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What Do Small Businesses Need from a Virtual Assistant?

Nikki WisherNikki Wisher
Nikki Wisher
Nikki Wisher

No part of launching or developing small businesses is easy, whether you’re an individual freelancer or you have a small operation of employees. Without a doubt, though, scaling the business to accommodate and foster growth is one massive challenge. How do you hire the number and type of employees that will help the business grow without hiring more than you can afford?

 That’s why hiring a virtual assistant is among the first ways successful small businesses grow. Especially with freelance virtual assistants, you can hire them for as many hours as needed without adding office space or other costs. Plus, you can get many essential, cost-saving services for a bargain.

Calendar Management

Scheduling meetings, confirming meetings, blocking off productive time…all that calendar management can be a serious black hole for your time. That’s especially true because it’s a task that often interrupts you in the middle of other tasks, tanking your productivity. Virtual assistants can manage anyone’s schedule day-to-day.

Business Development

Your business development plan is a top tool for any growing business, but sometimes executing it is the struggle. They often involve time-consuming tasks like researching new opportunities, researching competitors, and so on. It’s hard to find time for those chores on top of running a business.

Virtual assistants can take those time-consuming tasks off your hands. They can even reach out to new prospects using well-crafted templates or protocols, helping you grow your business without adding time to your schedule.

Customer Service

No business wants a revolving door in which for every new customer gained, an existing customer walks away. Keeping customers happy, though, takes ongoing communication and attentiveness. Virtual assistants can field all calls, emails, social media messages, or other messages that come in from customers, providing effective service and keeping those customers happy.

Many businesses give virtual assistants proactive tasks for customer service too. For instance, have them conduct customer experience surveys and prepare beneficial reports you can act on.

Email Management

For any business but especially an online business, inboxes get flooded in a hurry. Between customers, vendors, internal employees, prospects, and more, there are always new messages that need attention. It’s enough to take over your entire day.

Virtual assistants can manage emails for multiple inboxes on a daily basis. However, be sure to educate them on your brand voice as well as any guidance for responding to frequent questions so they can work effectively while properly representing your company.

Basic Marketing Projects

Digital marketing is an ongoing technique that can skyrocket any business’s growth if it’s managed well. The problem is that this can involve time-consuming tasks that don’t fit into business owners’ schedules, so those tasks fall to the side.

A virtual assistant can pick up those tasks and run with them. Instead of hiring full time marketing staffers, hire virtual assistants to monitor ad performance, research ad opportunities, and prepare reports about marketing results.

Social Media Management

Social media is a tremendous way to get new clients, but it takes continuous upkeep. On top of frequent posts, brands must be attentive to their audience. That includes monitoring and responding to comments and direct messages while also interacting with other brands and followers’ posts.

Each virtual assistant has its own set of skills. While most can manage basic communications on social media, if you want your assistant to provide social media content as well, look for someone with a social media marketing background.

Data Entry

It’s often the little things that cost companies the most money, like an executive or business owner spending hours on time-consuming projects rather than doing what they do best: drumming up a new business. That’s largely why virtual assistants can reduce operating costs by up to 78%.

Among those time-consuming projects often include data entry. The business might be transferring CRM data, transcribing hand-written notes to digital notes, updating databases, or other tedious tasks. Virtual assistants will take over those jobs, making way in your schedule for more profit-driving work.

Invoice and Payment Management

Managing invoices and payments may be crucial for any business, but it can feel like a chore too. On top of other administrative tasks, virtual assistants can manage your invoicing needs. They can prepare invoices, process payments, record payments, and audit these records for errors.

Purchasing

Any business needs supplies but shopping around for deals and options takes time. Why not pass off that time to a virtual assistant? From office supplies and software subscriptions to materials for developing your products, virtual assistants can tackle it all. Of course, be sure to discuss budgets and have a purchase approval process in place to avoid mistakes or unexpected expenses.

Expanding Your Business with Virtual Assistants

For small business owners, every new sign of growth is something to celebrate. If you’re feeling the growing pains of your business and you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant (or several of them), pat yourself on the back! It’s one more step toward a thriving, sustainable, more profitable business.


by
Nikki Wisher
Nikki Wisher has been writing professionally since January 2015, and she's written about just about everything from plastic surgery to accounting. She took the plunge into full-time freelancing in July 2018 and she hasn't looked back since. As much as Nikki loves hopping from one topic to another throughout the day, her top specialties include health and wellness, marketing, home decor, and career development (especially for freelancers and entrepreneurs). Originally from Ohio, Nikki lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two floofy cats. When she steps away from the keyboard, Nikki loves knitting, crocheting, hiking, and enjoying her adopted city.

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