I think it is fair to say that a lot of business owners aren’t aware that they can have remote support for their business without having the tie-ins or costs of an employee.

I’ve put together 10 FAQs to hopefully help answer some of these questions. If you’ve got any more, I’m more than happy for you to ask them here.

1. I can’t afford to pay for support

Whilst there is a possibility that ongoing support might not be a viable option for your business, because I can work flexibly you could pay for as much or as little as you need using a Pay As You Go agreement or a one-off project rate. My minimum charge is one hour per month, and anything above that is charged in 15-minute increments to ensure that you only pay for what you use. Alternatively, you can pay in advance and pre-book a set number of hours each month allowing you to budget the costs for support.

2. I don’t know what I could outsource

It’s always useful to have a rough idea of the types of tasks you want to outsource. As an experienced VA, I will sit down with you and discuss your business to identify what your focus is, what plans you have to put into action and how we can work together to achieve your business goals. I offer a one-hour free initial consultation to discuss these things and to find out how I can support you.

3. Virtual Staff won’t work for my business

For the majority of businesses, distance really is no object. I work with local clients I see regularly and clients from further afield that I have never met. Technology is readily available to ensure that we can work as if we are together – Skype, Whatsapp, text, email, Project Management software, Dropbox and Google docs all make it an effortless task.

4. Only I understand how my business works

Trust is a major part of what I do. There will always be a learning curve, while I get to know your business but without that understanding, I can’t focus on what works best (or better) for your business. From the outset, we would set boundaries to establish how much I am involved in your business, and how much I need to know to carry out the required tasks. I appreciate that it can be hard to ‘let go’ of some tasks, but I am happy to start small and take on more tasks as we develop our working relationship, I learn more about your business, and we develop an increased mutual trust.

5. What are the costs ?

There are a few ways I determine costs, depending on what you need doing and how often it needs to be done. For client flexibility, I offer pre-booked hours, package or project rates as well as Pay As You Go hourly rates. It’s important that you are comfortable and happy with this, and that the costs are within your budget. Pre-booked at hours start at 5 hours per month for £135, and this would be a great solution if you require a regular task completing each week, or daily email checking. Pay As You Go is £27 per hour and is suitable for one-off tasks or less regular support. Package and Project rates are also available

6. How can I budget for the support I need?
Once we’ve worked together regularly, my time can be secured for a set number of hours each month in advance. This enables you to budget and be confident that I will be available to carry out your work each month. Package or Project rates enable you to work to a set budget. For smaller projects or PAYG work, I can provide a weekly update if you prefer to pay by the hour.

7. I don’t have regular work to outsource

That’s fine. Not every entrepreneur wants or needs ongoing support. The great thing about virtual business support is that you only pay for what you need without the associated overheads of hiring a member of staff. The flexibility that this brings is a big bonus for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business.

8. How can I ensure you are available to give me regular support

Regular support benefits from pre-booked hours – this works by paying for a set number of hours in advance to guarantee my availability (usually, but not always, pro-rata’ed down into daily or weekly allocated time). This enables you to budget each month, as well as guaranteeing my availability over the course of the month.

9. How does GDPR effect virtual support?

I have a Data Processing agreement for each of my clients, which outlines both of our responsibilities under GDPR. I act as a Data Processor for you, you act as the Data Controller for all of your own clients. All the software I use is compliant, and I am working with my own clients to ensure that their processes are also compliant.

10.I’m not a big enough operation to require virtual support.

I work with virtual teams as well as sole traders – there are no limits or set rules as to who benefits most from the services I offer. Basically, if you are spending time on non-income generating tasks (particularly ones you don’t enjoy) then working with me could benefit your business and give you time to focus on what really matters.

If you have any more questions about what I do, let me know at info@deborahhoult.com . Business support is about working together and teamwork, having that extra pair of hands (and eyes), working to your strengths, providing the time to focus, putting plans into action and achieving your business goal