Virtual Assistant Services: What Businesses Actually Need
Virtual Assistant Services: What Businesses Actually Need
Enlisting the services of virtual assistants can help you get a handle on your business. It may be empowering as an entrepreneur or a small business owner to be able to do its daily tasks, but its growth may be reliant on you relegating them to others.
What are Virtual Assistant Services? These refer to the tasks often delegated from small business owner or entrepreneurs to Virtual Assistants.
Many virtual assistant services involve tasks that boost the efficiency and productivity of start-ups and small businesses. This helps companies to focus on strategic goals. Forward-thinking entrepreneurs hire VAs to relegate tasks like answering calls, organizing a daily schedule, or bookkeeping, as they are repetitive and need high attention to detail.
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General Virtual Assistant Tasks
Virtual Assistant services cover many types of tasks depending on every business’s goals. Administrative tasks are among the most sought-after services from VAs. Others are accounting, transcription, and social media management. Virtual assistant companies will often refer VAs with specific skill sets to match with a business’ needs or industry. VAs with strong industry experience often outweighs the need for hiring full-time employees, especially as they often work remotely (some VAs can come from your neighboring city, or as far as countries like India or the Philippines). They also require less overhead expenses than in-house professionals.
Here are some services that businesses may require from a Virtual Assistant.
SEO, Social Media, and Content Management
So much of business these days is set around content creation, even in industries that don’t seem like they rely on social media channels for engagement. Creating a perfectly-captioned Instagram post is as much content creation as is content writing for a finance website. For your business to reach its intended audience, you would have to learn the nuance of digital marketing, social media marketing, keyword research, not to mention interpreting Google search analytics.
A Virtual Assistant with years of experience in any of these fields will be a great help for your company. They can manage your company’s social media posts on channels like Twitter or Facebook so that you may keep engaging your audience. They can write, proofread, or manage blog posts to help keep your website relevant and improve its search rankings. They can tweak and improve any of your existing content and run them through SEO optimization software to make sure your business is at its most visible. Your company’s success goes hand in hand with its visibility and relevance, so having a VA to help you on that front can be crucial!
Tip: A Virtual Assistant can help keep your social media channels updated and in tip-top shape, and even maintain your company’s content strategy.
“Communication is the backbone of any VA-employer relationship.“
Scheduling and Event Management
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you may already have too much on your plate to worry about setting your own appointments or even checking your phone calendar for what meeting you’ll be sitting in for that day.
A virtual assistant can take note of all your appointments as well as schedule them, book events for you, and remind you of certain deadlines. They can create a standard organization system with multiple calendars for you to keep track of whatever is happening for your business. VAs can even call venues, event services, and even organize entire conferences for you!
Tip: Communication is the backbone of any VA-employer relationship. Let your VA know exactly what you need before they dive into planning your trip or event.
Endlessly ringing phones are a common trope in businesses, and most of the time a business owner can’t answer each call every time. Especially with growing companies with a growing audience, having to answer every single concern would take up days of your time.
It’s very easy to forward these calls to a Virtual Assistant who is working remotely. They will not only take phone calls on your behalf but also schedule phone appointments for you. They could even handle customer concerns themselves! In many cases, a VA will even handle customer support through channels on your website, social media, and even through E-Mail correspondence.
Tip: Scripted responses for general questions can come especially handy for responding to customer service concerns.
Computer Data Entry
For businesses that handle entire swathes of information, data entry can sound like something that is both too simple and too tedious. Not everyone has skills in the art of tracking data, and not everyone feels joy when presented with a spreadsheet, or a massive database of information.
Fortunately, many Virtual Assistants feel differently. They will be able to keep records, as well as track data metrics and log them into a spreadsheet for you to review on a rolling basis.
Tip: Be sure to constantly keep an open line of communication between you and your VA. Data changes constantly, so everyone needs to be kept up-to-date.
Emails may sound mundane, but there’s nothing as universal in the professional world as getting overwhelmed by an inbox that has more than 99 unopened emails. A Virtual Assistant can step in and sort it all out for you! They could create template emails that address repeating questions, as well as create labels, folders, and filters to keep your inbox neat and organized.
A VA may also handle your email marketing by managing a separate email created specifically for it, and keep track of client subscriptions and messages for you.
Tip: You can have your VA sort your emails and print out the most important ones for you to peruse and attend to.
“A business’s visual representation is useful as an introduction to its core message, values, and branding.“
Website design is something many VAs are knowledgeable in, especially since designing websites have become so streamlined. With platforms such as WordPress and Squarespace, that lets anyone create their own websites. WordPress, for example, has plenty of customization options when it comes to software development, themes, and even search engine optimization.
Virtual assistants could create a new website for your business, or update your existing one and make it more attractive and engaging for prospective clients. This is especially important for product-focused websites, or for those looking to better showcase their branding materials.
Tip: Show your VA the kind of websites you like, and give them notes on important information you would like to convey through your own website.
Many VAs come with exceptional graphic design skills, which is helpful if you’re a brand or image-focused business. Services can include logo design, social media graphics creation, and even mood board creation. A business’s visual representation is useful as an introduction to its core message, values, and branding. Unfortunately, not all business owners are very good at visualizing their own ideas.
A virtual assistant with graphic design knowledge can turn to design software like Canva, Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe Illustrator to draw up a new logo, design headers for your email newsletters. They could even create simple social media ads to attract your target audience.
Tip: Give your VA a mood board to work with for graphic design posts, and give them whatever design software they need to make the design process easier and more efficient.
The day-to-day tasks of a business owner can number in the hundreds, and sometimes the last thing to occur to you would be to properly update your website. The problem is, a website can serve as a homing beacon for your business; new customers could take interest in your product or services, and end up walking away when they see that your website isn’t managed properly, or hasn’t been updated since 2007.
A virtual assistant can step in and spruce up your website for you. They could post updates about services, monitor glitches and errors, put up important information about your company, and even provide customer support through the website itself.
Tip: Let your VA know about your content strategy, how often your website needs to be managed, and pertinent information that needs to be updated or maintained.
Businesses that are focused on media platforms or rely heavily on visual media will notice that editing videos and photos can take up a huge chunk of your work day. With media content relying on heavy curation these days, you can’t simply cut excess footage, or color-correct a photo. Editing itself is a thorough creative process that requires someone’s full attention to come up with a personable and engaging final product.
Hiring a VA trained in editing is a fantastic solution. Using even the simplest of editing software like iMovie, After Effects, to more professional software like Adobe Premiere Pro, A knowledgeable VA can edit your videos for sound, adjust minute details in photographs, or clip out errors in your podcast.
Tip: Be sure to give your VA a style guide to follow when editing media. Everyone’s tastes and tones differ, and having a style guide helps keep everything consistent.
Every now and then, business owners and entrepreneurs will have to travel for business. Organizing a trip can already be stressful as it is, and even more so for someone who needs to run a company. There is a lot of research involved, as well as budgeting, multiple bookings (of flights, accommodations, other modes of transportation), and more.
A Virtual Assistant can coordinate your trip by taking the time to carefully research the best airline or transportation options for you, as well as the best places to stay. They can also calculate your travel budget for you, book and confirm the trip on your behalf, and then add it to their pristinely managed calendar of events for you to calmly look over with relief later on.
Tip: Let your VA know ahead of time what budget you’re working with, the area you’re staying, and other details regarding your trip. Your VA may also be handling your schedule, but it helps to be specific and certain, and avoids misunderstandings.
Whether you own a service-based company that relies on detailed invoicing and payment processing systems or simply want to delegate payroll tasks, having a Virtual Assistant as a team member can be an immense help. Invoices are very important documents that can make or break your tax declarations, and require rigorous organization. But personally keeping track of invoice amounts and payments can be too time-consuming. Having a VA step in to regularly track and organize invoices, payroll records, and payments in a timely manner is a big step in making sure your business’ gears are turning smoothly.
Tip: Set a specific schedule for invoicing with your VA, and stay updated on invoices sent and received, as well as any monthly/quarterly/annual statements.
The success of your business is built on hard work, as well as knowing when to step back and ask for help. Having a reliable and knowledgeable team member like a Virtual Assistant may be just the thing your company needs to soar to greater heights. Learn more about specific services a VA can do for you and your company by dropping us a line!
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