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Virtual assistants versus personal assistants – which one do you need?

At some point in your career as an entrepreneur, there comes a time when you have to hire a helping hand. Someone that keeps an eye on your schedule, makes sure you don’t miss an important meeting, handles your emails, and can take on any task you don’t have the time or skills to do yourself – an assistant. 

But now comes the question: should you hire a personal assistant that is with you in the office most of the time or can you do just fine with a virtual assistant that handles everything from afar? This is an important decision that will affect your finances, time management, and overall productivity, so you need to be very careful when making it. 

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To help you out, we will explore both options below. 

What is a personal assistant?

A personal assistant’s job is to lighten the burden of company managers, allowing them to allocate their time towards executive tasks that need their full attention. Ideally, your PA should be your support during difficult business moments. They should be the ones helping you keep your workload under control, make sure every project receives the necessary attention from you, keep an eye on finances, and so on. 

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Contrary to what some may think, your personal assistant’s time should be very precious, so don’t waste it on coffee deliveries and other trivial errands that you can do yourself. While these tasks take time as well, it is best that you use the skills of your assistant for things that are truly important for a business. 

How is a virtual PA different?

In essence, a virtual PA is not much different from a personal assistant that comes into the office every day. The key difference between them is that a virtual personal assistant won’t be able to handle tasks that require them to be present in the office. This means no coffee, no running around to get you some copies, and no running to get you lunch. 

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A virtual assistant can handle any task that involves a computer or a phone. They can place orders, schedule flights, manage your emails, organize your calendar, and coordinate meetings through video. Some virtual assistants are also qualified to handle more specific tasks, such as managing social media accounts, bookkeeping, or writing content for your website. 

Which choice is right for me?

Ultimately, the choice boils down to what you need from an assistant. If you are looking for someone to get your coffee and handle other tasks that require them to be physically present in the office, you should choose a personal assistant. 

However, if most of the tasks they need to handle can be performed just fine from a remote location, a virtual PA is much more suited for the job and will be a much more budget-conscious choice for your business. 

James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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