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Categories: Business Management

The role of a virtual assistant in a company

If you're like most bloggers, have you always thought you had to go it alone? Is this your case? And yes, most entrepreneurs start out on their own or hire a virtual assistant.

In this article, I show you why a virtual assistant is important for your business. But first, here is a training course that will makes it possible to succeed in entrepreneurship.

What is a virtual assistant?

A virtual assistant (VA) is someone who provides support services to other businesses from a remote location.

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The term was born in the 1990s from the possibility of working virtually thanks to technological improvements. A virtual assistant is someone who is hired to perform the tedious day-to-day tasks of your business.

It may be in another city, state or country. It could also be people who come to your office or meet in a coworking space once a week. It really depends on you.

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The most important thing is that they take care of completing the tasks their client needs without a problem, either because they hate doing it or because it takes too much time.

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Virtual assistants are particularly sought after by entrepreneurs and online businesses. These companies need help but do not want to physically hire staff. To serve you, Finance de Demain works with an average of two virtual assistants.

What a virtual assistant does

In theory, a virtual assistant can do everything that any other support staff does. However, virtual support tasks are not limited to office work. Many virtual assistants provide marketing services, web design and others.

Some virtual assistants specialize in a specific skill set. For example, a marketing virtual assistant only does marketing work. Other virtual assistants perform a variety of tasks but in a specific industry. For example, a virtual assistant for real estate companies.

Most virtual assistants have their own home-based virtual assistant business. This allows them to earn more and have better control over the tasks they perform. However, many small businesses hire virtual assistants as part of a job or contract.

Finally, many VAs use freelance sites or coworking sites to find quick, time-limited projects.

How can a virtual assistant benefit your business?

Because delegating tasks that consume your time and energy, that you don't enjoy doing, and that keep you in the cycle of moving from one tedious task to another, a VA will allow you to regain control of your affairs.

Growing your team means you can do essential work, focus on strategy and the big picture. You can start dreaming and planning on a bigger scale.

How do you know when you're ready to hire a virtual assistant?

When you'll be ready to hire is different for everyone, which makes the decision so difficult. We recommend hiring a VA before you think you're ready to go.

The reason for this is that most people (myself included!) wait until we are already at a point of “insanity” to start delegating and asking for help with the business. So, if you're ready to grow your business and think you're ready, I highly recommend that you start looking for your virtual assistant.

It'll be a lot easier for both of you if you bring someone into the team when things are a bit calmer, so things run smoothly when they hit the busiest times.

Here are some questions to answer before making the final hiring decision:

  • Are you ready to grow your business faster than it has been so far?
  • Can you afford to pay someone every month?
  • Do you have defined tasks to start delegating?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you are ready to begin the VA hiring process.

How to hire a VA?

While virtual assistance is a great home business idea, getting virtual help is crucial for home business owners to maximize their revenue and facilitate growth. As a home business owner, there comes a time when it's impossible to do everything, at least well enough to be effective and efficient.

Hiring a virtual assistant will free up your time so you can focus on your work, on the tasks that produce the best business results for you. Moreover, many virtual assistants are better than you in certain tasks.

In the long run, it's always faster and cheaper to hire jobs you're not qualified to do.

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The first step of hiring of a virtual assistant is to make a list of the tasks you want to outsource. Make a comprehensive list, prioritizing the activities you want to delegate first. For example, email management is time consuming and tedious, put it at the top of your list.

Or maybe technology issues are taking up too much of your time, you can outsource your website management. Or keep your company's accounts up to date.

The next step is figuring out who to hire. There are many ways to hire a virtual assistant. You can use a VA service that hires and trains them, and then they assign you a person based on the services you need.

The last option is to hire someone in your network who has references. While you can post an ad looking for a virtual assistant, finding one that already has trusted credentials will save you time and headaches.

List of services virtual assistants can offer

creative writing

  • Write blog posts
  • Write ebooks, books, newsletters, email funnels, etc.
  • Write or edit audio or video transcripts.
  • Write social media posts for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
  • Editing and revising blog posts, books, websites, newsletters, recipes, etc.
  • Prepare emails for your email marketing
  • Creation of product descriptions for online stores (store / product manager)
  • Compilation / editing of testimonials.
  • Etc ...

Administrator / management

  • Customer service via email, chat or phone.
  • Follow up and reply to emails.
  • Organize mailboxes
  • Manage blog comments.
  • Live webinar support
  • Agenda management
  • Create PowerPoint presentations
  • Management of supplies and supplies
  • Arrange interviews
  • Answer phone calls
  • Reuse content (Example: converting a video into a written blog post or a blog post into a social media post)
  • Write minutes of videoconference meetings
  • Manage blog editorial calendars
  • Customer onboarding tasks such as responding to emails and submitting invoices and contracts
  • Follow-up of potential customers / current customers
  • Presentation of the guests
  • Make travel arrangements
  • Preparation of forms
  • Resume creation
  • Hiring and training of new team members
  • Translation
  • Brainstorm for blog posts, products, etc.

NB: Administrative tasks are among the most sought-after services. Helping business owners with these daily tasks frees up their time to make more money. Very precious !

Graphic design

  • Creating graphics for blog posts
  • Photo editing
  • Creation of slides for webinars or workshops.
  • Design of business cards, flyers, logos, menus, signage, etc.
  • Image search for blog posts, books, social media, etc.
  • Creation of brand style guides.
  • Design of e-books or PDF files for newsletter subscriptions

NB: Canva has tons of templates and it's easy to use if you're looking to create graphics.

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Social media

  • Scheduling social media updates.
  • Creation and management of Pinterest account
  • Create and manage promoted pins
  • Manage Facebook groups
  • Creation and management of LinkedIn groups
  • Create social media polls
  • Adjust publishing schedules.
  • Creation and management of posts on Instagram.
  • Respond to social media messages.

Bookkeeping account

  • Management of payments and invoicing.
  • Processing orders and returns.
  • Collection management
  • Payroll Management
  • Billing and Invoices.

How to use this list of virtual assistant services?

As you can see, there are many services you can offer as a Virtual Assistant.

Depending on the type of service you are interested in, you can combine a bundle of related services and sell as a bundle of services: billed per project or as an ongoing monthly service.

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If you find something that piques your interest, do more research. If after your research you are still interested, find out how you can acquire the necessary skills if you do not already have them.

You can learn from YouTube videos, books on Amazon, or courses you find online.

And remember, just because you're starting out with a service like VA doesn't mean you'll be stuck offering that service for the rest of your life. You are free to upgrade or add additional services.

Skills needed to be a virtual assistant

Many of the skills required to be a virtual assistant are the same as those required to be an administrative assistant or secretary. For example, you must have superior organizational skills. You must also have pleasant telephone behavior and skills in using new technologies.

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As a VA, you will also need specific skills for self-employment. For example, you should be able to multitask, especially if you're juggling multiple clients.

You must be able to concentrate on work, in your home environment. You also need the right equipment in your home office.

Some virtual assistant jobs require additional skills, including web design, event planning, accounting and much more.

You can search for Virtual Assistance jobs that require your particular skills. In addition to specific skills, employers often seek candidates with training and/or office experience in some administrative capacity.

The essential qualities of a virtual assistant

Reliability

This is one of the most important because, unfortunately, it seems to be the most common. A lot of clients have told me that they've been disappointed with VAs who didn't report their progress, or just didn't deliver.

This is completely inexcusable and not only does it give the virtual assistance industry a bad name, but the next virtual assistant called must bear the client's suspicions and doubts about the effectiveness of using these types of services. .

Professionalism is paramount in this industry, so if a client calls you, you should call them back. If you receive an email, you must respond! It doesn't have to be immediately, but at least it has to be the next day.

Good communication skills

From the first point, you must inform the client of the progress of your work, so establish how and when to update them when he becomes a client, and before starting each new task.

If a customer has to constantly chase you for updates, then you're not doing your job right.

Management of time

Research apparently says you should only focus on one thing and that is inefficient for multitasking. Of course, you have to focus on the task at hand, but you will also be working with multiple clients; who think they are your one and most important customer.

You probably have a lot to do in a day, so plan ahead. Schedule tasks when you are most efficient. Use a Google calendar and mark personal items one color and work items another.

If you know you write best in the morning, try scheduling meetings for late afternoon. You can also fit all your work tasks into your calendar (including planning time) to realistically know if you have time to do everything.

Resource

You will often receive emails asking you technical questions, which they could easily find using Google, or asking how much your services cost, when they haven't even bothered to visit your website and/or or your social networks.

You'll be asked to do a lot of things you've never done before, and you just have to figure out how to do it. VAs are expected to provide solutions and resolve customer issues.

If you don't have the ability to solve a problem and figure out how to do something, then you won't be a good VA.

The virtual assistant isn't Yoda, so it's unrealistic to assume he'll be able to do it all. But you have to know how to research to find the information on your own. As long as you're honest with your client about the extent of your skills, you'll be fine.

Clients also don't expect you to know everything. Tell them you've never done this particular job before; but you are happy to find out how and come back to it.

You should continue to train, where you can watch YouTube videos, trade skills with other VAs, ask questions on VA forums, and generally participate.

Try to keep up to date with what's moving and changing, both in your industry and in the tech world. Decide on the things you want to know more about, then do your research.

Managing expectations and building trust

Not only do you need to know what you're doing, but you also need to make sure the customer knows what they're doing. Often a client has never worked with a virtual assistant, so if they don't know what they can do and how it all works, they will seriously doubt your ability to help them.

A new client is likely to seek you out to guide them through the process, so you need to know and explain how you work. This mostly comes with experience, but practice your new list of questions or role-play; and even volunteer work for a contractor you know, so you can get a testimonial and give it a try, if that worries you.

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Work alone

It seems to be quite common for freelancers to feel lonely, which surprises me as I'm completely happy working alone and never thought some people would miss having others around.

Sure, sometimes I use co-working spaces and other times I work in cafes, but being alone all week is something to keep in mind.

If you have any experience on virtual assistance, then don't forget to leave me a comment. However, I cannot leave you without presenting this premium training on personal finance.

Faustin Djoufouet

I am a Doctor in Finance and an Expert in Islamic Finance. Business consultant, I am also a Teacher-Researcher at the High Institute of Commerce and Management, Bamenda of University. Group Founder Finance de Demain and author of several books and scientific articles.

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