When you hear the word “Virtual Assistant”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? I’d imagine it’s any individual sitting at home taking care of meagre tasks for someone else. Now in all fairness you truly aren’t far off the mark; the industry began in this exact manner. Individuals who were willing to provide services, but had to work remotely due to other circumstances.
What the circumstances were doesn’t really matter, what matters though is that initial virtual assistants (V.A.) were competent enough to create a benchmark for the industry; a solid benchmark from which the industries growth has been unrelenting. Today virtual assistant can be from practically any walk of life, now more and more companies as well as individuals are hiring virtual assistants over a full-time physical one.
With a drastic change in communication, file sharing, and virtual work platforms, the reasons to why virtual assistants are preferred over a physical assistant are radically increasing. With full time employees, there is the issue of logistics, cost, and resource management (Human and non-human). The cost and time required for training a physical assistant, the cost of the assistant’s salary, cost of added benefits, and Insurance are all draw-backs of physical assistants. If you are able to find the right person online, you won’t have to spend resources on getting the assistant trained and ready for tasks at hand, and the cost of the assistant will be contract based wage.
Now you know the basics of “why virtual over physical?” But now you’d like to know what tasks a virtual assistant can perform, since he isn’t present full-time. In a nutshell, a virtual assistant can perform any task for you as long as it doesn’t require physical presence; in some cases you can even cross that barrier. With Skype, and call diversion a virtual assistant is practically there with you. They can be assigned tasks as miniscule as screening E-mail to task as complicated as book-keeping and basic financial management depending on his competence.
There are a multitude of tasks that any V.A. can perform, listed below are several ways you can use a virtual assistant at your business:
Most data we research these days is on the internet; almost all the necessary books and research papers are available electronically. So if you are swamped with all sorts of other important business oriented tasks, it is advisable that you hand over the research burden to a virtual assistant. This task can include fishing for information on corporate websites, find out what is trending, and list blogs that can help you easily gather the information you’re looking for.
If you already have a large quantity of research done, a virtual assistant is someone who can help straighten the information out and enter it into your company database, so you can easily track and find that information for later use. Following-up on projects with clients is made stress-free once you have the data well-structured and organized for you.
Since a virtual assistant has the capacity to find data and structure it for a database, you can also task him with creating a presentation for similar data. For instance you may have a vital meeting with one of your clients in the coming week, and you are busy going over the detail of the project; give the task of creating your presentation to a virtual assistant. With the right data and correct instructions a virtual assistant will be able to compile your raw data into a presentable document or slide deck, allowing you the time to comprehensively tackle your client’s issue.
Over the last two decades the use of e-mails has grown exponentially, individuals today have multiple e-mail addresses; for both business and personal use. A very large number of business communication takes place over e-mail, and often your inbox becomes overwhelmed as do you. An assistant can be given charge of your professional e-mail accounts; reading e-mails and replying to them on your behalf so you can focus better on managing your business, instead of spending a whole day managing your e-mail.
Keeping track of bills and other small scale book-keeping matters can be designated to your virtual assistant. If you have a book-keeping system, share it with your V.A. so he can take over management of delayed invoices or your outstanding bill payments. This clear up time on your schedule to take care of the larger and more important financial matters within the organization.
Maintaining Schedule or Calendar
If you are at any executive level post in your organization chances are you don’t have time to take phone call and book meetings with clients. Instead of taking up the burden of a small task such as this give your calls to a virtual assistant, he can correspond with your clients over the phone and schedule meetings. At the same time he will be capable of managing your entire schedule and making sure you are up-to-date with clients, and your projects.
Your personal secretary is often called upon to book your travel tickets, reservations, and travel preparations. Since you can task your virtual assistant to manage, managing travel plans is just as simple a task for an assistant. A V.A. can help you map out and plan your entire trip based on researched data. Whether it’s a personal trip or a professional one a virtual assistant can make it seem like a vacation.
A point to note about a virtual assistant is that he is remote, because he is not there with you it is empirical that you give clear cut information as to what yo expect of them, what modes of interaction will be used, and what timings they will be available for you. With these details out of the way a virtual assistant is just as useful as a physical one, only with fewer hassles. The next time you or your organization is looking to hire a new employee think about the benefits of having a virtual contractor as a helping hand around the office