As a business owner, it is unwise to try and do everything yourself. The fact that you want to see everything done properly doesn’t make it right to become a jack of all trades. Part of being the boss is the ability to delegate responsibilities and outsource some professional tasks to subordinates. One of such people you need to have for extra work is a Virtual Assistant.
For many entrepreneurs, it is often difficult to even separate the business from the owner. This lack of structure makes it difficult to clearly put functions into perspective. They just don’t know what tasks to outsource. What you should know, however, is that a Virtual assistant can make your work a lot easier. Breaking even and staying ahead of the competition in today’s business world would require all the assistance you can get.
One benefit of having a virtual assistant is the fact that it saves a lot of costs. You do not need to pay for an office space, get a computer or pay for the internet connection that they’ll use to do your work. Regardless of geographical location, a virtual assistant can provide professional administrative services and save you so much time and energy. This can help you grow your business quicker and easier.
Tasks You can Outsource to a Virtual Assistant
Data entry is the process of entering and updating data for processing and filing. This is a major administrative duty that you may not have time to attend to, and a virtual assistant is a right person to help you update your database entries and process your business spreadsheets in an efficient and responsible manner. A good VA should be able to work on a computer for entering data through a keyword, a data recorder, or an optical scanner.
2. Email Management and Filtering:
You can also outsource your mailing functions to a professional Virtual Assistant who will help you organise useful promotional emails and delete unneeded emails on your behalf. This will enable you to focus on other important matters, knowing that electronic correspondence is in good hands. There are times when you visit your email box and find several spam emails and all sorts that you do not need for. This makes it difficult to find important emails. All of these work can be avoided.
3. Online Research:
Research is another crucial aspect of your work that you will need a virtual assistant for. Whether it’s researched on a topic, event or product, it will save you a lot of time to outsource it and get the best information you need for the job. Professional VAs understand the importance of time and make sure to deliver within specified deadlines. Such an outsourced work can also help you gain useful external insight into subjects you’re interested in, and this is why it is important.
4. Market Research:
Market research is an important part of most businesses across the world. If you’re serious about understanding your industry and the consumers, as well as knowing what your competitors are doing, you must engage in market research. You don’t even need to do it yourself. Just get the right virtual assistant to conduct a methodological research and produce a thorough and organised report on how you can have an edge within your specific industry.
5. Data Presentation:
If you also need to make a PowerPoint Presentation for any reason, whether it’s a business meeting or a proposal, you can get a virtual assistant to do this for you. You can save yourself so much time. All you need to do is send the right specifications and main contents, and your presentation will be prepared for you. Leave such slideshows productions for a VA who can do them for you while you handle other things.
6. Call Answering:
You know how every executive requires the services of a secretary? You too can have a secretary even if you don’t have the space to accommodate one at the office. With your busy schedule, taking calls from everyone that wants to get in touch can be a tough headache. Besides, you also need your phone lines to be open at all times, and a virtual assistant can help you take calls. The VA can also help make some calls to fix appointments and meetings.
7. Internet Marketing:
Every new day, businesses around the world continue to discover the immense benefits of the Internet to their marketing and sales activities. It’s as though the scales continue to drop as we continue to realise daily how much better our enterprises will be if we tap into the tremendous opportunities available online. Internet Marketing is one important activity that you can outsource to a Virtual Assistant, in a bid to grow your business.
8. Search Engine Optimization:
This is a crucial part of Internet Marketing. Whether it’s a mere informative or promotional copy, or an outright ad, there is a need to make your online messages SEO compliant; otherwise, it will not be seen. It is possible that you have no clues how to go about it. The good news is that there are several virtual assistants out there who are SEO experts. They know what to do and what not to do to increase traffic to your site, as well as performing a periodic assessment of analytics and site traffic.
9. Copy/Content Writing:
There’s hardly any way you can carry out effective online marketing campaigns without breathtaking copies. Whether it’s for websites, articles, social media sites, or blogs, you need copies that clearly express the ideas and nature of your business. Content writing virtual assistant expert will help you provide research-based, keyword-compliant content that will meet your needs. Just be sure you get a VA that is specifically skilled in this regard.
10. Meetings Minutes:
Of course, it has to be online, except, of course, there was a recording of a physical meeting and the file was sent to him to prepare a minute. Such minutes can provide useful insights into the direction the company should be going, as well as information needed for a future meeting. A Virtual Assistant will do a thorough and effective job of detailing all the important points of a meeting, giving you a reference material to always fall back on when you need it.
Transcription is the act of transcribing (transferring) content from one form to another. I bet you know you can waste precious time on this when you can be out meeting with clients and doing other things to make your business bigger. Most of the time, there are audio, video and other non-text files that you’d want to be transcribed to text. A virtual assistant can come in very handy here, ensuring that no detail is left out.
12. App Development:
This is more of a specialised work and will require the services of an expert in applications development. It will even save you more money if you have a virtual assistant that possesses the skills of applications development. AVA will help you customise and enhance your app’s performance, so you don’t need to pay for any other external work. Don’t fumble with what you’re not good at. Get someone to do it.
13. Web Development:
This is another specialised service that an expert VA can perform efficiently. If you want your business to have a strong online presence, a website is inevitable, and a great one at that. There are some assistants that specialise in web development and can help you create a fascinating site that will truly showcase your brand in an engaging manner. Not everyone can do this, and there’s no shame in getting a specialist to do this for you.
14. Social Media Marketing:
I know I have already talked about Internet marketing, and this is a branch of it, but the massive penetration of social media in our lives gives it a separate identity. You cannot ignore social media as a marketing tool if you really want to succeed in business, especially if you want to take it global. Getting the right Virtual assistant to handle this important task can prove very beneficial for your business.
15. Liaison Officer:
This is yet another task you can outsource to a virtual assistant. There is always the need to have a link between you and other members of the team or your subordinates. The importance of staying in touch with your internal public in business cannot be overemphasised, as a good relationship between you and your staff is as important as that between your business and its customers.
16. Recruitment Functions:
In the last two decades, it has become a trend for businesses to outsource their recruitment responsibilities. This is not actually because they can’t handle these things themselves. But when you consider all the time and resources it’d take, it is often the right decision to outsource it. One better way to do this is to let a virtual assistant handle your recruitments; from the placement of the ad, reviewing of credentials, planning interviews, and so on.
17. Hotels and Flight Booking:
You’d probably be doing a lot of travelling, meeting with clients, investors, attending conferences, or several other things. Just so you stay ahead of schedule, you would require a reliable assistant who’ll handle hotel and flight bookings. So you don’t need to worry about missing out on a ticket, missing a flight, missing an appointment, or getting stranded at your destination. All of that can be sorted out by the right VA.
18. Personal Errands:
Yes! I know. I don’t expect you to have and attend all those seminars with top executives, make it to that board meeting where you have to pitch a new project, and still have time for minor errands. That’s exactly why people have secretaries and assistants in the first place, and you should get one too. But you do not need an office space or even a table to get one when you can simply hire the services of a virtual assistant.
19. Schedule and Calendar Management:
Part of the functions of most administrative assistants I know includes managing the boss’ schedule and calendar so that every appointment and event is properly organised and marked. This makes work a lot easier for you, with everything arranged in order of importance and urgency. You will do everything you plan on doing per time because they have already been planned out. If you have been missing out on this benefit, this is the time to fix it.
20. Fixing Appointments with Clients:
Another important task you can outsource to a virtual assistant is the responsibility of scheduling appointments with your clients. It is an amazing feeling to know that all your appointments for the week has been sorted out and you’re not going to miss anything in the midst of your crazy schedule. You can leave the job of fixing your appointments with a VA, knowing that you’ll always be reminded at every point in time.
21. Setting Up Autoresponders:
Autoresponders make interactions with your clients and online searchers a lot easier to accomplish. With this system, responses will be created for emails received and sent to the senders. You don’t even need to be online to do this, and you definitely don’t need to even bother yourself about how to go about it. Just get in touch with a virtual assistant who’s skilled in setting up autoresponders, and you’re good to go.
22. Social Media Accounts SetUp and Management:
I have already talked about social media marketing. Of course, you know that cannot be done without creating and effectively managing a social media account. It is important to take advantage of as many platforms as possible, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and so on. However, all these will amount to nothing if you don’t have a competent person to manage these platforms for you.
23. Managing your Blog:
Blogging is another important part of having a strong online presence for your business. A blog allows you to express everything you need to say about your business, your brand, and your products and services. But again, you need competent hands to manage your blog and help you achieve everything you need it to achieve. This is where a specialised virtual assistant comes in once more. Be sure to get the right one for the job.
24. Moderating and Responding to Blog Comments:
One of the primary functions of managing a blog is to moderate and respond to comments that visitors and customers leave on your posts. There are quite a number of VAs out there with the requisite knowledge and skill to help handle such matters. Look out for the one that has great interpersonal and written communication skills. You’ll be better served if you do.
Also Read:- Advantages of having a blog of your own
25. Forums Participation:
Using forums as a means of promoting businesses is becoming very popular globally. There are so many forums out there that business owners are beginning to take advantage of to advertise their products and businesses. If you do not have the time to be active on a particular forum, you can easily outsource that function to a virtual assistant, who will always promote your brand and be required to report back to you on a timely basis.
26. Reminder Services:
With an efficient reminder tool, you can create to-do lists and share your calendar, as well as send reminders to your phone, your e-mail, RSS reader, and so much more. Too often, we forget so many important things that we plan to do, all because we fail to create something as little as a reminder. That is something you can forget too. But when you make that the job of a virtual assistant, you can be sure of efficiency.
27. Google Drive/Dropbox Organisation:
Google Drive and Dropbox have suddenly become the trend for storing your files on your computer. However, if not properly managed, they can be really messy. You need a virtual assistant to help you organise these important apps in your business so that you can easily find anything when you want it. Again, there’s so much time to be saved here and transferred on to other things.
28. Sending Invoices to Clients:
A virtual assistant can also help with handling matters of an invoice that you’ll not have the time to do. Such errands are what you may call receptionist duties, but if you don’t have one because of the nature of your business, a VA can easily fit into those shoes. You can save yourself the stress and time you’d have expended on such things. What we fail to realise is we focus too much on the smaller picture thinking about how much we’ll pay.
29. Writing Press Releases and Newsletters:
Public Relations and constant communication with one’s external public is an important aspect of a company’s overall image and success. To do this, there is the need for occasional newsletters and press releases to continually intimate the public about activities concerning your business; your new product or service and what you’re doing differently to serve them better. You can also use these tools to correct wrong impressions, and an expert Virtual Assistant is best suited for this.
30. Weekly or Monthly Google Analytics Report:
A crucial part of ensuring that searchers and potential customers are seeing your brand online and making a buying decision is analytics. This periodic assessment measures not only how much traffic your site attracts, but how they get to your site and what they do on your site. Such information is necessary for making future marketing decisions about your online campaigns. You don’t need to bother about taking a course for this. Just get a specialised VIrtual Assistant to do this for you.
31. Answering Support Tickets:
I know how tasking and draining it can be to have to answer tens of support tickets everyday. This is even worse when you have to deal with difficult customers. To avoid being stressed and pressured to respond the wrong way, just outsource it. If you can make this the responsibility of someone else, be sure he has the right attitude and understands that customer is king.
In case you’re still wondering why you should hire a virtual assistant, you should know that they reduce your labour costs by a great margin. You do not need to worry about payroll taxes, employee benefits, vacation pay and sick days. They are independent contractors. What’s more, virtual assistants are paid according to how much time they spend on your work and can be called on anytime of the day.
They can help you take on those tasks that you’re too busy to handle while costing less than you’d pay for a part-time employee. Smart businessmen have realised this important form of cost-effective and efficient labour. You should take advantage of it too.