A Quick Review of Virtual Assistants
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent individual who provides and supports clients and other businesses from a remote location. In the year 1990s, the term virtual assistant rose up when technology improvements like high-speed internet became a popular medium to make transactions in long distances, which made working remotely became possible.
Virtual assistants nowadays are in high demand by small businesses, online businesses, and entrepreneurs that need help yet need not bring the staff to their offices. These businesses hire a virtual assistant to complete a wide variety of tasks for administrative, technical, and creative(social) assistance.
Types of Virtual Assistants and the Job they Do
Administrative/General Virtual Assistant
One of the more common types of VA, they do administrative and secretarial duties such as managing contact list, handling, billing and accounting, and handling basic HR duties. The lists below are the important tasks administrative virtual assistants do.
- Managing emails and phone calls
- Schedule meetings
- Book travels and accommodations
- Manage contact lists
- Prepare customer spreadsheet and keep online records
- Organize manager’s calendars
- Perform market research
- Create a market presentation as assigned
- Address employees administrative queries
- Provide customer service
Technical Virtual Assistant
These visual assistants manage technical stuff, fixing errors, and making website back-ups. Here is a list of important tasks technical virtual assistants do.
- Website, Blog creation, and maintenance
- Social Media marketing and maintenance
- Shopping cart updates
- Internet researching
- Emails and newsletter
Creative/Graphics Virtual Assistant
These are the virtual assistants who create images for social media presentations and for branding depth. Here are some of the most used tasks of the creative virtual assistant.
- Graphic design
- Blog Writing
- Repurposing content
Advantages of Having a Virtual Assistant
Nowadays, as technology is improving so fast, working with anyone, anywhere in the world is possible as long as a high-speed internet connection is present. Here are some advantages of having a virtual assistant in businesses and companies.
1. Reduced Operational Cost
Hiring a full-time worker will cost you a lot since you are going to pay not only the salary but of the following
- Sick and Holidays leave
- Medical and Dental benefits
- Employee’s Compensation
While hiring a virtual assistant since they are independent contractors they handle their own expenses, pay their own taxes, benefits, and insurances. You will only pay them for their time and that’s it.
2. Saves Time
Looking for the right person to do a specific job to help you in your business is not easy. You have to go through a process from posting that you are hiring and even advertise it, then wait for applicants, resume’ and set up interviews.
Then, you have to take time for interviews, choosing the best ones, to get your goal of hiring the best one, sometimes you have to go through a second interview. It takes a lot of time before you could finally add staff to your workplace.
But why do you have to go through that process when you can hire a virtual assistant who can help you with a lot of things.
In an actual 8 hours of work in a day, do you think workers are really working productively? Most of the office workers do the actual productive work in less than 4 hours a day.
Well, virtual assistants don’t work that way. Working at their own pace, in their comfort zone, they are able to focus and dedicate their time to completing their task.
Since they are working as a freelancer, their goal is to make client satisfaction. If they won’t pass the deadlines, the company might not hire them again. For this virtual assistants are the motivated ones.
4. Reduced Workload
As an entrepreneur or a business owner, sometimes your important task becomes clouded due to unarranged schedules. In these situations, VAs are very helpful, as they can focus and do several tasks. They can help you with the following.
- Email and Phone Management
- Market Research
- Content Writing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Online Marketing
- Web Designing
These VAs are skilled in many areas. They can definitely decrease the workload and help keep everything in place. They make sure that all the given tasks will be completed within the given time frame.
With the VAs help, business owners and entrepreneurs keep running their businesses smoothly.
5. Customer Handling
Customer service is one of the very important parts of the business, as they are the walk and the talk of the brand line. However, handling and taking care of customer service calls might eat up all your time.
Virtual assistants can help you in this aspect, as they can make calls to
- Procure quotes
- Connect with business partner
- Gather information and important messages on your behalf
You can always have your VA manage all the calls for you while you’re in other important meetings or work.
Qualifications of Virtual Assistants
There are no educational qualifications and requirements for virtual assistants, however, most of the clients will look for those who have higher education and specialized training. At this moment of time, there are few online companies and community colleges that offer short courses for virtual assistants skills.
As a virtual assistant, you must have a wide range of technology and computer skills and a high level of proficiency on the internet commonly used tools and business programs. Yet there are personal qualities a virtual assistant should have.
- Trustworthy. Trust is a must in a virtual assistant. No matter how highly qualified you are, if clients can’t trust you, you will definitely lose your job. If you are given a task you must get it done without supervision. Since the goal is to make their life easier.
- Time Management. Virtual assistants must focus on the tasks given, however, most of the VAs do multitasking that’s why it is very important to plan ahead and schedule the task on which you’re going to do first.
- Good Communication. Keep your client updated on all the tasks you have completed.
- Resourcefulness. Virtual assistants required to provide solutions and solve problems for clients. You’ll be asked to do a lot of things you’ve never done before. You don’t need to know everything but you need to have a system in place that will allow you to find out.
- Accuracy. It is human nature to make mistakes but as a virtual assistant, you must avoid making mistakes. Before finalizing the task be sure to review everything.
Virtual Assistants are always ready to help you with your business. Taking all your worries, arrange everything for you to make your business more productive.
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Check out our pricing for virtual assistants for your business.