“How do you find the time to manage all of this social media stuff?” That’s one of the most common questions I’m asked whenever I present. And sometimes, I get the sense that people are hoping that it’s so complicated and time-consuming that they’ll have a great excuse NOT to do it. Not to learn [...]
Why You Need to be Using a Virtual Assistant in Your Business
Are you managing most of the tasks in your business? Do you wish you had more than two hands to do all the required work and have more time off? You’re not alone. Many business owners find themselves in this typical situation.
A major solution to this problem is getting a virtual assistant (or VA for short).
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is called “virtual” because the person is located in a different location and communicates virtually, if you will. They are normally hired on a contractual basis, although if the employer is satisfied with the work, the VA can continue working for that business owner for many years.
A VA works similarly to a secretary, administrative assistant, personal assistant or executive assistant. The person performs tasks according to the needs of the business owner. It could be on any aspect of the business operation from bookkeeping, answering phone queries and making sales calls to clients to managing an online program, writing reports, invoices, researching and doing social media updates.
Some virtual assistants have their own business and are serving several clients worldwide. Around the world today, there are an estimated 35,000 VAs, most of them women working in the comfort of their home to help people in business achieve their desired goals.
Where do you find a VA?
My best VAs have come via word of mouth or using companies that offer a client to VA matching service.
It’s important to find the right VA for the role you are looking to fill. Look for a specialist with a solid track record performing the tasks you are looking to outsource to your VA.
How does a VA work?
A VA’s main communication tool with his or her clients is the internet because of its versatility. It is through the web that most communications are transmitted. This can either be by email, IM, fax, voice and video chat, made possible through various advanced applications such as Skype and Google Talk. The use of soft phone engines that utilises the voice over internet protocol (or VoiP) technology is also popular in terms of calling clients anywhere in the world or just in a particular country.
Why use a VA?
Many people engaged in offline and online businesses have recognised the great benefits of having a virtual assistant. Cost effectiveness is a primary advantage as you don’t have to pay for the overhead. You let the VA work only when you need support, hence no fixed wage. There’s also no need to set up a separate office space and buy electronic devices and furniture because a VA can set up her own equipment in his or her home.
Convenience is another benefit people in business gain because you can just give the VA his or her tasks anytime and you’ll get results in less time. There is then no need for you to keep on monitoring them on a daily basis. As long you make your priority tasks clear, work will flow smoothly.
Business efficiency can also be achieved. This is possible especially if the VA you have is focused on her tasks and is a fast worker.
So, if managing your business is becoming stressful to you, consider getting a VA to do the minor tasks or even just the tasks you don’t like to do. This way, you can focus on what you love to do and get on with running your business.
You might be interested in this upcoming event...
NEW: Social Media for Small Business Webinar Series
Practical ways to use social media to grow your business
Online Webinars - Starting 28 May 2013
NEW webinar series: designed to dispel the myths about social media and arm small business owners with skills and know-how to make social media a powerful force for business development and bottom line results.
Experts will present practical ways to use social media to:
- Build brand awareness for your organisation
- Network and make connections all over the world
- Build your personal profile and position you as a credible authority
- Drive traffic to your website, blog or social networks
- Convert social media followers to leads and leads to customers
- Grow you reach with suppliers, staff, resources, alliances, sponsors