What is the Purpose of a Virtual Assistant?

Contracting with a Virtual Assistant is an important step towards focusing on your core functions within your workplace. It is not an admission of defeat, nor is it a sign of weakness. The fact is that all small businesses can benefit from using a virtual assistant. This may be in the form of relieving you of non-essential tasks, or even allowing you to take a much needed break from work, even if it is only for a day or two.

Naturally, you need to approach this correctly, putting a few measures in place, while also understanding how a virtual assistant can help.

Isn’t it Expensive?

Cost is always a factor in small businesses, and usually with good reason. A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who works for you only as needed, billing you per hour. Unlike a full or part-time employee, if you only have 10-hours of work a month that is all you pay for. And you aren’t having to pay for any benefits or leave pay. One method you can use is to look at what your hourly rate is, and to then delegate any tasks that can be done for half your hourly rate. This justifies the cost, while also ensuring you are making the best use of your time.

How Will it Help Me?

How many of your daily tasks do you actually dislike? These can all be delegated to a virtual assistant, leaving you to focus on the important stuff that you enjoy. The same applies to tasks that aren’t important to your core function – bookkeeping, filing, selected correspondence, even the maintenance of your website.

What Can They do for Me?

The short answer is, almost anything you want them to. Virtual assistants are not just limited to administrative functions, you will find that many specialize in a variety of high-level tasks such as marketing, design, social media, even lead generation. From an administrative point of view, a virtual assistant can manage your email inbox, sorting based on importance, and removing any junk. Or they could manage your calendar, appointments, and your company website.

Before you hire a virtual assistant you would need to decide which tasks you would want them to take over for you. This helps you determine how many hours you would use them for each month, while also helping you to find a virtual assistant whose services match your requirements. Any tasks that have a direct impact on your income or revenue should be managed by you, while everything else could be delegated.

What Should I Expect?

If you have never used a virtual assistant before, ease into the process rather than trying to delegate everything at once. You and your virtual assistant both need to establish a relationship first, understanding how each works and what the expectations are.

You will need to learn to communicate often and effectively, especially in the beginning. Begin by delegating a few tasks out at a time, and as your virtual assistant gets to know you and your operation, you can delegate more. This can be quite difficult at first if you are not used to delegating, but eventually you will develop a sense of what can and cannot be delegated.

As you find yourself with more time on your hand, you will begin appreciating the help, while using the time to focus again on growing your business and revenue. Not to mention the occasional three-day weekend. Overall, your relationship with your VA should be like dating .. after all, you are building a relationship. Build it well!

About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:

logo1bAt Out of the Office, we are committed to providing earth-friendly administration and offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.

Image credit: Patrice_Audet | CCO Public Domain