Blog

10 Tasks to Outsource To Your VA in 2018

Being an entrepreneur, you would have to focus on the activities which add value to your core business. If you try to do everything on your own wearing multiple hats, you would be worn out soon and would not be able to focus on growing the business. That’s where virtual assistants come in handy. They are trusted for their ability to conduct all the essential routine work for small business entrepreneurs with high quality and reliability.

They save huge costs overheads as they charge only for the hours they work. VAs are talented professionals and they offer the best business and administrative services to offshore clients without geographical limitations.

Below are the 10 tasks which you can outsource to your Virtual Assistant in 2018.

  1. Email Management

As an entrepreneur, your email inbox would be cluttered with so many mails not to mention the spams. An efficient VA would clean up your inbox, prioritizing the important mails, organizing mail reminders. They save you a lot of hassle and time.

  1. Booking Appointments

Going through the thick of things every day in business, you would easily lose track of important meetings and appointments with that influential investor, attending that fundraising event. Having a VA would mean that you are always on track on your appointments

  1. Prospecting For New Clients

Growing a business means expanding the client base and meeting and pitching to a lot of new people. Your VA can help you list down the prospective clients, schedule your meetings with them, and can keep track of the prospects you have turned into clients.

  1. Organizing/Managing Files

Most people would have their desktop jam packed with lot of files and when needed they cannot find that important presentation, that report needed to be shown to the investor etc. Are you that guy? Then you are much better off with a VA who would organize your files in folders with proper names and continuously manage it for easy retrieval.

  1. Internet Research (i.e. information to use in blog posts)

You require good research material for your blog post and you know it is going to take 3 days of time continuously searching in the internet. That is a time that could be well spent on talking to potential clients. Look nowhere, your VA brings well researched material on any topic right on your mailbox right when you need it.

  1. Managing social media accounts

Having your company presence in social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. has become mandatory. You have to engage with your customers, promote your brand and improve visibility in the social media. VAs can manage multiple accounts with ease and optimize their use for brand promotion.

  1. Managing/Updating your blog with content

Search Engine Optimization is the most important activity to get your company website to the top of google results and having a well written, great quality content is the organic way of improving your SEO ranking. Your VA can help write articles and update them periodically so that your website maintains its ranking.

  1. Answering customer support tickets

Dealing with customers having complaints is an important activity to your business and small entrepreneurs cannot have dedicated customer support staff for that. VA can also effortlessly handle customer support tickets and answer their queries.

  1. Managing/Cleaning up databases of contacts

As an entrepreneur, you would have a large database of contacts and sometimes you would forget who’s who. VAs can help you manage your contacts properly, cataloging them according to frequency and also occasionally clean up contacts who have been out of touch for a long time.

  1. Following up with clients or outstanding emails

Entrepreneurship requires following up with various clients without getting discouraged and VAs are perfect choice to assist in your quest for clients. They can schedule your day calendar with the important follow ups you need to do and the important mails you need to answer. A good VA has a very good understanding of your business and works according to your requirements.

Why You Should Hire A Virtual Assistant In 2018

It is true that every aspect of your business is equally important. Nonetheless, as a business owner, you should channel your energy towards core business operations as opposed to routine tasks. This requires seeking the support of a virtual assistant to help you manage the increasing workload.

Some of the major reasons you should hire a virtual assistant (VA) include:

Facilitate more business growth

As much as you are entrepreneur, you do not have superpowers to perform all business tasks. You need an extra hand to help you achieve your business objectives and increase productivity. Warming up to the idea of a VA will bring on board new ideas which will compliment your existing business policies and strategies.

Collaboration with talented people

Virtual assistants are not people who merely ease your work burden but also incorporate their diverse knowledge in performance of tasks. Since geographical restrictions is a non-issue, you are able to pin point the best talent from any part of the globe. The person you hire has in-depth knowledge of your field hence brings to the table relevant support and becomes part of your organization.

Decreased workload

It is common for your crucial tasks to be overshadowed as a result of a very tight schedule. You can alleviate work-related stress by soliciting a virtual assistant to perform tasks such as data entry and social media marketing. Because these are individuals versed with skills in diverse fields, they can ensure you accomplish your work objectives in an effective and timely manner.

Cut down on operational costs

One effective method to reduce operational costs in your business is to outsource various tasks. Using the services of a VA will save on costs such as extra taxes and maintenance expenses. Further, this professional is likely to work on part-time basis which means you will not pay for employee benefits in contrast to a regular employee.

Shift attention to important operations

Most of your time as an entrepreneur should be directed to your core operations. To fulfill this goal, hire a virtual assistant to handle routine tasks rather than doing these tasks yourself. The assurance that you have administrative support gives you the capacity to concentrate on vital business functions.

24/7 availability

Your customers deserve your attention on a 24/7 basis. Virtual assistance services help you to attend to the needs of your customers continually. For instance, working with individuals from a time zone different from yours ensures clients are always assisted.

Increased productivity in a short time

A business person must work hard to accomplish multiple tasks which is hard if done single handedly. Instead of working alone, consider using a talented person to handle the many tasks that need to be done within the set timescales. As the professional does these tasks, you will have extra hours to be innovative.

Assurance of quality service

Virtual assistants strive to provide value to clients through quality productivity. They tend to be more productive than regular employees.

To wrap up, allow yourself more time to be creative as a businessperson by investing in skilled virtual assistance services. You will lessen your workload and focus on furthering your business vision. Remember to select the right person that provides quality results and suits your persona.

working from home image 1

What Are The Pro’s And Con’s Of Working From Home

With companies wanting to provide their employees more flexibility, and save money, more people work from home. Companies are finding innovative ways to save money and this is the biggest contributor.

The company doesn’t need to hold office space for the person or any office furniture or pay any type of stipend contributing towards petrol or parking. People have become accustomed to it as well.

The millennial generation wants flexibility and opportunity to do more, so why not have the opportunity to work from home too?

Why People Choose to Work from Home

On the flipside, there are people who prefer to work from home as well. There are several reasons that they may choose to do so. One of the main reasons is cost. They do not have to pay for transport every single day to the office especially if the office is far from home.

Closely tied with that cost is the stress of commuting. Whether sitting in packed to the gills train or in the car on the freeway not moving anywhere, it is stressful and a waste of time. The time lost in productivity on the train or in the car means that work continues to pile up. The is continued pileup also causes stress for the employee.

Another reason someone may want to work from home is to be closer with their children. They want to spend more time with their family which makes sense. We can lose so much time commuting back and forth to work on top of the usual work day.

One of the other important reasons is to have some flexibility. This flexibility can include sitting in a comfortable chair or lounge chair to take a call. Being comfortable is the most important. Part of being comfortable may also include having faster internet at home that works better than in the office.  It could also include eating your lunch when you feel like. Or, how about that mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack? They can take that snack when you like and have with it water, coffee, tea, or something else that fancies your taste buds that day. What about even doing a little exercise at home?

Yes, that’s right! They can spend some time doing exercise at home when you ordinarily would commute. It’s quite nice that you have that hour or two to yourself extra. If you don’t want to do exercise, what about giving your office, living room, or bedroom a quick vacuum and wipe down? Well, now you would have that time at home in to do that. What about if they are feeling a little down with the flu?

People can often work from home even if they are a little sick. They can take some medication and still feel well enough to work. This is an increased boost in productivity. The productivity generally can be higher as the person feels more comfortable and with potentially less distractions at home then in the office. Now let’s take a look at some broad Pro’s and Con’s.

Pro’s of Working From Home

  • Reduced cost for the employer
  • Reduced costs (i.e. transport costs) for the employee
  • Increased flexibility for the employee
  • Software to detect productivity and working hours is available
  • Employee feels comfortable working in their own home
  • Increase productivity
  • Less unproductive meetings
  • Builds employee trust
  • Potential positive PR
  • Can attract new employees / recruit from across the globe

Con’s of Working From Home

  • Limited social interaction
  • Potentially less help readily available
  • More distractions while working at home
  • Some people may actually prefer to work from an office
  • Can feel motonomous
  • Potential to overwork

Working From Home Overview

There are many Pro’s than Con’s for working from home. It is for this reason that companies have decided to provide people that opportunity. Sometimes it may not be on a permanent basis, but certainly a number of times per week.

One of the biggest Pro’s for the employer is the increased productivity, and for the employee is not commuting to work every day. On the other hand, the biggest Con for the employer is providing less help available, and for the employee is interacting less socially every day. All in all, the Con’s can be mitigated with the correct action. This is the new age of working in the corporate environment. There is an increasing trend that suggests this will continue. What if working from home becomes the mainstream 21st century way of working going forward?

 

 

Top Tools For Managing Your Virtual Assistant

Top Tools For Managing Your Virtual Assistant

Hiring a Virtual Assistant can significantly increase your productivity and what you can achieve in a day. Once you outsource work to a VA however, you need a way to manage it. Especially if you end up bringing two, three or even four Virtual Assistants to help you get through your workload.

So how do you keep on top of everything?

We put together our collection of top tools for manage the workload of your Virtual Assistant

Task Pigeon

task pigeon cover

Task Pigeon is a free task management application for teams of under five, with a paid tier for larger teams.

We have found Task Pigeon an effective way to manage work with our VA’s because it is simple and easy to understand. This reduces the need to train your VA on how to actually use the tool and you can just get on with assigning them work.

Task Pigeon allows you to create categories to keep everything organized. For example categories we use here at First Class Office Assistance for our own VA’s are:

  • Email Outreach
  • Marketing
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Administration

This helps keep tasks organized. When you create a task you can then assign it to one or more of your VA’s and they receive an email notification so they will never miss a new task.

On top of that Task Pigeon allows you to leave comments directly in tasks, attach documents from Google Drive and Dropbox and mark tasks as in progress so you can see what your VA’s are currently working on.

Slack

Slack Cover

Slack is a team chat and collaboration tool that is great for ad-hoc communication. We use Slack for general daily chat that isn’t necessarily associated with any particular task or project.

It is also a great replacement for emails that only need a quick reply, rather than an ongoing and length response.

The great thing about slack is that there is a free tier that will suit most, if not all teams. There are also iOS and Android apps available so that your team can keep in touch with one another even when you may not necessarily in front of your computer.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts Cover

Google Hangouts is the ideal for solution for team chats when one or more people need to be on the line.

While you don’t need to speak with your Virtual Assistant face to face if you choose not to, sometimes speaking with someone when you can see them helps get on top of problems/issues quickly.

Google Hangout works really well for teams as you can provide a central link that everyone can click to join.

This may suit companies have more than one VA or where two or three employees of the company need to be on the time when speaking with the VA.

Skype

Skype Cover

We also use Skype for communicating with our Virtual Assistants. Skype is ideal for one on one communication. While you can do group calls with Skype the ability to just quickly click and call your Virtual Assistant is where it is really effective.

One of the other good things about Skype is that with the dashboard you can see who is available or has their status set to away.

Skype is also free is you are calling another skype user. This makes it ideal for teams looking for a free communication tool.

These are the key tools we use to manage tasks and communicate with Virtual Assistants. It helps keep both our business and the VA on track and ensures that there is a communication style that will suit almost any team.

And the best thing about each of the tools above, a free plan is available for each tool, so you can get your team up and running for literally no cost.

what are challenges managing remote team

What Are The Challenges Of Operating A Remote Team

As more and more companies look to save money, or reduce their startup costs, they are setting up remote teams.

Some big companies like IBM encourage working remotely, because they don’t have to prepare facilities or office space for the person.

On the other hand, some entrepreneurs who have start-ups will work from home too. They may need a developer, and this person can work from home rather than coming to an office.

Whatever the context, having a remote team has its advantages and disadvantages. There are also some potential mitigating actions against these remote team challenges.

Advantages

  • On call when needed – You can organise your team in such a way that they are on call when they are needed. If you have them working in different time zones, then you could have 24 hours coverage.
  • Reduced Cost – You don’t need to pay their internet costs, or even their facility cost. The facility cost would include furniture and other amenities that an employee usually receives in an office.
  • Higher Productivity – Your remote team can be more productive when working remotely. Part of this reason is due to the fact they are working in their own environment. This environment is something that they know and that should make them feel comfortable
  • Matrix structure – You can setup the team in such a way that they are working in a matrix. This matrix can include various personalities and skill sets that together provide a great team that achieves results. It would really depend on your choice of structuring them.
  • Faster Incident Response Rate – If you are working remotely, then a team could potentially respond to an incident much faster. Since all the team members are spread out, they can have the tools needed to respond to situations.

Challenges of a remote team

managing remote team challenges image 1

Tracking their work

It’s quite difficult to see what each team member is doing on a daily basis. You cannot just walk to their desk or into their office to ask them for an update.

Ways to mitigate this include:

  1. There are software applications out there that provide work track solutions. You may have to invest some money into buying the software. However, consider the initial investment may prove to a great benefit in the future.
  2. You can have regular meetings with the team member to assess their progress to specific deadlines/goals.

Startup Person ≠ Remote person

A person that looks like they could really work well in your startup may not have the personality needed to work remotely. For example, they may not have the discipline and focus to work on their own outside of regular supervision and the office.

To mitigate this you could:

  1. Conduct an interview. The interview is a great way to ensure that you can identify the personality and work habits of the candidate. You should take the time to understand if they have previous experience working from home and in what capacity.
  2. You should also consider to potentially give them some remote task as part of the interview process to see how long it takes them and if they deliver the quality that is expected.

Lack of team building

remote team challenges image 2

If the team is working remotely, then it can be very difficult to organise team building activities. It means that the team cannot get together and get to know each other on a more personal level.

To help mitigate this you can:

  1. You can offer to organise an annual team building in a location to which everyone agrees. It’s an opportunity for them to decide collectively what they want to meet.
  2. You can also offer to have regular weekly meetings to discuss what is going on within the team.
  3. Suggesting team members interacting with each offline, if possible, may also encourage them to work together more and getting to know each other.

Difficult to communicate

With everyone being so far apart, it can be really hard to communicate clearly and that everyone understands what is going on. The team manager/team leader and/or team members can experience this difficulty. This is especially true if the team members are working in different time zones and will not have an opportunity to talk in real time.

To help mitigate this situation you could:

  1. A regular, weekly team meeting may help solve this issue as the team can speak with each other. During the meeting, the manager/team leader should ask what is working for everyone and what is not working. This is an opportunity to resolve any issues and build on what is going well.
  2. Some rules should be in place that sets priority to different tasks and communications depending on where they are located and what is needed. This can really help manage the difficulty if team members are working in different times. For example, team members should look to resolve those queries first which are coming from a different time zone.

Work/Life Balance

People may have difficulty distinguishing between working and private life especially if they are working at home and not in a co-working space.

To mitigate this you could:

  1. Ensure that you have a system in place to monitor people’s working hours
  2. Have regular follow-ups with them if you notice that they are working beyond normal hours or you believe there is a risk they may be working too much
5-mistakes-hiring-virtual-assistant

5 Mistakes That Are Easy To Make The First Time You Hire A VA

Hiring A Virtual Assistant is meant to take the pressure off you. Too often however people make simple mistakes that lead to the VA causing them more trouble than they ever expected.

Not only does this actually decrease your productivity, but it costs you time and money as well. We have put together our list of the top 7 mistakes that are easy to make the first time you hire a VA so that you can avoid them.

Not finding a VA with the right skills

You think this would be easy to check for, but a lot of the times VA’s will list a broad and generic set of skills. For example you might want someone who is good at writing to craft an email outreach campaign. The VA you look to hire may however only ever prepared social media posts.

It’s a subtle difference, but it can make a big impact on your business. Especially if you need the email to be written in the write tone of language.

Not considering time zones

5-mistakes-hiring-virtual-assistant-image-1

While it is great to be able to find a VA at a cheap rate if they work on the other side of the world and are never available during your standard business hours it makes communication difficult.

You should always try and find a VA who is closely aligned to your own time zone so that you can maximize the time you have to communicate with them.

Not setting expectations

Many VA’s juggle multiple clients or other jobs. When hiring a VA its important that you are very clear in what you require. If you need someone from 9am to 5pm, then specify that in your job ad.

If you are not clear with both the skill set and availability you expect its easy to fall into the trap of hiring someone who can’t live up to your expectations.

Not setting any trial tasks

While it would be great to take everyone’s profile on face value unfortunately people tend to stretch the truth, especially when they are pitching for business.

Once you have found a Virtual Assistant that you think is appropriate for your business set them a few trial tasks to see how they perform. These tasks should not involve them interacting with your customer, but should try and test a few of the skills that you require them to have.

Not tracking their progress, especially in the first weeks

5-mistakes-hiring-virtual-assistant-image-2

Once you have hired a Virtual Assistant your job doesn’t stop there. You really need to track and monitor their progress. This is especially important during the first few weeks where you need to make sure they are performing their job at the required standard and are doing so in an appropriate time.

You should also take notice of any increase in customer complaints or misunderstandings that occur if any of your email correspondence is now handled by your VA. While its great to save money and take some pressure off your workload it should not come at the detriment of your business.

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Featured

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant

One of the key factors that businesses consider to market their brands and increase on profits is the use of social media.

Research indicates that more than 90% of top brands are in social media and 80% of SMEs use social media to market their products and services.

The top platforms used are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat and Instagram.

Importance of social media marketing

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Important of Social

Marketing on social media is easy and beneficial. You are able to get more knowledge on the target group and categories of people who like your brand. Furthermore, you understand your customers better and adjust to products that most suits them.

A business owner is also able to know current trends, monitor competition, market products and know the things they are not doing right as a business since your customers will always correct you. Additionally, a company is able to have a large customer base from all over the world.

Why should you outsource your social media marketing to a Virtual Assistant?

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Why outsource

As a business owner, you can’t get enough time in a day to post updates on those platforms at the same time manage your business.

This is the reason why you should delegate these duties to a reliable social media Virtual Assistant. Outsourcing your social media will not only relieve you on some duties but will also expand help expand your business by marketing it more effectively.

On top of that if you personally manage your social media accounts, you may end up spending more time online since you will be tempted to view some ads and get updated on the current affairs (The social media addiction thing).

A social media VA can operate those accounts at any time of the day since they don’t have official working hours. Delegating also saves costs you will incur when using marketing companies to promote your brands.

How do you hand over your accounts to a Social Media VA?

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Social Media Passwords

To make a Virtual Assistant promote the online growth of your company through social media, you need to hand over accounts login details i.e. username and passwords. Remember your social media VA should be a very trustworthy individual.

You can easily do this by use of Lastpass. Lastpass is a password manager that saves passwords and can allow you to get access from other computers and devices.

Another alternative is to use Buffer, a social media management platform that allows you to easily schedule posts for social media accounts and automatically publish them.

Tasks that a social media VA can handle include:               

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Snapchat

Researching content

One of the most important tasks that a social media VA can handle is research and come up with suitable content that will benefit your business including getting useful information from the web that will help improve the performance of your business.

Carrying out competitive analysis

You will be updated on what your competitors are doing. A social media Virtual Assistant will help you monitor performance of your competitors and find out the strategies they use to make them successful.

They should have a look of what your competitors are doing and try to come up with more advanced ways to outdo or be at par with them.

Monitoring audience progress

A VA can help monitor the progress of your customers and confirm if they are really satisfied with the services you offer and if not, what their complaints are. Social media VA’s will help you find out the areas that you should really be working on to improve the business and increase profitability.

They can also ask for the customers views on your products and what they think should be done to improve on quality.

Answering customer questions

A social media VA can answer customer questions on social media and update them on products that the company is offering. A VA can operate your social media platforms at any time of the day, so your customers’ questions will be answered promptly.

Creating images and graphics

A social media VA can help you create a quality image or a logo of your new brand or update a current one to be something unique and attractive to customers.

Publish and schedule posts

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Facebook

Social media VA can publish posts on the current activities taking place in the business and keep customers updated on any brands coming up, what the company is doing to deliver quality products and the progress of your company at large.

Analyze and improve

A social media VA can analyze the performance of your business according to feedback they receive from customers on social media platforms. They are able to know the complaints that customers have and try to improve on area they think the business is not concentrating on.

They can create daily action plan and networking schedules that are designed to keep networking activities in line with professional goals. A social media VA will be able to know the strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats surrounding your business.

Update your social media profile

They can keep all your accounts updated on every current detail on the company, create Facebook pages and invite people to like your page. Moreover, a social media VA can create monthly reports to update customers and stakeholders how the company or business is performing.

Conclusion

When outsourcing your social media to a VA you need to provide clear guidelines on what you expect them to do/not do. To market your brand, a customer wants to see you organized. First, you need to have a checklist of the goals you want to achieve and how you will achieve the goal through social media marketing. Know the strategies to use and the type of social media platforms that are relevant to your target market.

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant

Hiring a Virtual Assistant does not really require a lot of hassle. There a variety of online websites where you can hire a VA from anywhere and whenever you want to.

The platforms are convenient in such a way that clients post for jobs and qualified virtual assistants make their bids.

These sites will not only help you hire a Virtual Assistant, but the best VA depending on your cost, the amount of workload you have and the length of your project.

Among the best platforms where you can get a virtual assistant are the following:

Upwork

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Upwork

Upwork is one of the best platforms to hire a virtual assistant. It is a global site where businesses and independent professionals (freelancers) connect to offer services to online clients.

In Upwork, you can get a variety of virtual assistants with excellent communication skills, knowledge of Microsoft Office and excel among other skills, and also offer VA’s at a wide variety of price points depending on your budget.

Advantages of Upwork

  • Upwork gives clients an advantage of posting jobs for free.
  • As a client, you are likely to get the best VA by considering the ratings they got from previous clients. Basically, clients with the highest ratings in their previous jobs are the best.
  • It is easy to communicate with your VA. Freelancers can easily send and receive messages on the Upwork platform.
  • Upwork has secured payments. You can request for a refund in case your VA does not perform as per your expectations.

Disadvantages

  • Applicant overload. When posting for a job, a client can receive too many applications, some from unqualified freelancers or are not related to your job.
  • High charges. Upwork attracts a 10% charges fee plus extra fee for those with premium membership. This fee is indirectly passed to the client with higher hourly and fixed price rates.
  • No privacy. All communication is done through the Upwork platform so you have to share private information concerning your business with third parties.

Freelancer

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Freelancer

Freelancer is also among the best and popular freelancing sites to hire a Virtual Assistants. You can receive competitive bids from talented Virtual Assistants within minutes.  A client can hire a VA for specific projects or on ongoing basis.

Advantages of Freelancer

  • Freelancer only releases payments only when a client is satisfied with the work
  • The site has advanced chat system that allows you to freely communicate with a VA.
  • Freelancers take different skill tests relating to their area of specialization. A VA who has passed virtual assistance tests gives him advantage over the others.

One disadvantage of this platform is that there are a lot of spam projects that are posted on the site

Guru

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Guru

Guru is a freelance online marketplace for businesses and freelancers to connect collaborate and get work done.

It is a perfect site to find, hire and manage talented VAs around the globe. The platform does not attract a registration fee and it is also free to post your first project.

Other advantages of Guru include:

  • Payments are only released when the client is satisfied with the final work.
  • Guru does not disclose personal information to third parties.
  • The site offers dispute services to registered users according to the agreed term of services.

Fiverr

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Fiverr

Fiverr is a marketplace where freelancers, referred to as sellers offer services to online clients beginning at a minimal cost of $5.

Advantages

  • You can get a VA for as cheap as $5
  • As a client, you also get an advantage of working with experts who can do tasks better because they offer services in things they like doing.

Disadvantages

  • Freelancers are not screened. A client can get a VA who pretends to have experience yet they don’t and they end up hiring an inexperienced and incompetent VA.
  • Fiverr has limited payment methods. It mostly relies on PayPal.

Peopleperhour

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - PeoplePerHour

When you need someone to delegate your duties to, consider getting a VA from this site. Peopleperhour specializes in providing variety of virtual assistants who offer different types of skills on a flexible and efficient basis.

Businesses that use this platform are mostly startups and SMEs. Getting started is free. A client just signs up and start posting for jobs immediately. One disadvantages of this site is that it charges a high commission rate.

Zirtual

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Zirtual

Zirtual is among the virtual assistant websites known for hiring VAs to work from home. It matches clients with highly qualified and dedicated virtual assistants.

All VAs go through a vetting process to test different aspect of virtual assistance including communication, web research and time management. Successful virtual assistants perform tasks for Zirtual clients.

365 Outsourcing

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - 365 Outsourcing

You can eliminate the need for an office space by getting a VA from 365 outsourcing.

Candidates are carefully vetted to make sure a client gets a skilled and talented VA. A staff is assigned to follow your business workflow and monitor the efficiency of your assigned VA.

The virtual assistants are able to provide a range of daily tasks including data entry, office administration, document management and transcription. An advantage of 365 outsourcing is that it offers free consultation services. A client describes their projects and requirements and is assigned a VA who perfectly suits their job description.

Virtual CoWorker

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Virtual CoWorker

On this platform, clients are given an opportunity to work with Virtual Assistants from all over the world. It offers long term opportunities for both full time and part time virtual assistance jobs. Virtual CoWorker has a team that helps clients in managing daily operations. The site solves issues that may arise between clients and VAs. Virtual assistants have good communication skills and solid background experience in virtual assistance, are disciplined and can independently work from home.

Virtual Valley

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Virtual Valley

Virtual Valley is a team building platform whereby entrepreneurs can hire virtual assistants. It has tracking software and a VA’s time is traced and invoiced to clients at the end of every month.

Conclusion

As much as the above sites will help you hire a virtual assistant, it is important to interview your VA once you get someone who has the potential, to confirm if they are the best suit for your job. As a client, you should create some time to train them in your area of specialization and increase their competency. Remember these sites only act as middlemen and are there to make money but the progress and development of your business entirely lie on your hands. If that all seems like too much hassle, we at First Class Office Assistance can handle the process from start to finish for you!

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Featured

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant

Can you make more money when you have a virtual assistant?  

Yes, you can!

Successful individuals are fully aware that their success depends on the people they work with. Among those people is a Virtual Assistant. When a VA gets into your business, they control almost every aspect of it and help you release that work related pressure. If you are looking to hire your first VA, check out the how to guide here.

A VA can be important to both you and your business and can benefit you in the following ways:

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Reduce Costs

  1. Reduces labor costs

A VA works at the comfort of their homes.

When you have a VA around, you do not need to worry about furniture and office spaces .You also do not incur costs on taxes, payrolls, sick leave and other employee remunerations. Furthermore, a business owner will not spend more on employee training.

A VA is very affordable such that you only pay for the hours they spent on your project, unlike full time employees who are paid for even the unproductive hours. It is estimated that a VA costs 3 times cheaper than an employee working in a normal office environment.

  1. Access to the best talents

Another benefit of hiring a VA is that they come from different geographical locations and also have different skills from handling clients from all over the world.

Working with a VA exposes your business to the world’s best talents. With the expertise they have, a VA knows exactly what to do take your business to the top.

  1. Reduces work load

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Reduce Workload

Another benefit of hiring a VA is that they reduce your work load.

You do not need to spend a lot of time in doing stuff that are not very beneficial in your business like typing letters and answering phone calls. A VA can help you with that kind of work. As a business owner, you only need to be a boss and do what bosses do, increase your business productivity.

Additionally, a VA can save you a lot of hassle by helping organize your work and ensure smooth running of your business. You do not spend time on learning how to use social media or train yourself on how to post videos on YouTube. You only focus on things that really important on your business.

  1. Helps you focus on core activities

When you hire a VA, you will start focusing more on how to make your business more efficient and increase profitability.

Your productivity increases since you only concentrate on things that require your attention more and what really matters in your business. You will be involved in more important things like finding how to get the best clients and ways to maximize your profits.

  1. Confidentiality of information

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Confidential Info

Basically, a VA handles almost every important details of your business, they read all your papers and know the decisions you make concerning the business. Good thing is that they work from home and their presence is not required in the business. And information cannot spread all over the company.

  1. Advanced skills

Having a VA means more work done in less time and with a minimum costs.

VA’s are specialized individuals who have experience in working with different clients around the globe and in various industries too. They are able to apply their experiences in your business and increase your productivity.

While researching through the internet, they can spot an area of opportunity get important information to improve your business. They know what your competitors do to succeed and can develop marketing strategies for you. VAs can also find ways to improve your business and make it more efficient.

  1. Provide quality service

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Quality Service

You do not need to spend more time on training.

A virtual assistant can start working immediately without making common mistakes that are made by new employees in the office.

Their success depends on satisfaction of their clients.

Satisfied clients means more job for a VA hence they will strive to deliver quality for the benefit of your business.

Virtual Assistants can even go to the extremes and over deliver. This means you will be working with a dedicated and concentrated VA. Due to their previous experience, they do what they are really good at and can apply the ideas they got from previous clients to your business.

  1. Have free time

When was the last time you ever stepped at the gym or took your family out for swimming?

Think of this, a VA will help you get enough time to be with your family and friends knowing that everything in the office is well taken care of.

You will have enough time to think about moving your business forward and different area to invest in. You also have the time to meet with other successful business people and share ideas.

  1. Help you develop management practices

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Management

This is especially if you are a sole proprietorship entrepreneur and do not have any physical employees at your disposal, you are able to develop management practices since you will learn to train, delegate, direct, organize and coordinate all the activities performed by your virtual assistant.

  1. Saves the hassle of hiring a full time employee

Hiring a VA reduces the stress that comes with hiring a full time employee that includes advertising, recruiting and conducting interviews to get a successful candidate, and after all that you still need to train them on the job. And all that costs money too!

A VA can save you all that struggle since you only need to go online, select a candidate with good reviews from previous clients and you are good to go.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Featured

How To Become A Virtual Assistant

Are you tired of being broke and willing to earn extra cash at the comfort of your home, then it is time for you to have a career as a Virtual Assistant.

Here’s how!

A Virtual Assistant is an individual who offers administrative and technical support to individuals and companies who do not have enough hours in a day to have everything worked out, and is recommended as one of the five ways to automate your business. A VA can work from anywhere and does not necessarily need an office space.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – The Benefits

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Benefits

  1. Flexibility and independence

By becoming a Virtual Assistant, you have the freedom to choose the type of work, clients to deal with and create a schedule that fits your lifestyle.

Working as a VA gives you enough time to be with your friends and family and not worry about bosses who are always on your neck. A VA has the freedom to decide whether to work part or full time and who to work for (you are also free to select the pay rate you charge). In other words, you are your own boss!

  1. Ability to work from home

A Virtual Assistant has the privilege to work from home. You do not need to incur extra cost on transport expenses to and from work.  You are also able to work at the comfort of your own homes or anywhere you like, provided there is an internet connection.

As a VA, you do not have fixed schedules and you can select your own working hours by considering the appropriate time for you to work.

  1. Income potential

A Virtual Assistant typically earns a higher per hour wage than an administrative assistant performing similar tasks in a traditional office setting. Because businesses don’t have to pay any of many of the costs associated with hiring on site staff, these savings are reflected in the hourly rate that a VA can earn.

As a VA, you do not have a fixed income. You can decide select more projects and increase your income according to your availability.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – Key Services

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Services

A Virtual Assistant is capable of handling almost everything in the office from basic duties like receiving phone calls to more complex tasks. Among the duties that you can be assigned as a when workings as a VA are:

  • Online research
  • transcribing
  • data entry
  • data mining
  • setting up linked in groups
  • social media and marketing
  • calendar and diary management
  • editing and proofreading

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – What Do You Need To Start

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Get Started

As much as being a virtual assistant does not require one to have an office space, you should have some equipment at your possession.

First, you need to create a space which will work as your office. It should be a quiet and designated workplace, free from destructions. The place should also be presentable in such a manner that you can comfortably have a video call with a client.

You also need a comfortable chair, personal computer or a laptop, with a strong internet connection.

Who Can Make A Great Virtual Assistant

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Great VA

Note that not everyone can work as a virtual assistant. To become a successful VA, You need to be hardworking, determined and patient. You should possess several qualities to make stand out as the best VA.

Some of the most important skills include;

  1. Great personality

A good Virtual Assistant should love what he or she does, be a motivated and disciplined individual. They should be able to work like they really own the job.

A VA works with many different types of client in different industries so you should know how to handle each and every one of them.

  1. Excellent communication

As a Virtual Assistant, you will constantly be communicating with your clients on a daily basis .This means you should be able to have perfect communication skills. You should be in a position to listen carefully and understand what the client say and communicate clearly and effectively.

  1. Time management

You should be able to manage your time well and prioritize the most important tasks so as deliver your work within the time limit set by the client.

  1. Organizational skills

A Virtual Assistant should be organized. Clients do not want floppy disorganized output. VAs should organize themselves not only for the clients benefit but also for their own good.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – Finding Your First Client

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - First Clients

The most important thing to note when starting out as a Virtual Assistant is that you should not only get into the career to earn some income but deliver quality. You should be willing to start small and the more clients you get, the more advanced you become in the career.

Patience is the key to get your first client.

You should also be very aggressive. Nobody will know you are a virtual assistant and come knocking at your door if you do not communicate. After you are well prepared and confident enough to work as a VA, then it’s time for you to consider getting clients. A virtual assistant can get clients from the following sources:

  1. Freelancing websites

You can get access to thousands of jobs that require virtual assistants in freelancing platforms.

Staring out as a VA can be quite difficult in these sites especially when you do not have any rating from previous jobs and potential clients can’t measure your performance. So when you get a client, work as per their expectations, follow all the instructions given and ask for clarifications on tasks you do not understand. Satisfy your clients and you can end up retaining them.

They will also give you good recommendations that will attract more clients. Among the platforms where you can find virtual assistance jobs include Upwork, Guru and Fiverr, freelancer and PeoplePerour.

  1. Social media platforms

Aggressiveness is the key to kick off your career as a Virtual Assistant. Market yourself on your Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin accounts or even on Instagram (mention something about virtual assistance when posting those photos) and you never know, somebody might be out there watching and you can end up being hired!

  1. Your network

You possibly have friends, relatives or neighbors who go through a rough day doing everything in the offices. Why not approach them and offer your services as a virtual assistant?

  1. Cold emailing

Cold pitching is simply sending a personalized email to someone after you check their website or blog. You can try your luck by cold pitching an individual when you realize they are hiring virtual assistants.

You might also want to consider reading our post on how businesses go about hiring Virtual Assistants!

How Can I Advance My Career and Get More Clients?

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Get More Clients As a VA

Virtual assistance requires confidence and dedication.

The more you look for clients the more they come.

Write very convincing cover letters that will make clients think twice before ruling you out.

One of the best ways to get more clients is to do your work perfectly and leave clients satisfied and give you good ratings. Before embarking on a job, research the details and know how exactly the clients wants the job to be done.

When a client is happy with your work, they will highly recommend you to other clients.

How do I Effectively Manage my Time and Work?

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Get More Clients As a VA - Manage time

First you should be able to set aside a number of hours that you will be working in a day. During these working hours, avoid distractions. Make sure your mobile phone is away from you and the TV is off.

To succeed in working as a Virtual Assistant from home, you really must set boundaries. You also need to prioritize your tasks. Start with the most simple duties then move on to the complex tasks. When working as a VA, don’t jump between jobs, pick on one niche and specialize in it. This saves a lot of time when looking for a job since you only need to type a keyword.

Conclusion

Becoming a successful Virtual Assistant does not just come overnight.

You must establish yourself first before reaping the benefits.

Since you are working from home with no supervision, you have to be dedicated and disciplined. Starting at times can be a bit challenging but don’t give up, always learn to be persistent.