Even The Smallest Business Needs An Assistant
For many business owners, trying to manage everything can seem like a never-ending task. But instead of getting help tackling their massive ‘to do’ list, they struggle on by themselves, often sacrificing efficiency in the process. This is often because they think that hiring a full time, a physical assistant is the only option to achieve the level of support they need. However, using a virtual assistant can shave hours from your workweek and remove all of the pesky small tasks you don’t enjoy doing, leaving you free to focus on growing your business. For medium and larger sized businesses this is almost a no-brainer, but a lot of smaller businesses are missing out on the advantages of a virtual assistant because they think they are too small. That’s where they’re wrong.
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
Simply put, a virtual assistant is simply a person who works for your business and helps with administration without physically being in the building. They can be anything from your personal assistant – screening calls and arranging your travel, to more of a business support role, focused on taking care of the day to day administration of your business. It might sound a little daunting to delegate such intimate business matters to what is essentially a voice at the end of the phone, but in reality, many modern professional relationships are virtual. Today many businesses engage the services of professionals who they communicate with purely by phone or email and offer their own services to people countrywide despite being unable to physically be there. Using a virtual assistant simply means you are delegating parts of your business to another remote supplier.
Why Do I Need A Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants are also a fantastic way to save money over employing a full-time, physical assistant. The packages offered can be flexible around your schedule so that you only pay for the work you need when you need it. So if you have a particularly busy time of year, you may need a virtual assistant for that four-month period to help relieve the burden. This approach minimises the overheads that come with full-time staff, remove the need for training and hiring, and there are no agency fees to pay. But even if you ignore the cost savings, virtual assistants are worth their weight in gold when it comes to your own productivity and your business performance. If you feel overwhelmed with work and struggle to dig yourself out of a pile of paperwork, you can delegate a lot of the small tasks to a virtual assistant instead of dealing with them yourself. If you are struggling to really grow your business because you’re spending all of your time on other tasks, your virtual assistant can take care of them for you. You might also need to consider a virtual assistant if you would like to be more productive, less stressed and need more margin in your life without going through the hassle of recruiting, hiring and training a physical assistant as well as paying for their desk space.
What Can A Virtual Assistant Do?
A virtual assistant can do almost anything that does not require a physical presence in your office. Thanks to modern technological advancements this means that virtual assistants are able to do pretty much everything a physical assistant would, with the exception of maybe helping in the coffee run. Practically speaking, your virtual assistant can (amongst other things):
- Screen your e-mails, filter out spam or cold callers and even respond on your behalf
- Take calls, screen for cold callers and put through important calls
- Schedule and confirm appointments for you
- Book your travel arrangements
- Make calls on your behalf
- Perform bookkeeping tasks
- Take care of social tasks such as Christmas cards, client gifts and promotional materials
- Take over office administration and organisation
- Creating presentations from raw data
- Perform miscellaneous research or data entry tasks
- Fill out expense reports and track reimbursements
- Communicate with suppliers and contractors on your behalf
- Carry our industry knowledge prep
- Undertake client research
- Create and send invoices, make payments and file all related paperwork
- Manage projects you don’t want to or are too busy to handle
As technologies and businesses are moving further towards the internet, the popularity of virtual assistants has exploded. Because so many relationships are managed by email and phone, your customers and suppliers would rarely know the difference between a physical or a virtual assistant in your business. All they know is your business has become more responsive to their needs and everything is running smoothly.
Virtual assistants present a wide variety of skill sets that would cost a lot of time and money to instil in a physical, permanent employee. Instead, virtual assistants are flexible to your business needs, allowing you access to their skills in a significantly more affordable and logical way. For more information about how a virtual assistant can help you, or to just learn more about what we do, get in touch today for a free consultation.