What do Virtual Assistants Do?
Virtual assistants don’t just answer phones!
A virtual assistant (VA), as the name implies, is an assistant that helps and supports your business virtually. This does not mean that she/he is a robot. It simply means that the person is based at a remote location with experience to facilitate you and your business when called upon.
It’s the advancement of technology that makes this process a possibility. Businesses no longer need people to be present in the same room or even the same location for them to work.
The presence of the internet, along with document-sharing and other business-related software, makes it easier for people to work remotely and companies to function.
Since virtual assistants work on their own from a remote location, businesses can save extra expenses related to their location and equipment costs. Furthermore, the assistants can hit the ground running with minimal or no training, thereby enabling companies to save time and effort. In fact, saving time, effort, and cost are the major reasons why businesses surge towards getting virtual assistants onboard. By outsourcing their internal processes, companies can spend more time focusing on the important aspects of their business, while the VAs do the heavy lifting.
What does a virtual assistant do?
Apart from bringing you your coffee, there isn’t anything that a virtual assistant can’t do.
Depending upon what businesses need them for, virtual assistants can assist with almost every work-related task. Some of the common tasks that virtual assistants can do are social media management, operational and administrative tasks, website design, community management, and content management.
Since most VAs are freelancers, who work independently, there’s no assurance for companies that the work outsourced to them will be completed on time. Furthermore, since most VAs work alone and from remote locations, there’s no way for businesses to supervise them and ensure that the VAs are paying attention to detail.
Therefore, before getting a virtual assistant onboard, businesses must make sure the VA understands the task at hand and are clear about instructions and deliverables. One way to ensure that is to have a proper written processes for tasks that need to be completed
Why you need a great virtual assistant
Virtual assistants are everywhere these days. More and more people are turning to them and it looks like they’re here to stay.
The simplest reason for most companies to hire virtual assistants is to have efficient business operations in place.
Some of the reasons why businesses must hire virtual assistants are:
Business owners too – and your business partner!
Because VAs are also business owners they fully understand what’s needed to run a business, including the need to network and market your business. This is a good case for engaging a local VA rather than one that is considerable distance away. As your VA gets to know you, how you operate and how your business operates, they can add a great deal of value. They can do this by introducing you to people they know through their own business networks. So, they’re not only providing a service supporting your business, they can effectively help to network and grow your business too.
Working with a VA gives you a built-in accountability partner. We all have days when we’re tired and would rather stay in bed. I understand the feeling all too well. Take last week for instance I was supposed to create a slide deck for an upcoming webinar. Instead, I spent the day writing emails, making phone calls, pretty much anything BUT creating a slide deck.
Guess who was in touch asking for updates on the slide deck. You guessed it, my VA who is great at keeping me on task.
Saving salary cost
Instead of hiring a full-time employee for a small job, you could choose to outsource it to someone at an hourly rate.
Lower pay isn’t the only way you can save money with virtual professionals though.
Saving training cost
A business owner can also save a lot when it comes to training costs. Usually, companies must train their in-house team on tasks and duties after they’ve cleared the hiring process. All this costs time and money – that most companies can’t afford.
With VAs though, small business owners can hire professionals who already experts in their field. This way, a business owner doesn’t have to waste time and money training them – they can get started right away.
Another reason why small business owners turn to VAs is that it saves them a LOT of time. We all know that time is money – especially in business.
For example, let’s say you are a small business with no HR team. Your employees shouldn’t spend hours posting job advertisements, doing preliminary resume screening, organizing an interview process – all on a hiring process for someone at entry-level position.
Why not skip all this and get a professional to work on specific tasks instead?
With virtual assistants, this is what you’ll get:
- You’ll have verified experts that you can hire in no time
- They’re time savers as you don’t have to waste time training them
- As they can stay focused only on tasks you’ve hired them for, they’ll get the work done quicker than someone juggling multiple demands
It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Ever been in a situation where you missed your kid’s hockey game because you were either too busy or ‘something came up’ at work?
Saving time and decreasing your workload go hand-in-hand when it comes to outlining benefits of hiring virtual assistants. Having VAs, who can handle those ‘things’ or tackle that ‘something at work,’ can help you get more time and therefore reduce your increased workload.
There might be instances where hiring a virtual assistant wasn’t a good experience for a business due to the absence of robust guidelines. However, most of the time hiring VAs leads to companies getting access to hard working individuals, who insist on delivering quality service.
One can argue that VAs might be able to deliver more value than internal employees, but at the end of the day it all depends on how professional and focussed an individual is.
Would you like to understand how one of our professional VA’s could add value to your buiness?
If you would like a free 30 min consultation to find out more about creating your exit plan, we would love to hear from you.