Using a Virtual Assistant can shave hours off your workweek, but knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky, whether you’re starting or growing a business. Most VA’s are freelancers who work from remote offices and focus on administrative tasks that are similar to those of an Executive Assistant or Secretary.
All types of businesses from large corporates, small businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs are using Virtual Assistants to outsource tasks such as administration which is essential to running a business but takes up a lot of time. It is important to build up trust, just as you would with a permanent employee and if you choose a long term relationship, a Virtual Assistant can become a team member who just happens to work for you remotely.
Keeping tabs on bills and other bookkeeping matters can be one of the easiest things to assign to a VA. Virtual Assistants can follow up on tasks such as outstanding invoices or unpaid bills.
2. Online Research
Internet research is another task that is easy to outsource to a Virtual Assistant. Common requirements include information sourcing on corporate websites, researching new products and vetting of potential new relationships including employees and business contacts.
As with any relationship, clear instructions are key. Sharing of usernames and passwords may be required where appropriate to ensure access is enabled to specialist search tools or websites.
3. Audio dictation or audio typing
Typing notes can take a lot of time, something that would potentially take you days – time that can be better spent on more value revenue generating tasks. Whether it be recorded dictation or minutes, a Virtual Assistant can type these for you and send them back in a readable format ready for use.
4. Data presentations
Summarising research findings into a Word document or a Powerpoint presentation can save you stacks of time when you need to prepare for crucial client meetings. The information comes back to you in a format you can share, you just haven’t had to prepare it yourself!
5. Managing emails
To save you wasting time trawling through your inbox, a Virtual Assistant can filter your most important emails and even respond to the other ones on your behalf. This type of email management is simple to do remotely. Some guidance will be need to be provided on your preferences and how to pick out your key emails.
7. Travel research and booking
A great task to outsource to a Virtual Assistant is travel research including finding hotels, booking airfares and drafting trip itineraries, either for business or pleasure. With the growing number of travel research tools available, VA’s can take advantage of this and can also provide you with information gathered from reviews. An experienced VA will also be able to navigate time zones when booking or researching international travel options.
Many Virtual Assistants can help you manage your calendar including management of meeting invitations and scheduling your appointments. It can take a lot of trust to let go of your calendar but an experienced VA will be more than capable of doing this well.
9. Chasing business
Prioritising business opportunities can be challenging and time consuming but with the help of a Virtual Assistant you have the potential to drive in extra revenue. Whilst you are perusing a lead elsewhere, your VA can be chasing those that are of a lesser priority to you, but still key in the long term.
10. Industry knowledge prep
As running your own business is so time consuming, you don’t have the time to take a minute to yourself, let alone keep up with industry news. Some businesses now use VA’s to help them keep on top of the most important news which can in turn be used to update social media pages, blogs, customer mailings and even to know what to talk to customers about.