The competitive landscape of the market nowadays demands that a business remains abreast of the changing demands of its customers. This is only possible if the founders and C-level executives are able to focus their attention on strategic matters instead of day-to-day operations. If the owner is occupied in administrative and non-essential tasks, focusing on the important matters would not be possible.
As the business grows, things like administrative tasks, office work, marketing, etc. become daunting and until you hire a set of helping hands, you will have less energy and time to focus on the bigger picture. A possible solution to this problem is hiring a virtual assistant who can help you accelerate your business’s growth.
Here are five ways a virtual assistant is helpful for your business:
#1. Back end workload
Virtual assistants essentially help in back-end tasks. While your emails, planners, phone calls, ledgers, data entry records, and all other non-essential tasks are being managed, you can focus on working with clients, finding ways of boosting sales, managing growth, and improving your business model, etc. With a virtual assistant to boot, your back-end workload will not be compromised upon and you will have lesser things to worry about.
#2. New Business
Growth is not possible without keeping your existing customers and clients and actively seeking new ones. You will need to focus the most on this and spend much of your energy on efforts to attract new business and maintain old ones. So while your attention is mainly on the executive tasks, a virtual assistant will handle the supportive workload, freeing you from the trouble of unnecessary management.
#3. Efficient Management
Since you have more time to spend on essential tasks, it becomes easier to develop your prowess in managing business critical activities. A virtual assistant allows you to develop the skills necessary for taking your business to the next level, and the more time you give to attending to clients and business growth, the more expertise you will be having on your hands. The support system provided by a virtual assistant gives you the additional advantage to focus on high-end tasks.
#4. More Organization
Managing small administrative tasks can be a daunting job. It can be a hassle during seasonal peaks. Having things organized and arranged for you solves various issues and save the time which you would otherwise spend rummaging through unimportant back-end tasks. A virtual assistant can clear out that clutter for you and organize your planning and schedules. It can be a lifesaver in times of crazy workload management.
#5. Burnout Prevention
Overwork can cause burnout. Working too much and being constantly occupied with different things can lead you to physical and mental burnout. A virtual assistant can take a good share of the supportive tasks and manage them, lessening your workload. This will keep you fresh and mentally present at whatever things need your undivided attention.
Here are a few tips that will help you out in working with a virtual assistant:
Give Them Clear Instructions – For some reason, entrepreneurs do not brief the virtual assistants before hiring them. This is one of the reasons why they do not work well with entrepreneurs, which eventually affects the productivity. If you want to see how the VA is doing, you can ask them to submit a daily report.
Be Patient – It takes time to be on the same page with a virtual assistant, which means that you will have to be patient. What you should do is give them clear instructions and initially give one task at a time so that they can get used to the nature of the work.
Use the Right Kind of Tools – Using the right tools can speed up the whole process of training a virtual assistant. Some of the tools that a lot of successful business entrepreneurs’ use includes Evernote and Dropbox, as they give quick access to files and documents. If you want to stay up to date with their progress, you can use Asana and Trello, whereas Screenr and Jing are great if you want to give video tutorials.
Treat Them with Respect – This should go without saying, but unfortunately, a lot of businesspeople take VAs for granted. Remember that they work for you and deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
Communicate – Effective communication is the key to having a successful business. Have one-on-one meetings with the VAs and ask them about the problems that they are facing and try to solve them together. Investing time in communicating with the employees that work for you is an investment that you would enjoy later.
Document Everything – One tip that will help you in all walks of life is that you should document everything. You can have a different file for each virtual assistant and can add the documents and emails there for future reference.
Stay Realistic – You should test the virtual assistants with a number a number of tasks in order to judge their capabilities and time management skills. This way you will stay realistic while assigning projects to them.
Give Them Time – Do not be a scrooge when it comes to giving time to your virtual assistants. Remember that the more you will give, the more you will get back.
Allow Them to Ask Questions – Allow, in fact, encourage your virtual assistants to ask questions so that you know that they have understood the requirements of the project. Make sure that communicating with you is easy because that will give way to fewer mistakes.
Let Go – You need to let go and allow your virtual assistant to take a few decisions that are a part of their job. Do not be a control freak because that way you will waste yours as well as the VA’s time.
Hiring a virtual assistant can ease a lot of burdens and give you time to work with peace of mind. It is important that you select someone who understands the nature of your work so that they can help you in expanding it.
Image: Virtual Assistant