How annoying is dealing with your personal paperwork?
If you’re anything like us here at SavvyinHK, keeping on top of your bills, appointments, and obligations for you and your family is a necessary evil in life.
Ever considered hiring a virtual personal assistant? Ok, it sounds expensive to bring in a skilled assistant, but we’re Savvy in Hong Kong, so we’re talking about a smart and effective solution.
Whether you’re a busy parent, an entrepreneur with too many tasks on your desk, or an executive who needs a unique gift sourced for their spouse, a VA might be the perfect solution.
In this article, we will look at:
- What a virtual personal assistant can help you with
- The features of a good virtual personal assistant
- How to calculate if a virtual personal assistant is a good option for you
- How you can buy more time in your life with a virtual assistant (VA)
- Our favorite company in Hong Kong that provides virtual personal assistant services
- The 9 key benefits of hiring a virtual personal assistant.
But first, let’s dive in and talk about the basics of a virtual personal assistant.
What is a virtual personal assistant?
- A virtual personal assistant, sometimes just called a VA, is a qualified and capable person who supports you as your personal assistant.
- Your assistant will usually carry out tasks that will help free up your time, like dealing with your personal admin, booking appointments, and managing your calendar. There are few limits to what you can ask a VA to do for you.
- Payment can be made based on the hours a person works for you, or you can set them up on a retainer.
- You can choose to employ a VA full-time; however, the most common way to hire a VA is via freelance or contracting a company to supply you with a certain number of hours per month of assistance.
What are the signs that you should consider hiring a virtual personal assistant?
- You face having to do personal admin and other chores in the evenings and weekends.
- You have items on your personal to-do list that have been there for longer than 6 months.
- Your job is so busy that you struggle to find the energy to start working on your list of personal admin.
- You wish you could spend more time catching up with friends and family.
Common concerns about hiring a virtual personal assistant
- It will take a lot of time to explain what I need to be done; will it really increase efficiency?
- I don’t need a full-time person, just a little regular help each month
- Is it possible to get extra help in a particular month?
- What happens if the personal assistant I normally deal with is sick or on holiday?
- The chores I need to be done for me range from entering receipts into a cloud-based accounting system to booking holidays to filing tax returns; can a single assistant cover all this?
Before we dive into all the details about hiring a virtual personal assistant, let’s first talk about the key skills a virtual assistant must possess.
What makes a good virtual personal assistant?
A great virtual personal assistant in Hong Kong will be:
- Unflappable in the face of your hectic life and the bustling city.
- Organized and able to juggle all the tasks you ask of them.
- Communicative so you can be sure there’s no confusion between them and you.
- Tech-savvy so they can manage your online tasks and source the right tools for managing your life.
- Solution-focused rather than worrying about why a problem has arisen – they get the job done.
- Discreet when they need to help with family gifting or making medical appointments.
- Experienced in life so they can understand the challenges you face and ways to help.
Does such a perfect person exist? Before we get on to which company we like and why (price and reliability!!), let’s explore if hiring a virtual personal assistant is worth it for you.
Is a personal assistant worth it?
To decide if bringing a virtual personal assistant into your Hong Kong life is worth it, run a quick calculation.
- Look at your salary and how many hours you work each month. This will give you a rough hourly rate, even if that’s not how your contract is structured.
- Now, get a quote for a virtual assistant for ten hours.
- Looking at the value of your hours compared to the cost of having someone else do the hours of bill paying, spreadsheet tracking, and spam email deleting work can easily begin to look very affordable and good value.
- The same goes for if you’re setting up a business – think about the value you can add to your business through marketing and engagement rather than replying to emails and preparing invoices.
- As an example, let’s say an hour of your time is worth $2,000. If you generally need to do 10 hours of personal admin a month, the cost of your time spent on admin is $20,000. In contrast, if you outsource 10 hours of your time to a firm such as Bauhinia Solutions, you will be paying approximately $3,500. That’s a benefit of $16,500!
How do I hire a personal virtual assistant in Hong Kong?
In our experience, the services offered at Bauhinia Solutions are second-to-none. But before we dive into all the reasons we like them, let’s first talk about the most common options when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant in Hong Kong.
- Hire a single dedicated person to be your virtual assistant. If they are on holiday or sick, you might notice disruptions. You might also find that a single person might be lacking in some of the skills you need.
- Hire a virtual assistant company that can provide you 24/7 seamless coverage. These companies tend to have staff with different skills, which means you can benefit from a wide range of expert assistance.
We personally like using a virtual assistant company that provided 24/7 assistance. Now, we’ll talk about why we like Bauhinia Solutions.
5 reasons why we recommend using Bauhinia Solutions
Finding a personal assistant for hire can be a challenge – freelance and part-time hiring don’t always cut it.
Rather than hunting out an assistant for each task and spending even more hours on recruiting, check out the assistant services offered at Bauhinia Solutions.
We like Bauhinia Solutions because:
- You get all the perks of a virtual personal assistant without actually doing background checks or vetting skills of the individual people. All you need to do is buy a package of hours, and the team of assistants will be on hand to get you organized and destressed.
- What we really love about this solution is you get people with intimate knowledge of Hong Kong. Yes, there might be cheaper solutions hiring a VA outside of the city, but having a team of people on hand who have intimate knowledge of the city is invaluable. They will get their work done faster, and they’ll be able to make much smarter choices for you. Best of all, the team at Bauhinia Solutions will be able to clearly understand and deliver on your needs.
- Highly skilled individuals will support your dedicated personal assistant. Their team members are all experienced, some come from MNCs, and some were PAs previously. You’ll find their team members to be smart, capable, and dependable.
- Being in your exact time zone is a bonus, too. You don’t need to figure out when it’s ok to message, and even accessing apps specific to Hong Kong will be a huge help.
- Connections. The team at Bauhinia Solutions knows what they’re doing. If you need to be connected to a particular type of person, be it a hypnotist, lawyer, or accountant – you’re in luck! Bauhinia Solutions is known for having a huge network of reliable, high-quality contacts.
Organize a call with these folks and see what services they can offer to make your hectic life that little easier.
My experience with using Bauhinia Solutions – HK online virtual assistant company
After I settled on a 10-hour per month package of assistant, the first tasks I requested Bauhinia Solutions to tackle were:
- Prepare my son’s passport renewal paperwork.
- Find reasonably priced but good quality Summer camps for my two kids
- Check the likely price of selling my family car
- Follow up on some insurance claims
- Order Mother’s Day flowers
By the second month, I was feeling ready to tackle some more complex tasks, so I asked Bauhinia Solutions to explore:
- The level of rents people were paying in my apartment; did I have much room to negotiate lower fees in my upcoming lease negotiation?
- If I should consider changing my MPF provider, could I get better returns and lower fees elsewhere?
- My existing insurance policies and if there was a way to potentially save money by combining policies or even shifting to a new provider
Needless to say, hiring a virtual personal assistant not only helped me to get chores off my list but it opened up potential ways of saving money and gave me more time to do the things I love.
Let’s dive in now and talk about the characteristics a good virtual personal assistant should possess.
9 reasons to hire a personal virtual assistant in Hong Kong
Still on the fence about laying out for a personal assistant in Hong Kong?
We’ve picked out the nine reasons we think a VA is a great solution to take away some of your stresses and gift you some of that precious time you work so hard for.
1) Benefits of hiring a VA – Take care of your admin and finances
Gone are the tedious days of balancing a checkbook – if you’re old enough to remember them – but you still have a load of boring money and admin stuff to deal with each day.
Keeping on top of how many of your yoga classes you’ve used this month or remembering to send cash to your home bank account to cover outgoings can get lost when you’re manic at work.
You don’t need to do all of these tasks yourself.
Whilst you probably don’t want to be giving someone access to your bank accounts, you can have someone set up a reminder system for your financial triggers.
Bringing in a queen of spreadsheets – otherwise known as a personal virtual assistant – to whip your activities into shape and plug in all your responsibilities will improve your life immensely.
2) Benefits of hiring a VA – Pay for time-on-task only
Probably one of the daunting ideas about hiring a personal assistant in Hong Kong is the idea of having a full-time employee on your hands.
- Do you really need so much help?
- How do you determine the hours for a part-time employee?
- Will one person be able to do everything you need?
- What happens if this person is sick or goes on holiday?
These are legitimate concerns that using the online personal assistant model can mitigate. By contracting with a company supplying VA services in Hong Kong, you’ll only pay for the work you need.
Working this way is the budget-friendly way to get the help you need.
3) Benefits of hiring a VA – You get a personal calendar with reminders
Remembering actually to set up the right reminders for an event is as big a challenge as remembering to enter something into your calendar in the first place. Next week is a parent-teacher evening at school, but when is the right time to remind you? Do you need multiple nudges?
You can tell your virtual assistant to remind you of your commitments in the way you need, such as:
- Sending you a quick WhatsApp message
- Adding a calendar reminder to your phone
- Calling you to give you pertinent details
So you’re on top of your game.
Tell your virtual personal assistant how you prefer to work and build up a relationship where they know how and when to set your reminders and keep you on track.
4) Benefits of hiring a VA – Delegate the boring stuff
Not going to lie; some personal admin chores are boring. When you hire a virtual personal assistant, you get to choose what you do and don’t want your VA to do:
- As a solopreneur, you might want them to work through your inbox every morning and prioritize your emails.
- Busy parents might need a tracker of their kids’ after-school activities and whose turn it is in the carpool.
- A time-poor executive could probably use someone to organize the dinner party they agreed to host at the weekend.
If you’d rather pull teeth than pull up your calendar app, pay someone to do it for you, and you’ll be happier for it.
5) Benefits of hiring a VA – A second person to catch your mistakes
We’re not all details-focused, and that’s fine as long as you know your flaws and can compensate for them.
An online personal assistant can catch a clash between your doctor’s appointment and your fortnightly manicure and help you rejig your time.
When you get perilously close to your anniversary and still haven’t gotten round to making reservations at anywhere decent, your VA is there to nudge you or even take the task on themselves. Having a second set of eyes anywhere in your life can be helpful, so nothing gets missed or slides off your desk.
Yes, a personal virtual assistant costs money, but not as much as you might lose by forgetting to prepare for your annual review with your boss.
6) Benefits of hiring a VA – Get tailored help
If you’ve ever had an assistant in your professional life, you’ll know how great they are at managing your office and work schedule. Would you trust that same personal assistant to suggest birthday presents for your teenage daughter?
We’re all good at our own things, and you can’t expect one personal assistant to do absolutely everything you might need help with.
When you use a virtual personal assistant service, you can request VAs that matches your needs, so both you and them don’t get overwhelmed with a new task.
You’ll probably need a myriad of tasks done, so it makes sense to have a team of personal assistants on hand as necessary.
7) Benefits of hiring a VA – The gift of time
If you’re really trying to figure out the value of hiring a virtual personal assistant in Hong Kong, there are some calculations you can do.
Look at a typical week’s worth of the time you spend not at your job. Look at how much of that time is spent:
- In your calendar apps
- Researching about restaurants
- Looking where to buy kids clothes
- Dealing with returning online shopping packages
When you’re realistic with all the tasks that take up your evenings and weekends, you’ll probably be surprised.
How valuable is that time in your life? Do you really want to spend Saturday morning planning next week rather than being at brunch with your pals?
Looking for a personal assistant for hire through a VA program will release time into your life and compress your admin down to a little bit of oversight rather than getting bogged down in the details.
8) Benefits of hiring a VA – Focus on your business
Starting your own business venture is both amazing and scary. There’s a lot to get to grips with, even if you’ve been working in large corporations all your life.
You will want to spend time on the front-of-house stuff, like getting your branding and voice right, sourcing the right products, building relationships with suppliers and clients.
There are basic business functions that you really don’t need to be into with details, like:
- Preparing invoices
- Uploading products to your e-commerce shop
- Liaising with suppliers or contractors
- Researching micro-influencers to work with
- Organizing a product photoshoot
You might not want to take someone on as a full-time assistant yet, so bringing in a Hong Kong-based virtual assistant allows you to give these tasks to someone competent so you can do what you do best.
9) Benefits of hiring a VA – Avoid burnout
You don’t need to be a superhero; try to do everything yourself and struggle through.
Have you noticed signs of burnout creeping into your life?
- Being tired all the time
- Having a short temper
- A negative, cynical attitude
- Being overly self-critical
- Feeling like you’re under attack
- Showing strong emotions at small triggers
If so, you need to find ways to bring your life under control.
As well as seeking help with stress management, you can find ways to remove some direct stresses and hire a personal virtual assistant to take over some of your tasks.
Even better, get that personal VA set up before you get close to burnout, so you don’t have to dig yourself out of a hole.
Hiring a virtual personal assistant in Hong Kong – FAQs
What does a virtual personal assistant do?
A virtual personal assistant can undertake a range of tasks that you don’t want or can’t do yourself. Some examples of what a personal VA can help with include:
– Processing an insurance claim
– Organizing your family calendar
– Placing adverts to help hire a maid or driver
– Renew your insurances
– Buy or recommend gifts for family and friends
– Communicate between you and your interior design firm
– If you’re unsure whether your needs fall into the remit of what an online personal assistant can do, speak to a company specializing in them.
How much does a personal assistant cost per hour?
How much you pay for a virtual personal assistant will depend on the skills you need and whether you can save on the hourly rate by agreeing to a minimum number of hours per month. As a guide, you can expect to pay around $3,500 for 10 hours with an admin-based personal assistant online.
How do virtual assistants track their time?
All companies are different, but at Bauhinia Solutions, they use a time-tracking feature in their project management system, TeamworkPM. This means that they can start and pause the timer for each task on their to-do list and then log time upon completion of the task. The team at Bauhinia Solutions stops the timer when they complete the task, answer a phone call, or duck to the bathroom. The minimum time allocated in their work schedule is 15 minutes; however, they only log time worked.
Keeping your life together in Hong Kong can be overwhelming; there’s a lot of sense in hiring a virtual assistant to get you through life in Hong Kong.
From supporting your business to keeping your family and social life ticking over, if you’re time-poor, then spending money to repurchase some of it can definitely be a savvy move.