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What Can A Virtual Assistant Do For Your Business?

What does a virtual assistant do? With examples

These days there seems to be a virtual version of almost everything, even reality. So it only makes sense that virtual assistants have become increasingly popular. Virtual assistants, also known as VAs, usually work remotely and can be employed full-time, part-time, or as a freelancer for when your business experiences busy periods.

Some VAs specialise in certain fields, but most can assist you with day-to-day accounting, administrative, and marketing-related tasks.

Although the number of businesses making use of virtual assistants has grown exponentially over the past few years, the role of a virtual assistant is still a fairly new concept. Let’s have a look at what a virtual assistant could do for your business.

10 things a virtual assistant can do for you

VAs are sometimes referred to as ‘unicorns’ as they’re able to help you with a wide variety of different things. While each VA is different, most can assist you with the following tasks:

#1 Personal tasks

Just like a personal assistant, you can hire a virtual assistant to help you with your day-to-day personal tasks such as responding to your personal emails, organising your personal finances, booking your appointments, and making restaurant reservations. Whatever menial, or more complicated personal tasks you have for your VA, they can do it for you in conjunction with your business needs. Just be very clear about your personal needs and ensure that they have all the contacts and resources they need to help you efficiently. If you’re a busy business person, your personal life can often become messy and unorganised as you’re too focused on your business goals. With a personal VA, you can have all of your personal admin taken care of!

#2 Admin tasks

All of those admin tasks related to your business can seem menial and easy to take care of yourself, but as your business begins to expand, these tasks can become extremely time-consuming, and you may find yourself battling to complete them. Some of the administrative tasks which you can trust your VA to handle for you include:

  • Replying to work emails
  • Booking conference rooms
  • Sending out reminders for meetings
  • Logging info into your business’s database
  • Follow up on deadlines
  • Schedule appointments with clients
  • Keep track of stock
  • Send out invitations
  • Order new supplies

Admin tasks will differ from company to company, so be sure to express your needs when hiring a VA to ensure that they can do everything you need.

#3 Accounting tasks

While it is almost typical for most VAs to not be qualified accountants (although some could be), they can handle basic accounting tasks for you to make things easier for your accounting team. A VA will be able to send out invoices to your customers, as well as prepare financial statements and deal with tax authorities and credit institutions. They should also be able to take care of all your payments and debit orders each month, as well as salary calculations and payment of employee salaries. While some VAs may be able to balance your books and prepare year-end reports, these tasks may be a step too far for some.

#4 Social media marketing

Many VAs boast about their skills when it comes to digital marketing. As VAs work exclusively in the digital realm, they are up to date with the latest in digital trends and social media strategies. A VA should be able to handle all of your social media and assist you in creating and posting content as well as replying to messages and comments. A focus on social media will help get your brand’s voice out there and connect with new customers online. A VA should be able to come up with a customised social media strategy for your brand with specific goals in mind. They may advise you to work with influencers, run giveaways or change up your content, and it is best to listen to them.

#5 Basic research

If you need research done for your business, a VA is the perfect person to do it for you. Whether it’s market research or you want to check up on what your competitors are up to, VAs have the organisational skills necessary to get you the research you need to be done in a timely manner with a cohesive presentation. Every business needs to do a bit of research every now and then to ensure that they remain relevant, understand the market, and stay ahead of the pack. Knowledge is power at the end of the day.

Virtual assistant

#6 Dealing with customers

It takes a special type of person to deal with customers and provide good customer service, and VAs are known for their great communicative and interpersonal skills. VAs can be trusted to reply to customers’ emails, interact with them on social media, send out customer invoices, and even take customer service phone calls.

Customer care can be very time consuming, so it’s important that these tasks are dedicated to someone that can truly handle them, like a trained VA.

#7 Writing blogs

Many qualified and experienced VAs have good language skills and are competent at writing blogs for websites. They understand SEO and how to sell your product or service while still providing interesting information and titles that people want to click on instantly. Blogs can play a massive role in your SEO rankings and are the perfect way to get in those keywords. It’s recommended that your site releases at least one or two blogs a month if you want to maintain and improve your rankings.

Vas may also be able to handle other copywriting work, such as improving your web copy and creating email marketing campaigns. An experienced VA should have no issue in handling these tasks for you.

#8 Web maintenance

Most VAs will be able to handle basic web maintenance such as editing your site and uploading new content like blog posts. If you can find a VA that is trained in web design and development, you’ve hit the jackpot as they’ll be able to revamp your site and provide coding and design services. If you haven’t already invested in a website, then your VA could provide you with an appealing, attractive, and responsive web design that remains true to your brand’s online identity.

#9 Sales

Depending on the scale of your sales needs, a VA can help you process your online sales by invoicing customers, checking on payments, and getting feedback on products and services. In addition, they can make calls to potential sales leads and tell them about your offerings. They’ll also be able to make telemarketing calls and prepare promotional sales material etc. Professional VAs should be able to handle all aspects of sales administration. Never again will you have to worry about dealing with that pesky sales admin.

#10 Once-off projects

The great thing about VAs is that they can be hired for once-off projects where you need extra hands on deck and where remote administrative assistance would be of a great help. These scenarios can include:

  • Launching a new product or service
  • Expansions such as opening a new branch
  • When you are short-staffed because of vacation, maternity leave etc
  • Seasonal busy times such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc.
  • Large contracted projects
  • Collaborations with a new partner
  • Launching a big promotion
  • Running a big advertising campaign
  • Doing market research and surveys

You can also work with your VA on a short-term contract or a month-to-month basis and scale back their hours if things become quiet again.

Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant

  • Bring organisation into your business- VAs are known for being highly organised, and their organisational skills will ensure that you’re meeting deadlines and ticking all the relevant boxes.
  • Reduce costs- VAs are often paid per hour, and their hours are scalable depending on what your business needs at any given time. This means that you’ll only be paying for work you truly need to be done. Most VAs work on a freelance basis which means you won’t be responsible for sick leave, maternity leave etc.
  • Flexibility- VAs are flexible and adaptable, so they can usually help out more when necessary and scale back their hours during quieter periods.
  • Providing the skills your business needs- up to date with the latest in digital trends, a VA brings much-needed knowledge and skills to your business.
  • You aren’t limited to hiring someone from your local area- because VAs work remotely, you won’t need to advertise exclusively in your local area. You could get a VA from anywhere in the world that has a similar time zone to you.
  • No need to supply them with equipment- VAs have their own laptops and digital tools, so there is no capital cost involved in hiring a VA.

A virtual assistant will have a huge responsibility to you and your company and will most likely need to be given various login details and have access to sensitive information. Ensure that you hire a reliable VA that you can trust.

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