With the trend of remote work on the rise, many entrepreneurs are considering hiring a virtual assistant (VA) to help manage their business. But what do VAs actually do?
In this blog post, we'll explore what professional services VAs offer and how they can help your business run more smoothly.
Whether you're just starting out and not sure if you need a VA yet or you're already familiar with this type of assistance, read on to find out everything you need to know about virtual assistant service. You might be surprised at just how helpful they can be!
You can click on these links below to jump to a specific topic:
- SEO, Social Media, and Content Management
- Scheduling Appointments and Event Management
- Customer Service and Administrative Support
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Project Management
- Computer Data Entry
- Account Management
- Email Management
- Web Design
- Lead Generation and Prospecting
- Graphic Design
- Website Management
- Media Management
- Travel Coordination
Virtual Assistant Services for Small Businesses
What Are Virtual Assistant Services?
Virtual assistant services refer to the personal and professional tasks often delegated by small business owners or entrepreneurs to virtual assistants.
Most 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 delegate tasks such as answering calls, organizing a daily schedule, or bookkeeping, as they are repetitive and need high attention to detail.
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.
The best virtual assistant companies will refer VAs with specific skill sets to match with your business’ needs or industry.
VAs with strong industry experience often outweighs the need for hiring a full-time assistant or employee, 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!
Moreover, virtual assistants are a fantastic way to help with mundane tasks, especially if you're working across a different time zone. With a VA, you can get work done even when you're asleep!
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.
College-educated virtual assistants with years of experience in any of these fields will be a great help for your company! They can help keep your social media accounts updated and in tip-top shape, and even maintain your company’s content strategy.
Additionally, 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 Appointments 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 dedicated VA 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!
Pro 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.
Customer Service and Administrative Support
One of the most basic but important virtual assistant tasks that any business needs is phone answering. You can’t very well leave your customers on hold every time they call!
A VA can help you field calls, provide technical support, take messages, and pass them on to you or the appropriate party. If you have an e-commerce store, a virtual assistant can also handle customer service inquiries via email or live chat support.
Furthermore, a virtual assistant can help with administrative services, such as preparing presentations and taking meeting minutes.
Pro Tip: Scripted responses for general questions can come especially handy for responding to customer service concerns.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Any business that relies on customers or clients to generate revenue needs to have a good system for keeping track of customer data. This is where CRMs come in, and they can be an absolute lifesaver when trying to manage sales processes and communications.
A lot of businesses make the mistake of not using a CRM or using one that doesn’t suit their needs, and this usually leads to information overload, missed opportunities, and lost customers.
Hiring the right virtual assistant with experience in setting up and maintaining CRMs can help you avoid all of that. They can help you choose the right CRM for your business and make sure that it’s properly set up so you can start reaping its benefits right away.
Project management is another one of those crucial but often overlooked business functions. It’s not enough to just have someone working on a project—you need to make sure that the project is actually getting done and that everyone involved is on the same page.
This is where virtual assistants with project management experience can be a real asset. They can help you develop project plans, set timelines, assign tasks, track progress, and ensure that everything is going according to plan.
Pro Tip: Be as specific as possible when assigning tasks to your virtual assistant project manager. The more clarity you can provide, the better they’ll be able to help you meet your project goals.
"A business’s visual representation is useful as an introduction to its core message, values, and branding."
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.
Pro 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.
A virtual assistant account manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of service accounts, including billing and payments. They also work with providers to ensure that services are being delivered as promised.
In addition, they serve as the main point of contact between your business and your service providers. They keep track of deadlines and make sure that both parties are adhering to the terms of the contract as well.
A dedicated account manager can also handle all aspects of your company’s accounts, from setting up new accounts to reconciling old ones. They can also help with bookkeeping and preparing financial reports.
This is an important job for any business, as it helps avoid any legal issues that could arise from non-payment or late payments.
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!
Luckily, 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.
Pro Tip: You can have your VA sort your emails and print out the most important ones for you to peruse and attend to.
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.
A dedicated assistant 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.
Pro 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.
Lead Generation and Prospecting
The lifeblood of any business is its leads and prospects, which is why a lot of businesses put a premium on lead generation. A good lead generation system can be the difference between a company that’s thriving and one that’s barely surviving.
A virtual assistant can help you with your lead generation in several ways. They can help you research potential leads and gather information about them. They can also help you create targeted email lists or contact lists for your sales team. And they can even do the initial contact or follow-up with your leads!
A VA assigned to lead generation tasks can be a huge asset to your business, freeing up time for you to focus on other things while still ensuring that your sales pipeline is full.
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 softwares like Canva, Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe Illustrator to draw up a new logo or design headers for your email newsletters. They could even create simple social media ads to attract your target audience.
Pro 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 recurring 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 dedicated 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.
Pro 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 business hours. 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, adjust minute details in photographs, or clip out errors in your podcast.
Pro 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.
Pro 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 to avoid 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 dedicated virtual assistant as a team member can be an immense help.
Invoices are very important documents that can make or break your tax declarations. Therefore, they 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.
Pro 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.
When Should You Get Virtual Assistant Services?
There is no definite answer as to when businesses should get in touch with companies offering virtual assistant services. It really depends on your company’s needs and budget.
Some entrepreneurs prefer to hire VAs as they are just starting out so they can have more time to focus on growing their business. Others wait until they have established their business and already have a team in place before considering a VA.
There are also those who only turn to VA services when they are already overloaded with work and can no longer handle everything on their own.
There are myriads of other time-consuming tasks that a virtual assistant can help you with, depending on your business operations and needs. The most important thing is to be able to recognize which areas of your business need delegation in order for a virtual assistant to function more efficiently.
Oftentimes, trying to do everything ourselves can lead to missed deadlines, subpar results, and an overall feeling of being overwhelmed and bogged down. But by hiring a VA, you’re not only giving yourself some much-needed breathing room, but you're also investing in the growth and future success of your company.
You can hire a virtual assistant from and outsource tasks to a virtual assistant company like The Virtual Hub. We will provide you with the best virtual assistant services to help you with your business needs!
Learn more about specific virtual personal assistant services a VA can do for you and your company by scheduling a call with us. Having a reliable and knowledgeable team member like a virtual assistant may be just the thing your company needs to soar to greater heights!