If you’ve followed any online business on social media, you’ve probably seen “the team” mentioned, and you might wonder if that team is made up of VAs.
If you’ve seen: “Thanks to my awesome team for helping out with this launch!” or “Happy birthday to team member, Natalie!” you’re looking at a business that has a team of virtual or local employees.
So what’s the difference between a VA and a Team Member? And how do you know which one you want to be!?
Like most things in the VA world, the answer really depends on the business you’re working for and how you mutually set the terms. So, keep in mind that with the ever-changing nature of online business, some businesses may be answering this question for themselves. If the business you’re talking to isn’t clear about what they want, that means YOU set your own boundaries. Before you sign on for any job, ask good questions to get the information you need to make a decision.
But, we can give you some general ideas to understand what a team member and VA are (and are not!):
A Virtual Assistant (or Independent Contractor, with a 1099 IRS Tax Form)
- Will likely be working with multiple clients at once
- Will work a variety of tasks (within her own expertise and comfort level)
- Legally cannot be required to work specific hours
- Uses personal methods and resources to complete assignments
- May terminate the working relationship with little to no notice
- Is responsible for filing taxes
- Is responsible for securing benefits
A Team Member (or Employee, with a W-9 IRS Tax Form)
- Might sign a non-compete or disclosure agreement (Which means the business could require you to have no other working agreement with anyone else during the course of your relationship with them)
- Will have a job title, with roles and responsibilities clearly outlined
- Receives job training by the business and provided the tools necessary to do the job
- Can expect periodic performance reviews
- Is assumed to have loyalty to the business or brand
- May have a set schedule or work time obligations
- May have the opportunity to speak on behalf of the brand
- Receives a W-9 and the business files tax records
- May receive benefits as part of the working arrangement
- When it’s time to move on from the job, a more formal 2 week or more transition period is professionally expected
To help you decide if you’d rather be a VA or a Team Member, here are some questions to answer for yourself:
- Do I want the opportunity to work with more than one client at a time?
- If I am on a team, how confident am I in the stability of this business?
- Am I looking for a brand to join or do I want to experiment and look around?
- Am I a great team player who wants to work closely with others?
- Can I give the team the hours they need, when they need them?
And if you’re discussing a job with a client, here are some clarifying questions you can ask to be sure everyone is on the same page:
- Do you require a non-compete (an agreement that you wouldn’t enter into a position at a competing business) or non-disclosure (a confidentiality agreement)?
- Do you provide a 1099 or a W-9 tax form?
- How many other people do you have working for you? How long do people work for you on average?
- Do you view this role as part of a team or do you see it as something you’re hiring out to an independent contractor?
There isn’t a right or wrong way to answer these questions, only the best answer for you and your family. Isn’t it wonderful there are so many ways to work online!?
Looking for more answers? You might like: Drawing a Line Between Virtual Assistant and Business Consultant