What is a VA and why your business needs one

Why you need a Virtual Assistant

Do you often feel like 24 hours is not enough for your day?
Do you forget things or start doing tasks and leave in the middle because something came up?
Are those little tasks keep piling up until they get in the way of other more important work?
Is having too much to do with so little time bearing down not just on you but on your business as well?

If you say YES to all those, then you might just need a Virtual Assistant to help you with your business.

A Virtual Assistant or VA is someone who can take care of these time-sucking tasks so you can focus on the more pressing matters of growing your business and do what you do best. A VA is someone who provides support to you and your business without being physically present; they can be located anywhere.

Since there is a wide array of VAs with different skill sets and strengths, you can pick the one that fits your needs. Are you having trouble with the social media management aspect of your online shop and need someone to take care of posting, engaging your followers and grow your reach? Get a VA to take care of that.

Need someone to reply to customer queries for your e-commerce business as well as fulfill orders and take care of uploading products? There’s a VA out there for that.

The trick is finding the right one for you and your business.

What can your business gain from having a VA

Having a VA does not only take care of things you just don’t have time for.

Having a VA means that you are maximizing your time by spending it on tasks that 1.) Needs your utmost attention and 2.) What you are good at.

Having a VA also saves you a ton of money compared to getting one in-house. As freelancers, you don’t need to pay for benefits. And you can hire them for the hours that you need work done.

How to find the right VA

Start by listing down what tasks you extremely need help with and are struggling just to get done.

Determine which ones you can hand off to someone else, and when I say that, I mean – “hand off,” and give up total control of. Some people recognize the need for a VA and hire one. But when the time comes for the VA to do what he/she is paid to do, owners tend to hover over them, not letting get the hang of the task and tries to micro-manage them which is a major efficiency crippler for both the VA and the owner.

Of course, you’re not going just to let the VA do anything; you will need to set some guidelines, some goals for starters. But for the most part, let them do their job.

Find great talents by looking for specific skill-sets. Don’t just look for a social media manager, clearly define what you want to be done, for example:

Someone who can handle your accounts, reply to messages coming through and engage in comments as well as post relevant content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

So you’ll need someone who not only curates content and use hashtags but can also indulge with communication with your followers and audience and can relate to your company brand.

What can a VA do exactly

The term VA is loosely used. A VA can do anything from clerical and administrative tasks to coding to digital marketing to writing and even business management.

That is the reason why their rates vary too. A more experienced VA may charge higher than a VA who’s in the business for a few months in most cases. The trick is finding out how good they are and how commensurate is their salary for the tasks you want them to do.

Here are some of the popoular tasks most VAs can take care of:

Administrative and/or personal assistant

* Email and Calendar Management
* Booking flights and appointments
* Answer and return calls
* Various levels of customer service
* Take meeting notes, transcribe and research

Marketing support

* Manage blogs and social media accounts
* Create slides or presentation
* Create sales materials
* Collaborate with other members of the team to get things done

Accounting and Bookkeeping

* Use apps like Xero, Quickbooks, Freshbooks, etc
* Some VAs as licenced accountants or have a degree in accounting

Sales
* Strategize campaigns and execute to drive traffic and sales through social media and e-mail marketing

And there are a whole lot more. Remember that different VAs have different skillsets, but if you find one, they can help bring your business to the next level.

Where to find Virtual Assistants

So where do you find good and capable virtual assistants then?

Linked In
Upwork
Fiverr
Facebook

And much more freelance marketplaces online! Post a job and wait for applicants to send in their proposals in minutes!

And the best part? They may already be in your network! Sometimes, asking is the best way to go.

Do not be afraid to ask for referrals. Whether you use freelance marketplaces or not, having a clear goal of what kind of Virtual Assistant you are looking for will help tremendously. Have a thorough interview process to get a better sense of the virtual assistant’s skills, personality, attitude and how well you can work with each other.

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