Beginning a new business venture as a solo employee can be daunting. But to be honest, most people are strapped down trying to get their businesses off the ground. That means long hours. However, when the business starts to settle but the work becomes too much, it’s time to scale your work force – this is where virtual assistants can be useful. That said, there are different types of virtual assistants.
A virtual assistant
A virtual assistant or independent contractor is a person who works remotely. They can accomplish the same tasks as onsite staff; however, the business expenses of hiring a remote assistant are far smaller. For instance, on average, a business can save up to 60% on expenses normally attached to an employee. This savings can help the company not become too stretched, thus retaining an acceptable cash flow. A virtual assistant, or vendor, is not, as such, an employee of a company. Rather, virtual assistants are independent; they are responsible for paying their own taxes; and they will complete your work in their home office. This saves on equipment, office space, and other sundries.
Virtual assistant or vendors are those who furnish work for businesses, but do so independently. There is much debate on the role outsourcing might have – however, the driver is money. This means that small businesses and solo entrepreneurs can benefit massively from hiring a vendor. There is no need to pay for benefits, taxes, or office equipment – all this means savings for a business. There is no sick leave to contend with. Therefore outsourcing escalates, especially during recessionary times, simply because of the huge money savings for the business.
Key questions to consider before outsourcing:
1) What is your main goal in outsourcing?
2) What is your budget?
3) How involved do you want to be in the daily operations?
4) Are there clear deadlines that should be met?
5) Are you willing to share your passwords and other information?
Consider these questions carefully, because the answers will frame the approach you should be taking. Also, consider the core logic surrounding outsourcing. You gain much extra time to apply yourself to the work of getting ahead. Your efficiency is enhanced through delegation to the different types of virtual assistants. Your profits are boosted by the simple act of reducing business overheads.
The top 10 vendors to consider among the different types of virtual assistants
The next step is deciding on the type of virtual assistant you and your business might need. There are many different types of virtual assistant to choose from. There are possibly too many groups of vendors. The pool contains both low-skilled workers and highly skilled workers. In terms of low-skilled vendors, these are mostly back-office workers assuming clerical tasks. In contrast, higher-level work applies to the niche tasks such as graphic design or software developing. Notwithstanding, below are the top ten virtual assistant types that are in high demand. You could choose to have one or two of them in your office (albeit virtually).
1 Virtual personal assistant
One of the most popular vendors is a personal assistant. This person can provide the same help as an onsite worker, apart from bringing you a cup of tea or coffee. The tasks they can handle include email management, managing your calls and your calendar, and making travel arrangements or event managing. Such a person can keep you organised while you avoid the cost of hiring an onsite personal assistant.
2 Virtual bookkeeping assistant
These workers handle your daily finances remotely. The remote assistant is accountable for bookkeeping responsibilities concerning accounts payable, receivable, and overall ledger matters. They also offer clerical support.
3 Virtual customer service assistant
A remote customer-service assistant, or customer-care assistant acts as the first point of contact between the customer and the business. They can deal with enquiries, complaints, and suggestions. With eCommerce businesses, these assistants are particularly important. They can enhance the buying process, which can increase your sales.
4 Data-entry virtual assistant
A data entry virtual assistant will handle the company’s data, conserving a database of all the stakeholder and client details. Additionally, the data-entry assistant will complete data-entry tasks – both offline and online. Also, they will store information in a format that the business requires.
5 Virtual research assistant
A virtual research assistant performs research duties by means of the internet. One of their tasks, for instance, in the private sector, would be to conduct market research on a particular industry. Additionally, they can amass a database of noteworthy information.
6 Virtual HR assistant
A virtual HR assistant assists with projects, strategies, workshops, as well as with activities which motivate the workforce, based on the business goals. Remote assistants can also help with worker questions coming into the human resource department. These vendors can also handle the payroll tasks, collecting and storing info used for the work cycle of each company employee.
7 eCommerce virtual assistant
An eCommerce virtual assistant can assist online businesses with eCommerce store set-up and product management, copywriting, digital marketing, and customer service. What this means is a smoother running online business with fewer bottlenecks that harm your customer experience. You will see an increase in sales when a good eCommerce virtual assistant is part of your team.
8 Social media virtual assistant
These assistants handle your social media for you. This can free up a significant amount of your time, which you can spend better elsewhere. Moreover, such an assistant will take care of tasks such as handling various social media accounts, and managing the scheduling and social media calendar. Additionally, a social media remote assistant can identify and interact with your target market. These vendors can assist with marketing and they can assist your clients.
9 Web design and development
Want to refresh your website and make it rank higher? Then you need some web design and development. These specialist vendors can work on the site layout, visual appearance, and the usability of a business website. The web developer constructs and preserves the fundamental structure of a site.
10 Graphic design virtual assistant
A graphic design virtual assistant can bring life to your social media accounts, website, or even your product labels. Regardless of the project, they are able to create images for numerous print uses.
Hiring your own virtual assistant
If you want to rebalance your work/life situation, do consider bringing a virtual assistant into your business. Simply decide which tasks you want covered, then speak to an outsourcing expert and take advice. Such an expert will be able to afford you with solid information, allowing you to make an informed decision. This will help you to select the most applicable virtual assistant of all the different types of virtual assistants available.