Running a business is challenging. Finding and hiring assistants or employees can also be a frustrating endeavor. To make matters worse, there’s never enough time in any given day to get everything done. For those who own their own business or company, whether home-based or office-based, there is no such luxury of being ‘done’.
Many consider hiring a secretary for the office, if the space is available and your income is such that you can afford to hire one. However, many employers cringe at the thought of retirement packages that must be negotiated and arrangements made for holidays and time off, including sick days.
However, in recent years, outsourcing has grown increasingly popular. That’s where today’s Virtual Assistants come in. There are many kinds of Virtual Assistants out there. Some virtual assistants gear their skills toward a certain profession, while still others are literal ‘Virtual Girl Friday’s’ who can strut their stuff through a vast array of skills that include proficiency with various computer programs such as Word, Excel and Power Point, running the financial side of a business office and transcribing notes, taped or video meetings into hard copy documents.
The most common tasks for Virtual Assistants these days include, but are not limited to the following skills:
- Internet Research – A good virtual assistant can help you and your business stay on top of current trends, or spend the hours necessary to research events, information or project planning tasks that you don’t have the time for.
- Record Keeping – Hate to balance your books or track your marketing or promotional endeavors and budgets? Hire a Virtual Assistant to do it for you.
- Making Travel and Speaking Engagement Arrangements – enough said.
- Managing databases and email correspondence and campaigns – ditto above.
- Phoning, Faxing, Communicating – Sure, you want to stay in touch with your customers and clients, but let’s face it – sometimes, there just isn’t enough time in the day to do it all.
Virtual assistants offer a variety of skills tailored to particular fields or professions. They also offer the benefit of savings, as you pay them to do only what you want them to, per job, or if you so choose, per month, for specific duties that range from providing transcripts from business meetings and interviews to creating and maintaining document files. They provide word processing services as well as support for overflow work.
The best thing about Virtual Assistants is that they are available at the click of a mouse. They’re there when you need them to provide research and secretarial support.
Make a list of all the things you dislike having to tackle in your job, and chances are there’s a way to outsource that list. With today’s demands on quality and skilled professionals, you should be saving your best for what you do best, whether you’re a self-employed business owner or run a busy office in a large downtown building. You need to focus on your priorities, which means your customers or your projects. Let someone else do all the rest.