Here, we explore everything you need to know about virtual assistants, and how to benefit from their services
Have you just started a business, and are currently inundated with everything you need to do just to keep it running? Have you ever considered hiring extra help, but are hesitant due to your limited resources? Ever wondered how other businesses were able to push through and become successful?
Despite what others might think, never assume you can build a business from the ground up by yourself. No man, no matter how business-savvy and resourceful, is able to handle everything by himself. Even if you were somehow able to make a high-profile company yourself, maintaining it is definitely impossible alone.
The thing is, there simply isn’t enough time in a day for just one person to cover all the bases when it comes to running a lucrative business. Even if you say it’s a small one, keep in mind you still need to balance everything aside from your company, like your home life and social life.
If you are willing to sacrifice everything for the good of the company, what is the point? You would be left with nothing after you have reached your definition of success, and no amount of money and prominence will get you back the time and people you sacrificed to reach the top.
Don’t believe us? Ask any successful entrepreneur or business guru out there; they will say the same thing—that the best way to manage a business is to find balance. You should be able to balance out your personal life and your work, and you should also learn to prioritize tasks to be more efficient.
Virtual assistants more often than not work from their own home.
You will only be able to achieve this so-called perfect balance once if you make use of people to help you along the way. For this reason, a lot of executives make use of an administrative assistant. This way, you are able to focus on the more important aspects of the business, while your assistant handles the more mundane tasks.
So, does this mean hiring an administrative assistant is the best choice for a small business owner? Not exactly. Administrative assistants will usually be more in line with the top dogs of global conglomerates, or some high-profile CEOs. However, there is an option for you.
For the past decade or so, this choice has been steadily growing more and more popular, to the point it is fast becoming the best tactic for small business entrepreneurs—the option of leveraging the talents of a virtual assistant.
What is a virtual assistant?
Before anything else, let’s tackle what a virtual assistant actually is. A virtual assistant is somebody who provides help to companies remotely and is usually depended upon with a wide variety of tasks in multiple industries.
Virtual assistants are usually experienced professionals that provide multiple services, but each does have a specific skill set. Although they are perceived as jacks-of-all-trades, no two virtual assistants are the same, and each one offers a different set of skills for their clients.
Their difference between administrative assistants is that they are able to cater to a wider variety of tasks even beyond an office setting. They are able to perform even the most basic kinds of office work to the most technical and knowledge-based jobs in a business.
However, it should be noted that the kind of virtual assistant you need to hire depend on what kind of job you want them to perform. They offer a lot of virtual assistant services for small businesses, and you should think about what role they can fulfill before taking one in.
As you should know, business-related tasks vary greatly, from typical bookkeeping work and schedule updating, all the way to the IT-related tasks like SEO, network management, and social media management.
As you can imagine, the more technical tasks are more often than not beyond the abilities of your run-of-the-mill administrative assistant. Virtual assistants, or VAs as they are called, can do this though.
Virtual assistants come with varying skillsets, and more often than not, there is a VA out there who is able to cater to whatever task that you need doing. Some of them are skilled in web design, others are more inclined to content creation, and some are even geared for outbound marketing.
Depending on the kind of job you need done, you just need to find that virtual assistant who is able to do it for you.
Another thing you need to consider is that they not only come with varying skills, but also with different levels of experience. There are some VAs that have a vast amount of experience in accounting under their belt, while there are also others that have in-depth knowledge in all things regarding video production and editing.
In the end, the advantages of hiring a virtual assistant will only show themselves when you choose the right one for the job. This may be a bit of a no-brainer, but you can see how hiring an IT guru for HR services wouldn’t be that effective for the company.
The benefits of virtual assistants
- You get nigh unlimited access to many skillsets
The value of the specific skillsets that virtual assistants bring to the table cannot be emphasized enough. Whenever you are contemplating hiring a new employee, you always need to consider what kind of skillsets they need to have to benefit the company.
You want them to have the necessary know-how to fill in the gap in your business. Let’s say you want somebody to handle your marketing campaigns in social media. Here, a VA with experience in social media management would be ideal. If you want someone to handle your website and get more visitors, a VA who specializes in SEO and web design should be your targets.
Making use of virtual assistants will grant you the kind of efficiency and flexibility you would be hard-pressed to find in an administrative assistant.
- They are more affordable than full-time employees
As you might expect, since they are working from the comfort of their own homes or personal offices, you don’t need to pay for their utilities while they are working for you. VAs also don’t need any health benefits, dental insurance, and any other expense that would be expected of an in-house employee.
You can liken VAs to freelance workers, as you simply give them a certain project or a task, and they will simply perform it to your specifications. Afterwards, you compensate them for their services, and that’s basically all there is to it.
Cash bonuses and incentives for your virtual assistant is also your prerogative. You can give them certain rewards for a job well done, or you can simply give them a digital pat on the back. Although it depends on you, VAs will always appreciate the recognition their employers give.
Virtual assistant fees will also depend on the skillset, and the amount of experience they have, as well as the kind of task you expect them to do.
- You only pay for their time when they are working on your assigned tasks
Overtime fees are non-existent in the virtual assistant industry. They work their own time, at their own pace, and more often than not, at their own convenience. As their client, all you need to do is tell them what they need to do, and when they need to finish it.
If you are making use of a reputable VA, you don’t need to worry about any extended deadlines or sub-standard work. They have been in the business long enough to know that their reputation will take a drastic hit if they submit anything late.
So, now you know just how beneficial virtual assistants can be to your business. But is now really the right time to get one?
Signs that you need a virtual assistant ASAP
– Despite you working upwards 60 hours a week, you still finish the day with unfinished tasks.
– You get bogged down deeper as the days pass, and it’s harder to meet deadlines while keeping up with your schedule.
– You’re stuck handling social media duties for your business when there are other tasks that need to be done.
– Weekends aren’t spent with family and friends anymore, as they are usually spent for doing even more work, or catching up on some much-needed sleep.
– You start to lose track of what date it is, or even what day of the week it is.
– Business growth is starting to grind to a standstill, and you no longer have time to think of business ideas or grab new opportunities.
If you are feeling some of these symptoms, or you just feel so tired to the point that you want to hire outside help, you should definitely find yourself a virtual assistant. They will help you manage the simpler tasks so you can focus on earning revenue and growing your business.