Save Costs and Maximize Efficiency: Virtual Assistants for Small Businesses

By Holly Stanley | Updated: 22 Sep, 2023

It’s 11 a.m. on Monday. Instead of feeling excited about your startup’s upcoming sales pitches and those contracts you won last week, you feel a crushing sense of dread. 

You’re buried under endless unread emails. You need to update your CRM, organize your itinerary for a conference next month, and finish uploading some blog posts you wrote last month. 

Instead of that 35-hour workweek you were hoping for, you’re looking at a 60-hour week (if you’re lucky). The worst part is the tedious tasks you hate will fill most of these hours. 

So what’s the solution? It’s definitely not burnout and overwork. You probably need a virtual assistant for a small business. 

Read on to learn how a VA can transform your business hours from stress and overwork to productivity. 


Table of contents

  1. What is a small business virtual assistant?
  2. When should you hire a virtual assistant?
  3. What can a virtual assistant do for a small business?
  4. What are the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant?
  5. Can a VA save you money? 
  6. Scale your small business with a Prialto virtual assistant

What is a small business virtual assistant?

A small business virtual assistant (VA) is an individual who provides various services to entrepreneurs or businesses from a remote location.

Because they work online, they're called "virtual" assistants.

VAs usually help small business owners by handling tedious and repetitive tasks that take up too much time. 

Virtual assistants can help small business owners with a variety of specific tasks, including: 

  • Administrative support 
  • Project management
  • Calendar management 
  • Web design
  • Phone calls
  • Social media marketing
  • General business operations

Small business owners often find they need support with repetitive tasks like the above list. But, as they scale their business, owners may not want to hire a full-time employee or personal assistant to handle these tasks. 

To keep costs low and continue scaling, most small business owners find it more cost-effective to outsource tasks to a virtual assistant. 

When should you hire a virtual assistant? 

Entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers waste hours each week on busy work. Workers spend around 62 percent of the workday on repetitive, mundane tasks. 

Sixty-two percent of an eight-hour day roughly equals five hours. 

Think about what you could achieve with an extra five hours a day. 

Would you spend more time pitching your business to venture capitalists? Would you develop that new feature all your users want to access? You could end your workday a couple of hours earlier. The choice is yours. 


Besides winning back valuable time, there’s a real risk of burnout when you try to handle all your admin and scheduling tasks yourself. Any entrepreneur or business owner will tell you it’s easy to fall into the trap of overworking. 

One historical study found that most small business owners work twice as much as employees. Over 30 percent said they work over 50 hours per week, and 25 percent said they work more than 60 hours per week. 


So, if you are overworking or tired of doing tedious tasks, it’s time to offload your workload to an experienced and professional VA. 

You’ll be surprised at how much time you get back and how you can reinvest this time saving into your workday or personal life. 


Read more: 9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant

What can a virtual assistant do for a small business?

Virtual assistants handle those annoying, time-consuming, repetitive tasks that eat into your valuable work week. 

These tasks are different for each person. But here are some examples of tasks that business owners often outsource to VAs: 


  1. Administrative tasks: This includes email management, scheduling appointments, managing client databases, data entry, and setting up and coordinating meetings.
  2. Social media management: A VA might manage a company's social media profiles, schedule posts, respond to followers, and analyze engagement metrics.
  3. Content management: Uploading blog posts, simple graphic design, editing videos, and more.
  4. Customer service: Handling customer inquiries, feedback, and complaints via email, chat, or phone.
  5. Research: A VA could gather information on competitors, find new suppliers, or stay on top of industry trends.
  6. Website management: Updating content on the website, simple troubleshooting, and sometimes even more complex tasks if they have the required skills.
  7. Bookkeeping: Managing expenses, invoicing, and other financial tasks. However, hiring a professional accountant or bookkeeper might be more suitable for more complex financial tasks.
  8. Email marketing: Setting up email campaigns, managing subscriber lists, and analyzing campaign performance.
  9. Event planning: Coordinating webinars, workshops, or even physical events.
  10. Travel arrangements: Booking flights and hotels and making other necessary travel arrangements.


What are the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant?

Working with virtual assistants gives you back time so you can focus on valuable tasks that drive impact for your business. 

Outsourcing tedious tasks

Repetitive tasks like email management, social media scheduling, and data entry eat into your work week. 

Shockingly, some of the heaviest email users spend over eight hours each week on email alone. A VA can step in and handle these tasks so they’re no longer a burden for you. 

Justin Albertynas, the CEO of travel booking extension Ratepunk, shares how he felt overwhelmed by admin tasks that took up a considerable percentage of his workweek. 

He explains how he spent nearly 15 hours a week on email correspondence and scheduling meetings. 

“My VA took over these responsibilities and streamlined the process. By setting up filters, organizing my inbox, and taking control of calendar invites, the VA reduced my email and scheduling time to just three hours a week,” Justin says. 

“A few months later, I realized that I was dedicating around 10 hours every week to data entry and maintaining client records.  With my VA's help, this was cut down to only 2 hours, thanks to their expertise with CRM tools and efficient data handling techniques,” he explains. 

“The VA took over our social media posting and basic customer queries, which saved me another 5 hours weekly,” he adds. 

By working with a VA, Justin didn’t need to worry about tedious tasks anymore. Instead, he could relax as a dedicated virtual assistant handled them. 

Increase your productivity

When you don’t have to do repetitive tasks, you’ll have time to focus on more pressing tasks. Plus, you won’t have the distraction or stress of dealing with email alerts or data entry. 

Justin of Ratepunk explains a VA helped him save time that he could use for other activities. 

“In total, by hiring a VA, I was able to reclaim around 25 hours out of my 40-hour work week, allowing me to focus on core business strategies, networking, and even enjoying some personal time.”


Adebayo Samson, founder and CEO of education website Academicful, agrees that working with a VA allows him to focus on more important tasks. 

“My VA handle­s a diverse range of tasks, including managing my e­mail inbox, scheduling appointments, conducting research for blog topics and social media content. They also played a crucial role in streamlining administrative­ processes like data e­ntry and maintaining my CRM system,” he explains. 

“The time-saving be­nefits since bringing a VA on board have truly e­xceeded my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by how much valuable time I could regain. This newfound freedom enables me to focus on high-impact activities such as content creation, client consultations, and refining my business strategy.”


Michael Nova, founder and CEO of Nova Custom Label Printing, was surprised by how much time he saves working with a VA. 

“I estimate that I save 20 hours a week, and it's absolutely worth the expense. Saving time is so important because I am running several businesses at once and don't have time to handle all the daily grunt work that needs to be done,” he says.

“Having a virtual assistant allows me to focus on new opportunities and specific areas for growth. It also saves me from doing the hassle work of eliminating spam emails from my inbox, for instance.” 

Organize your schedule

Ever felt overwhelmed by your schedule? Whether you travel a lot or have to attend multiple meetings, making everything fit together can be a headache. 

Ronald Osborne, a business coach and consultant, explains how VAs help him manage a busy schedule so that his business runs smoothly. 

“Having a VA means I don’t have to sweat the small stuff, so to speak. I travel frequently for business. My VA takes care of travel logistics and provides me with detailed itineraries,” he says.

“Travel goes way beyond just booking hotels and flights. Arranging internal transfers or figuring out the best transport to get me from A to B in a new city or country is an art form. She makes sure the small stuff is in place to help the business run smoothly.”


Read more: 11 Proven Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Can a VA save you money?

Hiring a virtual assistant will save your business valuable dollars. Not only do you save your time for more valuable activities, but you won’t have the overhead of hiring a full-time administrative assistant. 

Whether you hire a freelance, part-time, or full-time virtual assistant, the cost will be lower than hiring an in-house executive assistant. 

There’s also the option of working with a managed virtual assistant service like Prialto. 

While working with a managed virtual assistant company may incur a larger upfront investment, you won’t need to vet, hire, and manage the VA yourself, the company will do it for you. 

What is the typical hourly rate for a virtual assistant?

Hourly rates for virtual assistants vary depending on experience and skill set. According to a study by Zippia, the average hourly rate for virtual assistants in the US is $19.19 per hour. Hourly rates typically range between $13 and $25 per hour depending on location, experience, level of English, and skillset. 


On platforms like UpWork, you’ll see a huge range in skillsets and pricing. 

UpWork Virtual assistants

Image source

For example, a US-based VA in New York will likely charge more than a virtual assistant in the Philippines or India. That’s because of the difference in the cost of living. 


Learn more: Virtual Assistants in the Philippines: Guide to Hiring and Outsourcing


If you’d prefer a managed virtual assistant service where you don’t need to deal with the admin of sourcing, hiring, and training VAs, Prialto offers 55 hours of support for ’s monthly pricing starts at $1500. 

This flat-rate pricing structure includes collaboration with an engagement manager who helps you get the most out of your Prialto VA. Plus, your dedicated assistant will have already gone through a month of intensive training before they work with you. You’ll also have access to a trained backup assistant if your primary VA is unavailable. 

If you’re looking for a VA to step in and handle mundane tasks without handholding and creating more admin work for you, then a managed VA service is probably your best bet. 

That said, if you’re looking to cut costs, don’t have a problem with training your VA, and have a low volume of tasks you’d like assistance with, you may prefer to work with a freelance VA. 

“My VA is always accessible, personable, professional, and so responsive in getting tasks completed (and usually ahead of schedule). I would highly recommend working with the Prialto team!” says Laura Mendelow, founder of Mendelow Consulting. 

Scale your small business with a Prialto virtual assistant

Virtual assistants save small business owners from burnout and overwhelm. Instead of spending hours on mundane repetitive tasks, let VAs handle the grunt work for you. 

Relying on a managed virtual assistant can improve your workflow and make it easier to focus on growing your business. Once you start with a VA, you’ll be surprised by how much more time you have. 

Ready to find an extra 25 hours or more each week? Learn more about how hiring a managed virtual assistant will save you time. 

Small Business Virtual Assistant FAQs