When you and your staff are free to delegate tasks, you can spend more time on more important projects that help support and further your small business. A virtual assistant is the perfect way to offload some tasks and allow for more efficient work from your staff.
Here's how a virtual assistant can help you and your staff increase productivity.
1. Bookkeeping. Keeping tabs on bills, invoices and your inbound income and outgoing expenses can be one of the first things to assign to a virtual assistant. Many small businesses make the decision to share their bookkeeping systems with their virtual assistants who can then follow up on tasks such as outstanding invoices or unpaid bills. Handing over a little bit of control and access can make a huge difference to your efficiency and productivity.
2. Data Entry. Whether you’ve just picked up a stack of new business cards at a convention or need updated information for existing contacts, virtual assistants are an ideal role for something to keep your contact system up-to-date. Be specific about your needs and expectations and be sure the virtual assistant has done this type of work before so there is a smaller margin for error. This is a great way to ensure that you’re following up with potential customers or clients on a more regular basis.
3. Online Research. Farming out Internet research to virtual assistants is another great way to free up time while increasing the reach of your small business. Common requests include discovering information on corporate websites, exploring new customers and vetting potential employees or business contacts. Again, send clear instructions along with user names and passwords so virtual assistants have the access they need to specialty search tools or paid websites.
4. Managing Email. To keep you from losing productivity by wasting time in your email inbox, employ a virtual assistant to filter your most important emails and respond to the rest on your behalf. Email management is an easy task to outsource to a virtual assistant but you may need to invest time on the front end to draft clear instructions on how to pick out key emails and replicate your “voice” online.
5. Scheduling. Because there are lots of scheduling tools available online, virtual assistants are an ideal medium to help manage your calendar. Tasks may include dealing with meeting invites from others, scheduling appointments with clients or customers and helping to plan events.
Bonus perk: Social Tasks! Virtual assistants can be a good investment to handle social tasks that may technically fall outside of your role within a small business but still end up costing you time and effort. Writing holiday cards, sending thank you notes and other common social chores can all be good work for a virtual assistant to help you free up hours to promote your small business.