The True Cost of Employees and Virtual Assistants

Hmm, have you looked at the packages we offer our clients and wondered why it costs so much? I am sure it is a bit of a surprise when you look at other virtual assistant sites that offer $5.75 an hour for a virtual assistant. There are some that are even cheaper. However, you get what you pay for in those cases. 

Am I saying that anyone who works for those companies are horrible virtual assistants? Not really. However, there are a number of those companies that use people from outside the United States and are not able to communicate as easily as one can when you are within the United States. Some of this is time differences and some of it is language and cultural differences. 

You can find yourself with a skilled individual that just does not have enough time to work on your tasks fully for a number of reasons. First is often the fact that because of the low wages paid for these tasks your virtual assistant is doing a number of other jobs. I mean come on, I have been there as I ventured into the work from home world. You will try to find enough income sources to make the money you need to pay your bills or whatever you need the money for in your budget. That means you will take on a number of companies to try to get the hours/money you need. And someone who has their attention and time spread thin... well you know what happens... the details go missing.

And, some of it can be poorly skilled individuals. You do not know if they are as 'experienced' in that skill level as they say. 

We do not charge our clients the lowest task/hour rate possible on purpose. It is not going to get you what it is you NEED. The best work done by the highest skilled individuals. You want quality work, you have to pay for quality work. Your clients see the results of our work, don't you want to impress them? Don't you want the money you spend to bring in money? 

We charge $30 an hour and make no apologies for it. You are paying for someone - a project manager to do all your tasks you need them to do. If the project manager cannot do a high quality job on a particular task, the project manager will have someone who is very skilled in that task complete it for you. We have to pay for Assistant Team Leaders to review your services and the products we provide you to ensure high quality. We have to find the Project Managers and the Assistant Project Managers. We have to ensure they are trained on your systems, we have to work with them to resolve any issues that come up and we have to take care of the payments from you and to your Project Managers. We do this so you do not have to worry about anything.

Maybe you are asking well, shouldn't I just have someone work in house? It has to be cheaper. Nope, can't say that is the best solution for you. 

No matter what you pay your in house administrative assistant $8 per hour, $17 per hour, $30 per hour you will have to add 31.5% of that amount to cover the following areas of compensation 

  • Bonuses - usually 1.8% 
  • Social Security 5.4% 
  • 401K/403B 2.5%
  • Disability 0.6%
  • Healthcare 8.0%
  • Pension 4.4%
  • Time Off 8.7%

Oh, don't forget the costs associated with searching for you administrative assistant. You will have to place ads. That takes time and money depending on where you go and what all you do. Do you have that time to take? What do you need this assistant to do? What skills does it take? What is their job description? What can you have them do and not do if you hire them for one task and you end up needing them for something totally different. Do you need one assistant or two? Can you afford two different people with the same salary? I mean, if you want to pay only $10 per hour and only want to pay for 40 hours a week and need someone who can do a variety of different tasks, can you get one person to everything you need? 

Reading the resume. Takes some time. Calling references. Oh, and if you don't call the references and just take their word for it... yep, you may as well start this process over now and then add the costs of time and money in again. 

Phone screening and personality tests. Do you plan on doing that? Do you have time to do that? If you don't, you don't know what you are going to get when you bring them into your office for an interview you may not have time to conduct as it is. 

Actual in house interview. What are you going to ask them? Do you know what is legal to ask them? Do you know what all you need to have them sign? Do you know that if you hire them you open a whole new world of complicated.

  • Human Resource compliance
  • Employment taxes 
  • Training 
  • Mentoring
  • Educating 
    • Hey, just so you know the training, mentoring, educating can also be code words for getting ready to terminate them - as in you made sure they were trained properly and still they are messing up their jobs. They were mentored - you took extra time making sure they had the information necessary to get the job done and the job done right and on time. And the educating - letting them know if they don't straighten up and fly right they are out of here.... and you get to start this process all over again. 
  • Termination - there is a lot of work involved with terminating a person. DID YOU DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Hey, this is where being a social worker plays in my favor... I am used to documenting EVERYTHING! I keep track of everything. Sometimes for fun I track things I may never need to track but still did and it worked out in my favor because at some time I needed this documentation and didn't know it...but YAY ME! Are you like that? And are you interested in paying for UNEMPLOYMENT? Or dealing with the unemployment hassles and paperwork and PAYMENT? 

Yep, I am seeing how this may not be that much fun for you. 

And I can see this taking you away from making some money. Instead it is costing you a lot of time and therefore a lot of money. 

With other virtual assistant companies you are paying for someone - anyone to complete a little task that seriously takes you longer to get someone to do it after you have to set it up each time than if you had done it yourself. 

With Ready Set Go! you are paying for a virtual assistant to be ready to work on your tasks for a set number of hours each week. A real time independent contractor set to work for you and complete regular tasks each week just like an in house assistant. 

Take a look at these numbers -

Suddenly that $8 per hour employee for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year costs $16,640 for base salary and at least $21,881 when all is said and done. For the $17 an hour assistant you will pay in salary $35,360 and $46,498 with all the extras. Don't forget the $30 per hour assistant will get $62,400 in base salary and $82,056 in total. 

What do we cost in comparison - for our largest package 30 hours a week $30 an hour for a full year - $46,764. Take a close look at the numbers for an assistant you are paying $17 an hour, we are right in line there. And you know what... when you do not have time to find, hire, train, supervise, and let go... or find someone to fill in when they take time off... we will be here doing your tasks - high quality - on time - even on snow days!

On the next post, I will discuss how a typical day/week with Ready Set Go! happens. This should clear up any confusion about how Ready Set Go! is very different from every other virtual assistant company out there. 

Dannie