In this era of the Digital Age, more and more people are turning to the Internet to make their work and play easier and more accessible. They are also using it to work less and play more. Companies and individuals alike understand the importance and value of digital employees and have employed and are using the services of virtual assistants than ever before.
What Are Virtual Assistants?
Virtual assistants are home-based, skilled professionals, offering businesses and entrepreneurs administrative support remotely instead of within the traditional office setting.
When you choose to hire a virtual assistant the first thing you’ll want to determine is whether you want them to be an employee or a self-employed contractor. There are pros and cons to each arrangement.
When you hire an employee, even a remote one, you’ll need to provide any benefits your other employees receive, as well as add them to the regular payroll. Additionally, an employee may receive training from you if the company needs someone to take on a new responsibility.
If you choose to work with independent contractors or a freelancer, you will have none of those responsibilities. But, you will have little control over what hours they work or be able to demand when they can be available.
To be designated as an independent contractor, an individual must be free to determine how the work will be done to completion, free from the client/company’s control.
The contractor is responsible for the final product only as far as the terms of their contract requires. However, a contractor already has the knowledge to complete a project so no additional training is required from you.
Just like hiring a regular employee, make sure that you conduct an interview process before hiring them. It’s important to ask questions if they have the qualities and knowledge that you’re are looking for. If possible, request for references.
Aside from their pay rates, it’s also important to know their time availability. Some of these virtual assistants are working for more than one employer.
Where To Find a Virtual Assistant
The short answer, Everywhere. Ask a friend or another employee. I found my Virtual Assistant from my programmer.
Just as the internet provides the opportunity for the concept of VA’s to work, it also provides locations, and even platforms to easily find, hire and pay them.
Here’s a shortlist of websites that provide freelancers and businesses a way to find each other.
- 24/7 Virtual Assistant
- Assistant Match
- Fancy Hands
- People Per Hour
- Red Butler
- Time Etc.
- Virtual Assistant USA
- Virtual Staff Finder
- Worldwide 101
Create a list of tasks you are willing to delegate, weigh the pros and cons of permanent hire vs freelancer, and find a site that will best provide you with the easiest way to find the right fit for you.
Why You Need The Services of a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is an online worker that can be quite valuable to any business or entrepreneur.
No one person can do everything.
Having a VA would help you scale up your business, allow you time to spend on managing the more important tasks, increase your production and output, and even free up time for your personal endeavors as well.
These days, since it has become so easy to set up, outsourcing should be a standard part of business recruitment plans. One of the biggest mistakes a lot of entrepreneurs make is not delegating enough.
The ability to assign certain tasks to qualified individuals will allow you to focus on what really matters. You simply cannot do everything by yourself.
Additionally, if you go the freelancer route, as a small-business owner themselves, your VAs are as concerned with your business success as they are on their own.
Your success is their success.
Here Are Some of the Most Popular Virtual Assistant Services:
Most virtual assistants focus on administrative tasks services that are similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary, they simply work and do it from home. However, with the growing number of VA’s available, their offerings now run the gamut, making it easier to find the right fit for you.
Entrepreneurs can now hire a VA for everything from making vendor or customer service calls to sending out thank you cards to clients.
Not sure where to start? Aside from the usual tasks, you may have an Executive Assistant do, here are some more ways you can use a virtual assistant to improve your business.
Keeping tabs on bills and other bookkeeping matters can be one of the easiest things to assign to a virtual assistant, keep in mind, you will need to hand over some control including passwords and account access.
You can easily delegate Internet research to VAs. Be sure to send explicit instructions, along with any login info needed so assistants can get access to specialty search tools or paid websites.
Database entry services
Data entry is a very suitable task for VAs. Why have one of your permanent employees get tied up with a short-term project, like converting your Rolodex into a digital filing system, when you can set up a temporary gig for a VA to do it.
Turning raw data into a clear presentation for meetings. Do you have all the info but don’t know how to make it interesting to an audience? Let a VA with PowerPoint expertise do it for you.
VAs can be a good bet to handle tasks such as writing cards or thank you notes.
Because many scheduling tools are available online, virtual assistants are managing the calendars for many of their clients.
Industry knowledge prep
With limited time to keep up with related news, small businesses have turned to VAs to keep tabs on important happenings within their industry. Many executives then use the information to update their Twitter feed.
Social media management
Speaking of Twitter. Let’s face it. Social Media is here to stay. But keeping up with the ever-changing options that Social Media can provide has basically become a full-time job. This makes it an excellent job for a VA to handle.
Web content management
The job involves curating web content as well as reviewing, republishing and finding and resizing images as needed. A web writing experience is a plus for this position.
Video creation and editing
Proficiency in professional video cameras and video editing software is what you should be looking for in this VA position. Your VA should be able to produce high-quality engaging videos.
This is an opportunity for a company to use a virtual assistant to help them with their projects. A good proofreader should be able to perform such tasks as reviewing content and correcting grammatical errors, punctuations, content consistencies, and accuracy.
Marketing campaign management
A virtual campaign manager can help you or your firm develop a marketing strategy for your business as well as the measurement of product promotions and other advertising campaign performance.
Hiring a virtual assistant will leave you with more time and energy on your hands to focus on the more important business matters, like creating new products, developing your business, and enjoying extra time with family and friends So, make a list of tasks you are willing to delegate, weigh the pros and cons of permanent hire vs freelancer, and find a site that will best provide you with the easiest way to find the right fit for you.