Virtual assistants are like a secret weapon. Without going through the formal hiring and vetting process, you can now have someone to help you out with anything that’s either time consuming or distracting you from your main goal. Especially for founders with a small team, virtual assistant services can dramatically improve efficiency within different workstreams.
With the wide range of tasks virtual assistant services can help you do, how do you know which of your tasks are actually appropriate to hand off? What are some services that virtual assistants provide that can best help you to free up time?
Tasks like calendar management and email inbox management can easily get out of hand. Although organization seems like a given and a minor inconvenience that you might be able to do yourself, you might have accidentally double booked a meeting slot or forgotten to respond to an important email. With a founder’s busy schedule, virtual assistant services may be the solution to help you stay on top of everything.
Virtual assistants can help you with scheduling, whether it be for a meeting with an important client, a pitch to an investor, an interview with a candidate, or even a personal event. Allowing someone else to manage your calendar and deal with all the intricacies of figuring out availabilities will free up your time and mental capacity.
In addition, a virtual assistant may be able to help out with email management. This depends on the level of comfort you feel with giving over access to your email but your VA could respond to emails, sort your emails into folders, download important documents embedded in emails, or even merely alert you when you get an important message. In addition, even if you feel uncomfortable with handing over your exact password, some virtual assistant services also have the tools to access and manage their client’s email without needing their login details.
Although monotonous, data entry is one task that just needs to get done. Whether it be entering data for clients, leads, investors, an internal database, or another area, doing data entry yourself may feel like a waste of time, despite how important it may be to have all the information in a centralized location.
For instance, you may meet hundreds of people over Zoom and never get around to inputting these into a spreadsheet or Salesforce-type organization platform. However, these contacts may end up being vitally important for the success of your business - and you miss out on a great opportunity just because you lost the jotted down emails and forgot to look at them again.
Virtual assistants can take this time-consuming task off of your hands. With a virtual assistant, you would be able to hand off these manual inputting tasks to them, thus making sure that the task gets done and freeing up your time for other responsibilities.
As every founder knows, part of the uphill battle is introducing customers to your product or services. Even if your product or service is the best out there, if no one knows about it, nothing is going to happen with your business.
The importance of lead generation can’t be understated - you need customers if you want your company to stay in business. However, actually getting these leads can be a hassle, and sometimes it may feel as though you’ve hit a dead end with getting more leads.
That’s where virtual assistant services can help. Whether it be B2B lead generation, B2C general lead generation, or even real estate lead generation, virtual assistants can help you create enormous lists of potential customers.
Virtual assistants often can leverage their knowledge of the general business landscape and even certain web scraping tools to generate the lead lists you need to propel your company forward. You can request for email lead generation or LinkedIn lead generation as methods of contacting the potential customers. Some VAs can even work with you on the step after - the outreach component - to help you figure out where to go from there.
Every step of the way, VAs can help with lead generation and help you grow your business.
As a founder, there are a myriad of things you need to research. Who are the suppliers nearest to me? Which suppliers have the best quality materials? Are there any office spaces for rent? What are the best software platforms for data tracking? Who are some investors I can pitch to? Compiling these lists will be enormously helpful - but also extremely time consuming.
Virtual assistant services can do this research for you. All you need to do is give your VA a topic, search criteria, and columns to fill out, and your research can be done without you having to worry about it. Before you know it, your VA will have procured a list of the nearest and most highly rated suppliers, or a list of venture capital investors looking to invest in companies like yours.
Virtual assistants can even help on research for personal tasks - they can help you find the best restaurant for a date night or the best hotels for your family vacation in Cabo. Whatever you want, your VA can research for you, freeing up your valuable time.
Social Media Management
Social media is an incredibly valuable tool. With it, you have the ability to connect with both audiences who know you and with audiences who don’t. You can effectively market your brand to the world, and you can do it for free.
Studies have shown that according to 90% of marketers, their social media marketing efforts have increased the exposure of their business. In addition, according to SproutSocial’s 2020 Index, 89% of consumers say they will buy from a brand they follow on social media, and 84% say they will choose that brand over a competitor.
However, a lot of companies underutilize their social media. When you’re building a company, it can be easy to let this fall to the wayside as you’re focusing on other internal and external operations.
Virtual assistants can take care of this for you as well. Again, the level of involvement your VA has within your social media accounts largely depends on your comfortability with them. However, virtual assistants can do a lot with social media management.
They can manage Instagram and Facebook posts, interact with other users on your behalf (whether it be following accounts, commenting, liking posts, etc), and make sure to post regularly on your story. They can even ensure hashtags are being used effectively.
For more business-oriented social media, such as LinkedIn, virtual assistant services encompass the ability to connect with people on your behalf, send outreach messages to new connections, and manage posts too. Whatever the goal for your social media is, a virtual assistant will be able to do it for you.
In order to get an accurate picture of the financial health of your company, it’s really important to understand all cash inflows and outflows.
Managing invoices and verifying that you’ve charged all of your customers are crucial in making sure your recorded revenue is accurate. Managing expenses and cash uses are also necessary in capturing all outflows. Without having a clear picture of your finances, it will be difficult to allocate future expenditures and set growth goals. However, this entire process can be very manual and tedious to maintain.
Virtual assistant services can manage all of this for you. VAs can make sure invoices are correct and sent to the right person or account. They can follow up with customers who are late and work with them to collect payments. You can also send them your receipts for the various services you use, and they can also help you itemize your expenses. Ultimately, virtual assistants can massively relieve the burden of maintaining financial records.
General Administrative Tasks
In the course of running a business, there will be other administrative tasks that pop up. In a smaller company without a dedicated administrative assistant, these other tasks will naturally fall to the founder. These include things like booking travel, sending holiday gifts to investors, making online purchases, writing handwritten thank-you notes, and more.
As a founder, your time should be better spent on initiatives to grow your business and spending less time taking care of logistics.This is why having a virtual assistant is a must.
They can act like a catch-all administrative assistant, helping you accomplish all of these responsibilities. Instead of spending your precious time searching for the best flights and hotels near the conference center or searching on Amazon for the best holiday gifts, you can spend it on things like calls with investors or strategic planning with your internal teams.
With a virtual assistant taking care of all of these administrative tasks for you, you will undoubtedly get time back in your day.
Ultimately, virtual assistant services can be a game changer for your business. Especially for SMBs who might not have the capacity to hire and vet an employee, virtual assistants can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle. There are countless areas where virtual assistants can dramatically improve your productivity and efficiency.
For more inspiration on tasks you can delegate to a virtual assistant, check out Pareto’s 30+ tasks list for some of our most popular requests. If you’re ready to take the plunge and try out a virtual assistant service to streamline your processes and accelerate your growth, get started with us here!