I know what you're thinking - everyone seems to be talking about virtual assistants these days.
It's like every business is using them now.
As they should - and so should you!
Virtual assistants are a huge asset to any business.
Take it from me - I know.
You see, when my client's company was struggling to keep up with their massive workload I was tasked with finding help.
And after researching for a solid 17 hours I decided that a virtual assistant was the only way to go.
And boy, did I make the right decision!
Hiring a virtual assistant for two hours a week had a huge impact on their business.
Two hours may not seem like much but in only a short amount of time they found their productivity rates improved by over 56%.
They could literally see their business's profits increase right before their eyes!
All for just ||$||$10.35||$|| per hour.
I know that might sound bogus - that's exactly why I wanted to explain it in a little more detail.
You can now stop skimming all the VA faff online, and instead read an ultimate guide.
Put together by another Atlanta-based business.
You'll see results in no time, because I sure did.
Read More: Wikipedia on Virtual Assistants
A virtual assistant is basically the same as a regular personal assistant with one key difference -
- they're virtual of course!
VAs work remotely and carry out a variety of mostly administrative tasks.
That's right. All those boring jobs that take up too much of your valuable time - they'll do them all.
But the best part?
They only work as much as you want them to.
Whether that's one hour or forty hours - it's all down to you (and your budget).
Virtual assistants usually have bucketloads of experience and are highly skilled in all the important areas, too.
That means that you're getting the highest quality assistance possible.
Pretty great, right?
It would be quicker to answer what they can't do!
Just like a regular PA, virtual assistants focus on administrative tasks.
From bookkeeping to sending emails, VAs can do it all.
But if you're looking to outsource some more specialised tasks, plenty of virtual assistants have a wide range of skills.
For example, many VAs are experienced in marketing or social media managing - which can be a huge time saver.
You don't need to hire multiple people if one person can do it instead!
Here are just some of the tasks your VA can complete:
Social media management!
Booking meetings and appointments!
Making calls and sending emails!
Time = saved!
It's really useful to make a list of all the tasks you would like your virtual assistant to carry out.
(Think of the jobs that take up your time unnecessarily - you know- the tedious stuff that makes you go ugh!)
This way you're prepared to let your new VA know exactly what you expect, and they can get started straight away!
Want to take your business to new levels of success?
Of course you do!
And hiring a virtual assistant for your Atlanta business is the perfect way to finally start hitting your targets.
To be honest, there are so many ways that a VA can help you do that, that I've narrowed down the huge list to just the top 5...
1. Saving Time
Listen, I know that you have so much to do.
Business owners never rest!
But so much of your precious time is wasted on tedious tasks.
Inbox management, bookkeeping, calendar planning
Things that don't really require that you do them specifically, either. But important nonetheless.
Why not outsource the mundane, every day tasks to a VA?
This can save you hours every single week, leaving you time to focus on the income-generating tasks.
2. High-Quality Service
Virtual assistants offer incredible service.
Most VAs have years of experience as administrative and personal assistants.
This means that by hiring a virtual assistant you will receive the best quality work from someone that has years of training.
It also means that your VA will be skilled in areas that even you may be weaker in.
This had a huge effect on the effective running of my business!
As virtual assistants work remotely, it's down to you how many hours they work and when.
It doesn't have to be the typical 9-5.
Maybe you want the work completed before you get to your desk in the morning.
Or maybe you need someone to manage your inbox on the weekends or when you're on vacation.
Luckily for you, a virtual assistant can do that!
Making your life a whole lot easier.
4. Reduced Costs
Ok, I get it, virtual assistants seem expensive.
But they are actually amazingly cost-effective when you break it down.
You see, when it comes to VAs you only pay for what you need.
So if you only need them to do three hours worth of work, that's all you pay for.
Unlike an in-office assistant!
This can help you hugely reduce costs, saving you money that can then be put towards other areas of your business.
5. Increased Productivity
As I said before, when you hire a virtual assistant you only pay for what you need.
That means that your VA is spending the hours they were hired for actually working.
They're not wasting time checking Instagram or taking extended lunch breaks.
They're only working.
In fact, many virtual assistant services offer a monitoring service that will show you exactly how your VA is spending their time.
This means that virtual assistants have incredibly high levels of productivity, so you can rest assured that your work is being completed quickly and to a high standard!
There are so many amazing virtual assistants in Atlanta.
You're almost spoilt for choice!
But how do you find the best one for you?
Well, let me help you.
I've narrowed down the top qualities that virtual assistants must have so you can find your perfect match:
Communication is a hugely important skill for your virtual assistant to have.
Your VA will be required to communicate constantly - both with you and your customers and contacts.
So it's crucial that they are able to communicate clearly and effectively.
That's probably the most important thing to check for when you are looking for a virtual assistant!
This is super important, too. Obviously.
Your VA needs to be organised so that they can make sure all tasks are completed, and in good time.
Most VAs are natural multitaskers.
Why? Because they most likely have more than one client.
And you definitely don't want them getting you mixed up with someone else!
It's almost a given that a virtual assistant will have a good amount of experience!
But it's still important to check how much and the quality of the experience.
The more years a VA has spent working in their field, the more knowledge and skills they'll undoubtedly have.
Which translates to higher quality work and quicker task completion.
Exactly what you should expect from your virtual assistant!
Just be sure to verify this experience if you're not going via an agency.
Remember: You're perfectly within your rights to ask for references!
I can't stress enough how important it is for you to find a VA that can learn quickly!
A good virtual assistant will be able to adapt to you and your business almost immediately.
This will allow them to understand how to complete their tasks in a way that suits your needs, not just theirs.
It also means they will be able to get things done without having to consult you for guidance.
You should be aiming for a certain level of autonomy here.
Plus, less time spent training a new assistant means more time for the tasks that really matter!
Like anyone that works with or for you, your virtual assistant should have a personality and working style that meshes well with yours.
If you really click with someone, you can communicate and work with them in a more productive and effective way.
Which makes life so much easier.
Your VA will also be liaising with your customers and network, so hiring someone that is always polite and pleasant to talk to is crucial!
Woah there, hold on a second!
I know you're eager to start rushing off to find that perfect virtual assistant.
But first, here are some questions to think about before you start your search:
1. What Exactly Do I Need Them to Do?
Before you hire a virtual assistant, it's a good idea to make a list of all the tasks you will expect them to carry out for you.
Split your list into two groups: regular tasks and occasional tasks.
Regular tasks are jobs that will need to be completed often.
These can include:
- Replying to emails and making calls
- Updating calendars
- Scheduling meetings and appointments
Occasional tasks are jobs that are likely to be necessary, but on a less regular basis.
For example, booking travel and accommodation for when you may need to attend a conference or meeting in a different part of the country or even abroad.
If you have these tasks already figured out your virtual assistant can get stuck in as soon as possible!
2. What Is My Budget?
Money, money, money.
That pesky thing.
When you have a business, a budget is essential - but you already know this.
How much you'll pay will depend on many factors.
For example, the amount of hours you'll need and how much work you will need them to do.
Personally, I typically would opt for a package.
Some virtual assistant services offer a discount on packages that include a minimum amount of hours.
I found that a ||$||520||$|| package gave my client 45 hours of work a month.
Meaning they knew exactly how many tasks to assign each week.
And if their virtual assistant finished ahead of schedule, that meant bonus time to complete any ad-hoc tasks that they needed completing!
It helped my client schedule VA tasks ahead of time, and make sure they met deadlines and submission deadlines etc.
3. How Many Hours Will I Need?
This can be quite difficult to figure out.
The best way to calculate how many hours you will need your VA for is to consider how many jobs you will need them to do and how difficult they are.
(That task list we made earlier should come in pretty handy right about now.)
One of the best things about virtual assistants is that they're flexible, though, so if you need more or less hours for whatever reason, your VA will be able to accomodate.
Email campaign taking longer than was planned?
A load of paperwork just landed on your desk at the last-minute?
You can ask your VA to pick up a few extra hours no problem!
4. Will I Need a Team of Assistants or Just One?
Some virtual assistant services in Atlanta offer the option of a VA team.
This means you will hire a group of assistants, as opposed to just one.
A team of virtual assistants can be beneficial if you are planning to outsource a huge number of tasks, and so would require a lot of hours.
When my client had to organise a massive international conference they decided that a team of VAs was the best option.
And it was one of the best decisions they ever made!
They found that using a team allowed them to assign a specific task to each virtual assistant.
For example one VA focused on bookkeeping, whereas another was responsible for organising and booking guest accomodation.
This allowed their conference to run smoothly and it ended up being a huge success!
Teams of VAs are typically best for bigger businesses with more employees.
Whereas a smaller business will likely benefit more from a single virtual assistant.
But, at the end of the day it's all up to you!
Now you've asked yourself the hard questions and made your lists, it's time to start your search.
So, I present to you
Apex Virtual Assistants
Atlanta-based organisation that has been providing virtual administrative support since 2007.
Contact for a bespoke quote - can range from ||$||10||$|| - ||$||50||$||
VA of Atlanta
Virtual assistant service with roots in Atlanta that offers a wide range of virtual administrative services.
Social Media Management
Rates starting from ||$||24||$|| per hour.
My BTLR provide businesses with their own personal butler' - virtual assistants that are dedicated specifically to you.
Social Media Management
Contact for a bespoke quote.
Founded in 1995, Intelligent Office helps businesses and professions with quality virtual support and office space.
Contact for a bespoke quote - can start as low as ||$||1||$|| - ||$||2||$|| per hour.
Upwork are a company that allows freelance professionals, including virtual assistants, to offer their services.
Vary depending on the person, but include:
Freelance rates start at ||$||13||$|| per hour up to ||$||80||$|| per hour.
You may still have a few questions
...that's a lot to take in, so I'll do my best to answer some of the questions that I had when I was getting started...
Will a Virtual Assistant Suit My Small Business?
Short answer: absolutely.
Virtual assistants are perfect for small businesses.
Take it from me!
My client found a virtual assistant really useful when it came to their small business.
When you have a small team like they did, a VA can help you manage the almost never-ending tasks on your to-do list.
They found themselves struggling to keep up with all their incoming calls and emails as they were so busy with more pressing tasks.
Their virtual assistant answered calls and managed their inbox, easing the pressure and allowing them to focus on the important income-generating tasks!
Many virtual assistant services cater specifically to small businesses.
They know how hard small business owners work, so integrate perfectly with the small biz culture.
This allows them to cater their virtual assistant service specifically for you in order for your small business to thrive.
Virtual assistants were made for businesses like yours!
How Long Will I Need a VA For?
This is a big question.
It all depends on you and what you think would be best for your business.
Some people benefit greatly from a long-term partnership with a virtual assistant, whereas others prefer to hire VAs on a one-off or short-term basis.
A short term contract would be perfect for projects such as a social media revamp or the introduction of a new product or service.
Whereas a bigger project - such as a new advertising campaign or general push towards a bigger sales target would benefit from a virtual assistant on a long-term basis.
It may be best to start small and see how things go - that's what I did.
Project-to-project stuff to start, then eventually longer commitments.
Now I'm not so sure what you ever even did without a virtual assistant!
Agency or Freelance?
They certainly both have their pros and cons.
Everyone loves a table, so here's one for comparison:
Often more pricey as agency costs will be included alongside the VA's hourly charge.
Can be cheaper as freelance virtual assistants don't have to factor in other costs.
If you use a reputable agency or organisation you can guarantee a secure service.
Freelancers market themselves and so it can be difficult to vet them - they may just take your money and run!
More likely to have options for a VA team.
Unlikely to find a freelance team of VAs.
The agency or service will often provide support e.g. customer service, technical support.
If you are having issues, they may be difficult to solve solely through a single freelance assistant.
What If I Don't Use All the Hours I Paid For?
This depends on the service you use.
Some services allow you to roll over any unused hours until the next month.
Other services may require that you exhaust your paid hours within a set timeframe e.g. three months.
So it is super important that you discuss this with your virtual assistant before you start working with them!
So now you should know everything you need to know about VAs and where to find the best virtual assistant for your Atlanta business.
How do you feel now?
Are you excited to find your perfect virtual assistant?
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