Why You Should Consider a Virtual Office Assistant
We know what’s going through your mind. A virtual office assistant? Really? How can someone work full-time as your office assistant if they are only there virtually? But you’d be surprised. Even if someone works from home, they can still do many of the “assistant jobs” you see around the office, like data entry, bookkeeping, and administrative support. Many people think that hiring an office assistant means only one thing getting someone who can be there in person. But we’ll show you why that doesn’t have to be the case. With a virtual office assistant, you can hire someone to do all of your office work quickly, cheaply, and well.
Simple Tasks to Give to a Virtual Office Assistant
First things first: what can a virtual office assistant actually do for you? The short answer is that they can do any basic office work that doesn’t require them to be there. No, they can’t help you lift boxes, but they can help your company lift a big part of its load.
Here are some of the most important tasks that virtual assistants can handle:
- Travel plans and schedules. Need to schedule a flight to attend a conference? Hotel? Car arrangements? If you have an assistant who can make the arrangements for you, you shouldn’t have to do it yourself. A virtual office assistant can make plans for you and a whole group of people at your office.
- Data entry. Data entry can be one of the biggest problems for businesses that want to grow. If your top people spend too much time doing things that they shouldn’t have to do themselves, they won’t have time to do the high-reward things that will help your business grow.
- Bookkeeping. Any office assistant’s job is to keep the books by keeping track of expenses and income. They should have the skills and experience to do this with as few distractions as possible.
- A follow-up. Not heard from that one client yet? Want to be sure you don’t forget who to call after a long weekend? If you give your follow-up to a virtual office assistant, it will be much easier to stay on top of your most important communications.
- Phone calls. For a young, growing business, making and taking phone calls are often two jobs in one. But a virtual office assistant can easily take care of your phone calls from home.
- Keeping track of office supplies. Need to find the best prices on the newest office supplies? Need to go to more than one store to find the cheapest printer ink? That’s exactly the kind of task that takes a lot of time but saves money and is a great fit for a virtual office assistant.
- Managing spreadsheets. A virtual office assistant is a great choice if you need a spreadsheet formatted or made, or if you need to keep track of important office tasks. That’s why it’s so critical to make sure that you hire someone with the specific skills and experience to handle spreadsheets, including experience in working with top programs like Excel.
- Email inbox management. Your email box shouldn’t look like a maze. It should be a quick and easy way to get in touch with people and for them to get in touch with you. But managing the inbox itself can be hard work, with tasks like entering data and managing contacts, among other things. That’s why it’s important to have a virtual office assistant take care of your inbox.
Job Description for a Virtual Office Assistant
- Project and database management
- Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and 360)
- Google Apps (Docs, Sheets, Gmail, and Calendar)
- CRM experience (Hubspot, Salesforce, AirTable, etc)
- Experience with email marketing software like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, etc.
- Experience with accounting software like Quickbooks, Wave, etc.
- Ability to work well in a team setting and with people of different kinds
- Computers that are 3 years old or less and have the latest operating system and security software (no Chromebooks) can be used.
- Access to a fast internet connection (at least 10 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up).
- High-quality wired headphones that block out noise
- Self-facing computer cameras aren’t required, but they’re better.
Why Choose a Virtual Office Assistant Over a Full-Time Employee?
You might like everything we’ve mentioned so far. But what if you’re still not sure that a full-time worker would be better?
That’s where we like to talk about why hiring a virtual assistant is a good idea. Even though they can’t do everything a real administrative assistant can, you’ll find that they do a lot more of the same things than you thought. And the benefits of going virtual are myriad:
Keeping Costs Down
There’s a reason why even big companies want to increase the number of freelancers and remote workers they use by 80%. They bring down costs. A freelancer, like a virtual office assistant, only needs the hourly rate from you. They don’t need retirement benefits or health care benefits. This does more than just make your calculations easier. It makes sure that you have more options.
A virtual assistant with certain office management skills should be able to get a fair wage. But when you think about how much all of these other costs can add up to, you can only come to one conclusion: a virtual assistant is a cheaper way to get help than hiring someone full-time.
Gain in Productivity
Another good thing about hiring a virtual assistant is that they can only work part-time. That means that they can dedicate their productive time solely to your tasks.
Some statistics say that the average full-time worker only gets work done for three hours a day. That means you’re paying someone a full-time salary and benefits for just three hours of hard work. That doesn’t mean your workers aren’t trying their hardest. But when it comes to focusing on the most important tasks of the day, a virtual assistant who knows what they are supposed to do can use those productive hours to give you the most for your money.
Hire a Virtual Office Assistant Today
If you’re already sure, the next steps will be easy. But even though they’re easy, they can be scary if you’ve never hired a virtual assistant (VA) before. Because of this, we’ve made a simple process:
- Sign up. If you sign up with us, you can start the other steps right away.
- Get matched with a staffing manager. We like to keep things simple around here. You have a need, but you’re not always sure which hire might be best for you. Our staffing manager will be happy to come in and help you with this part of the process. He or she can also help you find some possible hires who might work.
- Choose from. Who is the VA who can help you run your virtual office and maybe even run it for you? Match their skills and experience to what you need in the office.
- Onboarding. Did you know that companies with a good process for bringing new employees on board tend to increase productivity by more than 70%? Onboarding is one of the most important parts of the process because this is when you teach the VA everything they need to know to start their new job on your team.
With VA FLIX, you can start growing your business and cutting costs.
1. Meet your assistant
We’ll ask you some questions to find you a virtual assistant and a backup virtual assistant.
2. Make a workflow
You can make a workflow that fits your life with the help of our platform. You decide how to keep track of time, talk to your assistant, and share files.
3. Start delegating
You can talk to your virtual assistant from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your own time zone. Start giving tasks to other people and grow as you need to.
FAQs: The Ins and Outs of Hiring a VA
Still have questions? Don’t worry, you’re not on your own. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions:
How can a virtual office assistant help?
As long as you can do a lot of your business over the phone or Internet, there aren’t too many limits. A virtual office assistant can do things like data entry, scheduling, answering calls, managing emails and inboxes, and more. Before you hire the VA, you need to figure out what these tasks are so you know what to do next.
What do I do next if I do want to hire a virtual secretary?
It’s simple: Fill out the VA FLIX Contact Form! This is a simple process, but if you find any portion of it difficult, one of our staffing managers will assist you in moving on to the next stage without difficulty.
How do I get started? What should my onboarding document look like?
The onboarding document is an important way to make sure that your virtual assistant knows how and when to do certain tasks. You’ll want to make a document for onboarding that has the following in it:
- Contact info for your team
- Relevant account log-in details
- The expected results of each ask
- How to complete each task
- Room for feedback and someone to talk to about questions
If you put all of this information in an onboarding document, your VA won’t have to figure out what to do for the first few weeks.
How should I choose a virtual office assistant? What traits should I look for?
The qualities should match what you want. For example, if you already have an accountant on staff who takes care of your bookkeeping, it might not make sense to hire a virtual office assistant whose main skill is bookkeeping. You’ll need to find people with the skills to fill the gaps you already have. So, not only will a virtual assistant help right away, but they will also become an important part of your team.
How do I get a virtual office assistant to work with me?
Try to give your virtual assistant a two-week trial period during which they can ask questions and get feedback. During this time, make sure to include the tasks that the office assistant will be expected to do in their new job. This is the time to tell them what they’re doing wrong, how they can improve, and what they’re doing right. With this information, your VA will know exactly how it should feel to work for your company.