What is Virtual Assistant (VA)?
A virtual assistant refers to someone who provides administrative and technical support to a business from a remote location. There are many benefits of hiring a virtual assistant.
Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant
Access to the best person for the job
There are no geographical limitations while hiring a virtual assistant. This will help get you the best and most qualified candidate for your job no matter their location.
They decrease your workload
Virtual assistants are a great addition to your business as they will help you lessen the workload which will aid in meeting deadlines and smooth running of a business. They help you in data entry, making calls, scheduling appointments and almost any other business task you present to them.
No added infrastructure cost
You will save money as you will avoid buying of infrastructure, save on office space as they are virtual and work from remote areas and you save on office supplies.
Reduced costs of operation
Hiring virtual assistants helps save on all the costs that would come with hiring an in-person assistant. This helps not only money but also the time that could be used if you hired in-person assistants. You will also save time as they mostly do not require training and a simple run through your expectations is enough for them to start working.
Flexibility and availability
Most virtual assistants work on a 24-hour basis and are available at whatever time you require them. Their working hours are flexible and can be changed at your own preference without going through a lot of trouble and a very low cost.
Increase in productivity and prevents burnout
Virtual assistants are multitaskers and aim for quality services. This will, in turn, ensure your business remains productive. A good example on how they could help prevent burn out is, if you have a presentation you need to make that requires you to travel, virtual assistants will make all your travel arrangements, help create quality presentations which allow you time to have sufficient rest and lessens your stress before that day.
Responsibilities and duties of virtual assistants
Make travel arrangements
They are in charge of making all hotel and flight booking. They are also required to make all airport transfers bookings and plan your itinerary to ensure smooth traveling.
Make and schedule appointments
Virtual assistants are responsible for arranging time and location of meetings and appointments for you and ensure it fits well with your schedule.
They are required to put accurate data into the company's system. Reviewing it and proofreading for errors.
Email handling and sorting
They are required to receive emails, reply to them in a professional manner while still echoing your business. They are to sort out emails and forward them to the right departments.
Taking down meeting minutes
Once you provide your virtual assistant with a recording of your meeting, they are required to correctly take down minutes. They are required to take down what was accomplished, decided and all the actions that took place.
Your virtual assistant's duty includes making calls on the company's behalf, collecting information, passing information and cold calling for you.
This is converting audio into text. They should ensure the text they provide is exactly like the audio version and does not miss words. They should provide the most accurate data extracted from the audio provided.
Setup and manage social media accounts
Virtual assistants act on your behalf, they are expected to ensure you maintain a positive online presence by promoting your business, scheduling posts on social media platforms, creating social media accounts, research and keep you informed on the current trends associated with your business.
Virtual assistants should constantly update your calendar and inform you of important events like meetings, conferences, birthdays among other things. They should ensure you are informed beforehand of upcoming events.
Proofreading and editing of content
They are in charge of making sure documents, websites, emails and all other aspects of your business are of high-quality standard and has no mistakes either grammatically or technically.
Converting, creating, merging and splitting files
They are required to convert, merge, create or split documents and files as per the business owners specifications.
Traits of a Highly Qualified Virtual Assistants
On Time delivery
Highly qualified virtual assistants ensure they work to meet strict time constraints and are not late to submit work to their client.
They should be dependable and able to give the quality of work agreed upon at the same time allocated.
They must be trustworthy individuals as businesses share critical and confidential information with them such as documents and emails. It is important they are discreet about the proceedings of their client.
Ability to multitask
A good virtual assistant must be able to multitask while still maintaining quality service. The more a virtual assistant can handle bigger workloads the more they earn. It is important they are able to work well under pressure.
A great virtual assistant should be innovative and resourceful, provide their clients with solutions to problems and ideas to improve the business.
A highly qualified assistant should provide professional services while balancing friendliness. They should be able to make professional calls and writing professional emails while still been personable and using approachable language.
It is important that a virtual assistant is flexible in their work schedules due to the differences in time zones. They should be willing to work according to the needs of their clients without much trouble.
An eye for details
Highly qualified virtual assistants should be keen on details as it is paramount in establishing structure. It helps lessen the occurrence of costly mistakes that a company may oversee.
Willingness to learn
They should come to every new client with an open mind and willing to learn and follow procedures that specific company may have. A good virtual assistant should be a good listener and one who is able to receive and follow instructions effectively.
Good communication skills
A good virtual assistant must be able to converse in good and fluent language to ensure the smooth running of the operation. They must also be quick to communicate on any new outcome on the project assigned. They should constantly check in with the client as this builds trust.