Starting and running a business is tough. Primely, because in the beginning, it is just you or maybe a couple of other founders.
…You have to do almost everything on your own. Even if you have two or three other people on board.
And all this workload may pose a considerable threat to your business growing.
It may be because of a staff shortage, or you don’t trust anyone to do the tasks. But one thing is for sure; it’s dangerous to overload yourself.
The world is changing at an extremely high pace, and we have to catch up with it to survive. With the indulgence of technology, we have witnessed a convenience and change in working patterns across the globe.
The same trend has been adopted by the business sectors as well. With the advancement in technology, businesses have modified their practices a lot, and the most praiseworthy is the introduction of virtual assistant feature.
There is a lot to do, and sometimes we do not have time to do all the work by ourselves. Feel like getting your work caught up?
In this post, I am going to take you through tasks that you can easily outsource to a virtual assistant. So you can concentrate on essential tasks that are primary to your business growth.
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is an individual hired by a business to handle a particular task remotely without being physically present at the business premises.
Hiring a virtual assistant could save you amenities that are pertinent in an office.
However, there are some questions associated with hiring a virtual assistant that you need to ask before hiring the one.
The most recurring and prime question that gets asked is what service we can outsource to a virtual assistant?
Well, the valid question as many among us have no clue as what a virtual assistant is capable of and how business can benefit from hiring one?
In this piece of writing, we will assist you in understanding what exactly you should or can let your virtual assistant handle on your behalf.
In every business practice, we hire secretaries to manage our calls and schedule daily. Although technology allows us to install software and maintain our schedule. Even then, we are prone to procrastination and postponements not to mention the lack of time to manage it.
With all these tasks waiting for you, it’s best to have someone keep an eye on your schedule and remind you of events.
Most businesses don’t have the office space or capital for a secretary to handle these affairs. And there are numerous virtual assistant companies you can find talented and honest individuals to help you with schedule management.
Most VA’s will work with your software, causing a two-pronged efficiency attack on your essential tasks.
Also, you may not want an employee physically being with you all the time. Then you can outsource your schedule management to a virtual assistant and let him or her remind you of your essential routine tasks.
As a business owner, there are countless uses for your time that can benefit the growth of your company than answering emails.
One of the most annoying and time-consuming tasks in business practices is the handling of emails. In a time-sensitive business routine, you have to take out time to read and answer emails.
If you have a VA managing your schedule, it only makes sense to allow them to access your emails. Then they can properly allocate time and tasks for you.
Emails are electronic leaches to business. They disrupt your workflow and concentration, which may take minutes to regain and most emails you receive will probably be inquiries. So there is no need of wasting time answering them.
Consider yourself working hard on a particular project and achieving flow, and a new email appears abruptly on your computer screen. Well, you have to read it to know the context and to respond would cost you your precious time.
Want to avoid this interruption?
Let a virtual assistant handle it for you.
In a regular business routine, “Emergency Calls” are rare and sometimes the so-called “emergency Calls” proves a distraction.
So why not to let someone handle it for you? Yes, we are talking about hiring a virtual assistant to handle your personal calls as well.
Most of the business nowadays have a customer care department to handle the complaints and queries, but what about those personal calls that you have to manage?
A virtual assistant will help you save valuable time from telephone interruptions.
And will take some weight off your shoulders and receive peace of mind in return.
Presentations and data management is an ordinary routine task in every business practice.
They do demand a lot of time and efforts. So why not to hire someone not only to fetch data but to prepare presentation slides for you while you are handling other essential business tasks?
Outsourcing small office tasks like data collection and slides preparation could save you not only time but effort to perform even more complicated and skill demanding tasks.
If you are starting your first business, bookkeeping can be a difficult task to handle. It consumes time and requires a high level of concentration since it involves payments, taxation, recording bills, invoices, etc.
Every business can achieve great heights by reviewing past performance and crafting future goals.
One of the greatest tools for performance review is accountancy. The base of accountancy is bookkeeping and to keep the record or every business receipt is not a joke. It requires a lot of time and effort to maintain every invoice and payment receipts daily.
So outsourcing bookkeeping would save you a lot of effort and time to invest in other business tasks.
Are you interested in outsourcing bookkeeping? Glad to hear, but you have to be cautious while hiring a virtual assistant as it involves sensitive business information.
So, put a little effort to find a trustworthy virtual assistant to save your time on bookkeeping.
I believe this is the hardest job on the list to outsource outside your company. It will save you a few hours weekly.
Partner or Client Management
Maintaining a good customer base is the prime motive of every business. However, along with offering excellent services, Your business does need to go the extra mile to earn customer delight.
A customer would be delighted by receiving a birthday or anniversary cards from you. So why not to invest in these customs to earn loyalty?
Being that much customer-centric requires effort and creativity that can be a hurdle with completing your main business projects on time. Worried?
Well, you need not worry because this is where you can hire the services of a virtual assistant to please your partners and clients.
Having a calendar for your clients birthdays, anniversaries, and major holidays. Then sending cards/gifts will benefit your company in ways you won’t believe, it’s called appreciation marketing.
Here’s a great article on a car salesmen-Joe Girard, where he sold six days a day every day. [link] Using this method.
If you want to focus on business development tasks or become more productive, it will be hard to spare time for online research.
But you can’t afford to ignore conducting internet research.
You need to gain competitive intelligence, find new markets for your products, statistics for marketing plans, etc.
A virtual assistant can do this effectively if you find someone with years of experience and the rich knowledge of online research tools/software.
Virtual assistants know very well how online research works. They understand the importance of keywords as well as the authenticity of the information.
So why not to let someone else handle all the research for you? All you have to do is to give clear instructions regarding the topic.
For writing research articles, hiring a virtual assistant to do all the research and provide you with the relevant information could be a huge help.
Virtual assistants also assist in writing the summary or abstract by analysing the information available.
Planning your business travel is time-consuming, let alone the added stress of arranging a cost-effective trip.
Having a travel specialist virtual assistant means your business trips could be fun if we remove the hassle out of them. Wondering as what could possibly be a hassle in a trip?
Among many other things, flight arrangement, luggage, check-in, hotels and accommodation, transportation, car booking, day trips to sightseeing, resorts, etc.
While you are away, your email virtual assistant will be taking care of your inbox. And only forwarding urgent and critical correspondence to you, so you don’t miss out on anything…
…You could be so convenient that you might end up hiring the VA for your personal trips as well…
…Leaving you to focus on your tan.
Keeping a close watch on your competitors is one of the mandatory factors to get ahead in the competition.
However, competition analysis is a tough job in itself and requires you to keep an eye on your competitors’ products, prices, and offerings.
If you are doing all by yourself that it could be a stressful and highly exhausting job.
So, be smart and outsource this task to a virtual assistant to save your energy and efforts. A virtual assistant will not only review the products and services, but they also keep a close watch on their policies and work ethics as well.
Keep Yourself Informed About Industry Norms
Keeping pace with the industry norms and practices would be beneficial for your survival. So it is always prudent to stay in touch with the latest developments and reforms in the industry.
It might prove lethal for your business survival if you are not aware of the changing rules and regulations related to your industry. Most of the business have to face legal issues due to unawareness regarding specific industrial reforms and regulations.
So if you do not want to end up being caught in a legal adversary or want to be aware of every change occurring in the industry, the industry analysis is essential.
However, there is a tiny weeny problem that keeping up with developments and changes in the industry requires countless hours of searching. So save your precious time by hiring someone to do all the industry search for you.
A virtual assistant would perform healthy industry analysis and will allow you to be informed and aware of the latest developments and amendments.
A business website is a platform that connects the business with its client base. But do you know what the essential feature of a website is? It’s indeed the content that the business shares on its site.
The content you share regarding your business on your site could prove to be the lifeline of content marketing in the online world. Although content creation is an integral part of content marketing.
It’s the most exhaustive and time-consuming as well.
Not all businesses need mass content creation. But if you want to show up in Google, you need content, and it will save you a lot of time to pay someone to write for you.
Virtual assistants can help you with SEO writing, newsletter writing, blog post creation, guest blogging, directory submission, and article marketing.
Blogging, lets your clients know more about business practices and ethics but to write a highly informative blog or article, you need information.
Usual business practice blogging and content marketing require a whole separate department. But if you do not have the one, then you can hire blogging services to come up with great content.
Moreover, if you are not aware of the SEO or formatting techniques, then a virtual assistant could prove beneficial.
Website content and the consistency of the material will keep your website alive and updated to maintain customers’ interest. If you do not have that much time, then a virtual assistant would do it for you every week.
Social Media Management
Businesses that stay visible and accessible to customers are the one that gets the ultimate clients retention and trust. Social media offers many platforms for companies and individuals to make to stay in touch with clients around the world.
The more customers tend to know regarding the specific business, the more they tend to rely on their products and services. Various businesses now understand the need of the hours and come up with a team to manage their social media accounts.
Is your business on the leading social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn? If not, then you are seriously lagging in retaining a delighted customer base.
If you are not very much familiar with how these platforms work, then hiring a virtual assistant would be highly relevant.
A virtual assistant will not only manage all your social media accounts but also maintain those account by sharing valuable business information and offerings.
They can also get involved on your behalf with the customers to answer queries and manage complaints so that customers would feel more connected and valuable.
As a bonus, social media is an excellent place for web 2.0 backlinks, so the more links you have from every platform, the better.
Web designing is not an easy task. It requires a lot of time that even if you knew your way around graphic design, it would be healthy to assign it to someone else.
There are people out there who know more about web design than you do. A virtual assistant competent in this area will create a pleasing website so that you can shift your focus on other matters, such as designing a new marketing plan.
You can hire a virtual designer to design logos, icons, headers, banners, eBook covers, or to design your full website, landing pages and infographics images.
When it comes to web development, it is crucial that you get a professional with enough experience to do it for you. This way, you will put your efforts on other tasks such as putting together the contents and publishing schedule for your new site.
A skilled virtual assistant developer can handle for you such things as site maintenance, WordPress plugins, and themes installations and customisation develop WordPress web applications, and so on.
Video and Audio Editing
Giving up your video and audio auditing job to a virtual assistant will save you a lot of time that can transfer to other tasks such as developing content.
Instead of taking too much time adding intros and outros to your videos, or looking for the right podcast plugin, hire a skilled virtual assistant.
There is so much to do in normal business routine physically and the online world.
With the recent breakthrough of website marketing in the business world, more and more businesses are getting involved in the online presence. But here the problems are not most of them are experts on handling websites.
So what needs to be done? Well, you can hire a team for handling all the online marketing tasks. But hiring a team would also demand a separate space and equipment, so why not to go for outsourcing the website management task?
It will save you not only save space but also the investment in the equipment.
All you need to do is to hire an expert as a virtual assistant to manage the website related chores like blog forms creation, blog publishing management, moderating your blog comments, etc. And you are sorted, my friend.
One of the essential features to have updated and skilful employee base is training. However, training requires efforts, and it may interrupt the normal functioning of the business sometimes.
Not anymore, instead of training your staff on how to use the new technology or service. You can hire a virtual assistant who has expertise in the subject matter.
The virtual assistant doesn’t even have to be present physically. He or she can train your employees via Skype.
I love this tip. You forget Va’s have a mountain of knowledge in completing their jobs for numerous different clients, which can help your new in-house staff.
Where Can I Find A Virtual Assistant?
When looking for a virtual assistant, you need to ensure they fit your organisational goal even if they will be working remotely.
Virtual assistants have different capabilities, and it is up to you to vet them to find the right person to outsource your work.
A virtual assistant can make a massive difference to your business, whether front-end or business bottom-lines.
There are lots of options to connect with a suitable virtual assistant.
• Freelancing Platforms
Today, there are countless freelancing platforms where you can outsource virtually (pun intended) anything. These include UpWork, Fiverr, SEO clerks, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour and Onlinejobs Ph.
With freelancing platforms, you don’t need to review the seller because their internal review systems do that.
And if you are not satisfied with the work done by the freelancer, you can always complain, and you will receive a refund.
Connecting with a virtual assistant on Twitter is the first sign that they are socially adept.
• Virtual Assistant Networking
Virtual assistant professional networking platforms might the best option for you if you have never had a virtual assistant before.
The easiest way to find their network is by searching for their groups and pages on social media, especially Facebook.
• Seminars and Workshops
Business events such as seminars, workshops, and gatherings are a great place to look for a perfect virtual assistant. Because you have at your presence industry-specific expertise.
Campuses provide an exciting opportunity to hire a young, vibrant and dynamic virtual assistant to propel your business growth.
You can go directly to the school or post-on-campus job boards.
• Social Networks
The quickest way to pass message today is through social networks. With millions of daily users, it won’t take you long to find the perfect virtual assistant for the job.
• Hire a Virtual Assistant Offshore
We recommend online.ph. It’s a Philippine job board where you can find freelancers or request jobs. A great thing about this platform it’s easy to post a job, and most responses are natural and not computer generated as you get with every freelancing platform out there.
What to Look for in a Virtual Assistant
Considering the tasks, you will be giving out to a virtual assistant. It’s vital that you select wisely.
• Check for industry experience
Hire someone with excellent knowledge of your industry. This person will understand what your audience wants.
• Look for references
Testimonials from previous projects will help you find the right virtual assistant for the job. Background checks on his/her references as well as testimonials to find out what their previous clients said about them.
• Personality tests
The last thing you want is to give up a job to a virtual assistant whom you are not compatible in terms of personality. Remember, you will not be interacting with this person on face to face basis.
• Skill Tests
Ask them questions to test their skill level on the subject, and if you are hiring offshore to check their English level.
You can get a great idea of what kind of virtual assistant you are hiring by sticking to these three principles.
Best Tips When Hiring Virtual Assistants.
Tip 1: Keep Communication Lines Open and Clear
Unlike a full-time staff member in your organisation, a virtual assistant cannot come into your office to seek clarifications or ask further questions in person.
For this reason, you need to maintain clear communication with your virtual assistant. You can do this by having a slack or a related service to provide instant communication.
Tip 2: Training
Providing training to tasks will help show your VA what to do when working for you. You can even have a folder with screen recordings they can look at any time. This will reduce mistakes and help the virtual assistant of they need help without having to contact you.
Tip 3: Start with a Small Project
Even if a virtual assistant might seems great during the interview, It’s still the best practice to start with small jobs first. This helps reduce risk when hiring new virtual staff.
As more jobs get completed,
You can turn your assistant into a crucial part of your business and give incentives for a job well done, and offer bigger projects in the future.
Tip 4: One Project at a Time
After hiring a VA, start with one project at a time, then add more workload based on their performance.
As an example: The virtual assistant can manage your emails first. And when you have established they are confident with the project, give them another task like manage your calls.
Tip 5: Discuss Payment and Deliverables
The relationship with your virtual assistant relies heavily on communication and payment. You need to clearly state the outline of the work and how to pay the VA.
Most freelancing websites act as a middle man to handle the payment process.
But if this isn’t the case, it’s best to go over the job scope of work, and the rules of when the virtual assistant will receive payment.
This will resolve future conflicts and outline a clear deliverable for the work.
You don’t have to do everything by yourself, a virtual employee can do any task, and they will perform it well.
As a business owner, time is essential, and the best way maximise the day is by leveraging performance with outsourcing tasks.
One of the hardest steps in your business is letting others do work that you can do. But it’s an essential step to take when elevating your business to the new heights.
It is justified to say that virtual assistants are the new business trend and it’s getting popular with every passing day.
So, how much do you agree with us, and what business practice do you want to outsource?
Do let us know in the comment section below.