What Is A Virtual Assistant
If you've never hired an assistant before, it can feel like a big jump. you've reached the point in your career where your scheduling, workload, and organization are too hefty for one person to do alone. If you or your business feel the need to hire an awesome new assistant, the task can be daunting. Plus, having a full-time assistant on payroll can be very hard-hitting on your company's expenses; this is one reason many people opt against hiring an assistant, even if they need one.
An assistant, however, is a positive addition to most businesses. They can keep your business ticking over, ensuring that the organization and scheduling are absolutely perfect. This not only helps your business day to day, but it also allows your reputation as a business to flourish, grow, and be considered reliable by outside parties.
What Is The Role of An Assistant?
Having an assistant is an amazing step up in your business. Assistants' tasks include:
- Providing administrative support. An assistant helps a business or individual flourish by providing clerical assistance for the business. When you run a successful business, it's so easy to get behind on your paperwork. This leads to a disorganized mess later on! An assistant helps keep your filing in order.
- Managing travel. If your business involves travel, an assistant can book, manage, and essentially overtake your travel arrangements. This leaves the stressful, complicated side of travel out of it, helping you focus on the job at hand.
- Scheduling. Like an extension of a receptionist, an assistant can schedule your appointments, organize your entire diary, and keep arrangements from overlapping. This helps you to keep track of your days and ensures you are prioritizing the clients and arrangements that need the most attention.
- Compiling documents. An extension of the scheduling and administrative support, assistants can compile reports if provided with the right information. They can condense lengthy documents into small points for you to look over in your busy schedule.
- Organizing expenses. Of course, all company expenses are processed and organized by an accountant - but in the day to day, an assistant can help manage the day to day expenses by compiling receipts, keeping the books in order, and keeping track of expenses.
- Taking phone calls. Just like a receptionist, an assistant can take calls from important clients and help them get through to the right person in the business. They can also schedule appointments over the phone and provide excellent customer service all round.
How Do I Know If I Need An Assistant?
An assistant is a big step to take for your business. It means you've reached the level at which you can't function on your own, and need help with your clerical and organizational needs! This is a very positive thing for your business - it proves that things are going well!
So, when should you hire an assistant? Any business can benefit greatly from an assistant, but some factors you should consider are cost, workload and stress level. If your company employees are becoming overloaded by their administrative workload, this can distract from the tasks they have which are more important. Similarly, if your business is financially succeeding and can afford to hire an assistant, it is something you should consider.
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is just like an in-house assistant, with a few tweaks. A virtual assistant does not work directly in your office building but can work from anywhere in the world. Using cloud technology and the wonders of our modern world, this assistant effectively and successfully fulfills the roles mentioned above.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were forced to work remotely. Many of them, indeed, have found that this innovative way of working is both cost-effective, and provides better quality of work and life for their employees. A virtual assistant takes this remote-working model and utilizes the best parts of it, by helping your company thrive from elsewhere in the world.
What Are The Advantages of a Virtual Assistant?
There are many fantastic advantages of a virtual assistant. Moving with the times means trying new things, and this new way of working creates so many opportunities for your growing business.
Your virtual experience might not be in your office as a face-to-face employee, but that doesn't mean their standards are lower. Every virtual assistant hired has clerical experience which provides them a fantastic skillset to work effectively for you and your company. This experience will drive them to succeed in their role, even from afar. Working with a virtual assistant means putting a huge amount of trust in them; these assistants provide you with experience and insight which instills a positive, trusting relationship.
Even though they work remotely, virtual assistants can aid your company just as easily as an in-house hire. This thanks to cloud technology and the existence of fast, safe online business operations. Nowadays, you don't have to be in the same room as somebody to have a conversation with them. Furthermore, you don't have to work in the same office as someone in order to work together. Those days are gone. In the future, remote working will have a huge role in providing fantastic company relations from afar using technology.
A virtual assistant can organize your schedule, make appointments, manage multiple diaries, and organize expenses in the same way as an in-house assistant would. Plus, there is total transparency, because everything is online and plain to see.
Removing Office Politics
The current office climate is very focused on maintaining peaceful, professional relationships. Office friendships can be wonderful, but can also provide a level of bias when it comes down to making crucial business decisions. Plus, office hierarchies can lead to complex situations which are a distraction from the company's goals and achievements.
With a virtual assistant, office politics are removed from the equation. The assistant will work diligently alongside you with a friendly demeanor, and mutual respect is very important. However, by not physically being in the office, the assistant is presented with a neutral environment that leaves office politics at the door.
Hiring an assistant as a growing business is a risky move. Although the business has clearly risen to the level of success that demands an assistant, which shows promise, things can change. Placing an assistant on payroll and in a firm contract can lead to financial issues down the line if the business' success begins to fall or experiences a dip. Now more than ever, businesses are fragile, as the economic state of the world is ever-turbulent.
A virtual assistant is managed by a separate company, and they are highly cost-effective. A virtual assistant does the same job as an in-house hire, for a fraction of the price. Due to their remote working environment, you need not provide physical desk space for them in your office, reducing costs in this area, too.
With a virtual assistant, if your company's circumstances change, their work can change too. This setup allows you to change your package depending on if you want to expand (or reduce) the assistant's workload. This allows your business to safely adjust its financial outgoings alongside its profit margins, helping your business thrive in the long run.
Virtual Assistants for Small Businesses
Why are virtual assistants so fantastic for small businesses? Small businesses are often the most fragile. They are the most vulnerable to any volatility both from their competition and the market they are in. Small businesses, if given the right environment to flourish and grow successfully, can emerge stronger from any hits they take.
A virtual assistant is the perfect halfway house between hiring a full-time, in-house assistant for your small business. The work they do is clear, good quality, and helpful, but they do not become a financial suck for a fragile small business. Small businesses may not have the amount of workload that is required to hire a full-time assistant; the great thing about virtual assistants is that they can be hired for as much or as little work that is required.
Virtual assistants can provide a sea change for a small business that wishes to thrive and needs help. If you run a small business and need an assistant with clerical experience, who can organize your day-to-day and provide fast, good quality customer service, a virtual assistant is perfect for your needs!
During this turbulent year which has brought many challenges to businesses in all industries, across the world, a virtual assistant could be what your business needs to thrive. Keeping things in order while minimizing costs is the goal of many businesses in 2020, and with a virtual assistant, this can become a reality! Researching and exploring the option of hiring a virtual assistant could be a decision you thank yourself for down the line. Move with the times, and step into the future of running your business in exactly the way it works for you.