Very often startup or growing businesses face a shortage of money and time to allow themselves managing administrative staff, especially if such service isn’t needed full-time. That is when a virtual assistant (or VA) may come in handy.
What is a virtual assistant? It is a person or a group of specialists doing tasks remotely and often combining providing service to various clients.
What do virtual assistants do? Virtually anything a fully employed member of staff would, but using less of your resources. The variety of tasks virtual assistants can take up is really wide. Let’s review the most popular ones on the example of what European Virtual Assistant Agency offers as a reliable provider of such service:
- Being there with you from the very beginning. Your virtual assistant can help you with the process of starting up your business in a new country. The service provided includes: finding an office which suits your needs, communicating with agents, and arranging negotiations. Virtual assistant may also provide you with all the information necessary to settle in a country: what are the best child-care facilities, schools, opportunities of accommodation, and which lawyers are worth working with.
- Partner contact management. A virtual assistant can help you gather information about potential partners or clients by seeking the various criteria and entering the data into your corporate CRM as well as arrange a meeting or call with right contacts.
- Organizing your schedule. A dedicated virtual assistant can manage your timetable, arrange meetings, book appointments and trips, deal with invitations from others, plan various events, and remind you about them.
- Managing your e-mail. Separating the wheat from the chaff may be a time-consuming work and that is one of the tasks which is certainly worth outsourcing. Moreover, you can even delegate some of your business communication.
- Managing your phone calls. With the advent of technologies like Skype, you do not need to have your personal assistant answering your calls in the next room. In fact, most clients do not even realize nowadays that they often get through not to the office itself, but to the assistant’s virtual workplace.
- Running social media accounts and blogs. If you have no time to share all your corporate news on Facebook and other social networking accounts, or befriend everyone who could be a useful connection, do not worry – virtual assistants are really good at that! Virtual assistants may offer you the strategy for your blog development and create regular newsletters, publish articles on the required topics, also work in WordPress, create and post relevant images with the help of Canva and Photoshop.
- Online research. This may involve a huge lot of various aspects: marketing trends, information for blogs, database entries, candidate search, finding potential clients, and other tasks which require fishing information out of the web. All the data is collected and analyzed, and final reports are created.
- Drawing up presentations and proofreading. Your virtual assistant can brush up on any piece of information you may need to present to the public either in spoken, written or multimedia form, e.g. building PowerPoint presentations.
- E-commerce support. Many online vendors do not actually have tangible offices, and in that case almost all the staff has to go virtual. That includes working with customers, partners, logistics experts and suppliers as well as customer support service. Another service provided by virtual assistants is working with various CRMs – a virtual assistant may look for all the necessary contacts for marketing in various branches of economics.
- Document management. Too much information piling up into a chaos? A virtual assistant can arrange and structure all your files, and build databases, making it easier for you to access the necessary data. In addition to this, virtual assistants can provide migration of your data from your old site to the new one, manage your spreadsheets and databases, enter information into CRMs, and other data entry services.
What are the advantages of hiring a virtual assistant online?
Cost-efficiency – you only pay for work done and do not have additional expenses like taxes, insurance or benefits, working place organization. It allows saving a lot of money, especially if your company has only started to develop.
Time-efficiency – the remote virtual assistant is interested in getting the job done quickly and correctly as that saves up time for other tasks and opportunities to earn.
Work-efficiency – you get the job done without having to deal with full-time jobs burnout and drive all the routine tasks out of the office, thus you receive a whole lot of time to dedicate yourself to more important challenges.
What are the disadvantages of outsourcing to a virtual assistant? You literally give access to your corporate and personal information to a person who is not directly at your hand and cannot be fully controlled, so to avoid problems – make sure your virtual assistant is a trustworthy and loyal person, with good organizational skills and ability to work in a team as well as to admit and correct one’s mistakes. And it is always better to be on the safe side and hire a virtual assistant from the legal entity like European Virtual Assistant Agency because in this cause you have a contract with the organization which cares about its reputation and which will assure information security that might not be guaranteed when hiring a freelancer.