To PA or Not to PA – Do You Really Need a Personal Assistant?

I’m a small business owner new to Berlin, and I need a little help.

When you’re your own boss, taking care of the finer details of your business can be overwhelming, especially when you move your business to a new city. If you find yourself juggling coffee cups, business calendar dates, and your sanity, it may be time to get a Personal Assistant.

Large corporations regularly hire personal assistants for their CEOs and executives. However, if you’re an individual or a small business owner, having another salaried employee is a far more significant expense.

OK, so do I really need one if it’s so expensive?

Even if you only need help with small errands (sending letters, taking calls, organizing meetings), for a small business, a PA may represent something more. It all comes down to what kind of business you run. If it’s the type that involves a decent amount of client interaction, you may need to read on.

For better or worse, appearances still mean a lot when it comes to impressing clients, no matter what industry you’re in. If your business is operating in a competitive service market, gaining client trust and respect could be what makes your small business stand out.

It’s a matter of detail. Having an assistant answer the phone and direct a call from a pertinent client can make a difference for both you and the client. You won’t waste time speaking on the phone for short inquiries, and the client will get the impression that they’re dealing with a brand-name company.

That sounds lovely, but I still can’t afford another employee. Is there another option?

For those who don’t need the work of a full-time assistant, there are alternatives. Virtual Assistants are increasingly becoming an option for flexible professionals and businesses. Communicating either by phone or Skype, Virtual Assistants typically work remotely, but will handle your scheduling and errands.

Virtual Assistants are self-employed. The upside? You don’t worry about covering a full-time salary, benefits, and taxes. They work flexibly and can handle logistics digitally. The downside? They may not always be available to meet clients „at the door“ when you hold a meeting. VAs often work with more than one company, so don’t expect your VA to be at your beck and call.  Also note that the most affordable VAs might not actually live in the country where your business operates.

If you’re new to Berlin business, it’s more helpful to have an assistant who lives in Berlin. They already know how to speak with local clients, where the best meeting places are, and can handle your local mail.

I want a Berlin-based PA, and I’m also looking for other ways to save money!

Need to cut more overhead costs? Consider operating through a virtual office. Some virtual office packages include PA services (our Berlin virtual office certainly does!).

What’s a Virtual Office?

Need to learn more about Virtual Offices? Learn what types of companies can use a virtual office and how you can start using a virtual office in Berlin.

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