Virtual assistants can handle essential tasks for you and your business. All virtual assistants are different and the services they provide can often be wide and varied. If you are looking to outsource your routine tasks, it is important to find the right virtual assistant for what you require.
At SmartPA, we have the largest talent pool of virtual assistants globally, allowing us to match you with the perfect virtual assistant for you and your business.
Much like a personal assistant, a VA can help with all kinds of admin and business support tasks. How you separate the good from the great is looking at the breadth and depth of their expertise. Below is a list of tasks and services a virtual assistant can support brands of all shapes and sizes with and what you should look out for in your future business support function.
Here are the most popular services that a virtual assistant provides:
Instead of turning to an automated voicemail or an overseas call center, did you know a virtual assistant can answer your phone as well? Whether you need overflow call handling or daily receptionist services, a VA can be the all-important voice and face of your business, presenting a consistent, professional first interaction to all customers and clients, ensuring that the quality of service is maintained throughout their journey with your brand. A flexible business support service will also be able to take messages, book appointments and transfer calls.
Just because your AGM needs to take place virtually, you still need someone to take the minutes, type up and circulate after the meeting. When conducting any kind of regular meeting, having accurate notes is crucial to ensure the right points get actioned and every attendee is aware of their responsibilities in the follow-up. Using a platform like Zoom or Whereby will allow for better visibility, but any conferencing software will allow for your virtual assistant to join the meeting and take accurate minutes.
The world needs to keep turning. There are contracts to send out, legal agreements to share and quotes to produce. If you’re struggling for time or simply too busy, then instead of turning to a temporary staff member, why not approach a virtual assistant? They can produce any documents you require including powerpoints, manuals and letters, using your branding and can deliver them to the required recipient. A proactive VA will always be sure to include follow up in their service and ensure your documents are of the highest quality.
Business support comes in many forms, and one of the most common tasks businesses need help with is bookkeeping. Generally, people start businesses because they are experts in a specific subject matter, so don’t worry if accountancy and financials aren’t yours. Instead of turning to (can be pricey) accountant, use a virtual assistant instead. Remember to make sure they have the relevant skills, experience and qualifications where required. If you’re after proactive support, a good business support service will suggest getting you signed up to a platform like Xero or Quickbooks, to ensure a streamlined process going forwards.
If you have a large leadership contingent, managing travel, dining and all other manner of expenses (no duck ponds please), can be a logistical struggle. Instead of tasking an internal member of staff to manage the heads of the business, turn to a virtual assistant instead. An outsourced support can liaise will all required members of staff and put processes in place to avoid complicated email exchanges and ensure superlative data capture. The perfect choice if you’re in more than one location, and by outsourcing your expense management, you avoid any difficult hierarchy challenges internally.
Diary and email management
If you’ve turned to remote working, one thing you will notice a marked increase in are emails and diary bookings. Conversations that might have taken place by the coffee machine now warrant a lengthy email chain and potentially a video conference session to nail out the details. If you’re finding that your productive time is being eaten up fighting to get control of your inbox, you can turn to a virtual assistant. They can be the guard of your precious time and energy and only get you involved with the emails and meetings that require your specific attention. A dedicated virtual assistant will follow your lead and build in breaks and time for certain projects if you need. No more drowning in outlook for you.
Social media management
A social media and marketing agency may seem like the first point of call, but did you know that a virtual assistant can support your digital brand building activities? Especially useful if you’re on a budget or have just started your business, you can turn to an outsourced support function to help with content creation, scheduling and community management. This gives you clear peace of mind knowing that your online brand is well represented and consistent with your website and internal marketing activities. Totally scalable, a flexible virtual assistant will provide suggestions, review the analytics and respond as your brand following grows.
Outbound approaches and prospecting for business can take time. While you might look to recruit an outbound sales assistant, a virtual assistant can be the first touchpoint for any potential customer of yours. They can draft messages, research prospects and reach out to your target list of dream clients. They can also manage the responses and schedule your sales calls to increase time spent converting. Suddenly what started as a business support function is now a business essential - especially during a time when you’re working as hard as possible to help your company navigate this brave new world.
One thing on the lips of every director and employer at the moment is the topic of government funding to cover salaries and other business expenses. Navigating HMRC can be a minefield at the best of times, but during times when your focus is needed on your employees and your bottom line, having a virtual assistant can be a relief. Someone who can do the research, find the right paperwork and submit the request for assistance is a small cost but the rewards of doing so could make all the difference for your business future. Remember to be very clear what you need support with, although a proactive virtual assistant will be sure to cover all bases to be sure you get all the best business help available.
Times like these make you consider what will happen in the future? A lot of business directors will be starting to think about crisis management and planning for future risk. If you have to move your workforce to remote working in a moment’s notice, who is going to handle your phones? Do you need consultancy on how to move your systems to be digitally accessed from anywhere in the world? Does your team need training on best practices when working from home? A strong business support provider will have trained their team already so they should be in a position to advise. We, at SmartPA, have provided our expertise to hundreds of organisations when it comes to remote working and business continuity. Find a virtual assistant that has the credentials to back up their claims.
Someone has called in sick. Now, what do you do? Turn to another team member to cover the phones? Or maybe phone the temp agency to see how quickly they can get someone over to your office… The former will create a semblance of chaos in the office while everyone adjusts to the new setup in a matter of hours and the latter is an expensive choice and time will be required to teach and oversee. You can have a virtual assistant on standby to step in the moment someone can’t make it into work - a great option if you need immediate support.