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Managing emails, scheduling, managing reception, document handling and other secretarial duties
Sending invoices and data entries
Collating data and stats, generating monthly reports and analytics
Organising newsletters and emails, scheduling social media posts and executing daily marketing plans
Managing customer calls and emails, providing customer support
Scheduling, following up, reporting and general project administration
Updating the website’s content, testing, reporting errors or bugs
Hiring a virtual assistant is a great option for your business when you need to scale up without spending a fortune. They are especially handy when you have a sudden increase in workload or when your business is facing a crisis and needs extra resources.
What are the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant?
The most obvious benefit is when productivity increases. Your business can also run more smoothly, especially if you set proper rules and procedures in place.
You can reduce your overhead costs as virtual assistants don’t require an office, insurance or superannuation. Because you’re only paying for what you need, the cost of a virtual assistant can vary from month to month when you have fewer tasks.
With extra time in your hands, you can focus on making an impact daily. One hour of working on business strategies may be worth $100 if you hire a consultant. On the other hand, one hour of doing data entry and working on spreadsheets may be worth $25 if you hire a virtual assistant. Doesn’t it make more sense to outsource a $25 task, so you can work on a $100 per hour task?
What are the drawbacks of hiring a virtual assistant?
It may take some time before you find the right virtual assistant that can fit in with your company culture and requirements. This may require researching online for hours, messaging people or spending money on a job ad. Furthermore, you must spend time training them after hiring, before they can work independently on their tasks.
Virtual assistants may be unreachable or unavailable during your working hours. You may not be able to hold a meeting in a spur of the moment as you would with an employee in the office. You will also have to manage working remotely with them.
How much does a virtual assistant cost?
It depends on the service you are after, as well as the skill level and experience that the virtual assistant possesses. They may charge by the hour or offer a package with a basic fee.
As a general guide, the more specialised a task is, the more expensive the rate is per hour. While overseas virtual assistants tend to be cheaper than Australian virtual assistants, there are many disadvantages for hiring someone offshore.
How do I choose a virtual assistant?
Currently, there is no designated or single qualification for a virtual assistant. They are usually experienced in performing the required tasks from previous employment, businesses or have graduated in the specific area.
Some virtual assistants cater to a specific target market such as home businesses and startups, or a specific industry. Consider these factors when choosing a virtual assistant:
How do you work effectively with a virtual assistant?
It’s better to have a trial period before hiring them for the long term. Train them during this period before fully handing over the tasks.
Ensure you have a comprehensive set of documents outlining all the details, standard operating procedures and rules. This will help your virtual assistant immensely in delivering an excellent job. Getting someone up to speed is also quicker with proper documentation.
Clarify your goals and what you expect from them. This includes KPIs, reporting and communication. Defining these items clearly will help avoid any confusion and disappointment.
Always check in with them, get their feedback and discuss things with an open mind. You should offer support and guidance in the early days to establish a good working relationship.
Always work towards building a long-term relationship with your virtual assistant. Hiring and firing frequently means you will waste money and lose productivity, which will impact your business.