All entrepreneurs of online businesses know that time means money. The more time you spend on your business, the more money you can make. But regardless of how big your company, you still have only 24 hours per day to get it done. That’s assuming you don’t sleep, lol.
So the busier you get, the more those less important tasks get pushed to the side. Like emails for instance. The next thing you know, you have more emails than you could possibly answer. And potential customers are walking away because of no response. Now, what do you do? Have you heard the term “virtual assistant”? But what is an online virtual assistant? Do they really help?
You bet they can! Let me show you what a virtual assistant is, what they can do, and where to find one. It could be the difference between your successful business making money, or you just spinning your wheels, falling more and more behind.
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
“A virtual assistant is generally self-employed and provides professional, administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office”.
So there you have it! It’s a person who provides you assistance, remotely, from their own home. Also, known as a VA.
There was a day when this was impossible, due to lack of technology. But now, with the internet and other technological wonders, things can be done at lightning speed, from anywhere around the world. It has opened up a whole new opportunity for businesses to get the support they need.
No worry about setting up office space, copy machines, supplies, etc. And the virtual assistant is considered an independent contractor, so you are not responsible for taxes, insurance, or other employee-related deductions.
Most VA’s work for small to medium-sized businesses, but it’s becoming more common as support for busy executives. With the advent of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), it’s possible to add the personal touch of having a receptionist. They are able to answer your phone remotely.
It’s also an advantage if you have an e-commerce store that provides customer service. We may be living in modern times, but who doesn’t like talking to a real person when you have a concern.
What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?
Well, almost anything short of bringing you coffee! But wait…. they can send you coffee using Postmates to have a Starbucks coffee delivered right to your door!! LOL
Virtual assistants can do everything from clerical work to web design. They can be hired for a specific skill set, or to help with a variety of tasks that you don’t have time for.
Let’s talk about six of the more obvious tasks:
- Manage Emails
To maintain trust with your customers or business contacts, you need to respond to their emails in a timely fashion.
Your VA can save you countless hours by organizing and answering your emails. Depending on their knowledge of your business, they can respond to most inquiries.
This can be another huge time-saver. Think of the many hours you’ve invested in researching your next article. Or how about keeping track of your competition and what’s working for them.
And don’t forget all the time you put in looking for those perfect keywords for your posts and ads. This is all very important for your SEO campaigns.
- Content Creation
With a web-based business, content creation is one of the biggest tools to building and expanding your authority. It’s how you create your online presence and attract your targeted audience.
“Content is King”, and you need to consistently publish fresh, valuable information to maintain a high ranking with the search engines. Hiring a VA to ghostwrite for you can save you valuable hours each week.
- Social Media
This is one area a virtual assistant can do well. Any successful business now knows the importance of having a presence on social media. It’s an important way to get your message out in front of millions of people.
But it’s also very time-consuming. A VA can schedule daily posts, remain engaged, and grow your media presence. They can keep track of the statistics, to show you what works and what doesn’t’.
- Website Design
Having a professional website is important because this is the face of your business. Your viewers want an attractive, functional, and easily navigated site. This requires continual updating and tweaking as your business expands.
Or you may own several websites, all needing the same attention. If web design isn’t your strength, then hiring a VA with web design experience may be the thing you need.
- Organizational Tasks
Have you become an authority in your chosen niche, and you’re now asked to speak at various functions? That’s amazing! But it also takes time to book flights, reserve cars, book hotels, and every other little thing that needs attention.
Your virtual assistant can take care of all that for you, as well as scheduling your meetings, organizing your calendar, and making up your itineraries.
There are ultimately more tasks your VA can do. These six are the most common. Just think of the hours you can save by giving the monotonous, day to day tasks to a virtual assistant. You can now spend more time creating new strategies to grow your business, without worrying about the daily tasks required to keep it operating.
Where Do I Find A Virtual Assistant?
The first thing you should do is make a list of the things you want to outsource. You will want to put the most time-consuming tasks at the top of your list.
Next, consider if you want to hire your VA on a long-term contract. This can be very beneficial when it comes to tasks like content creation. When you find a writer who matches your style, this can keep your content sounding consistent.
Or maybe you just require help with occasional tasks. This is fine as well. Any possible way you can free up some time to be able to focus on more important tasks is a benefit to your business.
Online companies such as Zirtual can provide you with college educated and highly trained assistants. Their plans start at $398 per month, which can seem high to a small or midsize business. But consider how much your time is worth. Will focusing on your business strategies bring you an increased monthly profit exceeding $398?
At the other end of the scale, there are companies like CallArup who charge $6/hour for all tasks. You would need to decide whether their caliber is what you’re looking for. Based in India, I would also be concerned their assistants aren’t paid well. But that’s an ethical issue I have!!
This video is about a company called “Longer Days” and describes a VA very well…
Virtual assistants may cost you anywhere from $5 per hour upwards to over $100 per hour depending on the tasks required. When I checked out Upwork for a marketing VA, they offered 8,268 assistants:
- 5,777 offers for $10 and below
- 2,177 offers for $10 – $30
- 262 offers for $30 – $60
- 52 offers for $60 and above
If you do some research, you should be able to find who you need and stay within your budget.
So What Do You Think?
Do you agree that outsourcing your tedious tasks could benefit you and your business? Giving your VA the mundane tasks, so that you can spend your valuable time being creative, is a win-win. Your business can grow and you can earn the passive income you’ve always desired. Better yet, start multiple businesses and create more income streams.
Has your business gotten big enough to outsource tasks? Or maybe you’re hoping to start a business.
If you’d like to learn where I learned online marketing, please click the button below.
We all hope to grow our businesses to the point of being too busy. That’s a good thing! And the logical next step is to outsource our tasks using online virtual assistants.
Do you use a VA? What do you think? Are they worth the money to you? Please let me know below. I’d love to hear from you.
And please share this post with others.