Virtual assistants aren’t just for routine administrative tasks. While people do most commonly use virtual assistants (VAs) for tasks like filtering emails, bookkeeping, and other admin tasks, they can do so much more. The VA industry has developed incredibly in the last decade. Businesses can now reap the benefits.
Virtual assistants are now essentially remote employees. They can do nearly any task you need. Many startups employ more than one virtual assistant, since they can be more cost effective than full-time employees. And they can get just as much done.
5 Reasons Why Business Owners Should Consider Hiring Virtual Assistants
Wondering how a VA can help your business? Here are five ways that you might not have thought of yet.
1. Staffing a full-time position
Hiring can be the most difficult, and more important, process for any entrepreneur. This is a problem that companies around the world face. It’s hard to find the right people for a specific job. Make the wrong decision, and you can set your business back by months or even years.
Hiring a virtual assistant can help you dip your toes into the water before making a full-blown hire. You can see how the VA works, and what traits the position requires and which make it more difficult. That way when you get to the full-time hiring process you’ll know what to look for in a candidate.
Or, you never know: you might just end up using the VA on a full-time basis.
2. Handling social media and marketing
Do you have the budget for a full marketing department? If you’re like most startups, the answer is a resounding NO. Startups are lucky to have the budget for one dedicated marketing employee, never mind a whole staff. As CEOs quickly learn, one person can’t handle the entire marketing burden for a growing company.
It’s easy to make mistakes on social media. Having one person handle not just social media, but also content marketing, outreach, and other marketing tasks can lead to a lack of focus. A virtual assistant can take some of that burden. That way the dedicated employee can focus.
3. Buying you a vacation
You pride yourself on working long hours. Every day you’re on your grind, working from before the sun rises until well after the sun sets. It’s how you get things done. There’s just one problem.
You’re headed for burnout.
Founders burn out all the time. It’s incredibly easy, even when you’re doing something you love. Stepping back and taking some time away becomes essential. You might not think you can, but if you set up some automation and combine it with a virtual assistant, you can get away for two weeks and come back refreshed.
4. Web and graphic design
Web design firms aren’t going anywhere. More and more startups incorporate every year, and they all have need for websites. Yet roughly none of them can afford a full-time web designer. Web design is more of a one-time project than a continuing process, so companies pay good money to firms that can create them a standout website.
Problem is, web design trends change. What looked sleek and new yesterday looks outdated in a few years. Do you really have to hire that firm again? Redesigning every few years can get incredibly expensive.
One advantage of hiring an assistant from a business-class virtual assistant agency is the diversity of staff. You’ll have your dedicated assistant, but you’ll also have other support staff at your disposal. Sandra Lewis, CEO of Worldwide101, a business-class virtual agency, discussed how virtual assistants can help with web design.
Maybe you can’t afford a full-time designer. But if you hire a virtual assistant from an agency, you can get access to a designer who can not only update your site, but ensure that your design stays up to date.
5. Taking customer service calls and email
Startups that lag on customer service are doomed to fail. There are more new companies than ever, and we’ve learned that a huge point of difference is the customer service experience. Take care of your customers and they will take care of you.
So how can you afford to hire customer service employees?
You can start with a staff of virtual assistants. With flexible hours, they can handle customer service calls and emails at any time. You can even get them up and running on social media customer service. Again, you can use the virtual assistants as test subjects, or you can keep them on to run your customer service department. The flexibility and cost involved could be a winning combination for your startup.