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An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Outsourcing a Virtual Assistant

Outsourcing virtual assistants is a growing trend in the workplace, and it is becoming more popular due to its flexibility and productivity.

As an entrepreneur, time constantly feels limited as your days also seem to get busier. Trying to manage every area of your business, along with staying on top of the digital and industry trends and changes, can sometimes have more negative effects than positive ones. Likewise, being regularly bombarded with heavy workloads hinder you from performing the best you can be. And that’s why you often have that burning desire to offload-the most obvious reason that has led you here in the first place. 

On the other note, the idea of putting your trust in someone else can be daunting, but you shouldn’t disregard that option until you have gathered all the facts, explored everything, and tried it. Sometimes you really need to step out of your comfort zone to move on to the next step.  

Hence, this guide will render topics around the fantastic world of hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) outsourcing company, including explaining why, when and how to outsource effectively. We will also tackle some of its benefits. Once you know all you need to know about Virtual Assistant outsource, you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

So without further ado, let’s get started. 

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant (VA), also known as a virtual staff or virtual personal assistant, is a professional who offers administrative, creative, or technical support to businesses’ tasks and projects remotely. The skill set and assistance of a VA are endless, and they literally come in all shapes and sizes.

The Types of a Virtual Assistant

The two main types of Virtual Assistant comprises the following:

General Virtual Assistant

A General Virtual Assistant (VA) is the most common kind of virtual assistant. A General VA is an individual who can take on daily tasks and business processes that are important for running your company but is not focused on necessarily growing it.

The most frequent duties that you may wish to assign to a General VA tend to be technical and repetitive in nature. As such, they typically include monitoring your business email or travel schedule, scheduling your appointments, data entry, conducting research, scheduling posts on social media, and much more.

Specialised Virtual Assistant

A Specialised Virtual Assistant is an individual with a distinct set of capacities and is highly skilled at managing or running a specific process within an organisation. They are more expensive than General Virtual Assistants due to the fact that they have a particular set of skills and will require minimal additional training from you.

Examples include customer service, bookkeeping, video editing, and project management. These are areas that a Specialised VA is traditionally skilled in and is better suited for. 

What is a Virtual Assistant Outsourcing?

Virtual Assistant Outsourcing refers to hiring a remote staff member from a business process outsourcing (BPO) company, in this case, a Virtual Personal Assistant or Virtual Staff, to take care of a set of tasks or projects. Doing so can lessen your and your employees’ workload and focus more time and energy on the things about your business that excite you.

Tasks You Can Outsource With a Virtual Assistant

Particular tasks are more suited to outsourcing than others. Generally speaking, it is terrible to outsource your core competencies (the primary services you offer customers). So instead, you can consider outsourcing these:

  • Repetitive tasksBasic bookkeeping, customer service, podcast editing, data entry, and scheduling social media posts often take up a lot of time that can quickly regulate by experienced and novice VAs.
  • Specialised tasks If you’re having a hard time dealing with niche tasks, for instance, IT and technical work, it might make sense to outsource this work to a specialised VA. They’ll be able to complete the job quicker and at a lower rate than your own.

To further go into detail, here are the most common tasks you can outsource or delegate to a remote Virtual Assistant: 

Diary/Inbox Management

A virtual assistant is an excellent tool because they can schedule meetings, manage and respond to email inquiries, and perform other tasks.

Poor diary management may negatively impact your schedule and create other complications you are unaware of. Missed diary entries, re-arranged meetings, overbooked appointments, how in the world are you supposed to accomplish it?

Virtual assistants often have a background in executive and PA assistance, so they are well-equipped for managing your inbox. If you plan on spending less of your time managing your emails and calendars, hire out of work from VA.

Email Marketing

Do you have an email marketing content strategy in the works that you’ve yet to complete but worry about developing it, creating graphics and segmenting your lists in a timely manner? For one issue, you might have too much to do at once for a limited time. Another consideration for your business is that you’ll want to highlight your brand and make it memorable. Many business owners run into this issue.

Delegate this to a Virtual Assistant, and you won’t ever have to worry about being bogged down with tedious and day-to-day repetitive tasks. Instead, you simply need to fill in your input, provide a brief instruction, and let them go to work. You’ll be surprised at how much weight is lifted from your shoulders by delegating marketing tasks like these.

Customer Service

A Virtual Assistant in customer service is prevalent in many different companies. They handle all customer-related issues or concerns via email, live chat, or phone with multichannel and omnichannel features. They respond to product questions, set up new customer accounts, and sometimes even take refunds. 

Data Entry

A Virtual Assistant can execute various data entry tasks, such as entering large amounts of info into a database, transcribing audio recordings, entering and deleting data in online calendars (such as Google Calendars), and inputting names and email addresses into contact databases.

Graphic Design

Graphic design is a practice that requires intricate skills as well as specific experience. So if you want excellent marketing material for your business that accurately and perfectly sums up what you are selling in a memorable way, be sure to find an expert.

A Virtual Assistant is trained in graphic design and can assist your business with creating your logo, building web pages, or maintaining responsive websites (such as WordPress sites). They can also prepare brochures, flyers, and advertisements with programs such as Photoshop or InDesign.

Content

A virtual assistant can take over if you need help creating articles, blog posts or even eBooks. They can also assist you with editing and proofreading your content. 

Social Media Management

Another thing a Virtual Assistant can do for you is looking after your social media accounts on behalf of your business. They will keep track of all the social media posts created by your company, write posts, schedule posts in advance, manage comments, and direct them to the appropriate team member. They will also help identify the type of content that should be shared and analyse how it affects your sales and overall reach. 

Social media accounts like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are increasingly vital to your clients’ lives and, therefore, your business. However, it’s not enough to put out a solitary post every couple of days. You must ensure you are present and everywhere as often as possible when your potential customers are absent-mindedly scrolling. 

Virtual Assistants work remotely full-time to update your channels with good content, so you do not have to give up your core company duties and business functions because of these obligations.

Here are more to-do list items you can delegate to your Virtual Assistant:

  • Hashtag research
  • Audience engagement
  • Social media graphics

Shopping and E-Commerce

A Virtual Assistant of this type may be helpful if you find it challenging to keep track of everything in your online shopping cart. In most cases, these assistants monitor the items your customers have previously placed in their virtual shopping carts through various affiliate links or other means.

They take over to ensure nobody accidentally misses their intended item, in the form of forgetting which item it was, having a family member purchase it instead, or unintentionally deleting the correct bookmark for the said page.

Moreover, Virtual Assistants are also experts in aiding businesses with their own product listings and handling online retail shops, such as Amazon, Google Shop, Shopify, and other apps. Hiring a Virtual Assistant to assist you with this task can help in cost reduction and increase revenue for your enterprise.

Managing Basic Payroll

One of business management’s most time-consuming, labour-intensive parts is payroll processing. Payroll is more than just calculating earnings. It also includes financial records about bonus deductions, taxes, overtime pay, employee incentives, etc. 

Irrespective of size, every company needs to know the proper methods for keeping accurate payroll records. Guard your company’s reputation by ensuring you abide by relevant legislation. 

Allow your Outsourced Virtual Assistant to manage your payroll system to ensure that all staff salaries and compensations are delivered promptly. For instance, your Virtual Assistant can log into online accounting software like Moolahmore and handle payroll for you as if they were working next to you in your office.

Computer-Related Services

Virtual Assistants specialising in computer-related tasks and functions can operate computers, send emails, watch videos, listen to audio files, and even browse the internet.

Furthermore, some virtual assistants can carry out more advanced troubleshooting tasks and complex issues, including fixing your computer or implementing security measures for your company’s network.

Benefits of Virtual Assistant Outsourcing

Keep Your Expenses Down

Virtual Assistants are a cost-effective alternative to in-house employees. As such, you don’t have to trouble yourself with office space and equipment costs, recruitment expenses and, best of all, no paying for unproductive hours. 

Scalability

Low costs and flexible packages make it possible for businesses to scale without doing everything alone. After all, teamwork makes the dream work. 

Access to Skill Sets

Working with Virtual Assistants allows you to connect to a portal of different highly premium skills you hardly possess. 

Claim Back Some Time

Working on tasks that don’t directly impact your growth or sales figures eats into your time. Delegating this to your Virtual Assistant will give you time back in your day. 

Work-Life Balance

Business owners are always seeking balance in their work and personal life. As such, peace of mind is the most impactful reason for hiring a Virtual Assistant. 

If you want to learn how VA Outsourcing can help you save money and improve your service, you can also check our blog post about that. 

When to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant?

You may be accomplishing everything by yourself, yet are you finishing them in a timely manner? Are you producing top-quality work? Do you see results? When you ask yourself these questions while battling time, knowledge, or interest, you should evaluate your work habits and think about what you work on.

Perhaps, outsourcing to a VA is the next step you need to take in reaching personal and professional aspirations. Here are some reasons you will probably agree and resonate with. 

  1. Your business started growing, but it requires another to get it to the next stage. 
  2. You always feel there’s never enough time for everything you wish to do in a day.
  3. Double bookings and missed appointments appear, with unfulfilled reservations as a result.
  4. You have to turn away from work, and it’s almost impossible to do it alone.

How do you get started with hiring a Virtual Assistant?

Define the scope of work

The first step is clearly defining the scope of work you will be outsourcing to a virtual assistant. It will help you identify the specific skills and experience that your ideal candidate should have.

Create a detailed job description

Once defining the scope of work, you can create a job description outlining the responsibilities and duties you want your virtual assistant to handle. Be sure to include any specific qualifications and requirements you are looking for in a candidate.

Begin your search

There are several ways to find qualified candidates for your virtual assistant position. You can post the job on online job platforms or contact an outsourcing company that can connect you with qualified virtual assistants.

How can you spot an excellent Virtual Assistant?

Suppose you decided to take a leap of faith and now find a Virtual Assistant. However, the task you tackle next can be tricky, especially when you are on new grounds. 

But don’t worry! By ensuring you zone in on some of the most valuable skills and qualities of a Virtual Assistant advantageous to you and your business, ensure that you will be on your way to spotting an excellent one. 

And to help you, we listed some below that we believe all VAs should have:

  1. Trusted
  2. Honest
  3. Initiative
  4. Knowledgeable of digital and market trends
  5. Experienced in certain specialisations 
  6. Highly-skilled 
  7. Can bring new ideas to the table
  8. Impeccable time management
  9. Organised
  10. Problem Solver
  11. Great communication skills
  12. Committed
  13. Diligent
  14. Reliable
  15. Resourceful

How to Work With a Virtual Assistant

A Guide on the DO’s and DON’Ts

When working with VA, these are the things you should do:

  1. Put your trust in your VA. Outsourced Virtual Assistants are trusted professionals who know exactly what they are doing as they did thorough research on their tasks before commencing. But in case certain aspects are not clear to them, they will ask. 
  2. Compose detailed directives and instructions. Tell the VA your expectations and precisely how you wish to achieve success. That way, you remain sure of receiving the outcome you desire. 
  3. Be upfront about your main priorities with your VA. They’ll be able to prioritise work in the order that caters best to your company’s needs. 

To digress, here are the things you should not do when you outsource to a VA:

  1. Don’t forget to set deadlines for work. If you need something finished by a specific date, tell your VA. They will make sure it is complete.
  2. Don’t micromanage your VA. You started outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant to free some time for you. They are professionals who are accustomed to working on tasks independently. 
  3. Don’t ignore your VA. Communication is critical, and keeping in contact allows you to keep track of delegated tasks, giving the VA a chance to suggest other ways to save you time. Note that it has to work both ways to make the collaboration successful. 

Conclusion

With so many tasks to complete, it's critical to understand how to ensure your virtual assistant is efficient and meets your needs.

Outsourcing to a VA is not just a good idea. They are a great resource for busy entrepreneurs who need help with a range of tasks. By going over this guide, you can ensure that your virtual assistant is working efficiently and meets your needs. Make sure to establish clear expectations and communicate with your VA regularly to keep the relationship healthy. 

Concentrate on driving your business forward with The Lead Enquiry. We are an excellent marketplace that can help you work out which aspects of your company can be outsourced most effectively with our pool of talented and experienced Virtual Assistants at hand. Contact us today. 

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