Reality Check for start-up and growing business owners!
If you have asked yourself any or all of the questions below, help is just a click away.
Are there tasks that you need to do that you dislike?
Are there tasks that you can’t do on your own?
Are there tasks you shouldn’t be doing at all?
You have probably reached the point wherein you spend an inordinate number of hours doing the most menial clerical tasks to full time business management. This seems prudent at the onset but there will come a time when you need to get help, even for a while.
First step is to make a detailed list of your tasks and categorize them like so:
- Daily Tasks You Don’t Like Doing (e.g. Records Keeping, Researching, etc.)
- Daily Tasks You Can’t Do (e.g. Website Development, Instagram Stories, etc.,)
- Tasks You Shouldn’t be Doing (e.g. Items 1 and 2)
Doing all of the three things day in and day eventually becomes counterproductive and a waste of executive time.
Second step is to accept that you are not a one-man team and hiring a virtual assistant or team will make you more efficient and productive.
It’s time to delegate!
There is a global pool of VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS (VA) you can tap through outsourcing.
A staggering number of mainstream employees have shifted to offering virtual assistance services having experienced the benefits of flexible working hours, lucrative pay, zero commute, and best of all, more free time for self and family.
Business owners hiring VAs stand to benefit as well – no Human Resources or Employee Relations requirements to comply with (e.g. benefits, insurance, taxes, etc..), no need for large office space, furniture and equipment, and no overtime pay. You only pay for the services you agreed on in your contract with the VA.
There are literally thousands of VAs to choose from all over the world. Outsourcing can assist you in finding a professional, reliable and honest VA that will also be a good fit for the business. It’s almost like having a regular employee, with less hassle and no tedious process and government and labor regulations imposed.
What kind of Virtual Assistant Services are available?
- GENERAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATION AND BOOKKEEPING – Most, if not all, virtual assistants are capable of handling general office tasks, such as:
- Bookkeeping and payroll (timekeeping, recording sales and expenses)
- “Front Office” Reception (answering calls, handling voice mail, checking messages)
- Database encoding and updating (contact list of clients, suppliers, prospects, sales
transactions, Customer Service complaints and resolution, etc..)
- Banking Transaction (Funds transfer, bills payment etc)
- Invoicing, Billing and Collection
- Preparing, presenting and filing of weekly/monthly/quarterly or yearly sales, deliverables, project status and pending work reports
- Coordinating technical support and participating in chat or online messaging support
- Preparing and sending out social greeting cards, newsletters and thank you notes
- Managing social and business calendar of events and activities
- Managing and scheduling appointments with clients, sales staff, prospects, etc
- Establishing and handling cloud accounts for data sharing (DropBox, OneDrive, Boxme, Google Drive)
- Receiving, converting and merging PDF files
- Authoring training manuals for new or remote team
- Transcribing notes and dictations
- Creating survey forms for customer feedback or review
- Proofreading documents and drafting correspondence, memos, reports, etc.
- Encoding data on excel spreadsheets and converting data into graphs for presentation.
- CONTENT AND BUSINESS WRITING – Virtual writers are good communicators and marketers. Their writing engages a target audience with the objective of converting them to “followers” and willing business clients by:
- Authoring articles and blog posts that “hook” readers
- Initiating guest posting and blogging on other sites
- Writing press releases and newsletters for publication
- Creating marketing content such as e-books, infographics, white papers
- Producing content for brochures
- Producing a wide range of “How To” guides and book reviews related to the business industry
- Writing opinion pieces for newspapers and websites
- Writing list based articles for the business industry
- Replying to business blog reader comments
- Conducting interviews of industry resource persons as material for market reports
- Writing case studies based on customer feedback and interviews.
- SEO AND DIGITAL MARKETING – The ultimate goal of a virtual assistant is to lead target audience or market to a business website or product page, generate sales and loyalty by utilizing SEO digital marketing techniques and strategies through:
- Planning, strategizing and implementing effective SEO and digital marketing campaign for a client/product
- Identifying and utilizing effective keyword word or phrase in the content material to increase the chances of a website or page to be seen on the first search attempt
- Creating a landing page
- Competitor monitoring and analysis of targeted keywords used, page ranking and SEMRUSH usage
- Updating sitemap for Google and other search engines
- Initiating a link building campaign to increase website traffic utilizing backlinks
- Implementing off page optimization by commenting on other blogs, joining forums and message boards, replying to public comments on YouTube and news websites
- Studying periodic Google Analytics reports and monitoring site traffic
- Producing online ads (banners, visuals, etc) for placement in industry related or high traffic websites/pages
- Building list of email contacts to send email newsletters containing promotional copy
- Authoring follow up emails and auto-responders, revise depending on response
- Creating and updating logos, e-book covers, icons, graphics and other visuals
- Sourcing or partnering with publisher or digital marketing firm to post branded content
- Partnering with media organizations or internet influencers to enhance product/business profile for publishers to take notice
- SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING – A virtual assistant with social media expertise knows how to get your business noticed or even go viral through the latest trends in social media platforms while saving you time, effort and resources by:
- Creating social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc
- Building a profile and adding links to your company website that will make target audience take notice and click to your site
- Writing, sharing and updating posts on social media platforms based on content strategy/objective
- Conducting a social media audit by analyzing audience traffic, shares, likes and engagement
- Monitoring competitor status on rankings, online visibility and use of keywords in their social media accounts
- Implementing and optimizing social media strategy and campaign
- Testing trending hashtag activity if it will apply to the business and marketing objectives
- Actively and regularly interact with social media audience by replying promptly to inquiries, sharing important information or leads, acknowledging mentions, purchases and sharing promos on their status or timelines
- Ensuring all social media accounts are updated regularly
- Creating visually appealing product images or graphics to be “pinned” in Pinterest
- Conduct a social media contest or challenge to achieve engagement
- Uploading product photos on Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram as a promo campaign strategy
- WEB DEVELOPMENT – A professional, highly skilled, creative and trained web designer is your best bet to design and develop your company website utilizing the latest web design software and applications. Your business website should look professional, quick to load, easy to use and navigate, contains key information and links, and ranks high in the search engines. Your VA web designer will be:
- Building a WordPress Website for your company or product
- Providing coding services and technical support for your website/page
- Recommending, installing and updating WordPress plug-ins and appropriate themes
- Keeping your website functional, secure and glitch free
- Adding appropriate payment and billing system within the website
- Applying standard user interface, cross-browser compatibility, web functions
- Using tags and images in website and blog posts
- Conducting regular backups to avoid data loss or downtime
- Creating online forms for content placements, product reviews, feedback and inquiries
- Incorporating company affiliate program and plug-ins
- Managing affiliates accounts and specific links
- AUDIO AND VIDEO EDITING – In order to produce high quality and professional audio-visual presentations, webinars, podcasts, live feeds, etc, a virtual assistant specializing in audio video editing will handle:
- Editing, splicing images/audio/video and embedding graphics and music
- Uploading, exporting output to professional video platforms like YouTube, DailyMotion and Vimeo
- Cancelling background noise and adjusting volume levels
- Editing in/out footage and for raw or edited output
- Recommending latest and ideal a/v, editing equipment and software to use
- Recording, editing and technical directing podcasts and inserting final a/v output in the website
- Enhancing a/v output by using creative graphic design, photoshop and other editing software
- MISCELLANEOUS – As a start-up business owner, mixing personal chores and business tasks occurs more often than not. It is challenging, time consuming and decreases productivity. Your virtual assistant will do these tasks for you:
- Writing minutes of a meeting
- Transcribing voicemail, video or audio, podcasts and recordings
- Recruiting possible project or time-based contractors, freelancers or team members
- Researching on required data, statistics, information for presentations and content material
- Handling general office tasks such as purchasing items, arranging logistics for an event or sourcing a transport service
- Writing and publishing ads on a job website, assessing resumes and shortlisting qualified candidates
- Interviewing job applicants and conducting interviews with their respective references
- Conducting training for on-site employees, virtual staff or project based freelancers
- Analyzing raw data and converting it to a detailed or summary report
- Preparing and finalizing content and images for a PowerPoint or slideshow presentation
- Canvassing for hotels, best airfare deals and planning itineraries for business trips
- Monitoring industry developments and trends for a report to the business owner
- Preparing and collating documents for tax season
- Creating an online project management system for the business
- Managing projects by coordinating with point persons, emailing reports, scheduling and updating shared online calendars and updating team members on deadlines
- Preparing gift or note cards for clients on special occasions.
- Coordinating with customer service representatives for technical support and other issues
- Conducting background, credit and police record checks on personnel
- Spearheading an in-house office challenge rewarding employees with bonuses
- Preparing welcome and goodbye kits or packets for clients and staff
- Sourcing industry experts or resource persons to be featured in podcasts or webinars
- Recommending plan of action or suggestions on how to meet or surpass company monthly, quarterly or annual goals and objectives
- Handling customer refunds
- Authoring customer care spiel templates for customer service requests
Reality bites. No Virtual Assistant can accomplish all 98+ tasks perfectly. There is also the question of trust or credibility.
Business owners will have to choose specific tasks he wants done the quickest, most efficient and cost-effective way.
Outsourcing will assist the business owner find the virtual assistant possessing the most number of specific skills required. If more specialized tasks are required or if you require a team for a special project – hire another VA or build your virtual team on a per need basis.
The chosen candidate (s) will focus on the urgent task at hand to achieve desired results at the soonest possible time.
A legitimate outsourcing company will ensure that the VA assigned to you is trustworthy, dependable and won’t risk having a bad record or negative feedback if they want to keep getting work.
Cost Implication. Having a virtual assistant on board is a time and cost saver. It is becoming more appealing to business owners to hire VAs on a per contract basis rather than hiring full time regular employees and paying salaries and benefits, taxes and insurance especially during company down time.
If you want to grow your business the most cost effective way and want to start building your online team, please visit Great Work Online, where outsourcing is made simple. A team you can trust https://greatworkonline.com/
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