The Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Different Types of Virtual Assistants


There's an immense number of skilled and talented virtual assistants (VA) available online. And with the low cost of labour, even solopreneurs can start building their virtual team without breaking the bank. And being a remote setup, business owners also benefit from the opportunity to work in the comfort of their homes.

There are different types of VAs available in the market and the best VA type for your business is not always obvious.

Read on for a complete guide to the different types of VAs you can hire for your business, the pros and cons of each type, the set of tasks to outsource, and where to find your next VA. 

Task-based Virtual Assistant

Task-based VAs are recommended for one-time tasks which are accomplished by following a specific standard process.  This type of VAs is commonly paid according to an agreed fixed rate per output. The tasks may include appointment setting, research, voiceover recordings, image cleanups, uploading templated/branded paperwork, etc.


While it’s necessary to hire an expert when it comes to core production tasks such as custom logo and content writing, all other simple tasks requiring too much time to do including data entry and booking appointments can be entrusted to an entry-level VA.

Pros and Cons of hiring task-based VA

Task-based VAs helps you track ROI (Return of Investment) for the specific work you’ve outsourced. You’ll always get the final output you’ve paid for, on the agreed deadline. While you focus on improving your business core operation, your VA will take care of all the simple yet vital back-office tasks for you.

It could cost you a lot if you outsource the wrong set of tasks such as web design and content writing. If the final output is likely to have multiple revisions (e.g. custom logo/content writing), you might end up losing more time and money. Considering the rework time and extra charges your VA demands.

Where to find task-based VA

Fiverr.com is a good place to start when you’re looking for a task-based VA. Through Fiverr, you can browse a pool of freelancers with defined package rates that covers all the requirements you need. No need for you to guess what are the items included in the final output. In most cases, candidates also include turnaround time for the tasks they offer to work on.

Project-based virtual assistants

Let’s go to the next VA type on our list, the project-based virtual assistant. These VA’s work an average of 3-6 months for one specific project and are paid per project milestone. The tasks mostly outsourced to a project-based VA’s are website building, Google AdWords campaigns, and other complex tasks requiring skills and expertise to accomplish.

For this type of VA, look for a candidate with a solid track record, specific expertise on the tasks, and has more than 2 years of experience working remotely.

Pros and Cons of hiring project-based VA

Project-based VAs are very helpful for businesses who need additional help meeting deadlines for their big one-time projects. Because the contract works in a continuous time frame, revisions and major changes on each milestone submitted will be easier.

Due to the simplicity of the setup, some VAs are likely to quit mid-way of project completion. Worst-case scenario; you’ll end up getting ghosted by your VA.

For project-based VAs, it is best to keep track of the turnover output per milestone. Also, keep a shortlist of possible replacements in case your VA leaves you hanging. And remember this: NEVER pay in full for this type of VA. To be fair, agree to give 20% down-payment while the remaining payments will only be given upon completion of each milestone.

Where to find a project-based VA

You can look for project-based VAs on UpWork.com. There are a lot of other websites available that can help you look for your project-based VAs. But regardless of the site preferences you personally have, look for a platform with payment per milestone option.

Full-time virtual assistants (Employees)

The last item on our list - the full-time VA’s. These VA’s often work the typical 40 hours per week setup. They are dedicated to a single client and are paid on a monthly basis. Full-time VAs handle tasks and projects within the scope of their expertise and are likely to work for their clients for years.

The skills and expertise required for a full-time VA depend on the specific needs of the client and are likely range from rookies to specialists.  

Full-time VAs are essentially considered as an extension of the business and its current staff, opposing the common misconception they are 3rd party service providers.

Pros and Cons of hiring full-time VA 

Going with a full-time VA is an exceptional choice covering all recurring tasks, complete back-office work and provides you with trusted team players that can be entrusted with confidential business information.

There are plenty of VA applicants online, and it will be a bit hard to find stellar candidates. While some can walk the talk, others will only do too much talking and execute poorly. So it will be best to test their real capability during interview or screening. Give them an actual task and if they can’t do the work, move on to the next candidates.

Where to find project-based VA 

You can look for Full-time VA’s on all freelancing platforms (e.g. UpWork, People Per Hour, and Freelancer.com). However, it will be best to hire a full-time staff/team with the help of a BPO company.

BPO companies offer a secured infrastructure, business-grade internet and data protection - which is very important when hiring offshore staff. You can also free yourself from recruitment, administration, and staff management responsibilities (attendance and payroll) because your BPO provider can cover all those for you.

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Conclusion

There are a lot of VA candidates available on various platforms online. Before you get excited to hire your first VA, it’s best to think about the appropriate setup for your outsourcing plan. 

If you need someone to take care of all the simple back-office work, task-based VA might be the right choice. Need working hands on a specific project with specific deadlines? Project-based VA can help you accomplish the work on time. Want to invest in expert professionals who will work with you for the long-haul? Full-time VAs are the ones you’re looking for.

If you need additional information about working with a BPO, feel free to leave us a message. Do you need help finding your next VA? Connect with us today!


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