Virtual assistants offer low-cost support services so you may concentrate on your company’s main operations. Whether you own a major corporation or a small business, virtual assistants can assist you in reaching new heights.
Finding the perfect virtual assistant and managing them properly, on the other hand, might be difficult.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of helpful virtual assistant tools available on the internet.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about virtual assistants, including what they do, how to manage them, which industries they suit, and where to find the best ones.
Are you looking to hire a virtual assistant?
What is the role of a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant works from a remote location to assist businessmen and companies with a multitude of activities. From personal chores to digital marketing obligations, scheduling appointments, and event management, there’s a lot on your plate. A virtual assistant can be designed to carry out almost any task.
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is someone who works from a remote location to assist business owners with a variety of tasks. Virtual assistants can assist with a wide range of duties, such as:
- Digital marketing activities that are simple
- Management of social media
- Event management
- Report preparation
- Personal tasks such as booking hotels and restaurants
- Keeping track of appointments, calendars, and emails
It’s an endless to-do list! They can, in fact, do almost anything. Consider them to be Iron Man’s Jarvis. They are still a crucial part of your organisation, even if they aren’t physically present.
Three Good Reasons to Hire a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants can be found practically anywhere these days. They are becoming increasingly popular, and it seems that they are here to stay.
Below are a few reasons why you should consider hiring one:
1. Getting the Most Out of Your Employees
What would a mid or senior-level employee do if they had to choose between these two options?
- Assisting in the development of growth strategies.
- Routine reports are prepared on a daily basis.
Which option would they pick? Most likely, they’d choose option 1. Why? Because it is more interesting and appears to be more significant.
This does not, however, preclude you from undertaking everyday tasks such as managing money and emails. Your business would collapse if you didn’t do this dull, repetitive work.
So, how can you keep your internal employees happy while still getting the job done? With the help of virtual assistants. They are capable of handling the majority of ordinary tasks that can be done remotely.
What’s the end result?
A full-time employee (especially one who is more senior or talented) can stay focused on more important tasks that must be completed in person at your office.
2. Saving Costs
Entrepreneurs and firms outsource work for a variety of reasons, one of which is cost-saving.
Salary Cost Savings
Instead of hiring a full-time employee, you may outsource a small project to someone on an hourly basis. When dealing with virtual professionals, a lower salary isn’t the only way to save money.
Keeping Training Costs Low
A business owner can save a lot of money when it comes to training fees.
Organisations must typically train their in-house workers on tasks and responsibilities after clearing the hiring procedure. All of this needs time and money, both of which most firms lack.
Small business owners, on the other hand, can use virtual assistants to hire individuals who are already experts in their field. This reduces the need for business owners to invest time and money in training them, allowing them to get up and running straight away.
Another reason small business owners use virtual assistants is that it saves them a significant amount of time.
Let’s assume you are a small business without an HR department.
For someone in an entry-level position, your team should not spend hours posting job ads, conducting preliminary resume screening, and organising an interview process. Why not employ an expert to handle certain duties and avoid all of this?
This is what you’ll get from virtual assistants:
- You will have a list of vetted specialists to hire.
- Save yourself time because there is no training process.
- They get the job done faster than someone trying to manage many requests and they can focus just on the things you’ve hired them for.
It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.
What Are the Roles of Virtual Assistants?
Let’s be honest. “What Can’t Virtual Assistants Do For You?” would be a better title here. As previously stated, you can outsource a variety of tasks to them. Because there are simply too many to list here, we’ll only go over the most frequent virtual assistant jobs.
1) Work in Administration
You can hire virtual assistants to help you with a variety of tasks. They can carry out all of the duties of a regular administrative assistant.
This entails the following:
- Organising your diary – Meetings and appointments are scheduled.
- Answering phone calls.
- Data entry at its most basic.
- Keeping track of your to-do list and calendar.
- Travel booking arrangements.
Basically, anything that an administrative assistant usually does.
2) Personal Assignments
You may always engage a virtual assistant to assist you with personal responsibilities as well.
Listed below are a few examples:
- Making and keeping a personal to-do list and calendar
- Make travel plans for weekend getaways or vacations.
- Assisting you in the purchase of presents, books, stationery, hardware, and possibly even clothing.
Because many of these duties don’t require in-person completion, they can easily be delegated to a virtual assistant.
3) Creating Content
Content writing has ascended to the top of the digital marketing food chain in recent years. There’s a reason why huge companies have a lot of blog posts. It helps them improve their search engine optimization and increase the number of people that visit their website. Getting individuals to supervise this procedure can be a wise digital marketing move.
If you have a blog that is continuously updated, you can:
- Increase the number of people who discover it via search engines.
- Boost the number of people who click on it and go to your website.
- As a result, you’ll get more conversions.
The issue is that content production is difficult. There are a number of particular jobs in addition to writing, such as research, finding and editing photographs, publishing articles to your blog, and so on. That’s why hiring a virtual assistant to write your blog entries is a fantastic option. You can outsource just the ancillary duties, such as photos and uploads, or the complete process. Virtual assistants, for example, are increasingly being used by real estate agents and brokers for tasks such as content creation, open house planning, and social media management. By delegating it to only one individual, you can ensure that each piece of material has a personal touch and maintains a high level of quality.
4) Financial Management
Small company owners have this misconception that virtual assistants (VAs) can do their taxes for them. Yes, they could in an ideal world. However, at the end of the day, they are unable to perform any genuine accounting for you.
They can, however, assist you in managing your funds. They can keep track of your expenses, create budgets, and make purchases to keep your money as clear as possible.
What’s the end result? When tax season arrives, avoid the last-minute hustle!
5) Management of Social Media
Social media is a critical component of your marketing strategy. Many of your potential clients will see you and engage with you there.
Most businesses, on the other hand, appear aloof and separated from their potential clients; however, your social media presence can help to change that. If you don’t have the time, engage a virtual assistant to monitor your social media accounts.
They’ll be in charge of the following responsibilities:
- Producing content for your social media profiles.
- Posting schedules.
- Interacting with your audience.
- Statistic and report analysis.
Because managing a company’s social media presence is difficult, it is critical to have someone with experience in this position. While connecting with people, our social media profiles must remain viable. That is why many organisations use virtual workers to handle their social media activities at a macro level. They can monitor what are trends and patterns, observe interactions, and analyse data to determine what converts the best.
Any company’s growth strategy must include research. You won’t be able to grow unless you have some solid insights.
A business owner, on the other hand, cannot devote hours to research while running a tiny business. Whenever it comes to research, you’ll need a devoted person who speaks data crunching as a second language.
They should be able to do the following:
- Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing with their products and services.
- Examine current consumer patterns.
- Find press release formats.
- Examine affiliate program applications.
That’s a lot of investigation! As a result, assigning it to someone on your team who already has other responsibilities isn’t a good idea. It will almost certainly be too much for those team members.
As a result, small businesses and even large corporations are turning to virtual assistants for research. Because they have no other responsibilities, they can concentrate solely on gathering and analysing data to benefit your company.
7) Customer Service
Customer service became one of the first industries to use virtual assistants in large numbers.
Why? Take this into account. Because your customers aren’t conversing with you in person, you don’t need an in-house customer executive.
Furthermore, as most customer service interactions are centered on addressing concerns that can be easily answered from a manual, you don’t need a high level of expertise here.
If of course, your virtual assistants are unable to resolve a problem, the issue can always be ramped up to a full-time employee. Your virtual assistants only need to spend some time going over what you have to offer and they’ll be ready to answer any questions. It’s a perfect match!
What if you want your virtual assistants to have restricted access to your customers’ information? Instead of a less secure approach like screen-sharing, use co-browsing software like Talkative to set up a secure way to see your customers’ screens.
8) Email Administration
We’ve all been in that situation. When we opened our inbox, we found an army of unopened emails staring at us. Responding to all of those emails can seem like a daunting task. But it has to be done otherwise, you will find yourself in trouble if you leave this repetitive work undone.
That is why many businesses and entrepreneurs now outsource this to virtual assistants:
- They can skim through all of your emails to remove any spam that has made its way in.
- They can respond to job queries, general inquiries, and follow-ups.
- They can help you organise and filter your inbox.
- They are capable of managing email lists and running email marketing campaigns.
As a result, your email channel is still fully operational – without your intervention.
Virtual Assistants: Where Can You Find Them?
It’s evident at this point that having these virtual team members on your side can be really beneficial. They can increase your productivity, relieve you of routine tasks, handle trip preparations, and so on.
Let’s get down to the point: how can you choose a virtual assistant?
Because they are remote workers, there is always an element of risk involved.
- How will I know they’ll be working hard?
- How can I check their credentials?
- Are they reliable?
All of these are valid questions.
- The first option is to hire virtual professionals from reputable companies.
- The second option is to use a time tracking tool to ensure that they are working diligently.
Your selection procedure should also be effective in weeding out unsuitable candidates.
Check out this list of qualities to look for in a virtual assistant. But before that, let’s discuss where to look for them.
Marketplaces for Freelance Work
You have a number of prospects to choose from, and you choose one that appeals to you. It’s as simple as that.
Here’s what happens:
- You create a job posting on a freelance marketplace.
- Freelancers can react to the job posting if the work description appeals to them.
- You can then skim through all of the responses to find a virtual assistant who is a good fit for you.
However, there are a few obstacles.
- You must be extremely clear in the job description – it is not uncommon for disagreements to arise over what the requirements were once payday arrives.
- Each posting usually receives hundreds of responses.
- While this provides you with a large skilled workforce to choose from, it is frequently far too large to search through.
- Because there is no real interview process for inspection, you may have a lot of false applicants to deal with in a virtual staff finder.
The solution is to avoid most freelancing sites and concentrate on the more trustworthy ones.
This is the most frequent problem that anyone looking to hire a virtual assistant faces. When you work in an office, you get a sense of what everyone is working on.
But, after all, your mobile workforce could be up to anything when they’re 1000 miles away, right? However, there is a simple solution.
Make use of Time Tracking and Monitoring Software
You can use this to address these concerns and ensure that your virtual staff is working diligently.
Here are a few things to think about and how to deal with them.
How Do I Keep Track of How Much Time A VA Spends On A Task?
Because most VAs charge by the hour, time is literally money.
The issue is that they could always inflate the amount of time it took them to get a larger payday. So, how do you make certain that you’re only paying for hours worked? You can track how much time your virtual staff spends on virtual assistant tasks using monitoring software. All they have to do is click when they begin a task, and the app will begin tracking how long it takes them. When they finish the task, they can turn off the timer, and you’ll have an accurate record of how long they worked.
How Do I Know They Were Working During Those Times?
You can now verify how much time VAs spend on a task. But how do you know that time was spent on virtual assistant tasks? What if they ignored the timer and took a nap instead? To combat this, some software includes an inactivity tracker. If there is no mouse or keyboard activity for three minutes, the app assumes the VA is taking a break and pauses the timer. This way, you’ll only be charged for time spent actively working by the employee.
How Can I Tell If They’re Working On My Project?
While billing you, your VAs could be watching videos on social media sites. They might even charge you for the time they spent shopping! That is why monitoring software includes website monitoring features.
This is how you do it:
- You can create a list of non-work-related websites, such as Twitter and Facebook.
- If the VA visits any of these sites while the task timer is active, they will be greeted with a pop-up asking if they are still working.
- This is usually enough of a deterrent to getting them back to work.
- Regardless, you will receive a poor time use report for your VA, which will include when they accessed a blacklisted site and how long they spent on it.
This way, you’re only paying for hours spent actively working on the task at hand.
Use a well-known payment method
It’s critical to use a widely accepted payment method when paying remote staff.
The following are the reasons for this:
- They’re reliable, so you can rest assured that your money is going where it should.
- Currency conversions are significantly more accurate here.
- In terms of fees and levies, there is a lot more openness.
- Because they are well-known companies, your VA’s odds of having an account with them are better.
Here are your three best options:
Paypal is one of the most well-known payment services available today. It was founded in 1998 and is now one of the most widely utilised international transaction platforms.
- Nobody can match the reach that PayPal provides.
- It accepts a wide range of currencies from many nations.
- As a result, sending payments anywhere in the world will be simple.
- You also don’t need to create an account to start using it (but if you’re going to use it frequently, they encourage you to).
- PayPal is well-known for tacking on extra fees to transactions.
- All transactions are subject to a fee ranging from 0.3 percent to 7.4 percent, not including currency conversion fees!
- If that wasn’t bad enough, the VA’s bank may tack on a fee to any incoming PayPal purchases.
- That’s why many VAs avoid using PayPal since they lose too much money on these fees.
Wise, formerly TransferWise
Wise, originally TransferWise, was founded in 2011 and is already making ripples in the industry. Why? It fixes PayPal’s most serious issue.
The inexpensive charges are one of the reasons why consumers are switching to Wise. You only have to pay the currency cost and the mid-market exchange rate.
Your first transaction, as well as registration, is free!
Wise has a problem with its reach — or lack thereof. It only supports 49 countries.
If your VA is from an unsupported nation, it’s usually best to use a different platform.
Payoneer was founded in 2005, and its board of directors includes the former president of VISA and the former CEO of SWIFT. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the most widely accepted payment methods.
Payoneer is available in over 200 countries and 150 currencies! There’s no risk of your VA’s preferred currency not being supported this way.
Every transfer comes with a modest currency conversion fee. In many areas, they charge 3.5 percent if you pay by credit card.
Depending on the payment mechanism, Payoneer payments can take up to three weeks to credit.
Using a virtual assistant to increase productivity and develop your business is no longer a luxury – it’s on the verge of becoming a must. Any individual or corporation will benefit greatly from having a go-to person for almost all of their needs.
FSP GLOBAL GROUP is an international group of companies present in many countries, with its headquarters in Cluj-Napoca. FSP Global, the main company in the Group, is a leader in Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) sector and operates 24/7, 365 days a year. FSP Global provides exceptionally high-quality multichannel customer care experience and support through its call centers. FSP Global offers a wide range of services in BPO and is unique in its domain due to its impressive range of language portfolios, among which: English, German, French, Russian, Arabic, Hungarian, Italian, Romanian, Czech, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish, Ukrainian, Kazah, Bulgarian, Albanian, Burmese, Malay, Africaans and other 10 South African languages, Hindi, Urdu, and others. It provides services for clients in more than 25 countries from 3 continents all over the world, like Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Netherland, Romania, Ireland, Arabic countries, Czech Republic, Poland, Australia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Pakistan, etc.