What Is a Virtual Assistant
Every startup owner wants rocking success in their business endeavors.rocking success in their business endeavors.
Do they achieve success?
Here is a reality check: 9 out of 10 startups fail. This is a hard and bleak truth. And the main reasons for failures are the lack of right resources, scarcity of funds, no market need etc.
Successful startup heads understand this and hire the right people without increasing the operating cost. How do they do it?
Most of them hire virtual assistants to be more productive.
Now, you must be wondering about ‘what is a virtual assistant’?
This first chapter of our How to find a virtual assistant- A Definitive Guide will provide in-depth information on what is a virtual assistant. After reading this chapter, you will have a clear idea of what a virtual assistant is and what they do.
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
According to PC Magazine,
“An individual who works at home performing administrative functions for clients. Virtual assistants (VAs) communicate with clients via phone, e-mail, instant messaging or some other collaborative software.”
Virtual assistants are not those who are sitting in an ivory tower – they are real people completing challenging tasks.
Leading companies, such as Buffer, Mozilla, Genuitec, etc., only hire distributed teams.
And you will be surprised to know that telecommuting for work climbs to 37% in the US. This means 37% US workers telecommunicate.
The point here is,
The trend of working remotely is catching up very fast.
“I think that in this day and age Virtual Assistants are invaluable – not only do they increase your productivity on the things you already have to do, they help you to focus on things you couldn’t focus on before (the things that are crucial to giving your business the edge over the competition and expanding it!). My wife and I both work from home, which is a big help, but when she or I are stacking too much on our proverbial plates we do have a few trusted VA’s that we reach out to for help on outsourceable stuff and it makes a world of difference.
The way businesses are starting up these days a lot of them have virtual teams spread across the world, not just in a central office, so having VAs help manage these remote teams is where we are in the modern workplace. The VAs get extra money and are able to work from their own homes for it, and remote agencies are able to increase their productivity and income as a direct result – it really is a win win for everyone. If you haven’t tried it, or are scared to try it, invest in a good VA and you’ll be surprised by the results”, says Andy Sowards.
What Does a virtual assistant do:
Alina Dizik has explained in her Andy article on Entrepreneur – top 10 tasks that you can outsource to your virtual assistant:
- Online Research
- Database entries
- Data presentation
- Managing emails
- Social tasks
- Travel research
- Chasing business
- Industry knowledge preparation
In addition to these tasks, you can use your virtual assistant for, but not limited to:
- Converting your daily status report notes into the client specific status report format
- Summarization of key emails coming from your clients and subcontractors
- Transcribing your voicemails into emails
- Making traveling arrangement
- Doing follow up with sign-ups required
- Doing research about your competitors
10 Things You Must Start Delegating to Your Virtual Assistant
Here is how a virtual assistant has increased the audience of my friend’s recipe website.
“Rebecca is 34, a single mom, who is running a popular recipe website. She is very good at creating a blend of traditional and modern preparations.
In the beginning, everything was under control. But once her site started to attract visitors, it became difficult for her to manage her website.
There were hundreds of comments on the website and social media channels. A big chunk of her time was spent on replying comments. She didn’t have time to create new recipes.
One fine day, she made up her mind to hire a virtual assistant. Now, she only does is to write a recipe in simple word format.
Everything, from content updating on the website to replying social channels, is taken care by her VA.
She has more time for creating new recipes. Her website is being updated on a daily basis. More cooking aficionados are coming on her website.”
The best part of hiring a virtual assistant is,
You can focus on the things that are of high value and you can outsource nonsensical tasks to a VA.
Is hiring a virtual assistant is costly?
Nope, hiring a virtual assistant is not costly at all. In my previous blog post: Virtual Assistant Vs In-house Employee: What Successful Entrepreneurs Choose, I have provided a cost comparison.
You can save $3000 initially and $18.75 per hour if you hire a virtual assistant.
You don’t have to train a virtual assistant, which might not be the case if you hire a regular employee.
You may need to spend $308,000 annually on training for a regular employee.
Virtual Assistant Salary:
You can hire a virtual assistant for $4.5 per hour*. However, you should make sure that you choose one of the best virtual assistant companies to hire a virtual assistant.
Reading virtual assistant reviews can be a great help in making an informed decision.
Rebecca, my friend, hired her virtual assistant from India after reading reviews. And she was able to get an awesome VA for $5 per hour.
When Is It Time to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
It is rare to find an entrepreneur who doesn’t feel overwhelmed juggling with multiple tasks at the same time.
So, when is it time to hire a virtual assistant?
Brandon Turner explained perfectly in his article on Entrepreneur,
“Before hiring your first assistant, be sure to have a clear idea of what tasks they might be able to take over from you.”
Which tasks should you delegate to them?
The answer is simple.
You should delegate tasks that are of low-value, such as making traveling arrangements, managing emails, Internet research, etc.
The right time to hire a virtual assistant is when you are not able to focus on your core business activities due to low -value tasks that you are entangled with.
Virtual assistants are a secret weapon for startup heads for success. Virtual assistants not only save money but also boost productivity.
Unlike a regular employee, you will pay your VA on a hourly basis. What’s more, you won’t have to spend any money on training if you take a VA on board. So hiring a VA is a surefire way to success.