Almost every business has mundane tasks. These are tasks that take time and energy but are best handled by someone else so that you can focus on your company’s core business.
Many business owners are looking for ways to save money and increase productivity so they can focus on more important things. One way they can do that is by hiring a virtual assistant.
It is possible to save hours of work a day by using virtual assistants, but only if you use industry standards for training systems that make delegation easy. Hiring a virtual assistant seems like an easy solution, but how do you know if it’s the right decision?
This article will give you all of the information you need about hiring a virtual assistant, why it’s beneficial for your business, and what questions to ask when interviewing potential candidates.
What Is A Virtual Assistant And What Do They Do?
A virtual assistant is also called a VA or backup assistant. It is usually a self-employed individual or a company that provides virtual assistant services like administrative assistant, technical, or other support. A VA can be employed by an individual to manage that person’s personal affairs such as running errands, writing content, or providing technical support in specific areas.
Scheduling, Meetings, and Calendar management: You can hire a VA to manage your personal tasks like a schedule for you, meetings, taking phone calls, inbound calls, and event management. Following is a list of tasks that a backup assistant can do:
Email Marketing or Email Management: You can hire a VA to manage your emails while you are busy with other tasks. Like sending emails to potential clients or replying to your happy clients on your behalf.
Project Management: A VA could help keep track of projects and get updates on the progress made within each project. Like how it is going, what the stats are, the Profit and Loss statement (PL), and much more.
Administrative Tasks like Data Entry or Research: A lot of research is done online these days, so hiring someone who can do data entry for reports in an efficient manner will save time and money as well.
Customer Service/Support Assistance: If it’s difficult for you to respond quickly to customer queries because of workloads then you might find that a VA would assist with this task better than yourself since they may have more time available in their day due to lack of personal work.
Note-taking: Invite your VA’s in the meeting so they can note the main points of the meeting for you to go over.
Marketing Campaigns: If you want to get more business, then look for a VA who is experienced in marketing and can help with researching the best ways of social media or even email campaigns as well as other advertising methods that are currently working.
Digital Marketing: Your VA can do tasks in digital marketing like SEO, social media management, content creation on daily basis. In social media management, a VA can manage paid Ads on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram.
Content Writing: Creating content for blogs is also very important and in this, a person does a wide variety of virtual assistant jobs on a regular basis.
Any other tasks that are necessary to running your business but do not directly contribute to increasing revenue or introducing new strategies.
How Much You Should Pay?
You can pay your VA’s a monthly salary if you need them for full-time work, or agree with an hourly rate and pay as you need them. One of the advantages of using a VA is the flexibility this offers.
A personal assistant is different from a virtual assistant. A personal assistant almost works as a full-time assistant and performs a variety of tasks. But a VA does hours of tasks at a flat rate in a remote location.
There is a selection of project management tools you can use to track their hours as they are working virtually. Time Doctor for example will not only record the work your VA does but will also take screenshots of their computer screen so you can see that they are working on your tasks when they claim to. You should decide any business hours that you need them to work in advance and then ask your virtual team to follow this.
How To Get The Best From A Virtual Assistant
Some people find it difficult to manage all their tasks during the day so they hire someone else called a virtual assistant or VA to complete some extra work on their behalf of them, which would save time and money too.
For this, you need to understand that a virtual assistant is not a robot, and you need to be clear about the tasks which are within their competence.
The next consideration ought to be how much time each task takes, this can vary enormously from one hour up to many hours or in extreme cases even days if there’s enough information involved in order for someone else to do it properly.
To get the best out of your VA you should also bear in mind that their skill-set might not match yours with different experience levels but more importantly different mindsets too.
Suppose if you have hired someone for marketing and he/she doesn’t even know about that, how can he/she do the work for you? So you need to make clear in advance what tasks you require doing and what skills and experience your VA must-have.
Nowadays many people are looking for an assistant to help them do some of their routine tasks and jobs so they have more time to spend on other important things like family or business development.
But it is hard sometimes when hiring someone else because we don’t really know what this person’s expertise is, and also if there might be any frauds out there who may just take our money without doing anything at all. So be aware and use common sense to guard against this.
Where To Find Virtual Assistants
Finding the right virtual assistant for you is easy but you have to spend some time. There are many ways to find one. The first is by asking friends and family, the second is through a search engine (Google) or a social media site, another way would be to investigate virtual assistant companies that specialize in this type of work.
You can post on Facebook groups for this type of work and ask if anyone knows a good dedicated assistant. Most professional VA’s are from Central America, the Philippines, India and Pakistan.
Some companies specialize in this type of service, which is worth investigating for sure as you will be getting into the hands-on details with someone who can provide their expertise to make your life easier.
This also makes it more likely that they are going to know what they’re doing and how to do it well too because people don’t get hired just because they have a general interest in something or like the idea of working from home on occasion.
There’s generally some level of knowledge required so you’ll want someone who has been at it a while and knows what they’re talking about when it comes down to things like marketing, social media networking, accounting, etc.
Using an agency can save you a lot of time and trial and error.
Find VA from Freelancing Platforms
One more source is freelancing platforms, you can find a VA from outsourcing companies on freelance websites. You can post a virtual assistant job to find the best VA.
You’re able to get the best assistance that way and know who you’re working with as well, which is important when it comes down to things like protecting both your information and theirs too. You are able to view profiles on these sites and can see their previous experience.
This will also help in terms of making sure they have a solid history before you hire them because there’s usually some vetting process that has been put into place by the site owner or freelancer before they are accepted onto their platform so it should make sense why this would be an ideal option if one needs VA services today.
The final option is posting ads in places where people seeking jobs can go online and post what kind of work they want to do (ex: Craigslist).
Benefits Of Having A Virtual Assistant
There are more benefits of hiring a virtual office assistant than we could possibly list here.
Reduced labor costs: The cost of having an assistant is shared with the company, not just one person. This means that labor costs are much lower than hiring someone full-time on staff.
As most VA’s come from 3rd world countries they are also able to work for lower rates than it would cost to employ someone from your local community.
Furthermore, as Virtual Assistants will work from their own home office rather than coming into the office every day they can usually be hired for fewer hours per week and still get more done because they have fewer distractions at home.
Increased productivity: By hiring a VA, you can increase your productivity by having someone manage your day-to-day tasks and freeing up more of your time.
With a Virtual Assistant taking over some of these routine tasks while providing more personalized attention, employees are able to focus on other essential projects that impact their overall productivity at work.
Increased flexibility: You can increase your flexibility in your schedule by hiring a Virtual Assistant.
This is because they work from their home office and the hours will be flexible according to what needs to be done so there is no set start or end time for doing tasks.
Improved work quality: Professional VA’s provide the best service that is tailored to your needs. They can help you in a more personal and customized way that will improve the quality of work done. Their experience working in a specific area could give you access to skills you don’t possess yourself.
There are many benefits to hiring virtual assistants including increased employee morale because they have less stress, reduced costs associated with paying staff overtime and keeping them motivated, greater availability when VA’s are working from home rather than in your office.
We hope this post has helped you decide how to get the best from a virtual assistant. Remember that just because they are remote doesn’t mean that they can’t do some of the more mundane tasks for you. This will free up time and energy so that you can focus on what really matters to grow your company. Hiring a Virtual Assistant can be an excellent investment for your business.
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