What Can a Virtual Assistant Do For You?

Hi there Crusaders.

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing outsourcing – the benefits and the options available to entrepreneurs and small business owners.

This week we’ll conclude the topic with an overview of Virtual Assistants.

By now, after reading the last two articles, I trust you’ve compiled the three lists of activities you can and ideally should outsource:

  1. Things you hate doing.
  2. Things you can’t do yourself, and
  3. Things you shouldn’t be doing.

If you missed the article I covered this process in, you can catch it here.

How Bulky is your Job Description?

Like I’ve said before, one of the biggest reasons entrepreneurs nowadays struggle to grow their businesses is because they are simply wearing too many hats.

They do everything in their business. They ARE the business!!!

Now there are three distinct options when it comes to outsourcing your workload:

1 – Employ dedicated staff

This can be onerous and requires long-term commitments. It ties you into employment contracts that your business may not be able to afford.

2 – Outsource specialist work to Freelance professionals

This was the topic of the article that I sent out last week and can be found here -> CLICK HERE

3 – Employ a Virtual Assistant (VA) for the ‘not-so-specialised’ tasks.

This is what we will discuss today.

Think of important yet repetitive tasks, such as:

  • Producing email marketing campaigns
  • Optimizing your site’s SEO
  • Creating invoices
  • Basic Bookkeeping and account control
  • Managing correspondence (email, direct messaging, etc)
  • Set-up, manage & update  Social Media Accounts (Facebook, etc)
  • Calendar management and client bookings
  • Following up with clients/customers
  • Receptionist duties (answering occasional calls, typing minutes, etc)
  • Personal errands (sourcing gifts online, finding personal trainers, etc)
  • Travel research, as well as hotel and flight Bookings
  • Manage your blog and publish posts
  • Online research and statistical analysis
  • Database building (eg. updating email or contact lists on your CRM)
  • Creating standard reports (on weekly tasks, deliverables, sales, etc)
  • Preparing Slideshows and data presentations (Powerpoint, etc)
  • Transcription (transcribing voicemail, video or audio, podcasts etc.)

A VA can both scale your business and shave off hours from your workweek. You can use virtual assistants for everything from making vendor or customer service calls to sending out thank you cards to prospective clients.

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The primary difference between a virtual assistant and a standard full-time one is that virtual services are a fraction of the cost. There are no employee-related expenses, no separate office space and no worries concerning downtime. You simply pay the VAs for the services they performed according to the terms of their contract.

Obviously, some of the tasks suggested above will require training; especially ones that involve the use of specific online tools. When you start down this road, you must bear in mind that not everyone will be perfect at handling ALL of these tasks right out of the gate.

Don’t assume that one person will have experience handling all of these types of tasks.

Rather identify what they are good at, and work from there. There’s also no reason why you cannot have several VA’s.

Also, it’s important to build trust, just as you would with any employee. A professional and reliable VA becomes very important to the team, much like a permanent employee, and should be treated as such. These VA’s become team members who just happens to work remotely, and it’s just as important to select the right virtual team players as it is to recruit the correct actual employees.

Finally, bear in mind that they cannot handle tasks that should be taken care of by specialists, such as web development and programming, graphic design, video and audio editing, content writing and SEO tasks. Those should rather be outsourced to freelancers. (See the previous article for details)

Well, those are my thoughts and suggestions when it comes to using VA’s in your business. I think they are an invaluable modern way of expanding your organisational structure, with minimal expense and risk. After all, don’t you want to concentrate your time and energy on the elements of your business that you’re passionate about and good at?

So grab those three lists you’ve prepared:

  1. Things you hate doing.
  2. Things you can’t do yourself, and
  3. Things you shouldn’t be doing.

And start actively looking for a VA to take some of the mundane repetitive tasks off your hands. Start slowly if you’re nervous, and use the time to build trust and a relationship. And then take it from there.

Good luck

Have a great week & take care out there.

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