Let’s be honest, running a business single-handedly is pretty damn hard. Piles of time-consuming tasks soon overshadow your business dream. You end up jumping from task to task, feeling overwhelmed, and losing focus on what really matters: growing your business.
Some people are good at managing everything on their own and some are not good at every business task or enjoys doing every type of work.
If you fall in the latter category, you can grow your business faster and focus your precious time on your business’s most important facets by hiring a virtual assistant.
Whether you’re looking for a virtual assistant or plan on becoming one, this article should help you with everything you need to know to get started.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant provides various services to entrepreneurs or businesses from remote locations. They typically help with office management duties but can also chip in with a variety of content, social, design, marketing and other media-related business responsibilities
In the 1990s, technological advancements brought reliable internet to more homes and businesses realized they didn’t have to bring an employee into the office to get work done, and this led to the first virtual assistants.
What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
A virtual assistant completes administrative tasks from a remote location. The specific duties of a virtual assistant can vary from administrative to technical, depending on the person’s skill set.
Virtual assistants can work as independent contractors or with staffing agencies. Some assistants work with one company while others contract with different employers simultaneously.
Common tasks performed by a virtual assistant include:
- Conduct online research
- Manage your email inbox
- Manage your calendar
- Schedule and manage your social media
- Offer IT support
- Conduct administrative tasks
- Help with customer service
- Conduct marketing analysis
- Create presentations
- Organize your accounting
How Do You Become a Virtual Assistant?
If you have no direct experience and are looking for virtual assistant jobs for beginners, here are some ways to get started.
All of these tasks can fall under the responsibilities of a virtual assistant. Even if you believe you have no experience, you may have transferable skills that can set your resume apart.
You may already have some of these skills without realizing how valuable they are. To give them the proper context, these should be detailed in your virtual assistant cover letter.
If you need to brush up on some areas, skills and certifications can be obtained through self-study or taking online courses to learn best practices.
As a virtual assistant, you can work directly for employers, or for an agency that provides admin services to other companies, or offer your own services on a contract basis.
If you wish to go into business on your own, determine ahead of time which services you’ll offer, perfect your resume, and start networking.
If you offer social media or content production services, consider maintaining an online portfolio with examples of your work. After working for your first few clients, be sure to collect positive testimonials that can impress new clients.
What Makes a Good Virtual Assistant?
Great virtual assistants possess skills like phenomenal written and verbal communication and open and transparent communication practices where they are viewed as reliable, reachable partner by their clients.
Time management and organizational skills are a must, as is a natural ability to take charge of a situation and organize it for the benefit of a client.
Also, experience with or knowledge of cloud-based communication technologies like file sharing, password managers, and phone and video conferencing is important.
Finally, people who hire virtual assistants are looking to lessen the stress and disorganization in their lives. Don’t wait to be asked to do specific tasks – if you see a client is struggling, offer to help them with something you aren’t currently doing.
This gives you more work to do and lets them rely even more heavily on you.
How to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
If you are an entrepreneur or a business looking to hire a virtual assistant, the first step is to make a list of the tasks you want to outsource. Make a complete list that prioritizes the activities you want to delegate.
For example, if you find it overly time-consuming and tedious to manage your email’s inbox, put that at the top of your list. Or, maybe tech issues are taking too much time, so you can outsource website management.
The next step is determining who to hire. You can use a virtual assistant service that hires and trains assistants. These services will draw from their talent pool to assign an assistant that fits your needs.
The final option is to engage your network for a referral. Finding an assistant that is already vetted by someone you trust will save you time.
The high popularity of virtual assistants is partly due to the fact that they save businesses money. Businesses hire them to save money on office space, hidden costs, salaries, and benefits.
Virtual assistants often offer better value for money, being more productive than permanent on-site assistants.
Other than the regular costs for hiring a full-time employee, businesses lose money when paying them for an eight-hour day and get only 2 hours and 53 minutes of effective work.
Virtual assistant trends show that organizations should determine which virtual assistant’s skills contribute the most to achieving good results and improved productivity.
Some businesses only require virtual receptionists, while others have more complex needs. It is therefore essential for organizations to know what to look for when taking on virtual assistants. Only then will they be able to choose the right person for the job.
Lastly, I am a virtual assistant myself. I’ve worked with amazing clients and have helped them grow their businesses.
If you’re ever in need of a virtual assistant who will help you reduce your workload and give you more time to focus on your core business, look no further. Contact me, so we can connect and grow your business together.