In today's rapidly changing digital landscape, the spotlight is increasingly shining on the role of Virtual Assistants (VAs). Their charm comes from the vast array of services they offer remotely, covering the creative, technical, financial, project management, and administrative realms.
A question often pops up – are VAs seen as freelancers, self-employed individuals, or small business owners?
Understanding the Terms
Let's begin by unravelling these terms a bit.
A freelancer is someone who provides services to several clients on a contractual basis without being a formal employee of any. They enjoy the flexibility of setting their work hours and rates.
On the other hand, being self-employed is about running a business or working for oneself rather than for a company. This is a wide umbrella under which freelancing and small business ownership both reside.
A small business is usually a more structured setup with a team dedicated to offering products or services. While it might kick off with just one person, it generally evolves into a group striving towards shared objectives.
The Life of a Virtual Assistant
A Virtual Assistant typically extends services to clients from a location outside the client's office. But what do these services encompass?
Administrative Support: This includes scheduling, managing emails, organizing travel, filing, and data entry.
Social Media Management: From crafting content and scheduling posts to community management and monitoring analytics, VAs have it covered.
Marketing Support: This realm involves email marketing, SEO & SEM, and content marketing.
Financial Management: VAs are adept at bookkeeping, managing expenses, and financial reporting.
Event Planning: Selecting venues, promoting events, and managing logistics are all part of the package.
Customer Service: This covers customer support and client onboarding.
Graphic Design & Multimedia: From graphic creation to video editing, VAs can do it.
Web Development & Maintenance: They can design, update, and maintain websites.
Personal Assistance: This involves personal shopping and lifestyle management.
Research: Conducting market and product research is another forte.
Real Estate Support: VAs help with listing management and support real estate transactions.
Writing and Editing: VAs are skilled in copywriting, editing, and proofreading.
Drawing Parallels and Distinguishing
Now, aligning the VA role against the definitions above, it's clear that a VA could wear any of the three hats, depending on their business's size and setup.
As a Freelancer:
Flying solo, a VA embodies the freelancing spirit. They juggle tasks for various clients, relishing the freedom to choose who they work with, the services they render, and the rates they set.
Every freelancing VA is self-employed, but not all self-employed folks are freelancers. A VA might be self-employed but operate with a more structured business model, maybe even with a team.
As a Small Business:
When a VA decides to broaden the horizon by forming an agency and bringing other VAs on board, they step into small business territory. The agency can cater to more clients and offer a wider service range than a solo VA.
So which one?
The discussion returns to the flexibility of the VA role. If you're a solo-flying Virtual Assistant, the freelancing model fits like a glove. On the other hand, if you've hired other VAs and are running an agency, you've stepped onto the small business turf. This difference clarifies the business model and shows various growth opportunities for VAs in the virtual assistance industry.
Deciding to work as a freelancer or a small business owner depends on personal preferences, long-term goals, and the amount of responsibility one is ready to handle. Each option presents different opportunities and challenges, setting the foundation for a satisfying and flexible career in the digital arena.
Looking for a dependable virtual assistant?
Meet Erin from Bizzybee Virtual & Social Assistant. As a freelancer, she nails social media management, administrative support, and content creation. Erin tailors her remote services to fit your needs, making your project her priority. Don’t miss out on having a dedicated VA on your team. Get in touch with Erin today, and take the first step towards seamless digital support for your business.