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Should You Subcontract?

As a virtual assistant, you might find yourself debating whether or not to subcontract. When you work for yourself, your earnings are limited by the number of hours you are able to work. A person can only work so many hours per day so there may come a time when your only opportunity for growth comes from hiring others to help you complete your work.

One benefit to subcontracting is giving yourself more time to market yourself and your business. While someone else is doing time-consuming repetitive tasks for you, you can be working on marketing your business. This is simply a matter of finding someone who is willing to do the work for less money than your client is paying you. You may be able to outsource certain tasks such as data entry for much less money to someone who does not enjoy working directly with the client.

There are actually VAs who prefer to do subcontracting work with another VA because they are uncomfortable dealing directly with a client. You can continue to control the customer service end of your business and work on maintaining relationships with clients.

Another benefit of subcontracting as a virtual assistant is that it enables you to offer services to your clients that you don’t know very much about. Perhaps you find that many clients request accounting services and your math skills are abysmal. By paying someone else to take care of this aspect of the job, you can get more clients and offer a broader range of services.

There are a few downsides to subcontracting. Many people find that those willing to do the work for less money have skills that match their low price. This isn’t always true but it can be very time-consuming to wade through the pool of hopefuls to find the standouts. Subcontracting usually requires a bit of trial and error so you’ll need some patience. Offer subcontractors a trial period so you can gauge the quality of their work as well as their reliability.

You also need to pay attention to legalities when hiring a subcontractor. It’s a good idea to have your subcontractor sign a contract that outlines the work to be done and compensation. A confidentiality agreement is vital to protect any sensitive data that you might share with the subcontractor. You might also want to specify that the subcontractor may not contact the client directly for any reason. Sometimes there is no way to conceal your client’s identity and you don’t want your subcontractor to steal your client from you.

Subcontracting can help you bring your VA business to the next level as long as you exercise a bit of caution and good judgment.

About Stephanie Watson

Mom | Wife | Virtual Assistant | Content Strategist
Stephanie has been working from home for over 20 years as a virtual assistant, template bender, and content writer. She's currently transitioning to business coach. You can learn more about her at her website

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