A couple of weeks ago I spotted a graphic on social media from a fellow Virtual Assistant who had to put together a list from A to Z of things that a Virtual Assistant can help businesses with. Everything from Analytics to Zip files. I thought the list was clever as it showed, in a very neat way, the huge range of tasks that can be outsourced by business owners to free up their time.
The majority of Virtual Assistants have previously worked in roles such as PA's, office managers or executive assistants and, speaking from personal experience, those really are roles where you learn to turn your hand to anything. As a result, most Virtual Assistants will have experience in solving lots of different challenges that businesses face. As versatile as Virtual Assistants are, we do know our strengths and the things we prefer to do. Some get on board with onboarding, whilst others excel at Excel. If you're looking for a Virtual Assistant to support a specific task or project, do speak to a couple of Virtual Assistants to ensure you find one who specialises in the service you need or who has a particular passion for that.
Once you get to know your Virtual Assistant you will find they become your go-to person for lots of challenges that crop up in your business. "Why won't this document format like I want it to"? "Where can I find a supplier of…"? "How can I make this process more efficient"? Your Virtual Assistant will probably be able to help.
How many times do you feel you are on your own in your business? How wonderful would it be to have someone who knows your business, treats it like their own and can quickly help with those little challenges that pop up along the way?
It can sound silly to say that you are paying someone to do something that you could do yourself, but we all do it without really thinking about it. Now and again I don't mind paying the place on the main road £10 to wash my car. I am very capable of washing my car. I own a bucket, a sponge and even some car shampoo, but it is the convenience that is the benefit to me. That might be the convenience of time (although writing this has made me want to time just how long it takes when I next go). Or it might be the convenience of not having to kick myself up the bum to go outside and do it.
Either way, I can see a benefit to me and I can decide what value I place on that. Hiring a virtual assistant can be similar to this.
As a business owner, you will have undoubtedly found yourself in times when there is a task that needs doing and you can do it, but isn't a priority. However, if you put it off it creeps up the priority ranking. In seemingly no time it is at the top of your priority list and you have to stop, or delay, doing something else to make time for it. In the same way you might choose to get someone else to wash the car, there are tasks that you can outsource to a virtual assistant which means you do not have to delay, or even sacrifice something else, to do.
To get an idea of the type of tasks you could outsource have a look at the details on my services page. Is there something you could outsource that could free up your time, be done more efficiently, or just stops you from having to kick yourself up the bum to do?
Maybe only this once there would be a benefit to someone else doing it and that is ok too. The car wash knows I will be back when I need them!
I think the definitions of Virtual Assistant in this image start to explain what a (human) Virtual Assistant is. Essentially a Virtual Assistant will work on a defined task, project or area of your business, giving you the time to focus on what you need to. The word 'professional' appears in each definition above and this is really important. A Virtual Assistant will most likely be running their own business and will have a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts. Their livelihood is dependant on providing a great service, so you will find a Virtual Assistant will get to know your business and will become a big champion for the product or service you offer.
So, if you want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow, get an Alexa (disclaimer: other smart speakers are available). If you want a professional who will efficiently handle a range of tasks adding value and time to your business, get a Virtual Assistant.