Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Emma Miller – a Sydney-based writer and contributor at Bizzmark blog. Her opinions are her own.
All those mundane and seemingly trivial, yet important tasks that business owners have to deal with each and every day can easily overwhelm everyone. A business owner can lose track of developing the business itself, while struggling with tons of emails, phone calls and meetings. After some time, you get the feeling that you have accomplished so much, yet nothing has really been done and there are still a ton of tasks that await your attention. In those particular moments, most business owners feel like simply giving up and finding something better to do.
However, not all hope is lost because there are good people who have the necessary skills to tackle all sorts of tasks, ranging from the mundane to more complicated jobs, and save business owners a lot of time and a lot of headaches.
These good people are called virtual assistants and are equipped with various skills and a lot of willpower that will help business owners sort out the mess of mundane tasks. If you are thinking of hiring a virtual assistant, here are a few ways they can help you out.
1. Managing your social media posts
Maintaining a strong presence on social media is one of the most demanding tasks there is and many business owners, no matter how hard they try, simply don’t have enough time to fully commit to this task. At least, not if they want to focus their time on other important business matters as well. Social media demands regular posts, updates, content and product placement, promotion and other sorts of activities, so the audience can be informed about the activities of your brand.
However, as daunting as it may sound, a virtual assistant can manage it without too many difficulties. A VA can update your status on social networks, post promotions and update the audience with the latest news, topics or trends, as well as answer any questions your followers may have, business or non-business related. Also, a VA can do a thorough research about your target audience, your competitors and market interests, or the demand for your products or services. Just make sure you supply your VA with all the necessary information, so they can do their job efficiently.
Furthermore, a VA is a more economical solution than hiring a full-time employee to manage your social media. At the end of a year, a full-time employee can cost you up to $60,000 more than a VA. This is crucial in cutting costs, because many startups and small businesses don’t have enough resources to sustain a full-time employee.
2. Making the mundane easy
It seems there is no end to all the pesky emails, phone calls, meetings or appointments. As a business owner, you must do your best to check them all out in the hope that it will help your business grow. But all those tasks can take up so much of your time and energy that you won’t be able to get a good night’s rest, let alone focus your attention on other, more important aspects. And during those nights where you actually manage to get some sleep, you’ll be dreaming of having a virtual assistant that will help you clear all that mess.
As a matter of fact, a VA can indeed help you take that burden off your shoulders and make your life that much easier.
A VA can sort through your emails and answer most of them, while notifying you if something important comes up that will require your personal attention. They can also answer phone calls, prioritize meetings and appointments, and manage the rest of your mundane tasks, while sparing you the time to focus on more concerning issues, such as growing your business. When talking about managing phone calls, the role of virtual receptionist is crucial since ineffective call handling will result in lost business.
3. Conducting online research
Research is one of the most important aspects of business development, but it’s also one of the most time-consuming tasks. The easiest way to obtain information is to search for it online, but even with all the technology to help you do that, it can take a lot of time before you find what you need.
Furthermore, spending too much time on a single task is, believe it or not, counterproductive, because although you may have good coverage in one area, you will fall behind in others. This is where a VA can be of great help, as they can focus their attention on online research and probably do that task more efficiently than you can. Moreover, with a VA, you can save about 78% on operating costs per year, compared to a full-time employee.
A VA can research your target audience, competition and market. But they can also manage your networking and find new prospects, business opportunities and new contacts that may help you grow your business further. Needless to say, a VA can conduct online research according to your requirements and analyze the data well, so you can make sense of it and use it to your advantage.
4. Becoming a virtual bookkeeper
Bookkeeping is one of the most important tasks for any organisation, and if you forget about it, you may end up facing financial issues before you know it.
More often than not, business owners tend to try and sort out their books on their own, which is nice, since you can save money on hiring a bookkeeper, but it’s not nice if you don’t know what you’re doing. That means, if you forget about a bill or aren’t aware of some government tax you have to pay, you may hurt yourself more than you realize.
Luckily, virtual assistants are skilled in managing your books and it’s one of the easiest jobs for a VA to do. Besides, they charge from $12-$30 per hour compared to a bookkeeper that can charge $60-$100 p erhour, meaning you can save at least 50% by hiring a VA. Nevertheless, allowing your VA to handle bookkeeping tasks means there is one less task you have to worry about. The only issue you may encounter is whether or not your VA can be trusted with access to your accounts, but that is easily sorted out by finding a reliable VA whom you can depend on.
Let’s face it – you won’t be able to handle all tasks on your own. That’s why you’ve decided to hire a virtual assistant, and for good reason. A VA can help you manage all of those mundane tasks that you can’t ignore, so help yourself by delegating some work to a trusted virtual assistant.