Startups can use VAs to help with inbox management, social media content, online customer support, and basically any task that doesn’t require them to show up in person.
A virtual assistant is an employee who supports various business operations from a remote location and without being an employee of the business. Did you know that startups can use Virtual Assistants to help with inbox management, social media content, online customer support, and basically any task that doesn’t require them to show up in person?
Some Virtual Assistants specialize in a specific task or industry. For example, there are Virtual Assistants that focus specifically on marketing, and others that work only in the tech industry. More specialized Virtual Assistants often cost a bit more since they offer a more focused skillset.
Before we share with you the 5 Ways A Virtual Assistant Can Make You More Productive, let’s go back in time a bit to where a virtual assistants all got started – Secretarial going “Virtual”.
Technology truly refashioned traditional work to break time and distance barriers. It is not truly known when the secretarial services industry gave rise to “virtual” assistance, but what is certain is that technology made it possible.
During the 1980s, administrative assistance began being delivered remotely with the use of telephones and fax machines, which helped bridge people and workplaces thousands of miles apart. In 1994, the internet became a popular medium for businesses to make transactions from long distances.
Virtual Assistants Put Processes in Place
Inefficiencies cost businesses between 20 and 30 percent of their revenue each year. Often, these inefficiencies are a result of not having processes in place. Processes can be anything from canned responses in Gmail to automated invoicing.
Many business owners don’t take the time to set up these processes because they are so busy working on their day-to-day operations. Hiring a Virtual Assistant gives you a way to set up these processes without having to focus on them yourself. Give your Virtual Assistant a list of processes you would like to set up. This can make your business more efficient even when your Virtual Assistant isn’t on the clock.
Virtual Assistants Filter Communication
Not all emails, calls or live chat messages you receive are necessarily worth responding to. And some can simply receive a canned response or quick reply that doesn’t require your personal attention.
By hiring a Virtual Assistant to manage your inbox or other methods of communication, they can filter those messages that don’t require a thoughtful response. This allows you to really focus on those other messages, rather than constantly being overwhelmed with an overflowing inbox.
Virtual Assistants Capture and Organize Data
Today’s businesses have access to more data than ever. Your data is essential for helping you make decisions about the future of your business. But too much of it can be overwhelming and distracting.
Additionally, collecting and organizing all your data can be quite an undertaking. You can have your Virtual Assistant go over all your web analytics and customer data to organize it and share it with you in digestible reports or updates. This allows you to access the information more quickly that is pertinent to your business at a particular moment, without having to pour over all the minute details for hours on end.
Virtual Assistants Complete Tedious Daily Tasks
Things like data entry and Internet research tend to be time-consuming and do not necessarily require attention from a high-level team member. But they are still essential for your business. By giving these tasks to a Virtual Assistant, you can feel confident about the completion of those important items without taking significant time from your own day, while saving managers and specialized employees from focusing on them.
Virtual Assistants Let You Focus on What You Do Best
Most entrepreneurs have a specialty. Maybe you develop software products or help other businesses develop marketing plans. But when you start a business, you also have to handle support tasks like bookkeeping and marketing. If you’re not good at these things, you may end up wasting a ton of time learning the ins and outs or struggling through trial and error.
Hiring a specialized Virtual Assistant allows you to outsource the items with which you struggle. You can trust that the tasks will be handled competently — maybe even better than you would have on your own. And it frees up a ton of your time to focus on things that you’re actually good at. It also gives you a better opportunity to work on growing your business, rather than getting stuck in the day-to-day operations. This can be especially helpful for solopreneurs or very small businesses where the owner needs to wear many hats at once.