Picture this: it’s a Friday afternoon and you’re scrambling to complete the rest of the tasks you should have had done earlier this week. You still need to draft a blog post, set up your social media stream schedule for next week, and not to mention the end-of-week check in with your boss you have to prepare for. If you constantly feel like you’re in need of five extra sets of hands, you should consider a personal assistant.
Personal assistants can greatly improve your productivity through delegation and come in many forms. They can be virtual assistants, either robots or humans in a remote location, or they can be an in-person assistant. But how do you know which is right for you, your needs, and your organization? Below, we detail four different virtual assistant services to help you determine which would be the most logical option based on your needs.
The New Employee
If you’re looking for help specifically with your work, the first and most obvious choice would be hiring another employee. This has its perks: you have an extra set of physical hands who will presumably be sticking around for the long term and a knowledgeable and capable individual who will be a worthy investment. They can do online and physical tasks in the office or remotely, and you can ensure they’re highly qualified and skilled since you’re doing all the hiring legwork. They can work a typical 40-hour week, upping the office productivity and increasing the bottom line.
However, hiring a new employee comes with a lot of overhead - between shelling out the money for a new salary, ensuring there’s physical space for them in the office, and the time and effort it takes to get someone onboarded and enrolled, there are a lot of moving parts to the new employee wheel. Hiring a new employee is a worthwhile investment if you have a dire need for a physical body that will work a typical 40-hour work week, and the means with which to support that investment.
The In-Person Assistant
If it feels like you just don’t have enough hands to get your personal tasks done, an in-person assistant may be the solution for you. These assistants typically lack technical skills needed to do professional tasks, but they are good for getting personal tasks out of the way. Think doing household chores, grocery shopping, or dry-cleaning pickup. Because they are typically part-time workers doing low-skilled jobs, the expense is much less than hiring a skilled employee.
The downside here is that you can’t delegate highly-skilled, intellectual tasks to your in-person assistant, as their main priority is getting your other work out of the way so you alone can focus on your professional work. Since they can’t do laundry and go grocery shopping for you remotely, they also have to be within the same geographic area as you are. This may be the right investment if you’d rather do things yourself and not have to worry about personal tasks cropping up, and your workload is small enough that you can do so.
The Robotic Personal Assistant
In this case, almost everyone is familiar with the robot personal assistant - think Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, or Amazon Echo. These virtual assistants are great for on-demand secondary research - a simple “what is the stock price for Google today?” Brings up immediate results. There are also robotic virtual assistants that can provide canned responses to repetitive emails, interface with social media, and in more advanced uses, even basic customer service. While using this type of virtual assistant can certainly save you time, you’re confined to only delegating highly repetitive, low-skilled tasks.The prices are typically inexpensive and priced on use, so you’re free to only spend what you can afford.
The Personal Virtual Assistant
But what if you need a real human being to do tasks that are far too complicated to be done through automation or by a robot? Enter the human virtual assistant, who blends the intellectual capabilities of a new hire with the ease and cost-effectiveness of a robotic virtual assistant. Like a robotic virtual assistant, it’s a good option for a remote person if you don’t have the space or means to accommodate a physical person. Human virtual assistants are also more budget-friendly, as most work part-time.
Task delegation to human virtual assistants is entirely up to you - you decide what they do, when they do it, and you can get multiple tasks off your plate at once. You can delegate more complicated tasks to a human virtual assistant. Typical tasks to delegate include scheduling social media posts, writing transcripts for podcasts and webinars, and gathering secondary data and industry research.
If the lure of a personal virtual assistant strikes a chord with you, request a consultation below to see how you can benefit from virtual delegation and improved productivity. With all this newly-obtained free time, who knows what you can accomplish!