When you first start, you might make it a few months or even years managing everything on your own. But not everyone is good at every business task or enjoys doing every type of work. You can grow your business faster and focus your precious time on your business’s most important facets by hiring a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants are remote workers who help with a selection of business tasks and services. They may do administrative work, bookkeeping, or even marketing tasks.
Regardless of what you need help with, virtual assistants are a cost-effective way to alleviate the pressures you face as a business owner and keep your focus on growing your business. Knowing that you need help and deciding to hire a virtual assistant is the first step to business growth. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about virtual assistants, and what they can do for your business.
1. What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is a self-employed worker, either a freelancer or an independent contractor who based on the skill set offers administrative, marketing, or business tasks that take up valuable time you could be spending focusing on your business growth. Sometimes also known as virtual office assistants, they can help you with just a few tasks per month or be highly involved in your business’s day-to-day activities.
Virtual assistants may be experts in specific fields or certain types of tasks, such as accounting or marketing, or may offer broader, more generalized services. They work with you remotely, so that you can hire a virtual assistant from anywhere in the world, provided their schedule and availability aligns with your needs. All you’ll need to communicate with them is a computer and an internet connection.
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2. What does a virtual assistant do?
Virtual assistants can do many different jobs, but they typically focus on administrative or maintenance tasks that don’t require specialized knowledge of your business. Here is a list of some of the many things that they can do for you and your business:
3. Benefits of a virtual assistant
Hiring a virtual assistant has the direct advantage of helping you take care of tasks you don’t have time for, or aren’t proficient in. As we mentioned above, they help you keep your business running in the day-to-day and free up more of your time to generate more income and keep the business growing. Here are some other benefits of hiring a virtual assistant:
- They work remotely. Online assistants don’t need to come and work next to you at home or in your office. They are fully remote and can be anywhere in the world, at any time, saving you money and logistical considerations.
- They’re more cost-effective than a full-time employee. Hiring on a freelance basis has a lower cost than bringing someone on your payroll. While rates may vary depending on where your assistant is working from, their hourly wages can be quite affordable.
- If needed, they can work in your off-hours. Perhaps you want someone who can answer customer service emails during your off-hours or someone to complete tasks while you’re asleep, so they’re ready for you the next day. You can hire an assistant with the exact availability you require, even if it’s during non-standard hours.
4. Cons of hiring a virtual assistant
We’ve looked at all the pros, but it’s also important to evaluate the cons of a virtual assistant so you can be sure you’re making the best decision for your business. Overall, we think the benefits outweigh the disadvantages but it’s crucial to know what lies ahead so your relationship with your assistant can be successful from the start.
You’ll need to get your online assistant up to speed with your business and the tasks they’ll need to complete. To minimize this hassle, only assign them tasks that take minimal training, like data entry, and leave the more specific tasks for yourself or other employees.
Time zone differences:
If you don’t properly vet for location and availability, you may end up with an assistant who is not available when you need them. Be sure to think through when you want them to work and specifically ask if they’re able to work during those hours.
5. How to hire a virtual assistant
Now that you’ve decided to hire a virtual assistant, the first step is to analyze what you need or want to outsource.
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed with business tasks and unable to get to the projects that will grow your business, it may be time to hire a virtual assistant. These online workers can take on routine tasks or to-do list items that you don’t have the bandwidth or skill to complete. They free up more time for you to do things that will grow your business more quickly. You can hire a virtual assistant on Fiverr, where the gig profiles will list each candidate’s skills and experience, as well as reviews from previous clients. Use this information, as well as your own interview with the potential assistant, to see if they have the skills and working style to work successfully with you.