It’s clear that hiring ‘virtual professionals’ to help with key business tasks can help you to save time and money. And, like all outsourcing – and all work processes – there are efficient and inefficient ways of working. In order to make the most of your virtual assistant resources, look at the tasks you’re outsourcing and the way you’re managing them on a day-to-day basis.
What can a virtual assistant do?
Virtual assistants can help with a wide range of tasks and activities, helping you to keep your business running smoothly, bringing in new business and making sure finances are in order. Once you’ve made the decision to outsource some of your everyday processes, you’ll find that your time is freed up to concentrate on the jobs that need your specific talents and expertise. You don’t have to spend your weekends doing the books, or your evenings scheduling social media posts.
So, how can you make the most of the service you’ve got?
Include them in your team – they might not be based in your offices, but your virtual assistant is absolutely part of your team. If you include them in briefings, ask them for input and listen to their ideas, not only will you get the benefit of their experience; they will feel part of your team and be motivated to do their absolute best for you.
Share your technology – companies that hire virtual employees to manage tasks like bookkeeping or diary management find that it’s very effective to share access to their technology. So, your virtual assistant can work within your own accounts package if he or she is handling financial tasks for you, making everything more efficient.
Have a clear working plan – when you start working with a virtual assistant, make sure you’re clear about what you’re expecting them to take on, and how you’d like them to work. You may have a project app like Slack, Asana or MS Teams that you use within your business, and you can add your VA to this, so that they can be assigned tasks and take part in discussions. The clearer you are about what’s expected, the more cost-effective your work will be.
Encourage feedback – the best virtual assistant service will be based on a wide range of commercial knowledge and experience. Building good two-way communications will help to encourage feedback, which could be invaluable to your business. Your VA will know about technologies, processes and plans that can help to make your business even more efficient, and you’ll benefit from really good collaboration with them.
Choose a virtual assistant team – rather than outsourcing tasks to lots of different people, consider using a virtual assistant team. This brings huge benefits to your business – you only have to deal with a single company but you get access to a much wider range of skills and expertise. This reduces the time you have to spend managing all the outsourcing, because the agency will do it for you. It also means you can rely on holiday or illness cover so your work is always being done, and it is likely to be more cost-effective too.
Put regular reviews in the diary – like all supplier relationships – and just like you do with your employees – it makes sense to regularly review how things are going. This gives you a chance to see if there are any other tasks you could outsource, and gives your virtual assistant company the opportunity to suggest improvements to working or introduce you to the other services they offer.
Prioritising virtual assistant tasks
A virtual assistant agency can help you with a wide range of tasks – possibly wider than you think. By prioritising the tasks you want to send out to virtual assistant resources, you can make sure that the most time-consuming jobs are taken off your hands first, and then you can add other services as you see how useful it is to have a group of experienced professionals to hand.
If you’re short on time and need help with any of your time-consuming administrative, financial or marketing tasks, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.