The value of hiring a virtual assistant (VA) is outlined by one of the bestselling business books over the last decade, The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
An important aspect of successfully running a business is self-awareness. Many business owners tend to start out as a jack of all trades, but if you really want to grow your business you’re going to have to work out quickly the areas you excel in and delegate the rest.
We no longer live in a time where the only solution to get the business support you need, is to hire a full-or part-time employee.
Entrepreneurs can use VAs for everything from customer service calls to sending out event invites prospective clients. Just as you would with a permanent employee, it’s important to build trust. They become a team member who just works remotely.
Do any of the following apply to you?
- Don’t have the time or inclination to do certain tasks?
- Don’t have flexibility in your schedule to learn new skills?
- Don’t feel like you’re following up on leads and pushing your business forward?
Hire a Virtual Assistant who is dedicated to the role, and outsource.
Whether you’re a start-up business or an established one looking to expand, outsourcing work to a Virtual Assistant frees up your time – allowing you to focus on starting up or expanding.
Here are 10 areas where you can use a virtual assistant to improve your business.
- Database entries: Do you have a pile of new business cards picked up at networking events or updated information from existing contacts? Keeping databases current is a suitable task for virtual assistants. Following up is vital for business owners. It is essential to update your CRM to facilitate regular client contact and organise marketing activity to convert leads.
- Managing email: Some virtual assistants will filter your most important emails and respond to the rest on your behalf. Such email management is easy to do remotely, but you need to provide guidance on how to pick out key emails and ask the assistant to copy you in before sending out any responses to reduce the risk of errors.
- Scheduling: Because many scheduling tools are available online, virtual assistants are managing the calendars of many clients. Tasks include dealing with meeting invitations, scheduling appointments with clients and helping to plan events.
- Presentations: Whether you’re speaking at an event or preparing an internal presentation, outsourcing certain tasks to a VA can allow you to focus on content, preparation, ensuring you optimise your delivery. Formatting of presentations or summarising research findings to convert raw data into a clear presentation, can be a huge timesaver.
- Personal Admin: Virtual assistants can efficiently handle tasks such as organising fundraising activities, sending corporate Christmas cards, sourcing gifts and staff rewards. Such tasks can be distracting and time-consuming for business executives, but a good virtual assistant can take care of it all.
- Travel Research: Whether you need help arranging accommodation, booking flights/train tickets and mapping out trip itineraries both for business and pleasure, a VA can really save you time. By making use of global metasearch engines, such as, Skyscanner and review sites they can get the best travel deals and secure currency at a competitive exchange rate.
- Event Management: It’s stressful enough when presenting at an event or running a webinar, let alone having to manage it as well. Whilst a Virtual Assistant can’t eliminate the stress entirely, they can assist you by managing it so that it runs smoothly allowing you time to create the content and rehearse.
- Chasing business: Prioritising potential business opportunities can be challenging, but virtual assistants can help with the process and systematic follow-ups.
- Proofreading & Editing: Never risk publishing or printing another piece of marketing material with typos or lack of flow. Whether you need someone to simply cast their eyes over an article or format it for online readability, a specialised Virtual Assistant can ease the burden and ensure quality is maintained.
- Research: You can easily outsource internet research to virtual assistants. Tasks may include finding information on corporate websites, exploring new products and even vetting potential employees or business contacts.