There are many daily tasks that are necessary to keep the cogs of the business world turning. If you are like most, then you probably find that they are not the most valuable use of your time.
How many of you get a deluge of emails every morning (insert hand to face here in frustration) and have to weed through them all? Do you sometimes miss vital information? Yes well, this is just one of the many ways a Virtual Assistant can help. Email management is just one of many tasks that you can let go of, yes I said let go, yes you, and outsource to a VA.
Here are ten tasks that you can delegate to a VA and how they can help.
- EMAIL AND CALENDAR MANAGEMENT
If you use an online email program like Gmail or Outlook, then you could assign a daily schedule to a VA to check, filter and perhaps respond to your emails on your behalf. Freeing up valuable time that could be re-directed elsewhere. Some people need help organizing and filtering their in-boxes (getting rid of those scam emails offering you a large sum of money or an enlargement of one or more body parts for good), this is something that can be arranged and managed for you.
Most businesses are using interactive calendars to allow for easier scheduling from iPhones, tablets, etc. Interactive calendars allow easy access for VA’s to be able to handle scheduling of appointments on your behalf. Arranging conference calls, appointments and so much more can all be outsourced and taken off your list.
How many of you like doing your books? Hands up. Ya, I thought so. Most of us either don’t enjoy accounting or don’t have the time. More often than not it is the lack of time. Why not outsource your accounting to a VA, who can make the entries into your books for your accountant. Think of all the time and money you will save having it all ready to go at tax time. For some businesses and independent contractors such as Realtors managing all the receipts and bills can be a huge task. Virtual Assistants can help with this and make your life easier and perhaps save you money at the accountant or in payments to the Government.
- ONLINE DOCUMENT STORAGE ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
Most of us are now using some form of Cloud storage like Drop Box or Google Docs. After a while, they can become a huge Hodge Podge of documents and files if not managed properly. VA’s can help get your filing system organized and check in on it from time to time to ensure that it stays organized. It is also an excellent place to share information with your VA.
Most of us are promoting our services, businesses and selves online now rather than through print. While print is still important, there is now the aspect of social media. With the help of programs like Hoot Suite and others, you can easily post to multiple sites with a couple of clicks. We all know we have to market ourselves and our businesses to bring in new clients and service our existing ones, VA’s can take over this daily/weekly/monthly task. There are many out there who have backgrounds in design or advertising and can brand, re-brand, create campaigns, and manage campaigns and more.
- WEB DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT
To please the Google machine, we are forced to update the content on our websites regularly to avoid no man’s land where we quickly become invisible. Some of us need to develop a website before we can worry about the Google machine and our relation to invisibility. There are more and more VA’s out there who work in WordPress, or similar platforms, and have experience developing sites. Some have their site developed by another company and then a VA manages the content from there. Managing a site can take a lot of time and effort. Handing this job off to a VA to do daily, weekly or monthly is just another way to keep your business or yourself at the forefront and to push forward.
- WRITING AND EDITING
Almost all VA’s offer as a general service writing, editing and proofing of documents. Some will have specialized areas of expertise like medicine or Government. You can hire VA’s just to handle one document you require, many or ongoing. More and more documents are being published to be compatible with e-readers, and this is another service provided by some. You can hire a VA to convert your latest book or white paper into an e-book for people to download from your site or sent to Kobo or other online publications.
- TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS
Setting up a trip can be time-consuming with all the research and phone calls, so let your VA book that business trip. They can work with your travel agent or handle the research for you and get everything set up. Perhaps you are planning to get away with your partner or the family; a Virtual Assistant can help with that too.
Hiring a new member of the team can be a daunting task with all the screening, interviewing and reference checks. Some Virtual Assistants offer ad posting, pre-screening, phone interviews, final interview appointment setting and reference checking as a service. If you are a small business or an individual that does not have the luxury of an HR department to do this for them, then this is another item to tick off your list to hand over to a VA.
- DISTRIBUTION LIST AND DATABASE MANAGEMENT
With more and more restrictions implemented on mass emailing and distributions lists, privacy laws, etc. we are having to become more and more diligent keeping our lists up to date. Why not set your unsubscribes to be sent to a VA, they can keep your list up to date for you. Need someone added to the list, forward it to your VA to add into your contact management system, simple, easy and now you can forget about it.
Databases can be a headache to maintain or to clean up. If you have ever been to a conference and come home with a bag full of business cards to enter then you all know that nine times out of ten they end up in a stack in a drawer or in a shoe box and never get entered or contacted. Databases are always in a state of flux and require updates, additions, removals, campaign applied (depending on your software). What about when you take your mailing list, send out an email or mailing and have all those bounce backs or return to sender messages. VA’s can be a valuable resource for keeping all things running like a Swiss clock; this ensures that contacts and possible business don’t fall through the cracks.
- PRESENTATION DEVELOPMENT AND FORMATTING
Presentations are a key way to show off who and what you are all about, your products your services and more. They are a lasting impression and if not done right can convey the wrong message. VA’s can set up plug-n-play templates based on your brand or the requirements for the presentation, so you have them moving forward to use. They can also take that Word Document, charts and images and turn it into one stellar promo piece that will knock the socks off the audience. There is nothing worse than sitting through a presentation that is poorly thrown together complete with spelling and grammatical errors. Have a VA vet it first, add in your branding and make it yours. Something to be proud of and something profound.
Do yourself a favour if you are ready to let go and delegate, keep a log for a week of all the things that take up too much time, you don’t like to do or need to get done. At the end of the week work out how much money it all cost you and work out how much money you would save outsourcing it. How much potential revenue could you generate with more time on your hands?