When was the last time you relaxed over a cup of coffee?
Or attended your son's football game without worrying about what's happening back at the office.
If it takes you more than 2 minutes to answer these questions, then you have come to the right place.
The answer to all your time management and business growth problems is right here.
A virtual assistant
Highly qualified and multitalented professionals, virtual assistants are the answer to every entrepreneur's most important need, i.e., cut costs and boost productivity at the same time.
Who is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants are experienced professionals who work remotely. They have diverse skill sets with considerable industry and business experience. Usually a jack-of-all-trades, they can perform essential administrative functions and jobs requiring in-depth knowledge and technical expertise with élan.
Virtual assistants are adaptable and versatile; this means you can find a VA online for almost any job, from managing your inbox and scheduling appointments to complex tasks such as bookkeeping and even software testing.
Most of them will have a verified profile on an online platform, and you can read reviews from previous employers before hiring them.
What does a Virtual Assistant do?
A virtual assistant will manage all your daily recurring and essential tasks. They will help you be more productive and focus on the essentials of business – growth, competition, and strategy - tasks that only you can perform best for your business.
Such is a VA's efficiency and professionalism that they can perform almost any task – from conducting market research to responding to customer queries, sending flowers, and updating your e-commerce websites.
A majority of the tasks small business owners perform can be inexpensively outsourced to a smart, qualified virtual assistant. A VA can perform these tasks with the same degree of efficiency as a full-time resource while offering substantial savings in terms of costs related to hiring, taxes, and other benefits.
What are the different types of virtual assistants?
The different types of virtual assistants based on their expertise are administrative assistant, executive assistant, online business manager, sales administration assistant, personal assistant, bookkeeping assistant, real estate assistant, e-commerce assistant, virtual project manager, email assistant, data entry assistant, and travel assistant.
Apart from them, you can hire remote software testers and developers based on your project requirements.
Now that you are familiar with the types of virtual assistants you can hire, let's take an in-depth look at the different profiles and tasks they can perform for your business.
The different types of virtual assistants
It does not make sense for an entrepreneur to manage inboxes and calendars and set appointments when they can instead focus on core business areas. An executive virtual assistant can perform all tasks and more that are essential to the smooth running of your business. Scheduling meetings, creating itineraries, organizing your days, and clearing your inbox are all in a day's work for them.
Hiring a virtual executive assistant is the same as having a personal assistant in your office. The critical difference is that they work from a remote location and are much more affordable. Executive virtual assistants can also help you grow your business with their diverse skills and expertise.
Tasks you can assign to a virtual administrative executive assistant:
- Replying to your emails
- Inbox management
- Preparing minutes of meetings
- Calendar management
- Following up on tasks
- Communicate with key clients and stakeholders on your behalf
- Internal office communication & coordination
- Travel arrangements
- Data management
- Sending gifts to clients and associates
Bookkeeping Virtual Assistant
A bookkeeping virtual assistant can help you manage your business' cash flow. They can take over accounts, payroll processing, invoices et al. Imagine how much time you'll save by offloading this time-consuming but crucial business function onto a trusted expert.
While you cannot hand over the entire financial responsibility of your business to your VA, you can outsource the tedious parts. For example, while you can create the operational budget, the virtual assistant can check whether the budget is being adhered to by comparing it with actual expenses incurred.
They can also collate and present data in an easy-to-organize way for your accountant.
Tasks you can assign to a virtual bookkeeping assistant:
- Expense tracking
- Payroll management
- Budgeting monitoring
- Preparing financial statements
- Tax filing
- Accounts payable & receivable management
- Maintaining book of accounts
- QuickBooks management
Real Estate Virtual Assistant
If you're a real estate professional, hiring a virtual assistant will do your business a world of good. A real estate virtual is trained in various tasks crucial to your business, such as - preparing and filing paperwork, responding to inquiries, coordinating site visits and meetings, etc.
Delegate all such administrative and other tasks to your VA and focus on selling more properties. In fact, you can even hire VAs for sales support, database management, updating the latest properties available/needed on real estate portals, etc.
Check our blog: 40 Benefits of hiring a real estate virtual assistant
Tasks you can assign to a real estate virtual assistant:
- Posting and updating property ads on property portals, your website, etc.
- Researching available properties on property portals
- Coordinate site visits
- Sending messages/emails to customers on the latest property listings
- Responding to email inquiries
- Preparing sales/property reports
- Following up with prospective buyers
- Assist with sales and other related documentation
- Coordinate with home loan companies, lawyers, etc., as per client requirements
- Scheduling meetings
As your business grows and you start spending more time negotiating deals, networking with clients, and planning growth strategies, you may be unable to manage your day-to-day routine tasks efficiently due to a shortage of time and other priorities. Such a scenario can even lead to lower productivity and higher stress levels as you struggle to cope with the increased demands of a growing business.
In such a scenario, hiring a virtual personal assistant is your best option.
A personal assistant can efficiently and professionally manage all your essential tasks, such as checking your emails, making travel and stay arrangements for your business trips, maintaining minutes of meetings, and following up on the to-do list from your meetings. Moreover, they can even remind you and help you select the best gifting options for your partners, associates, employees, and other business contacts on important occasions such as birthdays, festivals, etc.
A virtual assistant can also add that personal touch vital to maintaining good relationships with investors, suppliers, and customers. Your VA can send out thank you and festive greeting cards. They can also manage your personal life – scheduling doctor's appointments, answering calls, and arranging pickups and drop-offs. With a personal assistant, you can save a huge chunk of time daily.
Tasks you can assign to a personal virtual assistant:
- Managing your inbox
- Communicating with clients, stakeholders, and employees on your behalf
- Making travel and stay arrangements for business and personal trips
- Recording minutes of meetings and following up on the action points discussed during the meeting
- Sending gifts on your behalf
- Tracking all your expenses and maintaining accurate records
- Keeping you updated on the latest news and trends related to your business
- Scheduling appointments and setting reminders
- Following up with your team on reports & other deliverables
- Conducting in-depth research on competitors and other important factors affecting your business.
As every entrepreneur knows, research is a time-consuming area. Luckily, you can hire a VA for this task too. Whether conducting research to identify potential investors or getting a view of competitor activities, your VA can do a fantastic job of collating the right information and presenting it comprehensibly. Just communicate your expectations clearly and let loose your VA on the job.
Here are some tasks you can assign to your research virtual assistant:
- Competitor analysis
- Identifying opportunities for business growth
- Conducting industry research
- Compiling research data
- Research the latest business news & trends
- Presenting research findings in a report with charts and graphs
- Helping you choose a vendor/tool by performing a comparative analysis
- Create a database of clients, partners & associates based on your industry
As a business owner, you have to frequently travel for meetings, conferences, events, and sometimes for personal reasons. Unfortunately, identifying the cheapest tickets, making bookings, and reserving hotels is a process you most certainly don't enjoy (or have the time for).
Instead of scouring airline websites daily, get a VA to plan your travel. Apart from making bookings, you can also ask your VA to prepare an itinerary and identify sightseeing places.
Here are some tasks you can assign to your virtual travel assistant:
- Booking flights after a price comparison
- Make travel arrangements based on your seat preferences, frequent flyer membership, preferred meals, etc.
- Research and get the best hotel deals
- Manage your hotel booking
- Share updates on flight delays and cancellations
- Track your travel expenses
- Keep separate tables of personal and business expenses on business trips
- Research and share details of the places you are visiting. i.e., Best places to eat, things to do in that particular city, etc.
Email Management Assistant
Do you despair on seeing hundreds of unread emails on Outlook every day? An inbox filled to the brim with customer queries, supplier communications, job inquiries, and spam can take hours to sort, answer, and delete. Wouldn't bringing in a VA for this task be a lifesaver?
Emails are somewhere on the top of your' time wasters' list. You're working on something important, channeling all your focus, and out pops an email notification that distracts you. You start typing a reply, and before you know it, you've wasted 15 precious minutes on something your VA could have handled easily. And once you lose the flow, it's hard to get back in the game.
A VA will organize your contacts list, answer routine emails in a pre-agreed format, and forward the important ones to you. Extricate yourself from the annoying trap of emails and get a trained VA to handle it for you.
Here are some tasks you can assign to your virtual email assistant:
- Managing your inbox
- Reply to customers, associates, partners, and employee emails on your behalf
- Highlight important emails that need your attention
- Responding to general/customer queries
- Update the contacts in your address book
- Responding to and closing service requests/tickets
- Sending e-greetings and invitations
- Delete spam
- Subscribe to important & relevant newsletters
- Categorizing your emails into different labels based on priorities, tasks, projects, etc.
Data entry assistant
Ask an entrepreneur about the one task that bothers them the most, and they'll likely respond with data entry. If you feel frustrated and irritated every time you have to spend time manually entering data, you're not alone. And why shouldn't you when you can spend this time growing your business?
A data entry virtual assistant is a boon for your business, saving it time and money. Whether entering data in Excel or adding content to a presentation, your VA can help you deal with a mountain of data. So don't break into a sweat every time the prospect of data entry stares you in the face. Instead, sign up on a VA platform and get yourself a qualified professional.
Here are some tasks you can assign to your data entry virtual assistant:
- Preparing and sorting data for entry
- Fact-checking data for accuracy
- Entering data on spreadsheets and other tools
- Keeping track of records
- Generating reports
- Maintaining the safety and integrity of all databases
- Ensuring proper storage and backup of all databases
- Sharing the data with your team as and when required based on the business requirements
A virtual assistant is just what you need to grow your business
VAs can perform an even greater variety of tasks apart from the ones we've just seen. They can hold more specialized skill sets within these categories or have a niche skill you can use for your business.
The next step is, of course, figuring out precisely what you need for your business. For which you need to take some time out and answer a few questions, such as:
Which area of your business takes up most of your time?
What activities do you enjoy?
What activities do you dislike?
List out frequent daily, weekly, and monthly tasks you perform
Identify those tasks you especially dislike. Of these, how many have a clear process in place?
How long do you take to complete each of these tasks?
Do you use any software/tools for these tasks?
Categorize all tasks under two heads - Must Delegate and Can Delegate
On your Must Delegate list, see which tasks match the categories listed in the article. Now you have a fair idea of what you need. If you've identified more than one category, you will likely need multiple VAs.
How to hire the perfect Virtual Assistant?
When you post your requirement for a Virtual Assistant, you will be swamped with thousands of eager replies, making the selection process lengthy and time-consuming.
Alternatively, you can hire a virtual assistant by signing up on a trusted platform like Wishup. This means all the prerequisites of hiring - verification of qualifications, work experience, training, etc. – are taken care of, saving you a whole lot of time and hassle.
Your VA is an invaluable investment in your business. They handle daily business chores while you remain focused on the grand scheme of things. Hiring one can literally make a difference in your business operations and the speed at which you grow.
To hire a virtual assistant, just schedule a free consultation or send us a mail at [email protected]
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