Remote working has a high chance of becoming the next normal, and for good reasons. Employees are able to better manage their schedules and work-life balance, productivity is, for the most part, the same, and companies get to cut down on expenses for not having every employee in the office 40 hours a week.
The culture of remote working promotes the birth of new types of jobs that can be done from the comfort of one’s home, including virtual assistants. Now, entrepreneurs no longer need to hire an in-person assistant to manage their schedules, keep track of their emails, or make phone calls. They can simply hire a remote assistant to help them.
A virtual assistant works from a remote place to provide various services to entrepreneurs or enterprises, from personal chores to digital marketing responsibilities, organizing appointments, and coordinating events. A virtual assistant will be able to perform practically any task that involves a computer, phone, or any other digital environment.
What exactly is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is a person who works from a distance to provide various services to entrepreneurs or enterprises.
Virtual assistants may help with a variety of tasks, including:
- Management of social media
- Management of events
- Keeping track of appointments, calendars, and emails
- Report planning and preparation
- Booking hotels, restaurants, and other personal duties.
- Digital marketing activities that are simple
The list can go on because virtual personal assistants can do basically anything – kind of like your own personal Jarvis from Iron Man. You know they are not physically there, but they still make up a very important part of your business. We’ll go more into detail on what type of tasks virtual assistants can do later in this article, so keep reading.
Why do businesses need virtual assistants?
These days, virtual assistants may be found almost anywhere. People are increasingly turning to them, and it appears that they are here to stay. Here are some reasons why you should employ one for yourself or your company:
- To minimize routine tasks
If a mid- or senior-level employee had to choose, do you think they would rather assist in the development of growth strategies for the company or prepare routine reports every day? Most likely, they’d choose the first option because it’s a far more important and interesting task.
However, routine activities such as email and finances still need to get done. Without this tedious, repetitive labor, your company would fall apart. So, how can you keep your in-house staff happy while still getting the job done? With the help of virtual assistants. They can do the majority of the routine jobs that can be completed remotely, and you get a senior employee who can focus on more important tasks that must be completed in person at your office.
- To reduce costs
Entrepreneurs and firms outsource labor for a variety of reasons, one of which is cost savings.
With a virtual assistant, you may outsource a little project to someone on an hourly basis instead of employing a full-time staff member, to decrease salary costs. However, lower compensation isn’t the only option to save money when working with virtual pros.
Typically, after clearing the hiring process, organizations must teach their in-house personnel on tasks and responsibilities. All of this takes time and money, which most businesses cannot afford. When it comes to reducing training costs, a business owner may save a lot of money by hiring professionals who are already specialists in their sector – virtual assistants. This eliminates the need for a business owner to invest time and money in training them and allows them to get started right away.
- To save time
Virtual assistants can save businesses a lot of time as well, and we all know that, in business, time means money.
Let’s imagine you’re a tiny firm without an HR department. Your personnel shouldn’t spend hours publishing job ads, conducting preliminary resume screening, and planning an interview process for someone in an entry-level role, and neither should you. Why not avoid all of this and hire a specialist to do particular tasks? This is what you’ll receive from virtual assistants. They’ll get the job done faster than someone juggling many requests since they can focus just on the things you’ve hired them for.
What type of tasks can VAs take on?
Truth be told, there are a million of tasks virtual assistants can do, depending on their qualifications and your needs. If we were to list them all, we’d be here for a very long time, so here are some of the main duties a virtual assistant can take on:
- Administrative work: this includes basic data entry, answering phone calls, organizing your business calendar, and do business travel arrangements
- Organize personal tasks: this includes vacation planning, gift purchases, digital errands, organizing your personal calendar
- Create content for digital marketing: some digital assistants are good digital marketers as well, so they can take on this task for all your digital marketing channels
- Manage your finances: while you won’t be able to hire a VA to do your accounting, they can help with finance management tasks such as setting and maintaining budgets, make purchases, or keep track of business expenses
- Manage social media: if your VA has good marketing skills, they can take on the social media manager duty as well
- Do business research: business research is a vital part of company growth, but managers can’t do that by themselves, so a virtual assistant may be able to help here
- Manage emails: keeping a tidy inbox is almost impossible when you have other tasks at hand, so you can ask your VA to help you with that.
Where do I find a VA?
It’s evident at this point that having these virtual team members on your side may be really beneficial. They can increase your productivity, relieve you of regular tasks, handle trip preparations, and so on.
Let’s get down to business: how do you recruit a virtual assistant? Because you’ll never meet them face to face, this presents a unique challenge, as they’re remote employees, and there’s always a risk associated with them.
The best thing you can do to ensure you are hiring the right people is to look for a VA at a reliable source, such as an agency or a marketplace. There are plenty of options out there, so do your research and don’t forget to ask for referrals as well.