A virtual assistant can help you grow tremendously by decreasing your cognitive load by helping you focus more and aid clarity!
With the rise in the remote working culture, the hiring of an assistant has become a preferable option when it comes to managing your work. In the emerging work pattern, it is not convenient to hire a personal assistant that is used to be reserved for the upper echelons of the C-suite. Although, not to deny that the executive assistants are highly skilled and paid professions with a broad range of understanding of their job that can help you assist and work across a wide range of projects.
But the rise in available tools enables you to use the technology which is at its genesis. Even if you are just starting off the business, you can consider hiring a remote virtual assistant. Which is there at your service as and when required and can help you manage almost everything from a distance. What's interesting is that it can also outweigh the investment as a whole, considering the tasks that Virtual Assistant can do for you.
What is a virtual assistant?
So let us understand what is a virtual assistant and what do they do?
To understand in a bit, a virtual assistant is an assistant who can be personal or executive, (depending on the nature of work requirement) who works remotely. It is also possible that they are based overseas who provide administrative assistance to the clients while working from outside of their office. It is a remote administration aid.
You may be surprised to know that Virtual assistants have been around since the 1900s, but nevertheless, their demand for the skill has started growing rapidly not very long ago. Let us understand some stats around the virtual assistants.
Understanding some virtual assistant statistics
Considering the changing culture, it is observed that the demand for virtual assistants is rising. As the matter of fact, in the latest Freelancer st 50 reports, virtual assistants are the second-fastest growing in the skills category on the platform. Demand for Virtual assistants jumped from 55.7% in the third quarter of 2019, from 7925 projects to 12,329.
And the demand is only set to grow, along with the growing demand for the other jobs related to virtual assistants. Various skills categorizing as the administrative such as transcription, data entry, bookmarks and classifications, bookkeeping, email handling are remotely fulfilled by virtual assistants that can handle a major range of tasks ensuring quality.
Understand Why should you hire a virtual assistant?
In our culture, having a personal assistant appears to be an elite’s cup of tea, however, that is changing. While people have started to understand the scope of what a Virtual assistant can be, it has become more “necessary” and desirable to have one for yourself as the benefits far outweigh the costs.
It can save a significant amount of money.
If you've considered hiring a personal assistant, a virtual assistant will also save you about 80% of the costs. Besides, virtual assistants normally work on an hourly basis. This means that you only use their assistance when you need them. Studies reveal that the maximum full-time employee is only productive for about two hours and 53 minutes out of an eight-hour day. Instead of paying for the eight hours, you can pay for the productive hours, selectively, instead of paying for the whole time.
It can increase your productivity
In addition to paying for productive jobs alone, the flow-on impact of employing a virtual assistant is that you can become more productive. With less time spent on routine duties and disturbances, you will concentrate on key company operations. Imagine what you could do if you could assign duties that would pull you away from the main game.
It gets your business organized
A business, big or small, has a lot of moving pieces. It can be hard to keep things in order and prevent big juggling activities. A virtual assistant will help you get your company going like a well-oiled engine.
It fills your expertise gaps if any
No matter how qualified a specialist you are, there are certain important tasks you don't have in your realm of experience. Social media may seem like an unknown planet for you. Maybe your mailbox is still full of unread texts. Maybe the blog post appears like a frustrating ride to nowhere.
Whatever expertise you lack, you can fill the differences with a virtual assistant. Achieve a work-life balance. That’s what is so interesting about this, you can end up being more productive by working less. It is not a wish anymore, it is possible with a virtual assistant.
Wondering what jobs can a virtual assistant do for you?
So, let's see what jobs can you entrust to a virtual assistant? It is understood that the tasks will depend upon the individual’s skills and expertise. However, there is a wide range of tasks that one can handle, let us see them one by one:
- Managing your Data
The amount of data that you have to deal with, while running a business may be overwhelming, irrespective of the size of your venture. Virtual assistants can collect all these data in a useful format efficiently and precisely, giving you an overview of your business at a glance. It is commonly known as Data Entry
- Managing your Calendar
It is expected that if you are an entrepreneur, you juggle between more than one thing at a given point in time, thus managing your schedule is important. Having a virtual assistant can not only help you manage and organize your calendar but also help you manage your time to ensure the meetings in place. It can act as a filter to guard you against unnecessary meetings and help optimize your time and plan your day effectively. All it will do is to ensure your productivity by helping you schedule meetings and manage people for you.
- Manage your important notes
It is highly likely to end up not gaining anything even at the end of an important meeting. It is hence essential to have a Virtual Assistant that makes notes and organizes your important data with the right priority. It can remember your points of actions that are decided upon by you, in between or around meetings. An assistant can help transcribe all the meeting conversations into actionable insights that can help you yield tangible results.
- Email handling
According to McKinsey, the average professional spends 28 percent of his day reading and answering emails. How would you like to accrue some of the time? The overwhelming number of emails that you receive will see extraordinarily valuable messages fall through the cracks. This can be avoided by a robotic assistant. They can filter out messages that don't need your answer, giving priority to those that do, and respond to you whenever necessary.
- Call handling
According to ZDNet, in 2016, practitioners spent 163 billion minutes alone on conference calls in the United States and the United Kingdom. This does not even take into account calls you may get from partners, consumers, salespeople, and colleagues during the day. A virtual assistant will help you screen through these calls, but you can take those that really matter.
Proper accounting requires time, precision, and know-how. Have it right and you can find places for cost savings, free up money for growth opportunities, and give your company a good cushion to make it through lean times. Have it wrong and you will ruin the bottom line and end up in deep trouble with the taxman. Bookkeeping is too important to neglect a business activity, and it's worth it.
- Online research
From flight planning and travel accommodation to arranging for crucial events, a virtual assistant can assemble whatever sort of research you like. They will also perform market research to help you better understand your clients and adversaries.
- Customer support
If the organization is big enough, you would need a whole team committed to customer service. But if you're only starting, you should allocate this role to a virtual assistant. Since most virtual assistants work on an hourly basis and only work as needed, this ensures that they can be around for customer service at times you wouldn't be.
All the examples so far are pretty simple administrative activities, and hiring a virtual assistant to handle them will certainly help you free up your time and coordinate your company. But also virtual assistants are capable of other highly qualified roles for which you will normally have to employ several experts.
- Presentation design
If you have a major presentation coming up, either for staff, customers or partners, several virtual assistants are specialized in graphic design and PowerPoint and can help you bring together a beautifully beautiful and unforgettable presentation.
- Social media marketing
With almost 3.5 billion active social media users around the country, it's a forum the company can't afford to neglect. Even if you're adept at social media interaction, it's incredibly time-consuming to use it as a marketing channel. And, if you're just beginning a company, you can not have the money to employ a committed social media manager.
- SEO marketing
If your company isn't available on Google, it may not exist. Bringing the website on the first page of the search results would require a lot of time and experience. Many virtual assistants have this experience, and they will manage the SEO activities. This encompasses everything from backlink construction to guest blog engagement to actual content creation.
- Web development
Any virtual assistants may also be specialized in web creation and may help you create a responsive website for your company or retain the one you have. How much should you pay a virtual assistant?
Let us understand the numbers!
The cost of a virtual assistant can change based on the roles you chose to give to them and the skill set you are looking for, so let's equate that to your other preferences.
According to Payscale, the median income of a personal assistant in the United States is US$43,068 per year.
You could employ an Executive Assistant for a more qualified level of administrative assistance. Payscale places the average salary of the Executive Assistant of the United States at USD 54,570 a year.
Average Freelancer Virtual Assistant Project is completed for USD 177. As we mentioned earlier, the hourly rate paid by virtual assistants vary based on the expertise you're looking for, but the median hourly rate charged by virtual assistants to Freelancer is about USD 7 per hour.
What should be your checklist when hiring a virtual assistant?
If you've chosen to employ a virtual assistant, there are a few steps you need to take to find the right person for a job.
Decide what tasks you intend to complete
Next, you can make a list of the things you plan to carry out. Be precise and comprehensive. Try to guess how many hours a week you spent on these activities, and then add them to calculate how many hours per week you may need virtual support.
Decide how much money you will expend
Next, you're going to want to decide on your budget. How happy are you wasting an hour? Is it a week? Is it a month? When you post a project to find a virtual assistant, you'll want to be specific about the budget that you're dealing with.
Decide and pen down a clear and focused proposal
Write down just what you need to do, how many hours a week you expect it to take, and your budget. Be very specific on the deliverable. What would be the success of the assignments you assign? Although you don't have to be thorough (you'll have a chance to discuss your idea in more detail. Always consider the Virtual Assistant that matches your requirements and aligns with your needs.
A virtual assistant will add an enormous amount of value to your company. It's not shocking that more and more practitioners are looking to serve this vital role.
Looking for a reliable Virtual Assistant resource?
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Sales & Marketing Head - Workathon