As a business owner, you’ve likely used, are using, or considered outsourcing tasks – and for good reason. Numerous articles, such as 5 Ways Small Business Owners Can Get Organized for 2017 on SmallBizDaily reference the benefit of virtual assistance.

Not to mention, that entrepreneurs and small businesses are now spoiled for choice with the level of virtual assistance they can hire at any price scale. But here’s the real question – can a $3 per hour virtual assistant really provide the support that’s demanded of today’s visionary entrepreneurs? If you’re looking for help with basic “check the list” tasks, it’s still a great option with a number of benefits. But if you’re looking for more – a task-taker who can also be a partner in growth, a sounding board, a self-starter who actively seeks different ways to help you in your business – you may want to consider a more advanced option.

Luckily, evolving alongside the changing needs of passionate entrepreneurs, a new level of remote assistance has emerged. Think less “assistants” more “Business Support Specialists”. This new, higher-calibre cohort of virtual assistants are often college educated professionals from the corporate world seeking more flexible and rewarding work opportunities – millennials, military spouses, parents. People with real, tested skills and long-term successful careers in their field of expertise.

This shift is music to the ears of startup founders and established companies who require much more than just help with basic-level tasks, and need an entirely different level of a progressive and strategic ally, but still want to the cost-savings of outsourcing vs. hiring a full-time employee.

Over the past few years at our company, we’ve seen this trend of higher-grade assistance fueling the rapid growth of businesses that otherwise wouldn’t have been accomplished, and there are a few key reasons why it’s taking off:

  1. Technology is fueling the premium virtual assistance revolution – Over the past 5-10 years, many online tools have emerged to make remote work not just a possibility, but often more convenient and productive than heading to an office. Advances in online video meetings, live chats, document sharing and much more have created an environment that fosters, and even favors outsourcing; making it incredibly easy for professional office workers to make the leap to remote assistance.
  1. Founders are looking for someone they can trust to represent them and their business – making quality paramount. While price is still important, the primary consideration has shifted to working with someone you can be confident to represent you and take on responsibility. With the proliferation of virtual assistance solutions, the sheer numbers particularly offshore, have made it very difficult to sort the great, from the good, from the not-so-good. So while there are some positive options in all sectors, Today’s founders are now leaning towards choosing an option which removes risk and research, and gets them a quality, guaranteed solution from the get-go.
  1. Constant And Continuous Visibility for Today’s Companies Leaves No Room for Error – As you know, your company’s online presence, as well as its interactions with customers, is an extremely important part of how you’re perceived and whether or not you’re trusted. In today’s fast-paced world of customer response and engagement, you simply don’t have as much time for quality control. Hiring someone who has a long-term stake in your business and experience in your industry, to handle these tasks, that can be completely trusted to deliver clear, competent answers is an attractive option, vs. having to police the content that your company is delivering.

As we continue to see executives and founders demanding quality, and high calibre employees demanding flexibility, this trend of advanced-level virtual assistance will only continue to grow.

Sandra Lewis is the founder of Worldwide101, a premium virtual assistant company connecting demanding founders and executives with highly skilled, meticulously matched help. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.