What is a Virtual Assistant and understanding what they do in 2021

By KatieJuly 4, 2021

A virtual assistant is a person who provides administrative, technical, or other support to another person or organisation. They are usually hired as contractors and work from a remote location. Most people think of assistants in the traditional sense - someone who takes care of scheduling meetings and managing calendars. But now, you can hire a virtual assistant to do just about anything!

From research to answering questions on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, there's no limit to what they can do for you. Here are some examples of tasks that a VA might be able to help with: Take care of data entry, answer emails, research information online, edit documents such as resumes or term papers, deal with customer service issues and complaints, Write content for your site or blog (like this article), create online surveys, run errands such as picking up mail or taking care of shipping.

Why You Might Want to Hire a Virtual Assistant

There are many reasons why people hire a virtual assistant. These include: 

Increased productivity – By offloading some of your workloads to other people, you can spend more time doing what matters most, like networking, prospecting for new clients or customers, and growing your business.

Saving money – Having a Virtual Assistant allows you to outsource mundane tasks without having to spend large sums of cash on employees.

Work-life balance – Most Virtual Assistants are willing to work around your schedule and availability. They can offer you services at any time of the day, so they're perfect for entrepreneurs trying to balance a family or personal life while running their business.

Specialised services – Virtual assistants can take care of anything from administrative tasks like making appointments, writing and editing content to more complex things like website design & development and marketing strategies.

With the growing popularity of virtual assistants, there are now companies that can provide these services for you at a reasonable price. These professionals have undergone training in order to learn everything they need to know about your business and its processes so they can best manage your tasks with ease.

What is a Virtual Assistant Business?

The benefits of hiring a virtual assistant company are numerous. There is no more waiting for a freelancer to get back from vacation while everything piles up in your inbox! With the help of one or many team members, you can have complete flexibility with when and how much work you do each day. 

Virtual assistants businesses are the best way to get things done, and they're perfect for small businesses. They offer a variety of services, so you don't have to hire various people such as graphic designers or marketing experts - you can now go to one place for all your business tasks! And what is even better is, if someone is out sick, others can easily step in. And not only do they provide more than one service but give you options on what suits your company's needs from start to finish with professional quality.

Should I hire a Virtual Assistant instead of an in-house full-time employee?

You might be thinking, "I could never hire someone online!" That's why we've created this blog post for you to learn more about Virtual Assistants and whether it's right for your business.

Virtual assistants work remotely and can live anywhere. This eliminates the need for an office or large space to accommodate employees. 

A Virtual Assistant is also cheaper than hiring someone in-house, and on top of that, they're more affordable! Virtual assistant services start as low as £25 per hour, depending on your needs. Because there's no payroll tax! and no worrying about holidays and sickness. Virtual assistants are great for small businesses that need to be agile and fast.

Virtual assistant services also give you the opportunity to have a Virtual Assistant that is not your typical employee, meaning they can work when it's convenient for them so there won't be any scheduling conflicts or time wasted with an employee coming in late all the time. A Virtual Assistant come equipped with their own technology, which means no more waiting on IT support!

Virtual services are the perfect solution for busy professionals looking for someone to help manage their business while still living life.

Getting maximum work value 

Business owners know that the success of their company relies on how productive their employees are. This can be tough to measure and even more difficult to change! But with a few changes in your business model, you could improve productivity and reduce employee turnover rates.

Virtual assistants are a perfect way to increase productivity without having the added expense of hiring more staff. Virtual assistants work from home or anywhere in the world, which means you don’t have to worry about paying for additional office space, and they can be hired on a project-by-project basis as needed.

Virtual assistant companies typically provide their client with an employee that is well versed in various aspects of business operations who has access to company data and files at all times. This gives your employees some relief as it takes less pressure off them, knowing that someone else handles everything while still being accessible when necessary through video chat or phone calls. Virtual assistants also give clients valuable insights.

 

What is a Personal Virtual Assistant?

A personal Virtual Assistant is a self-employed person who provides administrative, technical or creative assistance to clients on an outsourced basis. They perform tasks for one client at a time and typically have more knowledge in the fields they work with than generalist VA’s. The best virtual assistants are those that can be trusted, offer excellent customer service.

One of the great perks of having a Virtual Assistant is that they can take care of more than just work-related tasks. They also offer Lifestyle services allowing you to sit back and enjoy being taken care of while still getting everything done in due time.

What is a Personal Virtual Assistant?

Lifestyle Management

When life gets overwhelming, it is time to call in the cavalry. A lifestyle Personal Virtual Assistant service can take on your household chores and grooming maintenance, so you have more time for yourself, whether they are booking a table at an exclusive restaurant or paying staff that will source new utility providers.

Family support

Family Support

An experienced Virtual Assistant will help you find the best babysitters, schools and nurseries in your area. They can even research care homes near to you for when it's time to make arrangements. You'll never have a hectic summertime diary again!

Finding childcare is no easy task - but with an experienced VA on hand who knows what they're doing, finding that perfect caregiver becomes effortless- whether it be daycare or night nanny duties.

Travel Support

Travel Support

Virtual Assistants really do have all the answers to your needs. Whether it's a flight or hotel reservation that need to be made, they can handle everything! You just tell them what you want, and they will do all the hard work, and your virtual personal assistant will come back with some options for you.

There’s nothing these assistants can't and won't do!

What are the duties of a Virtual Assistant?

What are the duties of a  Virtual Assistant?

Virtual assistants can be an invaluable asset to a business owner, as they are able to help with tasks such as:

  • Scheduling meetings and travel arrangements for clients
  • Creating content for social media channels or websites
  • Researching data related to the company's industry sector.
  • reception duties and call answering
  • customer service
  • data entry
  • event planning
  • payroll and HR tasks
  • Lifestyle management

 

A Virtual Assistant can also provide a buffer from day to day admin work, allowing business owners to focus on their core responsibilities.

A Virtual Assistant is not held back by geographic location or time zone, meaning they have the flexibility of working 365 days a year if needed. This means that they are an excellent option for business owners with hectic schedules who would like to delegate some of their workload and responsibilities. A Virtual Assistant can help them by taking care of the day to day tasks that they cannot complete themselves.

How do you write a job description for a virtual assistant

How do you write a job description for a virtual assistant?

When you are writing a job description for a Virtual Assistant, it is essential to understand what tasks are required to do the Virtual Assistant (VA) work.

As a business owner, you should have an understanding of your day-to-day needs and how a Virtual Assistant can help fill those gaps. 

Things to include: List of the key responsibilities.Personal specification - skills, attributes and experience 

Virtual Assistsnat Skills

What skills does my Virtual Assistant need?

Computer skills are a must for any Virtual Assistant because all of the tasks they do involve computers. Furthermore, knowing how to use Word and Excel programs is necessary to complete these duties efficiently. One should also navigate the internet or World Wide Web as needed, especially if their client requires maintenance on his business website or database systems.

Self Motivation and Discipline.

There are many different types of tasks that virtual assistants might be hired for, but one thing all these jobs have in common is the need to maintain a healthy level of self-motivation.

 

Quick thinking and effective decision making are vital skills for a Virtual Assistant, and also have the intuition of what can be a possible intervention to whatever problem that occurs and the ability to process information quickly, all while staying calm.

Setting Tasks for a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants may be asked to do research, compile reports for meetings and events or other typical administrative work such as creating meeting agendas. The VA would use Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint in doing these duties.

If you hire a Virtual Assistant that doesn't have experience with the programs listed above, then they will need time to learn how your company operates before becoming fully functional on their own

Virtual Assistant, what is the cost?

How much will your Virtual Assistant cost? Many factors affect the price of a VA: hours per project and how long it takes to complete. You can also inquire about rates in bulk orders if you're hiring them for more than one task at once!

A Virtual Assistant will work with you to nail down these factors and provide an estimate. In most cases, it's a good idea to go ahead and have your VA give you a free no-obligation discovery call so that they can assess what needs doing and how much it would cost before starting on the task at hand.

A project-based service provides specific tasks that need doing at a set price point with everything spelt out upfront, so there are no surprises along the way. This one's best for small projects or when you're looking to try before committing!

How do I start working with a virtual assistant?

How do I start working with a virtual assistant?

Hiring a virtual assistant has never been easier. First, you need to figure out what your needs are and why you want to hire a Virtual Assistant is necessary. We'll walk you through the process of finding a VA or Virtual Assistance business for hire like ours.

  1. Discovery call: The Virtual Assistant will set up a call and go over your needs in detail. This call is an opportunity to ask about their experience, what they have done before, how much time you might need them, etc. They will also help with any questions that you may not be able to answer on your end, such as: "What are the hours?" or "How do I start a project?".
  2. Proposal: This is the step where the Virtual Assistant will outline what tasks need to be accomplished and estimate how much time and money it might take for those projects.
  3. Welcome information: After signing your contract, you will receive an email welcome with a pack of vital information. This document lays out the basic guidelines that you need to know about working with your Virtual Assistant and how to expect to communicate with them in order for this process to be as efficient as possible.
  4. Intake questionnaire: Your Virtual Assistant will email you a client intake questionnaire form. This is where they will gather all of the information, such as access to any databases or profiles etc. so that they can fulfil their tasks with ease and accuracy!
  5. The final stage of the process: After filling out the questionnaire, your Virtual Assistant will schedule a follow-up call to confirm any final details that were not clear in the form. They will also go through some initial tasks with you on how they can help and what their responsibilities would be and yours. Congratulations! You have just hired your new virtual assistant and are ready to get started right away!

Increase productivity

Did you know that hiring a Virtual Assistant can help increases your productivity?

As a small business owner, you want to do everything possible to increase the productivity and efficiency of your small business by hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) that can take some of the pressure off your plate so that you can focus on other tasks at hand.

One-to-one communication with a Virtual Assistant allows for more accurate reporting. Because they have direct access to our workloads every day, this means that you will spend less time trying to figure out precisely what needs doing from memory only or checking between several different documents just in case something was missed.

They also offer us someone who has all the skills needed inside and outside of office hours when many people's availability may be limited due to simply having family commitments too!

Check out our productivity tips for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking to get more done in less time so they can spend more quality time with family or doing things that matter most to their business.

Download it now!

 

work life balance

What are the benefits of a Virtual Assistant?

Do you find yourself spending an excessive amount of time taking phone calls and emails, scheduling appointments, and managing your social media accounts? If so, a Virtual Assistant may be the answer to your problems. 

You'll be able to focus on the big picture.

You'll save time by not having to worry about administrative tasks.

Feel like you have an extra set of hands in the office. 

Get more done in less time so you can enjoy life!

Hiring a Virtual Assistant can be beneficial for any business.

Why not read more on the benefits of a Virtual Assistant 

How to find the right VA for you?

The key to finding the right Virtual Assistant for you can be summed up in two words: research and timing. Research thoroughly by checking out their website, social media pages, reviews on Google or Linkedin etc., before contacting them about your specific needs/wants.

Timing is of the essence when it comes to hiring a Virtual Assistant. If you don't book them before they're in high demand, then there's no guarantee that they'll be available for your needs and can waste both parties' time if things go awry.

Resources for finding the perfect VA for you and your company

Why not read our blog post on how to get the most out of working with your VA

Association of Professional Virtual Assistants Find your VA (Accredited Virtual Assistant Directory)Society of Virtual Assistants 

Things to consider before hiring a Virtual Assistant

Things to consider before hiring a Virtual Assistant?

Before you work with a Virtual Assistant, it is worth checking that they have the right insurance and security procedures in place. This will help ensure your content remains safe on their server as well as providing peace of mind when working remotely.

🌟 Insurance

In today's world, it is crucial to ensure that your VA has the proper liability insurance. A VA may be advising in a professional capacity and often have access to sensitive material, which should cause you concern for their current policy. Ask them before hiring them if they can show proof of line coverage with Professional Indemnity Insurance as well as Personal Liability Insurance

🌟 Security procedures 

Running professional standard antivirus software, having an off-site data backup plan in place and being ICO registered are just three of the steps to take for securing your company's computer systems.

Running professional standard antivirus software is one way to secure a business' computers from malware or malicious code attacks. It should also have an off-site data backup plan that will store their most essential files on servers out of state where hackers can't reach them easily when they're attacked by ransomware, as well as be signed up with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

🌟 Cyber liability insurance or data protection insurance

It’s there to make sure your business is protected against cybercrime, things like fraud, data theft and social engineering where criminals attempt to fool you into parting with money, information or both. Data breaches are also covered when sensitive information has been inadvertently shared by the company in question.

🌟 Anti-money laundering scheme

The business owner should register with an anti-money laundering scheme if they are offering any financial services such as bookkeeping and invoicing. For example, it is recommended to register for a program like the National Association of Registered Agents in order to be compliant with UK law.

A registered agent provides many types of professional help, including accounting, payroll administration, annual compliance reports etc., so registering one's company will go towards ensuring that their finances stay legal and above board at all times.

 

A business owner can save time and money by hiring an online virtual assistant to help them with day-to-day tasks. While they may not be able to do everything you need to be done on your own, at the very least, they'll free up some of your precious hours so that you have more time for other important work like marketing or accounting.

 

If this sounds appealing, but you're still unsure if it will work in your situation, or you’re ready to hire a Virtual assistant, please contact us today! [email protected] 01423 642 811 - Our team is ready and waiting to chat about how we might best serve as a Virtual Assistant for you and your company's needs.

 

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