2020 Smart Audio Report where 77% of adults in the US changed their routines. With that, the demand for virtual assistants has increased and it resulted in their growth.
Other milestones in the virtual assistant industry include:
- Since 2005, remote workers have increased by 115%.
- In 2020, it was expected that 40% of US workers have switched to freelancing.
- Up to 80% of corporations are planning on utilizing flexible workers more.
What’s in it for the Future
With the aforementioned numbers, it seems that the virtual assistant industry has been growing and will continue to grow. In the Statista survey, the outsourcing industry went up to approximately $85 billion and it would potentially keep growing. With that, more people are getting into becoming virtual assistants. Its remote setup is more suitable plus they can save more compared to being a full-time employee in an office.
On the other hand, outsourcing companies keep on growing as well. In the Philippines alone, the outsourcing industry has grown up to 46% with an annual growth rate of 20%. It is important to take note also that the Philippines is the fastest growing outsourcing industry, along with India. These countries produce virtual assistants for a cheaper price which helps companies save a lot of money.
Financial Growth of Virtual Assistants and Companies
Financially speaking, there is a lot of potential for the virtual assistant industry to grow. Workers can save more since they’re just at home. There’s no need to spend money on transportation, restaurant, etc. These virtual assistants who are working from work are said to be able to save money. The only thing needed for them to be able to work is a decent device and a stable internet connection. Once, they have those covered, they can work anywhere they want. The convenient setup of being a virtual assistant contributes to its growth and it encourages more people to become one.
On the other hand, the cheaper cost of virtual assistants helps companies thrive. With the money they can save, CEOs can focus on more pressing financial matters or invest. As a result, a higher income and financial growth become more possible.
Virtual assistants are in demand for a reason. Moreover, these numbers prove that they are thriving and will continue to thrive in the world of business. The virtual assistant industry is not just a temporary relief for those who were affected by the pandemic. The industry has also become a new career path as technology evolves.