There is no doubt that a virtual assistant can help you save time and help you with a variety of tasks, but it is very tricky to know which tasks to delegate. Most virtual assistants work remotely and focus on the administrative tasks that your secretary or assistant does. From small businesses to large enterprises, many companies hire virtual assistants to outsource tasks. These are usually administration tasks that are essential to growing and running your business. It is vital to build trust and foster a strong relationship as you would with your in-house employee. If you hire a VA and want a long-term relationship, a virtual assistant can be your team member who works from a remote office. Not sure where to start? Fret not!
10 tasks a virtual assistant can help you with
Here is the list of tasks that you can outsource with virtual assistants so that you can focus more on managing your growing business.
Updating your files and database is a very time-consuming task. You can assign it to your VA to keep it updated. Your virtual assistant can easily re-enter or rewrite the spreadsheets that save you time. You might take more time to update the database, but a data entry VA can do it more quickly.
Sometimes you forget to keep your bills updates due to other tasks. Hire a virtual bookkeeping assistant and assigned him/her a task. If you have some unpaid invoices, your VA will contact your clients and remind them about settling the balance. All you need to provide him/her with your credentials and access to those accounts.
Training your staff on how to be more productive or how to use new software can take a lot of your time. Why don’t you leave it to a VA? Your virtual assistance can train your employees from remote offices via Skype or other software. This way, you can have more time and focus on your key business activities with ease.
Business owners have to deal with plenty of reports from expenses to time timesheets and client lists to income statements that they have to be completed on a daily basis. That’s where a virtual assistant comes in handy. He/she can export or import your data and handle the maintenance and spreadsheet designs for you.
Online platforms should be relevant and keep updated on a regular basis. You need to create content that is relevant and engaging for your readers. Content creation includes copywriting, website writing, blogs, newsletter writing, and more. It involves editing and proofreading. If you are too busy and have no time to create content regularly, you can outsource a virtual marketing assistant that does this job for you.
Hiring a multilingual VA can help you communicate with vendors, employees, and customers in the languages that your business requires. It also gives your business a chance to reach globally. A multilingual VA provides technical support, transcription services, administrative support, and more.
Want to go on a vacation but don’t have much time for travel-related matters? This is then you need to outsource a virtual travel assistant who helps you find a good hotel, book your tickets, plan your vacation program, and do other tasks. They use a variety of travel research tools and visit review sites over the web to find the best travel deals for you. They are aware of different time zones around the world and take them into account when finding travel options for you.
There are a plethora of scheduling tools that VA can use for scheduling. They manage your calendar and scheduling tasks, including scheduling appointments, event planning, check meeting invites, and more.
If you want to save your time trawling through your mailbox, then outsourcing a virtual assistant is a great option. He/she can filter your important emails and respond to others as well. He/she can easily manage your emails remotely. However, virtual assistants need some guidance on how they pick out important emails.
You need to make sure to come across your customer. It should be in a professional way that is vital for the reputation of your business. You can outsource virtual assistance who can proofread your content before it is published.
How can business owners outsource successfully?
Outsourcing to foreign countries that comes mostly from the third world is often considered because of the low cost of staff, equipment, and infrastructure. It brings tremendous savings to a business owner without sacrificing the quality of work output. Sometimes outsourced virtual assistants from a country like the Philippines are degree holders and graduates from a reputable university who can give the same quality work output as what we have locally. Success in outsourcing is highly dependent on the working relationship between the business owners and the contractor or service provider.
Set up a good and healthy working relationship
When hiring your contractor or a service provider, there are several things that you have to consider. These factors will make or break your success in outsourcing your business. First, there is a need to set up a good and healthy working relationship. This highly depends on regular communication and exchange of views. Both parties should be at the same level of understanding from the start to discuss any business problem that will arise in the future. In addition, having the proper equipment and resources will help carry this factor out easily. As a business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to clearly explain and communicate the business’ goal and objective as well as the tasks you are assigning to your service provider. This will ensure a smooth and healthy working relationship.
Have an agreement
It is also beneficial for both parties if they have a contract or agreement to clearly define the role of each. This contract will help business owners to get the most of the service they are paying for. Moreover, service providers or contractors will have something legal to hold on to in the event that the business owner fails to pay them for the services rendered. Contracts or agreements contain the list of obligations of both parties. This also has the confidentiality agreement, intellectual properties, and information on deliverables. Each aspect written in the contract should be clearly discussed and explained before both parties sign it.
Discuss the services that VA will provide
Service providers or contractors, in return, must discuss his level of service, what can be expected from him based on work output. A performance indicator listed and discussed from the start is a good way to decide if the contractor you hired was able to perform their work based on your agreed standard. On the other hand, as a business owner or manager, it is your obligation to keep a good business record in order for you to succeed in outsourcing.
Hire a service provider who finds the virtual assistant for you
There are outsourcing companies out there who are experts in determining the right service provider for your business. They already posted the ads for the position and have done the shortlisting of applicants for you. This alone already saves you a great amount of time searching through your email and pre-qualifying each that sends you their resumes. This allows you, the business owner, to focus more on the core aspect and crucial areas of your business, such as financing and marketing. Bear in mind that the business environment is unpredictable, and coming up with a good strategic plan for your business to make it competitive or stay ahead is more important than writing an article that talks about your business.
What are the advantages of outsourcing a virtual assistant?
Focus on core activities
Companies outsource virtual assistants because they allow them to stay focused on things they’re good at. A plethora of resources to set up a call center or to engage in other activities that could be handled by someone else doesn’t make sense, and for the most part, should be handled by a third-party
Cost savings and competency
Another key factor is that someone who specializes in a particular skill set can work cheaper and better than someone who has to go out, build the infrastructure, and learn a new aspect of a business in which they’re not really involved.
One example is a high-priced attorney. Generally speaking, a high-priced attorney is specialized in one area of the law in which they’ve invested years of learning.
Keep in mind, the overhead required to have internal staffing can be significant, especially if your current physical capacity is already at its limit. In other words, bringing in more staff requires a larger office, more furniture, and extra phone sets, computers, and office equipment. These are all real costs that need to be taken into account when considering whether to bring someone in or to hire an outsourcing firm.
The control of your business means that all departments have accountability measures in place. Being able to step back and look at results rather than being involved in day-to-day activities can allow the business owner to focus more on the core, to see what’s really important, and determine what makes money.