If you’re constantly short on time, late for deadlines, and struggling to keep your head above water to get everything done each month, you’ve probably already fantasized about the idea of growing a second set of hands or finding more hours in the day so you can get your business admin and marketing completed so you can work on growing your business.
While managing administration, marketing and the day-to-day running of your business may seem a tad mundane, it’s important that the tasks that help your business to thrive and get noticed in the business world aren’t swept under the carpet and added to the ever-growing to-do list pile.
Hiring a virtual assistant is one of the savvy ways many entrepreneurs and business owners are getting ahead of the game and streamlining their processes, taking advantage of highly skilled virtual assistants who are willing and able to take care of every admin task imaginable from answering emails to managing the entire administration of a business.
Similar to the traditional office manager you might remember in days gone by, virtual assistants work to grow a business by managing administration, marketing, and basic sales tasks and ensuring the business is running efficiently, with the flow on effect being a more organized workplace and a highly functioning business that kicks some serious goals.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
So, what is a virtual assistant exactly? Good question.
Usually, a virtual assistant or VA is a freelance or self-employed individual who specializes in administration, basic marketing or even social assistance. Working remotely from their home office, a virtual assist works in whatever capacity they are required be it full time, contract or by the hour, and usually at super affordable rates.
Virtual assistants LOVE administration and spend their days powering through your list of administration tasks so you can get on with your day without the cloud of admin over your head.
Located anywhere in the world and able to work at a time that suits your business, virtual assistants offer a broad range of qualifications and experience so you can find someone who can slide straight into your business and start getting your business admin sorted straight away.
If you’re desperate to get some admin done overnight and you have a VA based across the globe you can have a good night's sleep knowing that when you wake up your admin will be done and you’ll be on top of things when you open your virtual doors for business the next day.
Commonly considered a virtual office assistant or a virtual personal assistant, virtual assistants do anything your business needs to get your admin on track so business owners can focus on what they do best.
What Admin Tasks Can a Virtual Assistant do For my Business?
The list is endless when it comes to tasks for virtual assistants and based on your industry and the experience of your VA, you can get tasks done as quick as a flash.
Some of the tasks your virtual assistant might be able to take off your hands include:
- Managing email inquiries and responding on your behalf
- Qualifying and sales leads and sending relevant information upon request
- Undertaking research for you or web scraping information
- Invoicing and basic bookkeeping
- Managing your documents and creating procedure manuals
- Creating and sending eNewsletters
- Creating presentations and proposals
- Editing and basic publishing
- Scheduling social media messages and collating social media posts
- Updating your website and writing basic blogs
- Organizing your day-to-day business tasks if needed and following up on any specific tasks you don’t have time to do
Whatever needs to be done admin-wise, a virtual assistant will help to take the monkey off your back so you can focus on strategic business development without the stress of admin hanging over your head.
How do I Find The Perfect Virtual Assistant That Will Help Grow my Business?
Right, so you’ve made the decision to get a virtual assistant, now it’s time to find the perfect person that suits your business.
Before you kick off your job post, it’s important to flesh out exactly what you need, so you don’t waste your time finding the perfect VA.
Here are a few things to consider adding to your job post when you’re looking for a freelance virtual assistant:
- Business information - what does your business do exactly and what is expected of the virtual assistant. Share some information on your business, your industry, your customers and what sort of business or services you offer. It’s important to give them as much information as possible to provide a clear idea of what your business does so they can get a feel for who they might be working for.
- Outline what you need to be done - Will the virtual assistant be managing all the administration for the business and need to chat on the phone to customers in your timezone in a full-time capacity, or will it be more of a casual support role and help out here and there as needed throughout the month on an ad hoc basis. This is where you will outline the tasks required, experience desired and if there are any mandatory things your virtual assistant will be undertaking that they will need to have experience in.
- Add a time frame - when do you need the virtual assistant to start and for how long will you need their services? If you want to do a bit of a trial to see how they work out now is the time to outline this and say there is the possibility of long-term work or if you only need some help for a few days or even a block of a few hours to get a job done.
- Specific requirements - if you want a virtual assistant that is a whiz at Word or a master at bookkeeping and Xero, it’s important to outline any skills they must have to fit the role. Be realistic and even consider training the VA if you think they would be a good addition long term to your team.
What Are The Traits of a Fantastic Virtual Assistant?
If you the idea of finding a red hot virtual assistant that stands out from the crowd you should look for a virtual assistant with the following qualities:
- Reliable - it goes without saying that you’ll want to find a VA that is reliable and professional. Trust is paramount, and if your virtual assistant is going AWOL and not responding to your messages during their work hours, you’ll need to seriously reconsider your selection.
- Good communication skills - many virtual assistants will be based in another country and often English may be their second language, however having good communications skills is universal and finding a medium or a platform that suits for you to communicate is important. Whether you prefer to use WhatsApp to get your virtual assistant to update you on their progress, email or Skype, find a communication platform that works for you and ensure you choose a VA that is a great communicator.
- Time management focused - your virtual assistant should be focused on time management and ensuring your business shines, so tardy administration and lackluster work really won’t cut it.
- Resourceful - we all love proactive administration and if your virtual assistant is a go-getter who is resourceful and is ahead of the game in your business admin hold onto them with both virtual hands and never let them out of your sight.
- Adding value - virtual assistants should add value to your business and positively improve the way you run your administration. While there are always teething issues while they are getting up and running, your VA should be adding value to your business.
- Independent - being a VA often on the other side of the world can be a tad lonely, so you will need to select a virtual assistant that is independent and capable of working remotely without the need for too much attention or prompting.
- Managing expectations - it can be hard finding a virtual assistant to come into your business in a virtual capacity and trust them with managing your admin and any confidential information, so ensuring you find someone you are confident to trust and someone that comes well recommended is a great way to instill confidence in your choice. Many freelance virtual assistants will have reviews and testimonials so make sure you ask for these during the recruitment process.
Ready to Find an Amazing Virtual Assistant?
Finding the perfect freelance virtual assistant doesn’t need to be time consuming and painful. If you’re looking for a fantastic all-rounder virtual assistant that can help you streamline your business and manage tasks you just don’t have the time to complete you’ve come to the right place.
Freelancer.com makes hiring the best talent easy! Whether it’s virtual assistant, copywriting, website development or data entry you’ll find the perfect match for your business needs. Post a project today, and receive bids within seconds.