In a world of shortened work hours, remote locations, and too many tasks to handle, business owners have multiple challenges to contend with. Having someone help you on your journey to success is a must. What once were secretaries are now virtual assistants, and to stay current in your business – you really need one. Are virtual assistants the future of remote work, or the luxury of the lucky few?
With the rapid progression of tech and digital tools as well as their mutual (co)dependence, we may be looking into a future altogether free of offices, working hours, and desk-bound assistants. Although this seems to be a far-fetched prediction, or even a form of wishful thinking, it’s good to be aware of this possibility. On that note, we’ll be talking about the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant, what virtual assistants do exactly, and ways this is all linked to remote work.
What’s a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is a skilled professional or a team of professionals, who offer their business support services virtually. They are independent contractors who are located off-site and work remotely. Their primary specialty is to provide an array of services such as creative, administrative, technical, and legal support. Just like “regular assistants,” virtual assistants range in skill and price level, from junior to executive level.
Most virtual assistants focus on a specific niche. This works perfectly for employers who need educated and focused experts. Further, they’ll understand your industry better than someone who isn’t focused on a particular specialty.
What’s a Virtual Assistant Supposed to Do?
A virtual assistant’s task is to help you stay organized and on top of every assignment in your schedule. Let’s say you work remotely, somewhere on the beaches of Spain. On autopilot, you forget the majority of things you need to do for the day or just find no time to do them. The outcome? You potentially jeopardize collaborations with existing or potential clients. Even if you get a chance to fix it, it’s bound to happen again – until it never happens again because no one wants to work with you anymore. Too dramatic for you? It is, but it’s also a possibility. This is where a virtual assistant jumps in to save the day; that is, they jump in much sooner to prevent things from going astray.
For everyone who’s working remotely, but also those who just need an extra hand at the office, hiring a virtual assistant could be crucial. Not only will a virtual assistant remind you of things you need to do, but they’ll efficiently complete the tasks you have delegated. Naturally, you won’t delegate all tasks to your virtual assistants, but the key ones that you find either too draining to focus on, or those you feel someone else (read: more experienced in the niche) would do better. By doing so, you’ll free up your time, stay mentally focused on your other tasks, and do much more work than initially planned. You know what that means – more clients, more revenue coming in!
Some of the tasks you can delegate to virtual assistants are:
- E-mail Management
- Social Media Management
- Webinar Management
- Website Creation and Design
Aside from these, there are plenty more macro and micro-tasks you can delegate. But again, the idea of hiring a virtual assistant in the first place is to be able to spend more time on the core components of your business and extend your reach by always delivering a quality product.
Is Having a Virtual Assistant Really as Helpful as It Seems?
For people doing remote, virtual assistants are a saviour. Here’s how you can benefit from one:
Get the Best VA from a Pool of Selected Talent
The VA who you carefully select understands your niche, is experienced in handling tasks, and knows how to approach specific problem-solving. What’s particularly great about this arrangement is that there are no geographical restrictions, yours or theirs, for this to happen! You select from a global talent pool to ensure you pick the best candidate.
Time to Focus on Core Competencies
Whether you are a business owner, a supervisor or a freelancer looking to maintain an image, it’s essential you concentrate on core functions of your tasks. Instead of wasting time and energy on things you are not that good at or that take much time, allow a VA to do it for you.
Flexible Work Times
People doing remote work know that there are no working hours; one day, you’ll be working for two hours and finish everything, while the other will take you to ten hours (or more!) before you are done. With that in mind, a VA follows your schedule. Meaning, if you know you’ll need help for 10 hours that day, they’ll stay for that many hours. Plus, you can easily scale up your work hassle-free, without worrying you’ll be late to a deadline. Flexibility is the key to success here.
You Get More Leisure Time
Burnout’s a primary concern of business owners, workers, independent contractors, and freelancers alike, alerting us to the necessity and importance of rest. Unfortunately, times are tough, and everyone seems to be too overworked to function. Too many tasks on our plate, leads to a complete lack of sleep, which results in unhappiness, chronic fatigue and – ultimately – a drop in productivity. Hiring a VA to assist when there’s just too much to handle is the sanest thing you’ll do today.
When you just don’t have it in you to finish that proposal, post, webinar, copy, design, etc. trust the VA to do it for you. And, while they are doing it, take that time to sleep, rest, spend time in nature, see people you love, exercise, see the family or go on a trip. You’ll come back from this “leisure time” twice as productive and happier than you were before.
Only Pay for Time Spent on Projects
A fantastic benefit of hiring VAs is that you pay them per hour of work completed. This is perfect for freelancers and everyone who wants to stay within a budget. Some VAs even offer discounted monthly packages, which ensures them steady clientele and you – more money in the bank.
The future may or may not be remote, but it sure is painted with remote colours and some touches of VA. Next time you need help, choose a VA to help out – it may be great.