If you are the owner of a small business, you probably spent most the early years dealing with most of the duties required to keep the business operating in an efficient manner. You know the kind of duties that, though mundane in nature, are very much a part of any business or entrepreneurship:
Clerical work that includes everything from answering the phone(s) to typing up contracts and balancing the books, in addition to writing checks to merchants which, ultimately, is the task that determine whether or not you get the services necessary to keep your business operational.
Those early years in business consist of some of the longest days – and some nights – a small business person or entrepreneur has to endure. You are afforded very little time for rest or leisure because, in addition to doing what you do best (generating revenue and managing the business), you had to do everything else.
As an entrepreneur you know your time and money are worth more when you are able to concentrate on what you do best and leave the rest to an assistant. The kind of assistant you can readily afford without the need to establish workman’s compensation, or withholding and payment federal and local taxes on behalf of your employees.
I’m referring to Virtual office assistants who work from their own home-based offices and are highly trained in their skill areas as well as a variety of technologies. Many of them have advanced degrees as well as years of professional experience. Not only can a virtual assistant relieve you of mundane, everyday tasks, but also in many cases, s/he can even help you grow your business.
One of the biggest benefits to hiring a virtual assistant is the ability to delegate work to people who have better skills, and can do work you don’t know how to do, don’t have time to do, or just don’t want to do.
The next big draw (when considering virtual assistants over bricks-and-mortar assistants) is that virtual assistants only clock-in and work when you need them and use their own resources. In other words, they’re not charging you to sit there and play solitaire on a computer you purchased for them.
Here Are Some Reasons that Justify the Use of Virtual Assistants:
- Your VA receives calls routed to his/her home office phone and your prospective customers do not receive a voice mail. You pay only for the minutes that the VA is on the phone
- You need to confirm appointments for the week. Your VA calls the appointments and notes who is confirmed and who must be rescheduled. Your VA even updates your calendar online, if you’re using a mutually accessible calendar program.
- By purchasing a software program that installs a desktop electronic billing system on the VA’s computer, billing can be done off-site. The software vendor technical support trains the VA to use the program, then you email or fax information to the VA, who then does daily electronic billing or accounting services to get your billing done.
- You are preparing a marketing plan and need further information. Your VA can contact possible advertising outlets on the Internet, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, etc. and acquire information on pricing, publishing dates, publishing deadlines, payment policies, etc. All information is compiled into a report for you to review.
- You are preparing a direct mailing and need to verify your database. The database is sent to your VA via email attachment. Your VA telephones each name and verifies name, spelling, title and address. All corrections are made, old names are deleted, and new names are added. The corrected database is “zipped” and returned to you via email attachment.
- You need a brochure, business card or flyer for your business. Your VA can design, type and print your advertising material using your own artwork or stock art. Your VA can also make the materials ready to print by a professional print shop and simply email the file to the shop for printing.
To be continued. Look for more VA skills in our next post