Small businesses are always looking for ways to cut down on operating costs. A growing trend in small business is the use of virtual assistants. These flexible assistants are savvy at conducting business remotely. They can lend a helping hand when times get tough or busy for small business owners. Virtual assistants aren't just a way to get a job done; they are also a means for small business to cut down on operating costs.

  • Eliminate the need for regular full or part-time employees. Virtual assistants can be used to cover overflow work during peak seasons and unexpected rushes. Because it's not necessary to hire a virtual assistant for a long-term employment relationship, small business owners can use their services as needed. This means that when business is slow, you are not faced with unnecessary labor expenses.

  • Find a specialist in a specific field. Some virtual assistants are specialists or gurus in a certain field. You can get things accomplished more effectively and more efficiently by employing a virtual assistant with a special concentration in a certain area. Popular specialties include website design, real estate, law, event management and marketing.

  • Direct communication eliminates errors. Virtual assistants will communicate with you via phone or email. Messages don't get mixed or confused because they will deal directly with the business owner through one-on-one communication.

  • Virtual assistants typically have lower hourly rates. Because of the flexibility of their job and their enjoyable work environment from home, virtual assistants typically charge less when paid by the hour than a traditional employee working onsite would expect.

  • Fixed rates make budgeting easier. Many virtual assistants will negotiate a fixed rate per project rather than charging by the hour. This helps small business owners develop a more viable budget well in advance.

  • There is no need for perks, incentives or benefits for virtual assistants. Employees often expect more out of their working experience than a virtual assistant. They require encouragement through perks, incentives and benefits that aren't necessary when it comes to virtual assistants. Virtual assistants are typically very self-motivated and they don't require any "extras" to get the job done right.

Virtual assistants are an affordable and flexible option for busy small business owners. They can also make finding a balance between life and work just a little easier.