If your startup needs help getting off the ground, Virtual Assistant (VA) services might be the right choice for you. When you engage with VAs, you don’t have to worry about sorting out payrolls, employee benefits, office space, or downtime.
Moreover, you pay the VAs only for the services rendered, as per your contract terms. In fact, 87.7% of VAs are paid hourly. These remote workers can do a wide array of tasks- from product development to high-level management.
No wonder VAs have become immensely popular. Perhaps, this is why 59% of Virtual Assistants (VAs) are full time employees and not gig workers.
Like the idea of hiring a virtual assistant, but not sure which tasks to assign to VAs? Fret not!
Here are the top 10 tasks startups often outsource to Virtual Assistant(s).
1. Secondary or Online Research
When you are starting-up, business development is a top priority. But, researching new products, reading about competitors, etc., is also critical. While you may want to keep control of business development, farm out the task of conducting online research to a virtual assistant.
Create a brief that enlists the information you are seeking along with usernames and passwords so VAs can gain access to paid databases, websites, etc.
2. Accounting and Bookkeeping
Why waste time creating financial accounts for your startup when this task is one of the easiest to hand out to a virtual assistant? Anyway, once your books are complete, you will go through them in detail and ask for clarifications.
Several small businesses share bookkeeping operations with their virtual assistants, who then follow up on activities such as maintaining ledgers, making balance sheets, following up on outstanding invoices and unpaid bills, etc.
3. Inbox Management
A business email inbox is a maze replete with countless customer and vendor emails. To reply to each one on your own dime and time is not worth it. Hire a virtual assistant to respond on your behalf. Give them instructions to escalate only priority emails to you for a response.
4. Database and Corporate Presentations
Any business, big or small, requires all types of presentations. And, you cannot misuse your time in making all of them! Procure a virtual assistant’s services to turn raw data into clear-cut PowerPoint presentations or research findings into Word documents. You can also provide them all the content necessary for creating your corporate presentation.
5. Database Management
As a startup founder, you exchange contact details with tons of individuals who may become future clients, collaborators, vendors, etc. So, whether it’s a deluge of business cards picked up at a trade show or a slew of email ids for existing contacts, keeping the database updated is critical. A virtual assistant can help you plug all relevant contact information coming in from various sources into your company’s database.
6. Calendar Management
VAs hired for this task can create a to-do list for you, make notes of upcoming meetings and events and keep you informed about any upcoming work engagements. By contracting a VA to manage your calendar, you will gain more time to focus on core tasks that demand your urgent attention. Doing so, will increase you and your organization’s productivity.
7. Travel Logistics
Why shell out extra money for a travel desk in your office when you can hire a virtual assistant to plan and book your business or even personal travel? CEO’s, entrepreneurs and other business professionals often hire VAs for booking flights, scouting hotel deals, concocting travel itineraries, and whatnot. All you have to do this inform them of your destination and dates and let them handle the rest.
8. Social and Digital Media Marketing
Today, it is near impossible to achieve high brand visibility and boost sales without a digital presence on various platforms. Be it through social media platforms, blogs, emails, etc., establishing a brand’s digital presence is time-consuming. But, it is a task ripe for a virtual assistant. Hiring a skilled VA for digital marketing can:
- Boost productivity, as they can reach out to customers across time zones, take some work load off your staff, and deliver better results as they are often skilled and experienced within this field.
- Save time and money! Effective digital marketing requires some knowledge of different platforms and a primary level of training in using them, which you can avoid if you hire a VA.
9. Human Resource Management
If you don’t have the time or resources to set up an HR department, hire a virtual human resource assistant. HR VAs conduct recruitment activities, virtual events for remote or on-site employees, select administrative tasks, etc. They are adept at fulfilling all the duties of an on-site HR manager but come at a fraction of the cost.
10. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is responsible for diverting more traffic to your website from search engine keyword searches. Higher digital footfall means improved conversion rates. To ensure expert SEO services, hire a virtual assistant. They would research the relevant keywords and key phrases and insert them into your content marketing pieces and landing pages.
As a result:
- You will save time and money and won’t have to train in-house personnel for conducting SEO activity.
- An expert SEO virtual assistant with legit experience will do a much better job driving traffic to your website than you.
- They know the ins and outs of this field, which is why they can implement the latest SEO techniques to attract organic traffic.
- They can also maintain your website and keep it up to date.
Wrapping Up with the Key Benefits of Hiring a VA
Hire a VA because:
- They often come at a lower cost than a full-time employee.
- There is no cost involved in training them.
- Your organizational efficiency improves as you can now focus on core tasks and strategic thinking.
- If you wish to quickly scale up your business and need more hands on deck, VAs come easy.
Minimizing costs in return for quality work is essential for a startup and a virtual assistant fits this description perfectly. A recent study concludes that VAs can reduce your operational costs by a whopping 78%. Not only that, another Stanford University study reveals that remote workers are 13% more productive compared to their office-going counterparts.
So, if you are looking to expand your startup optimally, hire virtual assistants and free yourself of additional tasks to focus on what’s more critical – business building!
Shalki Verma is a Digital Marketer by profession and a writer by passion. Bringing her knowledge and experience of working with a wide clientele, she dedicatedly takes care of social media management, blog strategy and editing, email marketing, content marketing and community management in her current role at Wishup.co. In her free time, you would usually find her cooking, baking, reading and watching sports.
Virtual assistant stock photo by Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock