I don’t need a Virtual Assistant!

Jul 6, 2010 by

How to make the most out of your Virtual Assistant

Have you ever thought about using a Virtual Assistant? Perhaps you use one already, but do you use them to their full potential?

A lot of people think that they don’t need a Virtual Assistant, that they can manage on their own. That’s fine, but is that the most effective and efficient use of your time?

Take a notepad and for one day write down every task you carry out, be honest with yourself.  At the end of the day review this list and ask yourself if that was really the best use of your time.  If someone else had carried out just some of those tasks for you would that have made you more effective, if you hadn’t been carrying out those tasks could you have generated more income?

When you start working with a Virtual Assistant it does require a time investment, they need to learn your business, but this is no different to employing someone in the office.  This initial time investment pays off in the long term however, as once your Virtual Assistant understands your business they are able to suggest more efficient and effective ways of working, they may spot areas where time savings can be made, or even financial savings.

Virtual Assistants are business owners in their own right, this gives them a different perspective to bring to your business, which you may not find in a traditional employee.  This entrepreneurial spirit means that they take as much care of your business as they would their own.

Virtual Assistants can assist with the day to day administration of your business but they can also offer more specialised services as well.   So what sort of day to day tasks can you outsource?

  • Call handling – as I have said in previous blogs this is much more than taking messages.  Even if you just divert the phone when you are busy or engaged it can make a huge difference.
  • Diary Management – let your Virtual Assistant set up your meetings, Google Calendar integrates with Outlook and allows your Virtual Assistant to book your meetings without having to work from your machine.  They can set up appointments, work out travel times, confirm appointments and also ring for feedback after the event if required.
  • Invoicing – Do your invoices get issued in a timely manner? Delays in invoicing create a delay in cash flow, your Virtual Assistant can issue invoices for you.
  • Credit Control – Do you get paid on time? Your Virtual Assistant can call and chase invoices for you.  If you don’t chase your invoices then you will end up bottom of the pile for payment as soon as your customers hit financial difficulties.
  • Travel Arrangements – From working out travel times and letting you know what time you need to set off for your meeting to booking hire cars, train tickets or flights your Virtual Assistant can help.  They can also arrange hotel accommodation and advise of suitable attractions/venues at your preferred location.
  • CRM Management – Do you follow up on enquiries? Do you diarise to follow up when it’s not required for several months? Do you have your contact information complete and in one place? Do you record customer contact? A CRM system can do this for you, in one place you can see your customers buying history, contact records and any actions you need to take. Your Virtual Assistant can set this up and maintain it for you.
  • Mail Shots – Do you want to send information out to your customers  but find you never have the time, simply let your Virtual Assistant do this for you, they can even carry out the follow up calls on your behalf.  Mail Shots could be in the form of brochures or leaflets or they could be surveys that you would like completed at various stages of the customer lifecycle. Do you send birthday cards, Christmas cards or thank you cards? Again this is something your Virtual Assistant can do for you, and give them a handwritten greeting and envelope to make your message more personal.
  • Internet Research & Submission – Do you spend a lot of time doing research on the internet or submitting information to various websites, including updating online webstores? This is something that your Virtual Assistant can take care of for you.
  • Presentations – Do you need to create PowerPoint presentations or video training guides? Your Virtual Assistant can prepare these for you, including printed material.
  • Niche Services – Virtual Assistants come from a wide variety of backgrounds, this means that as well as offering administration based services they can also specialise in niche areas, this could include transcription, legal secretary, medical secretary, web design, training and event management.  Some Virtual Assistants are also able to help you set up and maintain your Social Media presence.
  • Collaboration – It is in the nature of Virtual Assistants to collaborate, it makes their businesses stronger and allows access to a wider range of skills.  Use your Virtual Assistant as your right hand, ask their advice when looking for new suppliers or services. Most Virtual Assistants have their little black book of trusted suppliers and resources.  Through their collaboration they are able to make recommendations, saving you the nightmare of trial and error when looking for something new.

So if the prospect of a trusted right hand interests you, or you would like to discuss any of the points raised above then please do get in touch.  We would be happy to discuss how we can make your business more efficient and effective.

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