Virtual assistance services

Administration
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Managing emails, scheduling, managing reception, document handling and other secretarial duties

Finance administration
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Sending invoices and data entries

Research and analytics
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Collating data and stats, generating monthly reports and analytics

Marketing support
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Organising newsletters and emails, scheduling social media posts and executing daily marketing plans

Customer service
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Managing customer calls and emails, providing customer support

Project management
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Scheduling, following up, reporting and general project administration

Website support
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Updating the website’s content, testing, reporting errors or bugs

Virtual assistant

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?

  1. Increase productivity

    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.

  2. Lower your costs

    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.

  3. Focus fully on your business

    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?

  1. It may take time to find, hire and train

    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.

  2. You must work with them remotely

    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.

  • Time difference: If your task is time sensitive, then it’s best to hire an Australian virtual assistant instead.
  • Language barrier: Overseas virtual assistants may not be as proficient in English as an Australian assistant, which makes collaboration harder.
  • Local knowledge: Foreign virtual assistants may not have the local know-how or understand trends, cultural sensitivities and the local lingo.
  • Quality of work: A cheaper foreign virtual assistant may lack the experience and education needed to handle your business tasks.

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:

  • Their experience and education background
  • Previous clients and industries
  • Location and time zone, if relevant to your business
  • References, if available
  • English proficiency
  • Costs
  • Personality and character. You need to hire someone you feel comfortable talking to, who you can get along with and is proactive and honest.

How do you work effectively with a virtual assistant?

  1. Offer a working trial and provide training

    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.

  2. Document all procedures and rules

    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.

  3.  Be clear on your expectations

    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.

  4. Never let go completely

    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.

  5. Think long term

    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.