You’ve probably heard of Virtual Assistants (or VAs), but what’s holding you back from outsourcing your admin? A common reason for hesitation is not really understanding how a VA fits into your business. Here, I explore some of the main categories of Virtual Assistant services. I hope this helps you to see how hiring a VA could be exactly what you need to help your business to thrive.
So, here’s the problem
You have multiple projects ramping up, clients to meet and a fantastic new idea that you really need to put some brainpower behind. But you also have a business to run. Your calendar is a mess and your accountant is chasing you for your expenses (again). Then there is also the hotel you need to book, and you have lost count of the hours you have spent trying to navigate the chaos of your inbox. Oh, and it is your daughter’s birthday party in a couple of weeks, too.
So, what do you do? Take your foot off the gas with the projects? Accept that the new client meeting will have to slip into next month? Most likely you resign yourself to putting off those ‘growing your business tasks’ until another day so you can crack on with the mundane chores that frankly can’t get pushed down your to do list for any longer.
How long will it be before you reluctantly admit you are wearing too many hats?
But what’s the alternative?
Hiring additional office headcount may feel over the top. But at the same time, you can’t burden anyone else in your existing team with extra administration. What can a Virtual Assistant do to help you? Here I outline a few tasks we regularly support clients with to give you an idea of how a VA could help you to make better use of your time.
But first, what is a Virtual Assistant? A VA is a freelance personal assistant. Or the person our clients often refer to as their lifesaver, a second-brain, a virtual wing-woman (or man!), a miracle-worker and a true partner in your business. VAs offer a range of support to businesses just like yours from their home office. They perform specific tasks for as many hours as you need, giving you flexible support that provides a cost-effective solution to admin overload.
But what does a Virtual Assistant do exactly?
Virtual Assistant services typically fall under the following categories:
- Inbox administration
- Diary management
- Personal errands
- Social media and digital marketing tasks
- Event support
- General business support (from document creation to accounts upkeep)
A (non-exhaustive) list of the benefits you’ll get from Virtual Assistant services
- A tidy inbox. Ask your VA to create rules, filters and categories to organise your emails, and keep on top of your junk and unsubscribes.
- Hands-off calendar control. Offload the burden of scheduling appointments, dealing with calendar clashes, safeguarding your prep time and ensuring all logistics are covered.
- Keep on top of personal priorities. Make diary decisions with the clarity of a calendar populated with birthdays, anniversaries, school term dates, family commitments and public holidays.
- Meticulously managed databases. For example, a VA can transfer your contacts into your CRM system, track down missing details, and capture the data from business cards (before they’re lost in the depths of your filing tray.)
- Travel conundrums solved for you. Task a VA with researching travel options, and booking your flights, hotels, trains, taxis, etc. With a detailed itinerary, getting from A to B suddenly seems so much easier.
- Making time for personal appointments. Your VA can make restaurant bookings, book event tickets, even schedule your dentist, doctor and hairdresser appointments.
- Bringing order to your finances. Release hours of your time by employing a VA to create, send and chase up your invoices, log your expenses and organise that pile of crumpled up receipts.
- Backed by research. Appoint a VA to explore holiday ideas, develop a shortlist of venues for an event, and maybe seek out some new content angles for speeches, blogs and newsletters.
- More time for thoughtful touches and courtesy. With your VA on hand, you’ll find you’re more able to execute your good intentions. For example, sending prompt thank you notes and surprising loved ones and employees with thoughtful gifts.
- Never lose a file again. A VA can meticulously organise your virtual filing system in One Drive, Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Stay alert on social media. When you’re too busy to scroll through your feeds, your VA can respond to messages and monitor conversations on your behalf.
- Add final polish to your documents and materials. Employ the proofreading prowess of your VA to make sure your content goes out free from errors and perfectly presented.
Summary: Do I need a Virtual Assistant?
Maybe the burden of routine admin is dragging down your productivity. Or are you tired of always reaching the end of the day with the same old tasks still lingering untouched? You may be stressed out, overwhelmed and feeling like you’re constantly under achieving. Perhaps you’ve realised that you can’t take that next step in elevating your business without some brain-space freed up? There are lots of reasons for hiring VA. The best way to find out more is to ask us how we can help provide invaluable support for your business.