People used to be cautious, even scared, of the term "virtual assistant." It seemed unusual before entrepreneurs understood what this role actually involved. There were a lot of doubts, why should you entrust your business to an outsider who works remotely? Moreover, there was no concrete way of keeping track of their work or how they spent their time.
Things are, however, different now, especially in the post-pandemic era. Working remotely has become the new normal. Business owners even operate whole teams remotely.
In this article, we'll discuss the importance of delegation, who is a virtual assistant, how they can help grow your business, and your hiring options for building a virtual team.
The Importance of Delegation
It takes a lot to run a business. Researching prospects, marketing your brand, and closing sales while still performing everyday duties and operations required to keep the business going. It's challenging to find the time to scale your business when you have such a hectic schedule. The short amount of hours in a day might sometimes be the greatest hurdle to progress.
Task delegation is crucial for business expansion. Due to a lack of employees, infrastructure, and resources, many entrepreneurs take up most of the responsibilities, which only holds back productivity and growth. The most effective way to boost your business development without putting a dent in your limited resources is to hire a virtual assistant.
Who is a Virtual Assistant?
Though the title might sound a little tricky, a virtual assistant is simply an individual who works for you or your company remotely. Technology has come a long way, and most tasks can be efficiently accomplished without physically being in the same location.
By handling the administrative work remotely, a virtual assistant allows you to focus on more critical tasks of the day. In addition, they can manage the responsibilities you don't have time or energy for but still need to finish using modern technology, freeing up your already jam-packed schedule.
An arrangement like this could help you speed up your business and offer profitable prospects in your newfound free time. What business owner wouldn't want someone like this on their team—someone who can take on more responsibilities and complete duties as efficiently as possible?
Earlier, this role was more commonly known as a personal assistant. However, virtual assistants are no longer limited to personal use. They are already making their way into large-scale corporate deployments because of the innovation and technology that constantly evolves with time.
Millions of people worldwide are highly skilled and eager to work for you at reasonable rates. If hired correctly, you can have a team of highly skilled, trained professionals adding value to your company even without you having to monitor or supervise them constantly.
There are virtual assistants specializing in a particular field. For example, some remote assistants specialize in marketing, and others specialize in sales. More technical remote assistants can charge more because they have a specific skill set that takes time and experience to master. Finally, some general remote assistants can manage various office-related jobs and work with companies across industries.
Most executives have no idea how many mundane administrative jobs they do daily; thus, any type of assistance would be a considerable burden lifted off their shoulders. However, you might want to explore hiring a virtual assistant instead of a regular in-office assistant because it could be more affordable, especially for businesses just starting on their journey.
Everything from organizing your calendar and correspondence to planning business trips and event reminders may be delegated to them for a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. A remote assistant can help you improve business operations, manage documentation, and more. It will take away some of the strain on employees already working on other jobs in your business and save time and money.
How Do Virtual Assistants Get Paid?
You can hire a Virtual Assistant hourly or buy a package of hours that you can utilize over a month. Virtual assistants can also charge by the project; for example, they may charge a flat price for creating a social media post or organizing an event. Finally, some remote assistants have service packages, such as social media or blog packages, for a set fee that includes many different services.
Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant For Your Startup
If you've considered employing a virtual assistant but aren't sure if you need one, take a look at these six key benefits of hiring one.
Remote Assistants Are Cost-Effective
A virtual assistant allows you to improve business operations while spending less money. Hiring a virtual assistant is a cost-effective alternative to hiring an in-office employee who requires a monthly salary and additional benefits. Since they are paid depending on their tasks or projects, you only pay your remote assistant for their tasks or the hours they spend on a project.
Furthermore, the business owner does not have to spend money on training a virtual assistant, finding additional office space to set up a workplace, or purchasing infrastructure. As a result, your business's expenses are considerably reduced, and you can put the savings back into the company to help it grow.
Virtual Assistants Can Help You Save Time
Daily business tasks can eat up a lot of your time, from the daily grind of responding to customers to organizing invoices. You'll be able to free up some of your valuable time with the help of a virtual assistant.
Time is money when it comes to running a business. That's why having someone to handle the back-end can be pretty advantageous. The only thing you'll have to do is train your virtual assistant and show them everything there is to know about your company. If you choose to outsource a virtual assistant from an agency like Wishup, you won't even have to do that as we handle the vetting and training process. You can now spend your time on other crucial things like expanding and growing your company once you've formed a relationship with your VA and are confident that they know how things work.
A Virtual Assistant Will Help You Have a Work-Life Balance
When was the last time you had a day off? Do you remember the last time you took a vacation with your family?
While a Virtual Assistant helps you save time on work-related jobs, they help you free up time in your personal life too. You've sacrificed a lot to start your own business, and we understand how important it is to you. It's like having a child: you invested a lot of time, effort, and money into it, so it's only evident that you will devote a lot of time to it.
Once you've found a qualified virtual assistant who you feel you can entrust with your business, you'll be able to spend more time with your family, friends, or yourself. You will have time for your interests and hobbies and focus on life outside of work. That will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance and do wonders for your mental health.
Virtual Assistants Help Improve Company Efficiency
Hiring virtual assistants also allows firms to concentrate on their key responsibilities. Companies and entrepreneurs have to deal with mundane chores daily, such as organizing meetings, taking care of customer service, marketing research, calendar management, and handling accounts and data entries.
We can't deny that these are all essential tasks and need to be taken care of. However, you don't need your in-house team to take care of them, as they have their hands full with their responsibilities. In addition, making your office staff manage these duties takes away time that could be spent on more important responsibilities.
You won't have to worry about handling non-core activities in-house if you outsource them to a virtual assistant with suitable qualifications. This allows you to focus your time and money on things your in-office staff requires.
Virtual Assistants Are Flexible
When hiring a virtual assistant, one of the main criteria employers search for is someone who can communicate with you outside of regular business hours, especially for businesses working with international clients in different time zones.
If your virtual assistant works from home, they are more likely to be available for you whenever necessary, even if it means taking a call or responding to an urgent email at night. You can even arrange for them to work a night shift since many startups deal with clients from various time zones. This flexibility and adaptability are handy if you run a time-sensitive business and need things to be done quickly.
Virtual Assistants Provide Expertise
All the virtual assistants you hire will be highly qualified and experienced in the fields and services they provide, so you'll be sure you're getting someone who knows what they're doing, even better than you. But, of course, you can't be great at everything. It's okay because, as the captain of the ship, you have to find people who have different skills and put together a talented team. Therefore if there is an area of your business you're struggling with, the smart business choice would be to hire a qualified professional to take over.
This is where you can employ a virtual assistant who is an expert in that field and delegate the job to them. Once you've found a remote assistant who fits in well with your company, you'll be able to assign duties confidently, knowing that the work is being handled by a trained, skilled, and experienced professional.
How Do You Know If You Need To Hire A Virtual Assistant
You've probably understood precisely how helpful a virtual assistant can be to a startup. But how do you, or your startup, specifically, needs a virtual assistant? It's pretty simple; you need a remote assistant if -
You Find Yourself Spending Time On Mundane Tasks
Every day, most startups spend a significant amount of time on secondary operations such as replying to emails, scheduling appointments and handling customer care. If you find yourself squandering most of your time on such time-consuming, mundane tasks, you probably need to hire a virtual assistant. They can help streamline these operations, allowing you to focus on other essential things that require your time and attention.
You Find Yourself Feeling Burned Out
Surely running a business is a lot to take on for one person alone. But, as an aspiring entrepreneur and startup owner, you might feel the need to do everything yourself. It could be because you don't have the resources, or you don't trust that anyone could do the job better than you. This will eventually lead to mental and physical burnout.
If you feel too drained by secondary tasks to give your primary work the attention it deserves, the time has come to delegate some of those tasks to a virtual assistant.
Some Tasks Don't Require Full-Time Staff
Recruiting someone full-time for a job that only requires very few work hours each day is unnecessary. It's not a wise business decision, for instance, to hire someone full-time simply to reply to client emails.
When minor jobs or independent assignments or projects are involved, it is best to hire a remote assistant.
Tasks You Can Outsource To a Virtual Assistant
For businesses and startups especially, email is a vital communication medium. For customer acquisition and retention. Did you know that the average entrepreneur spends up to 28% of their week answering emails, which equals 11 hours? This is eleven hours that could be spent growing your business.
If you want to succeed and advance your company to greater heights, you have to figure out a way to use those 11 hours more strategically, and with the help of an administrative assistant, you will be able to.
Apart from managing your inbox, they can also handle calls, schedule appointments, and book travel and restaurant reservations.
Bookkeeping is an integral part of every business's operations. However, examining transactions for inconsistencies and comparing them to the bank's records can be time-consuming and tiresome. While many entrepreneurs have knowledge in various sectors that they use to keep their businesses profitable, bookkeeping isn't always at the top of their priority list.
Inconsistency in financial records can hurt a startup in the long haul, so hire a virtual assistant and let the expert handle them rather than wasting time on the books. As a result, valuable time may be spent developing the startup and growing it rather than fixing basic bookkeeping mistakes that prevent you from expanding your company.
To keep your business ahead of the competition, you undoubtedly do a lot of research. Research is vital and helpful, whether you're undertaking a project or keeping up with business developments.
A virtual assistant can assist you in conducting thorough research for your startup. They can, for example, gain insight about your consumers before a sales pitch. Or they can help with competitor research while trying to launch a new product/service.
There are bound to be research projects which are constantly developing. Therefore, ensure that your assistant records any recent updates and developments and keeps an eye out for updates concerning your industry.
Social Media Management
Do you dedicate a huge chunk of your workweek to social media? With a virtual assistant, you will free up a lot of time by outsourcing the job of replying to queries, reacting to comments, or posting to social platforms with relevant keywords. In addition, to make their company seem more authentic, startup owners frequently build a brand based around themselves, their personalities, and their beliefs.
You can hire social media manager and train them to communicate your values without you necessarily having to write the words yourself.
Content writing is one of the most important, as well as the most tedious and time-consuming aspects of marketing. However, no matter how tiresome it might seem, it needs to be done. Virtual assistants are the answer for entrepreneurs who are too busy building their brand to produce content.
Blog articles, newsletters, press releases, ebooks, and other written content are just some of the content writing services you can delegate to a virtual assistant. In addition, they are skilled in helping with proofreading and editing, and adding material to your website based on their experience in the industry.
In the initial stages, you can just ask your VA to gather the information for you, so you can write the blog and show them how you want it to be done, and once they've got the grip of it, you can let go of the reins and let them handle the content responsibilities.
How To Hire a Virtual Assistant?
The three best ways to go about hiring a virtual assistant for your startup are -
Posting a Job Listing
There are plenty of websites where you can post your job requirements for a virtual assistant. However, you will have to write a detailed job description with the skills and tools knowledge you require, along with work hours and salary details on platforms like LinkedIn and Craigslist.
Pros - You get to decide who you hire, interview the candidates yourself, and have a say in the salary negotiation process.
Cons - Hiring and interviewing virtual assistants can be complicated and time-consuming. There's also no guarantee that the freelancers you find on these platforms won't flake on you.
Apart from sites like LinkedIn, there are platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, explicitly designed for freelancers and gig artists to post their portfolios and resumes online to get hired for projects.
Pros - There is a ready list of candidates. All you'll have to do is research and shortlist candidates and select the one that's most suited for your startup.
Cons - You don't have direct contact with the virtual assistant until after making the payment. The company vets the virtual assistants, but they are not trained, and you'll have to spend resources on onboarding them.
There are VA companies, like Wishup, that screen, vet, and train virtual assistants themselves before assigning them to clients. They hire remote assistants across categories and industries and can match you with the VA who best suits your job description.
Pros - They handle the screening and recruiting process, so you can save time and be sure that they will get the job done. There is also no risk of misusing your personal information since most VA outsourcing agencies sign an NDA.
Cons - You don't get to personally select the VA you work with as the agency assigns them. However, if you don't like the work done by a particular VA or feel like they don't fit in well with your company, you can get a replacement at any time within hours.
The Final Verdict
One of the most prominent mistakes entrepreneurs, especially startup owners, make is thinking they can handle everything themselves. Delegation is a sign of leadership, and a virtual assistant is an excellent asset to startups that might not currently require full-time employees or do not have the resources to hire in-house teams.
If you want to grow your team with a highly-qualified, pre-trained virtual assistant who will help boost your startup, click here to schedule a free consultation with our team, or drop us an email at [email protected]
Subscribe to Wishup Blog | Remote Teams | Remote Employees
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox