What you should outsource to a virtual assistant
One of the questions I’m often asked about being a virtual assistant is the kind of tasks that I can help business owners with, or more specifically, helping people to figure out the tasks that they can and should pass on to their virtual assistant.
I know just how difficult it can be to consider outsourcing important business tasks, however, as I’ve shared with you many times before, if I hadn’t Banks’ Business Solutions wouldn’t be where it is today.
In the past, I’ve gone through some of the tasks you might want to outsource to upgrade and upscale your business, but in this blog, I want to go into a little more detail on why some of those business tasks are ideal for passing on to a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant can take on many business tasks
That’s partly because the term “virtual assistant” has become broad and encompassing many digital based freelancing professions, from admin support to bookkeeping, copywriting and website management.
Generally, tasks you can pass on to a virtual assistant can be broken down into three types:
- admin and general business support
- technical support
Now’s a good time to make a note of the tasks you spend time on in your business and colour code them to indicate whether they’re marketing, admin/business support or technical. Now take a look through and decide which tasks you enjoy, which ones you’re good at and the ones that often get forgotten about and ignored.
These latter tasks are typically a good choice for passing on to a virtual assistant but don’t fall into the trap of “I love doing this so I’m going to keep at it”, marketing might be fun to do but do you have the skills and expertise to generate the leads or are you just spending time on social media at a cost to your business?
Once you’ve made some tough decisions and have an idea of what you need to outsource, you might be wondering “can a virtual assistant actually help me with that?” and the answer is, yes! There’s literally a virtual assistant ready to help with you anything, but you may need to hire more than one if tasks are varied in nature (or check if they can outsource to their own associates).
Now, let’s take a look at the kind of tasks a VA can lift from your shoulders.
Admin and business support tasks a virtual assistant can help you with
Often when people hear the word “virtual assistant” they think of a secretary type person focusing on administration and record keeping. Many virtual assistants do specialise in these kinds of tasks (I know I did when I started Banks’ Business Solutions 5 years ago), so let’s take a look at what they include.
Administration – this can be anything from creating documents, keeping databases up to date, sending letters and booking appointments with clients. It’s those traditionally paper-based tasks that still take too much time no matter how impressive Microsoft Office gets!
Bookkeeping – anti-money laundering (aml) regulations have made it tricky for a lot of VAs to take on bookkeeping for clients, but many professional bookkeepers will work entirely on a digital basis and can be thought of like a virtual assistant. Generally, you’re going to be looking at tasks like record keeping, tracking receipts and general data entry if you want a VA to handle this kind of work they will need to be AML registered, or look for an ICB or IAB trained bookkeeper that can handle your accounts for you.
Calendar management – keeping track of where you need to be and when can be tricky when you’re constantly in and out of the office to meet clients, or actually do your work as a tradesperson or service-based business owner. Having a virtual assistant that can keep track on things, take care of appointments and send you a daily email of where you need to be can really help you save time and energy in your business.
Customer service – the lifeblood of any business but something many of us can find tricky to manage at times. Although some of us love the customer service side of things, there are just as many of us that want to be left alone to get on with the work and have someone else deal with customer contact and that’s absolutely fine! You’ll find customer service virtual assistants that can do exactly that for you (and they enjoy it too!).
Inbox management – how often do you achieve “inbox zero”? When you have a crowded email inbox, it can be too easy to miss important emails and opportunities. A virtual assistant can help you manage your email, keep it junk free and alert you when something urgent crops up that needs your attention.
Marketing tasks are a good option for outsourcing to a VA
I freely admit that these are the tasks that I outsource to other freelancers and business owners that have more expertise and knowledge in these areas than I do. I find marketing is one of the most time-consuming tasks for business owners, but something that is essential for business growth and success.
Blog writing – I recently shared how blogging for Banks’ Business Solutions helped me get to the top of Google and it’s a marketing task that I feel is vital for every business to be doing. It can be time-consuming though as it involves research, writing, editing, search engine optimisation and understanding how each blog fits into the bigger marketing picture. It’s a task I’m perfectly happy to outsource!
Email marketing – letting your customers know what you’re up to and attracting new clients through email marketing and newsletters can be a great way to grow your business, but writing email sequences, subscriber list management and keeping on track with GDPR can be tricky. These are all tasks that a virtual assistant can help you with.
Graphic design for online marketing– the visual aspect of your online marketing is probably the most important as it’s these images that attract attention to what you’re saying or trying to promote. Creating graphics can be time intensive and take you out of your business too much, so outsourcing to a Canva specialist or a virtual assistant able to use a variety of graphic design programs can help you save time and gain some stunning visuals for your business.
Social media marketing – social media is a fantastic form of marketing and one that can be broken down into multiple different tasks so a virtual assistant can take care of as much or as little of it as you prefer. If you want to create the content and have a VA schedule to it, no problem, or if you just want a virtual assistant to find new followers and interact with your current ones, they can do that too.
Website design and management – whether you need a new website, or you simply want a virtual assistant to keep on top of WordPress updates for you, there are many aspects of web design and management that a VA can help you with. From creating new pages and uploading blog posts to creating an entirely new website, you might be surprised at what a web design VA can do.
A virtual assistant can help you with technical tasks too
The technical side of things often goes hand in hand with the admin and marketing tasks I’ve already talked about, things like:
- setting up software
- training on how to use programs
- setting up email subscriber sequences and mailing lists
- advising on the best tools and apps for your business
Sometimes you just need a helping hand to help you get to grips with the latest technology for your business to help you save time, and a VA can help you with these tasks whether as a one-off service or part of a bigger service.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the kinds of task that can be passed on to a virtual assistant and you already have some ideas of what you want to discuss about outsourcing to a trusted professional. Although I don’t do every task I’ve talked about in this blog, feel free to get in touch with me to discuss outsourcing to a virtual assistant in more detail and where I’m unable to help, I can certainly point you in the right direction.