In this write-up, we will explore in more depth how startups use virtual assistants. This is by forming virtual teams and growing a startup (quickly and efficiently). All of this is done by following the following actionable steps.
Firstly – let’s remind ourselves what a virtual assistant is
We should start by debunking the typical misconception of a virtual assistant. Firstly, no, a virtual assistant is not simply a personal assistant. There are personal assistants available; however, many specialize in different fields.
They all share that they work remotely, in most cases from their home office, which brings cost savings for the employee. Also, since they are not permanent staff members but consultants, they do not demand additional benefits to be paid to them. Therefore, a virtual assistant costs the employer much less than an on-site employee.
Real-world cases of how startups can utilize virtual assistants
Startups can benefit significantly by gaining results from virtual assistants as part of their employment mix.
Dealing with the flow of emails
Emails are a norm for most – and for a business, emails may come from a new client or offer a potential opportunity. However, with virtual assistant services, inbox management is the first type of work generally delegated.
Going through emails and responding to them is time-consuming. You may spend around three to five hours daily to accomplish this task. The question you need to ask yourself is – is this the most productive way of spending my time?
The risks of delegating this task to an online assistant are minimal, and enormous benefits exist. Also, inbox management is not just about proper time management − it can benefit the business significantly.
An email inbox is usually inundated by useless spam, which is essential emails. Such emails can be overlooked if not suitably managed. For instance, among the many emails might be a sales pitch you can adopt to get your product out to the market.
Or a suitable candidate might have submitted their résumé for a position. Emails are only helpful if you get to them promptly. Otherwise, they become merely missed opportunities.
With the aid of an assistant, filters, folders, and rules can be created to bring order to the chaos. The benefit to the employer or manager is no wasted time or missed prospects.
A key element of being organized is to have a grip on your scheduling. Most people see schedule management as the job of the business owner.
Apps are available to assist you, and some are very useful. However, startup founders are busy and need to multitask, network, and be seen.
Even the best apps can be as effective as a dedicated virtual assistant. Such an assistant can ensure that you never lose track of your appointments.
Your scheduling management will be tricky. Let’s make it even more complex – you have two offices in different time zones.
This is where an online assistant will shine, helping you stay on track and ensuring that your time is fruitfully spent, no matter where you are
Keeping track of your meeting takeaways
However, meeting notes must be organized, meet your deadlines, and know who and when to follow up. If you jump from one call to the next, you may not remember to fulfill all the tasks you must resolve for each caller. It would help if you had a virtual assistant.
A VA will record all meeting notes for you, allowing you to negotiate and discuss your ideas stress-free, knowing that your VA has everything under control and ready for you.
This can be a game changer − your VA will be an integral part of your success, giving you peace of mind as you upscale.
Simplify the processes
Many startup businesses have not been adequately developed, so their processes can be impeded. Time is money, and wasted is money wasted—your success.
Time is money, and wasted is money wasted. If you can align your processes to run a little smoother, you could increase your chance of success.
As a startup, you can use virtual assistants to identify business weaknesses and suggest solutions. You may believe you can rely on on-site staff to resolve these issues.
Their time may be scant, and they don’t have sufficient time to allocate. If you set up your army of VAs to bring forward solutions, you can install new operational systems within weeks.
Utilize your online aide to document the processes and to help with scaling.
Sadly, most startups don’t survive; in 2019, the failure rate was 90%. They believe in their idea and are unique but cannot repeat their success, resulting in a one-hit-wonder situation, which means the business cannot scale.
Once you can crack the right formula, you should use online assistants to set out the processes needed. These VAs can develop a route map you can use to train and pass on specific knowledge so that you can begin to scale your business.
Moreover, for success, a company should document all the legwork, a task that can be delegated to a virtual assistant. As such, your VA will help pave the way to success, especially if your startup is new or has reached a point where growth has seemingly leveled out.
Stay in a loop about the latest trends.
Are you acquainted with the Greek story of Sisyphus? Sisyphus was punished by spending the rest of his life pushing a rock up a hill. Once at the top, the rock inevitably ran back down.
The same is true about new trends and developments. As soon as you have obtained the latest trends, new ones emerge, bringing you back to square one.
However, you could use a virtual assistant to help you stay current by creating a select list of articles that can add value to your life. These lists can summarize the main points and the article’s key takeaways.
As such, you will have a wealth of insights available to make better and more informed decisions, which means better outcomes without wasting time sourcing these golden nuggets.
Accumulate useful statistics and market data.
Understanding your market is essential if you want to start marketing to clients. Large corporations often use professional firms to gather these data types. In many cases, this comes at great expense.
However, an online assistant can help you gather this type of info. More so, if you are scaling and have entered a new location or even a new city, you need to update your data.
Again, your assistant can help you gather the required information. Also, suppose you will network at a conference to promote your product. In that case, a virtual aide can do the legwork for you.
The VA can gather as much data as possible about who will attend the event so that the time you spend at the conference increases your chances of winning.
Also, your virtual assistant can assist with your presentation at a meeting or conference by collating all the pertinent information. Your virtual assistant will be an extension of yourself, allowing you to achieve more.
Help to look for new talent.
Most startups start with only their founders; they need to recruit staff. Some startups hire an in-house team of recruiting specialists or HR professionals, thinking that is the best route to follow – sadly, however, this is often money wasted.
You want to focus on perfecting your product. Any other task can be outsourced and be achieved for less.
Assist with lead generation.
Lead generation is vital for a startup that has zero clients. Building a solid database filled with good leads will make or break you.
Some leads can bring instant success; however, in most cases, the authorities will take some time to mold into consumers. A virtual assistant can help with this time-consuming process.
To build your social media following
Similar to your leads, your social media fans will be non-existent. Your virtual assistant specializing in social media can help increase engagement and your following.
Social media also offers a great way to engage and connect with your new clients and build your brand value.
In short, if you convert clients, you could change them to brand ambassadors that will promote your brand better than any complex marketing efforts.
Moreover, your virtual assistant can help with a social media calendar, sourcing topics and themes added to this calendar, and composing and posting posts on diverse social media channels.
Many companies do initially adopt this process. However, because this is an ongoing and laborious process, they tend to be negligent, which causes more damage to the brand – one can appear as expired or unavailable to one’s client base. However, a dedicated VA can help to keep your pages alive and fresh.
Be your ghostwriter with engaging content.
Content is an essential part of effective SEO, which helps you increase your chances of being found on various search engines. However, you need to produce quality content and not just copies of others’ work or, worse still, reposting an article on several platforms, negatively impacting your progress.
Also, you need to have blogs of more than 1000 words. Even better would be if you could use pieces that are around 4,000 words. A virtual aide skilled in writing can help process this content based on proper keywords. Also, practical tools such as Grammarly can be used to check spelling, grammar, and tone, double-checking whether the article is original or not.
Besides using a single VA to help, you can use an agency such as Riddle Me Write to create a content plan based on your budget.
The last few words
With all the apps, tools, and software available and produced by startups, startups need to increase their productivity − nothing beats the human touch. This is something many startups are experiencing.
This article discussed that virtual assistants could cover many tasks, especially labor-intensive work that can be done for less than you would spend on real-time staff.
Also, an online assistant can add additional skills to your business. You can change your assistants as your needs change, allowing yourself to remain agile and deal with the challenges as they come.
Are you keen on learning more about virtual assistants for your startup business? Contact us today!