Are you bored of managing essential yet non-core business operations on a daily basis? Do you often find yourself sacrificing your personal life at the altar of your work life? Is your life an endless tale of guilt for not being able to devote more than 24 hours a day to your business? If these concerns are all too relatable to you, it’s time to hire a virtual office assistant.
What is a Virtual Office Assistant?
Consider Joshua, the owner of a small business that goes by the tagline “Just another reason to smile”. The irony is that it’s Joshua who’s having the hardest time finding a reason to smile. Most of his day is spent in email decluttering (which steals at least two hours from his day) or answering phone calls (which can be a nuisance while working on an important project) or managing his schedule (vendor A is suddenly unavailable for a scheduled meeting and vendor B wants to meet earlier than scheduled). All of these little, everyday tasks take up so much of Joshua’s time that he has little (if any) left to focus on his actual business. As a result, productivity has suffered and the past few months have been rough.
For a while, Joshua was convinced that he just needed to step up his multitasking game. But soon, he realized it was these administrative tasks that were impeding growth. The proactive Type A personality he is, Joshua wasted no time in hiring a virtual office assistant once the realization dawned upon him.
Virtual office assistants are highly skilled individuals who render administrative, technical and creative support to entrepreneurs and busy professionals. The best part about hiring a virtual office assistant? They work remotely and are independent contractors, which means you don’t shell out a huge amount in salaries and benefits every month. What more could a small business owner want?
Now that he has started working with a virtual office assistant, things are looking up for Joshua. Not only does he have more time to focus on growing his business, he’s also able to strike a work-life balance. His virtual office assistant, Anna, is his “Just another reason to smile”.
What can a Virtual Office Assistant do?
A virtual office assistant can offer assistance with a variety of daily tasks -
1. Inbox filtering
There is hardly a business owner that enjoys sifting through piles of unread emails each day. And why should you, when it’s really not your job to? Hire a virtual office assistant who will manage your inbox, get rid of spam, subscribe to relevant mail lists, respond to emails, update your contact list, and bring important communication to your notice.
Bookkeeping is a specialized task that needs a specialist to handle it. However, your virtual office assistant can manage basic bookkeeping functions such as preparing ledgers and invoices, checking transaction entries, reconciling credit cards and bank statements, verifying the accuracy of calculations, and much more.
With solid verbal communication skills, your virtual office assistant is the right person to handle those hundreds of phone calls you receive every day. They will answer phone calls, deliver relevant messages to you, respond to basic customer queries, and direct calls to the right people or department.
4. Calendar management
Time is your most valuable commodity and staying organized is a must. A virtual office assistant can help you do exactly that by managing your daily schedule. They will ensure that you don’t forget to attend important client meetings and events and keep your calendar updated with daily commitments.
5. Travel arrangements
Making business trips every now and then is all too common for a business owner. But planning a trip can eat up a lot of your precious time – you have to book flights and hotels, research car rental services and even good nearby restaurants. Hire a travel virtual office assistant to handle all such tasks; they will make all the necessary arrangements on your behalf and leave you free to focus on the important presentation you have to make.
Steps to Hire a Virtual Office Assistant
1. Find the right platform
The first step in finding the ideal virtual office assistant is to choose amongst the various online platforms. Pro tip – Go for an international virtual assistant service that offers a pool of highly skilled and experienced VAs.
2. Come up with a clear task list
Next, formulate a clear task list of what you expect from your virtual assistant. This will allow both of you to be on the same page and stay organized throughout the course of work.
3. Take stock of the costs
When you hire a virtual office assistant, one of the most important factors to take into account is the associated cost. Compare your options in terms of pricing and read up online reviews and testimonials to zero in on the right service.
4. Meet your VA
Once you’ve found a candidate who seems right for your business, start with discussing the task list with them. If you’re satisfied, go ahead or else keep on looking until you find a suitable one.
5. Plan the workflow
Now that you’ve finally found a suitable candidate, you’re ready to roll. The next step is to lay down your expectations clearly and communicate the quality of output expected. This will help you draw the best out of your virtual office assistant.
Virtual Office Assistant Job Description Samples
Virtual Office Assistant Job Description Sample 1
If you want to hire a virtual office assistant to take care of your business’ various administrative tasks, here is a job description sample for you.
We are in search of a virtual office assistant to take over various administrative tasks of our company while working remotely. For this role, you will be required to show excellent organizational and communication skills. Also, you must be capable of delivering high quality work under minimum supervision. Prior job experience, though preferred, is not a mandate.
Roles and responsibilities
- Management of contact lists and customer spreadsheets
- Scheduling client meetings
- Making travel arrangements
- Inbox management
- Handling client enquiries via phone or mail
- Creating presentations
- Billing and Accounting
- Must be a Graduate
- Must be conversant with the latest technologies namely desktop sharing, cloud services and familiar with communication tools such as Skype
- Thorough knowledge of MS Office
- Solid time management skills
- Must be teachable and have the drive to see clients succeed
Virtual Office Assistant Job Description Sample 2
If you wish to hire a virtual office assistant for more specialized services in addition to the general duties, here is a job description sample for you.
We are looking for a highly skilled and experienced virtual office assistant who can assist our company with some specialized services besides the general tasks. Our ideal candidate is expected to be a person of integrity, with a willingness to work hard. We are specifically in search of a candidate who is a polyglot (meaning is capable of understanding and translating several languages of which English is one). Having prior work experience of at least two years is mandatory.
Roles and responsibilities
General tasks include -
- Managing calendars
- Email decluttering
- Making travel arrangements
- Performing market research
- Taking transcription and handling correspondence
- Billing and Accounting
Specialized tasks -
- Translation and development of multilingual written content
- Graduate Degree along with at least two years of work experience as a virtual office assistant
- Albeit having a Major in Multi-Language is not a mandate, the candidate must be fluent in all languages (especially English) that they profess to know
- Familiarity with MS Office is a must
- Must be excellent in organization and time management
Benefits of a Virtual Office Assistant
1. Huge Time Saver
Because lost time never comes back, it’s important you make the right use of your time. When you hire a virtual office assistant, you make the most out of your time by focusing on core business operations as you delegate daily tasks to your VA. Moreover, if you hire a virtual office assistant from a different time zone, you can get round-the-clock availability which means your business runs even as you sleep!
Another worry most businesses have regarding hiring full-time employees is the budget factor. An in-house member needs to be paid a fixed salary on a monthly basis (which proves unprofitable during periods of less or no work), requires a proper office setup with office equipment and also needs to be given additional benefits such as health insurance, vacations and pension. All of this is not something you need to bother with when you hire a virtual office assistant. Working remotely, VAs give you all of the benefits of an in-house worker without the heavy costs that accompany their hire.
3. Improved productivity
While multi-tasking may seem like a necessary evil, it really hampers your productivity. Studies show that heavy multi-tasking makes individuals less organized and makes it harder for them to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant ones. Having a helping hand where necessary will improve efficiency. So, hire a virtual office assistant to lift some of the burden off of you and your team.
4. Best of both worlds
Striking a work-life balance, though crucial, is something almost every entrepreneur struggles with. Yet, trying to manage every aspect of your work will only lead to burnout. Do not shy away from asking for help when you need some. Talented professionals such as virtual office assistants will help you strike a work-life balance so that you no longer need to sacrifice any one part of your life. You can spend time with your family, take time out for your hobbies, reconnect with nature or simply have periods of solitary contemplation while your business runs in the background. So, hire a virtual office assistant today!
5. No training hassles
Another major benefit of hiring a virtual office assistant is that you do not have to stress about bearing the heavy costs involved in recruitment and training. Since these individuals are already highly trained and qualified for their jobs, you can simply go ahead and hire the one that you find the most suitable for your needs.
Before hiring a suitable virtual office assistant, it’s important to clearly lay down your requirements in the job description as this is the only way you can find the most suitable candidate. Proper communication will ensure that the candidate knows what is expected of them and work accordingly. Sign up for a free consultation with Wishup and meet your next virtual office assistant today!
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