According to Wikipedia, a Virtual Assistant (or VA) “is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office.” This has been a wonderful turn of events for those who like the idea of telecommuting. And it has opened many avenues for businesses to save costs from having to hire more employees for certain tasks since most Virtual Assistants are independent contractors.
The benefits of a virtual assistant are vast. Especially if you find that diamond in the rough that you bond well with and can communicate openly and honestly with to take your business and catapult it in the sky. Like any relationship, you need to find the right fit for you. Otherwise, it’s just one more added stress to your laundry list of items to worry about as an entrepreneur.
Another important aspect of hiring a virtual assistant is knowing what to delegate and learning that line of trust. If you haven’t worked with a VA before, it can be intimidating and downright scary to think of handing over any sort of business operations to someone who barely knows your business and how YOU like tasks done. However, there are a few to-dos you can begin to hand over to see how well you work together and to begin the relationship off to a slow, steady, and fairly safe start.
A few of the tasks that a virtual assistant can handle for you are:
- Research – Sometimes research can take hours, and that is precious time to someone running a successful business with more pressing matters to attend to. That’s not to say that research isn’t important, just that finding the time for it can prove difficult. This pertains to travel or online research – invaluable information that you just do not want to stay up until the eleventh hour completing.
- Email – Filtering through your email is just as tedious as researching something, so why not pawn that off on someone who will gladly do that to free up more time for your clients, promos, or other business matters. With a little guidance and the power of CC’ing, responses can be done on your behalf and still available for you to look at to ensure your voice is being matched to your approval.
- Social Media – Whether this is making sure you have a presence across social media responding to engagements, scheduling, planning, or doing little things like holiday cards, thank you notes, etc that can easily eat your day away.
- Database Updating– Keeping your new contacts, whether they be affiliates, customers, or a potential client for either, up-to-date can easily take up time in your day without you realizing it. Organizing the information after, for instance, collecting business cards can save you precious time.
- Presentations – PowerPoint is widely used and vastly known. Taking advantage of being able to pass on some images and content and saying, “Make this presentable” would be a luxury. Basically, turning notes into something usable and widely understood allows you to take notes without having to pay attention too closely to the layout, details, or having to go back and reorganize later by having a virtual assistant handle that for you.
- Schedules – Have a few meetings that need to go into your calendar, or want to quickly check your availability? There are resources for just that and letting a VA handle the coordinating can take a load off of your shoulders.
- Bookkeeping – Really, any kind of data related tasks can easily be transferred to a virtual assistant to save you from yet another mundane task taking up your time.
These 7 suggestions are simply that – suggestions. Guidelines to show you what items you may be overlooking when considering hiring and wondering what you might be able to use them for and how much time you’d really need them for. The options are nearly endless. If you found value in this article, please feel free to share your thoughts. AND, if I may be able to help you with any of your business needs, don’t hesitate to contact me today! I am happy and eager to help. Learn more about me here.