A virtual assistant is usually a freelancer or a professional with experience in industry or business assistance. If you’re starting to think about expanding your business then here’s why you should start by hiring a virtual assistant: you need to concentrate on organically growing your business, expanding your client base and improving your branding and marketing – you do NOT need to be stuck answering pointless emails and trying to re-organize your system.
What are the benefits to a virtual assistant?
You’re likely at a point in your businesses development where you’re starting to break even or even starting to turn a profit. You’re also probably starting to see your workload mount up and it is starting to threaten to overwhelm you. Checking your emails in the morning now takes twice as long as it did a month ago and in a month it’ll likely be even worse. A virtual assistant can cut right through all of that before you even get in to work; they can sweep out the pointless and refine the important.
A virtual assistant can help free up both your time and focus so that you can start thinking about moving the dial on your business, and really invest some time in stepping it up a notch.
They are also good at relieving stress not because they’re yoga masters (though some might be) but because they can help lend perspective to your vision and cut down the administrative work you need to do to succeed.
If you need an assistant that comes fully trained, as well as providing a service without being a physical presence that would otherwise mean you would have to find a new office, then the ‘virtual’ is exactly what will help your business excel. Like a quality website it will greatly benefit how your business is perceived.
What type of work can I give a virtual assistant?
In short, anything that doesn’t require them to be there. In practice, virtual assistants can do a myriad of things except bring you coffee. They might cut down the hassle of emails by screening them before you read what’s important as well as responding to queries on your behalf.
Usually they are well organized and can help to go through your online files, deleting things you don’t need and updating things you do. Scheduling of appointments and booking travel arrangements for business meetings and trips would fall under the appropriate jurisdiction of a virtual assistant.
On top of day to day activities, a virtual assistant is often versatile enough to handle individual projects that you yourself do not want to complete such as manage projects that are not of vital importance to your company’s development or carry out market research into a competitor and compile all of the information in a concise format for you.
How do I get a personal assistant?
As there is more than one way to skin a cat, there is more than one way to hire a virtual assistant. The method you use often depends on both individual preference and availability.
Regardless of which method you will choose, you first need to outline exactly what you wish your virtual assistant to do for you. This can help attract the right sort of assistant that understands both what you expect as well as knows how to complete the tasks wanted.
Another option that often yields the most cost effective and appropriate responses is using a freelance network like oDesk, where freelance virtual assistance will be able to bid for an hourly wage as well as show you their qualifications. The advantage of this method is that oDesk facilitate the hiring of the freelancer, from payments to academic tests. It makes it easy for you to select the right person for the position and then to manage their ongoing work.
However you go about it, a virtual assistant can be a very valuable asset to your work at home enterprise.
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