You’ve started a new business?
You’ve got your employees.
You’ve got your superb products.
Heck, you might even start making some money!
But unfortunately, with a growing list of the good parts of a successful business comes another growing list:
The tedious work...
You know, the boring and time-consuming stuff.
This is where Virtual Assistants come in.
So, considering they’re a growing industry in the workplace, you’ve probably heard of a virtual assistant (or a VA), right?
But, let's be honest:
Do you actually know what a VA can do for you?
Well, that’s why I’m here.
Heck, I’ve written a whole article on it!
Quite recently, in fact, a long term client of ours had grown much larger than they had anticipated…
Their independent-clothing website finally started to take off and go viral.
And sure, that was awesome!
But it also meant a lot of new responsibilities.
They had orders pouring in for their new range of t-shirts...
Lots of customers posting rave reviews on their site...
And of course, they were finally making a decent profit!
As you can imagine, it was becoming quite a headache.
That’s why they bombarded with emails late into one evening about 8 months ago.
It’s safe to say that they were desperate to find a solution for the constant overflow of new responsibilities.
Want to take a guess on what I did?
If you guessed I sat down with them I got them to hire a VA…
Then you are absolutely correct!
Read More: Wikipedia on Virtual Assistants
We talked through what VA agency would work for them…
And of course, what kind of VA that they personally would need.
3 months later, they were extremely happy to report that they had become more productive daily. They even measured how many more tasks they could get done everyday, and recorded an average increase of productivity over 12%!
Pretty sweet, right?
Not only were they expanding and becoming more successful…
But with their new VA, they were easily keeping on top of everything, too!
Fancy seeing the same for your own business?
‘Course you do.
Well, this article is going to take you through everything you need to know about VAs, in one ultimate guide:
- What is a VA? What are the benefits of hiring one?
- What are Social Media VAs?
- What can a VA Bookkeeper & Accountant be used for?
- How can a Virtual Administrative Assistant be helpful?
To put it quite simply a virtual assistant is well…
An assistant who’s virtual!
It is basically a personal assistant, but they work from home.
So, you pay them when they are doing your work, and they only work for you when you are paying them!
This keeps it simple for both you and the VA!
Sounds good, right?
Well it’s about to sound even better. There are actually 2 types of virtual assistant:
1. General Virtual Assistants
These VAs often do basic admin tasks - the jobs that need doing, but don’t necessarily require specialist skills to grow your business.
These tasks could include scheduling your calendar, or sorting your email inbox.
2. Specialist Virtual Assistants
(The clue is in the name!)
These VAs do the tasks that require the specialist knowledge you don’t have. These tasks will grow your business.
This could include social media posts, or marketing your business.
Either way, you have a lot of options for your business!
Right now I bet you’re thinking “but what do I need a Virtual Assistant for?”
Well, a Virtual Assistant can be an extremely useful tool - for much more than what you would initially think!
They can get you and your business organised
I’ll be honest: I struggle to stay on top of things.
I’m late for everything, I’m always rushing, and I’m constantly behind with my to-do list.
Enter a VA!
In general, a virtual assistant can do all of your organizing.
This could include keeping track of your calendar, or perhaps scheduling appointments for you!
But they are capable of doing so much more.
Just imagine always having someone around to do the boring tedious things that come with running your business…
Like trawling through your emails or answering customer service calls.
Surely it would be nice to have someone to do it for you?
Well that’s exactly what my client was looking for.
They ran a marketing company and were awesome at putting the word out about businesses. But they weren’t so awesome at keeping their data organised.
No more failing to keep their filing up to date, and no more struggling to analyse data in Excel!
Let’s say that in order to keep up with your business, you hired an in-house assistant.
Thing is, in-house assistants have to take all those usual perks of working full time in an office, like holidays, sick pay and seasonal holidays - which while reasonable, can start to add up…
But virtual assistants are in complete control of their wages, hours, healthcare etc.
You can save on the price of a full-time employee, and stay in control of those costs by hiring them for a certain number of hours.
Just like one of my clients did 7 months ago.
As the owner of a small graphic design company, they were one of 3 employees, and thus couldn’t afford a new employee!
That’s when I suggested they hire a VA.
They hired a VA who could do all of their admin, and do it for 7 hours a week. They could budget their extra help, and avoid overspending!
They can boost your business’ efficiency
Imagine you only have to ever pay an employee when they are actually working for you.
And not when they are browsing Reddit in their breaks!
That’s right, you can find a VA that is specialized in exactly what you need them for, while also being able to help with the more general things.
Yeah, I know it sounds too good to be true...
But this is exactly what virtual assistants do!
Like I said before, you do not have to pay them when they are not working for you.
This means you know that you are only outsourcing and spending money when you need to!
My graphic designer client wasn’t just able to effectively budget her needs, but was able to boost the efficiency of her team as a whole.
Everything else is moving to the internet.
So, why wouldn’t your Assistant be, too?
Here’s a stupid question:
Are you extremely busy?
Of course, you are!
Constantly needing to put your nose to your phone and tweet out your latest content or post a sponsored facebook post?
Spending too much time trying to word your new perfect Instagram caption for your new product, instead of focusing on making new products?
Do you want it done for you, so you can concentrate on the more important things?
Then it’s time you hired a virtual assistant!
Here are all of the tasks that they can do for you:
They can upload social media posts whilst you work
You can actually hire virtual assistants who will update your various social media, so you don’t have to!
This is one of the most common types of virtual assistants, as it is the easiest to work on from anywhere in the world.
One of my clients who owned a catering company might have known how to make a delicious meal, but they didn’t know how to cook up a storm on social media…
Lucky for them, someone else did.
And that someone was the VA they hired a week later!
They have awesome social media experience
Sometimes it can be hard figuring out how best to connect with your customers…
But with a social media virtual assistant, you don’t ever have to! All that you’ve got to do is approve their work before it’s sent out into the big wide world.
No more getting frustrated at that annoying Twitter character limit!
We know that you’re definitely too busy to keep up with all the latest trends and goings-on, and you need to keep on top of that for your brand...
So, why not hire a social media virtual assistant to do it for you?
That’s what my catering client did. Their VA knew the drill, and finally brought their online presence up to scratch.
They can do content writing
It could be coming up with ideas, researching the topic, or producing awesome content - either way, content writing is key to a successful business.
And you can actually hire someone that can do all of that, or just the parts you aren’t a fan of.
Let’s say you prefer to write your content, but don’t have the time for the research:
Hire a virtual assistant to do the research for you so that you can focus on writing the punchy captions or witty tweets!
You run a business. You’re good at what you do.
But working with accountants and keeping track of all that mind-numbing data?
(I don’t have a clue about it, either.)
But thanks to VAs, it really has never been easier.
With a VA bookkeeper and accountant, all of your data and ledger maintenance will be perfectly kept up-to-date for you!
And guess what?
Its all for a fraction of the cost that you would usually pay.
I’m going to guess that you think it all sounds a little too good to be true?
Well, that’s what another client of ours thought so, too:
They run a successful travel booking company and when their top accountant went on maternity leave, they started to worry.
The cover they hired just wasn’t doing a high-quality job, and it cost them more than they wanted to spend on hiring them.
And add on top of that maternity leave pay!
When we recommended a VA, they were of course skeptical.
“You want us to hire someone to handle our finances who we haven’t even met?”
But once we helped them find the right kind of VA in a bookkeeper, they took the chance and hired one when they needed them.
Read More: Using a virtual assistant: Fact vs. Fiction
Months later, they called us just to let us know that we got them out of a tight situation.
Now, they use various VA’s for all sorts of work when they need
Fact is, when it comes to complex tasks like bookkeeping and accountancy, you’re going to need someone who knows what they’re doing!
With most of the VAs being aged at least 35 or more, you know you’re getting a VA with plenty of experience under their belt.
VA’s many areas of expertise include:
Financial and Account Management
Payroll Tasks & Invoices
Business Plan Development
Sales Tax Reporting & Submission
Financial Statement Reports
Creating Annual Reports
Dealing with Accounts
Purchase Order Management
Balancing the books has never been so easy!
Business leaders already have a lot on their plate - and then you have to do admin on top of that?
I know, I know, it’s boring and time-consuming, but it’s vital for your business.
And paying an in-office admin for it… It’s just a little too expensive.
Well, you’re in luck.
Instead of paying a salary, and having to deal with complicated contracts, why not hire a virtual administrative assistant?
With a virtual administrative assistant comes a reduced cost, but no cut inefficiency!
You’ll have no need to worry about taking your calls, managing your calendar and meetings - your very own virtual administrative assistant will be able to remotely work for you.
Whether it’s on your own PC, where they’ll remotely take control of it over a secure connection.
Or they’ll work on their own and send you daily reports.
It really couldn’t be simpler.
They can take over receptionist duties
Constantly on the phone when you have more important things to be doing?
Tell me about it!
VA’s are here to take that weight off your shoulders - as the company leader - you need to be working hard on other things, not taking calls!
My client was exactly the same.
They weren’t trained in these administrative tasks, and they certainly weren’t any good at them…
I found them a VA that had the training and had the experience in the tasks they needed to get done.
No more wasting time waiting for the phone, and juggling appointments and her actual job!
They are always available & easily able to adapt to your company
No training required!
With years of experience to their name, your VA is readily available and can adapt to your company and its inner workings incredibly quickly, say goodbye to days of training them up to an acceptable level.
My catering client was ecstatic when I showed him that he could easily scroll through VAs on an agency website and see their experience with a click of a button.
Couple of more clicks and he could see their past projects!
It was when he saw one that used to work for a wedding catering company, that he knew she was a match.
Natasha has been working for them for the last 3 months now.
They can easily summarise your calls & emails
Tired of shorthand messages that don’t make sense?
VA’s are legitimately skilled in taking notes and organizing your messages, so you don’t have to.
However, it can be difficult to interpret someone else's notes - VA’s are trained in doing it to a high enough quality anyone can understand it.
Did you know that I personally use one of these VAs?
With so many calls from clients asking for help, I simply don’t have the time to solve their problems and pick up new calls asking for help!
They can transcribing recordings of meetings & calls
Recorded your meeting but need it in a written format?
VA’s have got you covered. They can transcribe it to any other format you need so that you can easily send that around to the people who require it. With many VA’s being multilingual or at least bilingual, language barriers shouldn’t be a problem.
My client’s catering company was just expanding to the spanish market when they contacted me.
They wanted to source local ingredients for authentic cooking. One problem: they didn’t speak a word of spanish.
But their VA did!
Need someone to sell your company and get traffic to your site?
VA’s will be trained in creating traffic to your websites and content, and scouring the web for forums and posts that could be related back to you - then using these to advertise your brand.
By now you should know the different types of virtual assistant…
And you should even know everything that they can do for you!
But now it’s time to hear what you think:
What tasks are you hoping to outsource?
And which type of virtual assistant will suit your business best?