3 Incredible Ways Your Virtual Assistant Can Help Run Your Business
By now, we have all heard of Virtual Assistants, but are they just people who help us to clear our mailboxes or can they do more?
First thing to note is that Virtual Assistants should not just be limited to admin as many can do much more than that. There are Virtual Assistants who go as far as running your entire business for you so that you may focus on attracting new clients.
Furthermore, people hire Virtual Assistants for many reasons. Some would like to save on costs and others because they’re looking for a flexible employee. The benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant can be found in this article.
Today, we will discuss three incredible ways your Virtual Assistant can help run your business:
Traditional employees are reluctant to work on weekends and even scoff at the idea. Virtual Assistants, on the other hand, work on an hourly basis depending on what works for both of you. If your business relies heavily upon sales during “off peak hours” and “off seasons”, hiring a Virtual Assistant is a good option. You can find a Virtual Assistant to work for you on the weekends, public holidays and any other days when regular employees would not be available.
Ever had an emergency at work and wished you had a fairy godmother to fix it? Get a Virtual Assistant! He/she can help you manage your workload within a short notice period if they’re available. Since Virtual Assistants work by the hour as “freelancers”, they are more committed to their work and they make sure they deliver on expectations so that you may hire them again. If you’re facing an emergency, they’re more likely to squeeze you into their schedule. Nevertheless, if one is not available you can always hire another one just as fast if you are partnered with a Virtual Assistant Agency like VA Connect.
Every business needs some kind of reporting system to get an overview of how well the business is doing. If you’re a small business owner you’re probably still doing this yourself using spreadsheets. A Virtual Assistant can alleviate you of doing reports. Virtual Assistants are highly skilled individuals as they normally train themselves in a specific niche to appeal to employers. You will find that one assistant can do multiple tasks with attention to detail.
Still not convinced that you need a Virtual Assistant? Take our quiz here.
There are many more ways that Virtual Assistants can help run your business. Here is a previous post where we listed eight tasks that you can delegate to your assistant. Also, if you’re an entrepreneur, here’s how a Virtual Assistant can help you. Finally, here’s how a Virtual Assistant saved me 15 hours per week!
If you’re convinced that you need a Virtual Assistant, contact us today!
5 Great Ways to Get Started with Your Virtual Assistant
So, you’ve just hired your first Virtual Assistant, congratulations!
Now, because you will be working together virtually, there are a few steps you must take to get your assistant up and running. Although you won’t have to worry about office space, you must spend some time setting him/her up with the right tools to do the job.
Here are five great ways to get started with your Virtual Assistant:
1. Training and Development
Due to the nature of the work (online and not in person), giving clear instructions and expectations is essential.
Training material– Develop training material, how to’s and step-by-step instructions on how your Virtual Assistant should do his/her job. Remember the reason you employed a Virtual Assistant is to save you time, therefore, make sure he/she is properly trained to work independently.
Expectations document– Outline what work you expect daily. Do you require him/her to send 10 emails by 5 pm daily? Make sure it is clearly outlined in this document.
Performance measurement– Describe how and when you will measure your Virtual Assistant’s performance. Remember to tie KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to the expectations document. Also, make sure KPI’s are realistic. You can determine this by getting feedback from your new Virtual Assistant. Ask him/her if they agree to the KPI’s and work together to set a good way to measure performance.
Of course, your Virtual Assistant must be paid. You can set up a payment method that works best for the both of you. Consider extra charges with the method you choose. Popular payment methods are PayPal, Skrill and Payza.
3. Apps and Tools
To work effectively, your Virtual Assistant will need the following common tools:
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software
- Emailing Platform
- Messaging Platform
- Accounting Software
- Meeting Platform
- Document Management System
There are certain apps that can make working virtually seemingly easy. Read our blog on five apps and tools that every virtual business should have.
4. Virtual Phone System
Since you’re running a virtual business, you will need a virtual phone system that will allow your Virtual Assistant to make calls without using his/her private phone while giving you the opportunity to monitor calls.
Setting up a virtual phone system is easy. All you have to do is:
5. Shared Calendar
Finally, the best way to know what your Virtual Assistant is busy with daily is to setup a shared calendar. You can use Google Calendar which can be easily synchronized with Outlook. This calendar can be edited in real time and accessed via your PC or mobile, making it a popular alternative for small business owners.
Virtual Assistants – the new best thing for Executive Assistants!
I am writing this blog to you, the Executive Assistant, to let you know you are not alone. I was also an Executive Assistant and I know exactly how your day goes.
Every day you face stress, a heavy workload, not much leave, working late hours, no lunch breaks, angry bosses, too many meetings, work that doesn’t get finished. And you just wish you could “clone” yourself and have a 2nd hand to help you. But you can, and with no magic potion.
She is called a Virtual Assistant! Help is at hand! So now you may ask, what is a Virtual Assistant?
“A Virtual Assistant or VA is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely. Because Virtual Assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance or benefits, except in the context that those indirect expenses are included in the VA’s fees. Clients also avoid the logistical problem of providing extra office space, equipment or supplies.” Wikipedia extract.
Virtual Assistants do not replace a Personal or Executive Assistant, they are only there to assist the Assistant with her daily tasks. Virtual Assistants come from a variety of business backgrounds, but most have several years experience earned in the “real” (non-virtual) business world.
A dedicated Virtual Assistant is someone working in the office under the management of a company. The facility and internet connection as well as training are provided by the company.
How can this Virtual Assistant be of help for me, you may wonder?
- When you have a lot of meetings and still need to type the minutes and also need other documentation typed, email your VA and she will help you type away
- When you know you need to update your contact list, but can’t get to it, contact your VA and she will help you out
- When you need someone to proof read your letters, memo’s or minutes, your VA can help you with all that
- When you quickly need to slip out to fetch something, just give your VA a call and she will stand in for you for those few minutes
- If you desperately need a few days off, just to recharge, contact your VA, and she will help out those few days, while you can relax and not stress about the work
- When you sick, and you know you can’t take sick leave, because you have too much work, phone your VA, and she will stand in for you, while you rest at home and get better, and so much more……..
Technology grows by the minute, and we need to stay ahead at all times. Virtual Assistants are the new technology, it’s the new best thing.
Do you have a Virtual Assistant who can help you with all your daily tasks? If not, I would advise you to consider one. She will be the best thing you will ever had.
Knowing when to say no to a client
The thought of saying no to potential business can be a frightening one; however, if you are going to have any success in your business, you will have to learn when to say no.
There are a vast number of reasons for rejecting potential business. In this post we will evaluate 5 circumstances in which a “no” is warranted:
1. You lack the skills or capacity
Before accepting a project, it is important to evaluate whether you have the skills and capacity to complete the task. It can ruin your reputation if you accept a project blindly, later on to find out that you are not equipped to fulfill it.
You need to evaluate whether you have the right experience, credentials, and resources. Conduct a thorough feasibility study, and if you calculate that you do not have the skills or capacity to complete the project, reject the proposal.
2. The cost versus benefit is unfavourable
One of the main reasons to run a business is to make a profit. Aim not to accept deals that negatively affects your finances. Sure, there might be other non-financial benefits to the deal, however, if the financial cost versus benefit ratio is overly off balance, you might want to re-evaluate whether those non-financial benefits are sufficient.
3. The client gives you unrealistic timelines
This goes without mention. Unrealistic deadlines can lead to extreme stress, poor performance and a bad reputation. If the client is unwilling to change the timelines to suit you, you will have to say no.
4. The client has a bad reputation
These are clients that have built a negative rapport with you, and those who are widely known as bad clients. A business relationship is a two-way relationship, where the client also has a role to play. Sometimes breaking a relationship with a client is necessary if you feel that your reputation is on the line.
5. The client is not a good fit
The final reason for saying no to a client could be that you realise that the client is just not a good fit with your company. Your brand has visions, values and goals; if this new proposal is not in alignment with that, you should consider saying no.
Saying no at the right time may produce benefits such as a good reputation, cost saving and time saving. Evaluate each deal on a case-by-case basis; if you are not sure about it, it is best to reject the deal.