How to make the most of a virtual assistant

Many people love the idea of having some help in their business. And using a virtual assistant or VA is a highly efficient way of getting that help.

For a start, you only pay a virtual assistant when you use them. Contrast that with an employee, perhaps a part-time administrator; once you have hired them, you are committed to pay their wages every month, and to find work for them, if you don’t have any immediate tasks that need doing.

Second, a virtual assistant will often be experienced in certain key skills, with a level of expertise above that of a typical administrative assistant. Working as a network of individuals, virtual assistants can find you an expert in creating PowerPoint presentations, or a skilled Excel spreadsheet creator, if that is what you need.

So, how can you work best with a virtual assistant? The key is working out which tasks you should delegate to your VA. Consider what activities you spend your time on, during an average week, perhaps by keeping a detailed diary for a few days. What are core, revenue-earning activities, and what tasks are simply administrative items that you end up doing, because they need to be done and there’s no-one else available to do them?

Ideally you need to be spending your time on the tasks that earn you the most return, and delegating other tasks that do not earn you money, or that you are not fast and efficient doing.

Once you have a list of tasks and activities that you can delegate, then you need to take a look at the virtual assistants you are considering. Do they offer to carry out the tasks you want fulfilled? Some, for example, major on telephone answering, others have skills in bookkeeping, while some will be highly skilled at presentations or document production.

A conversation with a virtual assistant may also uncover alternative, more efficient ways of working, which you had not considered. This is only natural, as technology is advancing fast, and you will not necessarily be fully aware of all the latest developments. For example, you may be typing your own notes or letters, when it could be more time efficient to dictate them using new, online facilities.

Once you have selected a virtual assistant, start by delegating a few tasks, and see how the experience works for you. Decide on the way you like to communicate with your VA – do you prefer emails, phone calls or perhaps a Skype catch-up on a regular basis. Your VA will need to understand they way you work, the pace of your business and turnaround times that suit your requirements.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact us and Start that diary of activities today, and in just a few days you will have a clear idea of how you could be working more effectively, with the support of a VA.

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