The Administrative Consultant Difference

The Difference Between an Administrative Consultant and a Staff Member

By Danielle Steele

I was once contacted by an attorney who was looking for someone to support him in his practice. Nothing unusual there since one of the target markets I focus on serving is the legal profession. What became immediately clear, however, was that he was operating under several misconceptions, primarily that Virtual Assistants (we call them Administrative Consultants) are a form of cheap employee labor you don’t have to pay taxes on.

He about had a heart attack when I informed him that the average rate range in our industry is between $35-$70 an hour. When I asked what his expectation was, he explained that even at $35 per hour, he wasn’t in any position to afford $72,000 a year for someone to assist him 40 hours a week.

Whoa! Hang on there! Let me clear up this medical emergency.

When you work with an Administrative Consultant, you are working with an independent professional–not an employee. Therefore, how and when you work together isn’t going to look anything like the way you work with a staff member. You aren’t “employing” us for a part-time or full-time work week. Rather, Administrative Consultants offer strategic support delivered on a monthly basis.

An Administrative Consultant is the best fit for solo and small practice attorneys who don’t have the time or space for in-house staff. Unlike project-oriented secretarial services and freelancers, Administrative Consultants work with clients in ongoing, collaborative relationship, with a typical commitment from the client of between 10-30 hours per month.

An Administrative Consultant’s support will allow you to focus your efforts on your main income-generating activities such as client work and marketing. Using average figures, let’s say you decide to retain an Administrative Consultant for 20 hours a month. If paying a simple $900 retainer each month allowed you to be more focused, get more efficient, increase the number of billable hours you have available, and at a minimum could potentially increase your revenue by even $50,000 a year, wouldn’t you think that was a pretty worthwhile investment?

So how can solo and small practice attorneys afford to have the help they need? I say, how can they afford not to? Because mark my words, your practice will never grow beyond where it is today by trying to do it all yourself.

RESOURCE: For more information about Administrative Consultants and how they can support you in your business, be sure and check out the VACOC Client Guide.

Take a look at the video below to better understand what administrative support is all about:

About the Author: Danielle Keister is an author, business adviser and innovator in the Administrative Consulting profession. Through her organization, the Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce, she is passionate about helping administrative experts grow stronger, more financially successful practices that lead them to greater personal happiness, freedom and client satisfaction. An administrative professional of 25+ years and veteran Administrative Consultant of 12+ years, her no-nonsense approach to business development has gained her recognition as one of the leaders in the field.

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