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Virtual staff can carry out a whole range of tasks - Check these out

Every business wants to scale up their operations and expand but even if you fully embrace the idea of spending money to make money, who wouldn’t love a cheap way to grow their company? One of the most expensive aspects of operating a business is in paying your staff. Hiring someone can cost a lot of money each year and you’d be lucky if they pulled their weight and did enough work for you to warrant paying them. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case most of the time with startups and it’s important that you make enough of a profit so that you’re at least breaking event.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this; virtual assistants.

It sounds like a futuristic concept where a computer can take over your daily needs, but the reality is far simpler and practical than that. Virtual assistants are essentially skilled professionals that act as your assistant but are not physically located in your office. It’s something that is outsourced to individuals around the world and they’re an inexpensive way to pay for the services you need and no more.

But what exactly can a virtual assistant do for your business and is it really worth the money? Let’s find out!

1. Online Research

A useful task that you can ask your virtual assistant to perform is online research. If you’re a company that relies heavily on factual sets of data to make business decisions then you may want to consider this option because a virtual assistant can not only help you research different subjects, but they can also enter the information into a document and compile it for you. Another good use of online research is to vet employees and business contacts such as scouring their social media profiles for hints on their behaviour and reputation. As long as you give your virtual assistant clear instructions that are easy to understand, you’ll have access to a lot of speciality features.

2. Accounting

Accounting is often seen as one of the most time-consuming processes that you could perform on your own. As a result, hiring a virtual assistant to help you keep tabs on your bills and perform all of your accounting-related tasks can help you free up a lot of time in your day. This is especially true if you’re tired of rummaging through your invoices or cloud accounting software to calculate your incoming and outgoing, and they can even help you chase down clients that have outstanding invoices.

3. Data Entry

Every now and then you may need to hire a virtual assistant to help you enter sets of data such as contact details from several business cards you collected at an event or translating printed media into digital while also inputting the data into a spreadsheet for sorting later. This can be a surprisingly time-consuming process but it’s possible to hire a virtual assistant to help you perform the task. As long as you’re very specific about your needs, there will be no mistakes and you will have your data entered fast and efficiently.

4. Social Media Management

Virtual assistants are great for handling social media tasks. This could mean responding to incoming messages, it could be cleaning up your followed accounts or it could even involve purging your old messages and deleting them from existence. There are countless different tasks that could involve social media management and an experienced social media manager can make quick work of any of those tasks.

5. Task Scheduling

Scheduling tools are a great way to stay organized especially if you’ve got a long day ahead of you. However, setting your schedule can be difficult especially if you’ve got multiple meetings and tasks to take care of but are unsure how to spread them out throughout the day for optimal efficiency. Whether you need to figure out the best way to tackle each task while weaving them between meetings that you’ve planned with business clients, your virtual assistant will be an indispensable aid to your busy day.

6. Email Management

If your inbox is regularly filled with emails from clients wanting to work with you or social media followers that are trying to get in touch, then a virtual assistant can help you manage inbox and respond or organise emails into categories that you have personally set. For instance, you could ask your virtual assistant to remove any emails that look like spam or come from emails that are not in your contact list, or you could ask them to filter out emails that don’t include certain words. You can give some incredibly detailed criteria and your virtual assistant will save you plenty of time when dealing with an inbox filled with emails.

7. Document Management and Creation

Every now and then you may be required to compile reports using information that you have gathered or researched. For instance, you could be presenting a new product or some statistics to clients in the near future, but you don’t have time to compile a cohesive report amongst your other tasks. A virtual assistant can help by compiling those statistics and turning your data into a coherent presentation, document or anything that you specify to your virtual assistant. This is a fantastic way to create and manage documents that could be incredibly important to the success of your business and it can save a huge amount of time especially if you don’t consider yourself very fluent with things like word processing software or spreadsheets.

As you can see, a virtual assistant can fill a huge variety of roles and this shortlist isn’t the entire range of services that they can offer you. Virtual assistants are incredibly flexible and you can have them perform plenty of different tasks for you to save time and also cover any weaknesses of yours that could be preventing you from being productive. In short, virtual assistants are incredibly useful as long as you give them the correct guidance and are specific about what you need them to do for you.