You might be wondering how successful business owners deal with all the tasks that they have to do to grow their business. It can be tough to focus on growing your business if your emails pile up, your phone rings non-stop, your company or business leads need chasing, or your invoices and clients need to be sent and followed up.
There is actually a solution to that. You might consider hiring an assistant to do these things for you. However, getting a full-time personal assistant can be too much. Instead, you can hire a virtual assistant. They give you the time and freedom to make money for your business, while they take care of other more specific tasks. Many successful entrepreneurs and businessmen have used this solution, which is why the virtual assistance industry has been rapidly rising for the past few years.
“But where can I find the best virtual assistant?”
To answer your question, let us first understand what virtual assistants are and what they do.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant or VA, also known as virtual professional, is similar to an office or personal executive assistant. VAs are usually in charge of repetitive and non-core tasks such as scheduling appointments, taking notes on a meeting, managing your emails, or answering phone calls. They can also handle more detailed tasks such as managing and making graphic designs for your social media accounts or bookkeeping or accounting. Giving these tasks to a virtual assistant helps small business owners, start-up businesses, or entrepreneurs save a lot of time. Virtual assistants can work independently or they can be hired by a virtual assistant company.
Why Delegate Tasks To A Virtual Assistant?
More and more companies, whether big corporations or start-ups, are following this globally-accepted trend of hiring a virtual assistant. By doing this, business owners and entrepreneurs reap various benefits of having someone who can help them.
Delegating tasks to a VA can help free up your schedule; then, you can focus on other tasks that help you develop and improve your business. Also, it saves you more time and energy; because, instead of doing everything by yourself, you can ask your specialized VA to complete tasks for you.
This may sound easy, but outsourcing can also be tricky. You have to ask yourself first: what are the repetitive tasks that eat up a lot of your time? Then, evaluate if you are willing to delegate them. Instead of wasting your energy on time-consuming activities, it is better to outsource them to a virtual assistant so you can focus on high-value tasks.
How and Where to Hire A Virtual Assistant?
Finding the best virtual assistant for your business can be a long process. It is almost likegoing through the usual hiring procedure, though it is done virtually. There are two ways to hire a virtual assistant. You can hire a freelance VA or work with a VA services company.
Freelance virtual assistants
are independent contractors and are usually self-employed. You work directly with them without an intermediate VA company. You can find freelance VA from Google or through marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, or other freelancing websites. This might be risky for you, because you are not sure of the individual’s skill set and if they can produce quality output. However, if you are going to train your VA, this might be a good option.
On the other hand, VA services companies screen and hire individuals to ensure that they have the required competencies and characteristics for your business. Their assistants from VA companies will be trained for the most common outsourcing tasks. In addition, they can also hire individuals with the specific skills that your business needs. You can be more certain that they will provide you great performance quality.
Both freelance VA and VA company service providers can bring great advantages to your business. They can handle the extra workload that paralyzes your team when you can’t hire a new member. They can also take specific tasks that require skills that you don’t have. Both providers can also help you save a lot of cost, availability, and time, which you can use to develop your business instead.
What Tasks to Delegate To Virtual Assistants?
Now that you have an overview of what a VA is and how a VA supports your business, let's know what tasks can be delegated to your assistant.
There is actually a ton of tasks that virtual assistants can do but here are some of the most common ones:
- Administrative Tasks
These tasks are the most common and simple activities, yet they eat up much of your time. This includes:
- Scheduling of appointments and meetings
- Responding to emails and phone calls
- Data entry and file management
- Managing your emails
- Organizing your calendar
- Booking travel arrangements
- Contact list management
- Customer Service
Responding to emails or client’s concerns might take much of your time. Instead of you taking phone calls and answering emails, you can delegate these tasks to your VA.
- Email support
- Live chat support
- Outbound and inbound calls
- Help desk service
- Virtual receptionist
- Research and Lead Generation
Researching may take a lot of time, but a well-equipped virtual assistant can handle it for you. They keep track of your competitors and analyze consumer trends. They also find potential clients and make schedules with them via email or cold calls.
- Market research
- Lead Generation
- Cold Calling
- Product Research
- Web Research
- Bookkeeping and Accounting
Lack of money management may hinder your business growth. Managing your business taxes and keeping track of your business finances and budget can be done with the help of your VA.
- Bills payment and invoicing
- Payroll management
- Reconciling bank and credit card statements
- Payment reminders and customer follow up
- Job costing and budgeting
- Social Media Management and/or Marketing
Most businesses these days are going online. So, having social media accounts can be a great help with brand recognition. In addition, many people can be reached through social media. The majority of them choose to purchase products and services online these days.To help you manage your social media accounts, a VA can handle the following tasks for you:
- Social media strategy
- Audience interaction
- Content research
- Content curation
- Creating content calendar
- Basic graphic designing for social media posting
- Content making and repurposing
- Email marketing
- Social media ads(eg. Facebook ads)
- Blog or Website Management
Writing articles and updating your website can be done by a VA. This can help you increase internet presence and increase your brand recognition to provide you more leads and potential clients.
- Blog content research
- Content creation/writing and editing
- Blog posting
- SEO article writing
- Create email newsletter
Now that you have an idea about the tasks that you can delegate to a VA, let’s answer the question in the first part of this article. “Where can I find the best VA for my business and how much it may cost me?” Of course, the decision is on you. As was mentioned above, you can choose to hire a freelance VAor team up with a VA company.
Which Is Better: Hire a Freelance VA or Work With a VA Company?
If you are going to choose a freelance VA from freelancing sites, it may cost you from $5 to $40/hr. This might not cost you much, but you can also expect to find a lot of poor quality candidates. It is not easy to confirm if your chosen VA will have any expertise in your desired area of work unless time to interview and screen all the possible candidates who applied for your job post. You will spend a lot of time finding the best candidate and trying to figure out if they are reliable, trustworthy, or competent enough for the project or task.
In contrast, if you are going to hire with the help of a VA company like Pareto, rates usually start from $10/hr and can get as high as $70/hr, depending on the tasks that you want your VA to do. The higher price comes with multiple advantages. You don’t have to worry much about the skills of the VA, since VA companies screen the candidates and provide training to VAs to keep up to date with the latest apps and programs. Additionally, they will provide you a contract, not only to protect the agency and the VA, but also to protect your business information and maintain confidentiality. If you were to hire a freelancer yourself, you would bear those responsibilities. VA companies also offer great discounts and packages that you can choose from to save money.
In conclusion, virtual assistants are a great help to entrepreneurs and business owners, as they contribute to the increase of profit being generated by businesses. They also help manage and divide tasks. That’s why finding a suitable virtual assistant for your team with the help of a VA company is more practical and more efficient. You are not only giving yourself more time to dedicate to core tasks for your business development, but you are also saving the money, time, and energy needed if you were to hire a new employee yourself. If you need help with finding a virtual assistant for your business or company, check our services and packages in Pareto today!