Administrative assistants have been around since forever. They perform a variety of organizational tasks, which you can also refer to as clerical jobs. Appointment scheduling, taking calls on behalf of the executives, file organization, etc. are some of the common tasks within their job description.
Virtual assistants, on the other hand, perform the same duties remotely. A huge difference between the two is that a physically present administrative assistant is usually a full-time employee. On the other hand, a virtual assistant works as a contractor.
With the prevalence of internet technology, the demand for virtual assistants has increased significantly. Not to mention, you can hope for operational savings of up to 78% when you hire virtual assistants.
Here are some key questions and stats you may find interesting when hiring and working with a Virtual Assistant
When hiring a virtual assistant or a virtual assistant company for their services, the following things should be taken thoroughly into consideration before you make a decision.
- Industry Experience: The first step is to verify that the virtual assistant company or individual you shortlist is not a novice in the industry. Thorough industry experience and market knowledge is the most beneficial factor for your business growth.
- Verification of Expertise: Always ask for verifications from past employers to be sure of whom you're hiring. Look up as many testimonials as you can find and double-check with past employers to make sure you're getting the right VA for your business.
- Social Media Know-how: Ensure that the virtual assistant service you employ has a complete understanding of social media networking, which is essential for your business.
- Time Management: It is important to make sure that the Virtual assistant possesses excellent time management and multi-tasking skills and does not crumble under the pressure of deadlines.
- Accessibility: A virtual assistant service is only useful for you when it is easily accessible. Your virtual assistant should be comfortable working under the time zone difference.
Let’s get into the details of how virtual assistants can be helpful to you and your business.
Theoretically, virtual assistants provide almost every type of service that you can think of. Technological advancements from the 1990s to date have made it possible for virtual assistants to deliver record-keeping, appointment scheduling, ticket booking, etc. services with ease. This works wonders not just for entrepreneurs, but small and big businesses as well.
Virtual assistants can virtually do just about anything for you. Well, pardon the pun here, but that is the truth of the technological era. From event management, digital marketing, scheduling your business calendar, preparing reports to your personal tasks such as booking hotels and restaurants, Virtual assistants have you all covered.
So how do you figure when is the right time to allow some outside help with your business? You need to observe some telltale signs that indicate it is time to call in some assistance. Read on to find out what those signs may be.
When You Have Excessive Administrative Tasks
If you find yourself spending more time answering calls, preparing spreadsheets, scheduling your calendar, updating your social media, that's the first sign indicating that you need to hire a VA. These tasks are equally important but should be outsourced to a Virtual Assistant so that you have more time to attract clients and build ideas for the expansion of your business.
When You Are Dealing with Clients from Other Time Zones
A lot of businesses and entrepreneurs may have overseas clients. For that reason, they have to have a 24/7 customer support service. For this purpose, the ideal solution is to hire a virtual assistant for your business to increase and ease the international dealing for your business growth.
Have you ever wondered how the big stakeholders make their way to success without damaging any of their cash flow in the process? Well, you need not wonder too hard. The simple formula behind it is hiring virtual assistant services and giving a boost to offshore outsourcing.
- Time Management: Successful businesses recognize that the key element for business growth is strategic planning, investing time building on ideas, and forging new relationships. Delegating the rest of the administrative tasks to virtual assistants helps you to give more time to expand your business and not break the cash flow.
- Cost-Effective: Huge capital investment is necessary baggage for business growth. If a comparison is made, you will discover that the cost of development and management is humongous. Working with virtual assistant companies (for most western nations) falls a lot less cheap than hiring domestically.
- Improved Product and Service Quality: Virtual assistant services prove worthwhile in upgrading the quality of your products and services. They are like your eyes and ears that closely monitor the global market and keep you abreast of all the latest happenings in your industry, the current trends and pattern changes in customer requirements.
- Calendar scheduling
- Inbox management
- Preparing reports
- Travel plans
- Project management
- Clients and customer support
- Data entry and collection
- Contact management
Effective communication with your virtual assistant makes the smooth functioning of your business all the more possible. Here’s how you can do it
- Open Communication must be invited at all times by employers. Assign tasks and invite queries and feedback from your virtual assistant to make your work relationship stronger.
- You must set a regular schedule for meeting up and discussing the progress or lack thereof of things. Video calls have made life all the more easy for businesses.
- When dealing with virtual assistants, it is imperative to have a shared systems setup, using both online and offline tools for feasibility.
- Reward skills generously. If your hired virtual assistant proves to be an asset in the growth of your business, you need to acknowledge the input and efforts.
The following are five ways a bilingual virtual assistant can add an edge to your business.
- A bilingual virtual assistant proves helpful in transcribing important documents in two or more different languages
- A bilingual virtual assistant works as a global customer representative for your business
- Works as a translator for you and your business clients
- Increases sales and production
- Provides a travel specialist for your business
- Virtual assistants should always be made a team member and not left to work in isolation
- Document all tasks and establish systems for them to follow
- Clarify priorities and deadlines
- Invite ideas and feedback
- Coach and train them for new skills where necessary.
Adaptability to the new technological changes is not optional for businesses anymore. It has become a necessity that needs quick realization. Having virtual assistants on board can have money-saving benefits for companies of all sizes. However, you have to pay attention to the right details before hiring one to reap the desired benefits.