Virtual assistants are seen as a valuable asset in any organization. They will contribute to the productivity of your business without breaking your operating budgets. Entrepreneurs and small business owners eventually come to a point where they will realize business is not something they can do on their own and will need assistance. A Virtual Assistant will provide what you will need to keep your business on its growth path.
Here are 6 ways a Virtual Assistant can make you a better entrepreneur:
1. Efficient Allocation of Resources
Hiring a Virtual Assistant will help your business increase its scale of operation without compromising your monthly operating budget.
You can generate better cost savings and moderate risks by going with a Virtual Assistant rather than a full- time employee. This is because the costs associated with a Virtual Assistant are much lower than a full-time employee.
You only pay a Virtual Assistant per productive hour. If he doesn’t work, he will not get paid. You are also not required to pay benefits to your Virtual Assistant because he or she is technically self-employed. Thus, you will not incur incremental costs in Internet, rent and utilities because these are his or her business expenses.
It is estimated that you will realize a cost savings of 40% with a Virtual Assistant compared to a full- time employee. The 40% cost savings that was generated can be re-purposed and used for other projects of the business.
2. Better Productivity
By having a Virtual Assistant on- board your business you can improve productivity a number of ways.
First, you can delegate non- essential tasks to your Virtual Assistant. These include e- mail filtering which usually takes most of an entrepreneur’s mornings. Other non-essential tasks include calendar management, phone handling, payroll preparation, social media management and limited correspondence.
Second, because you have delegated non- essential tasks to your Virtual Assistant, you have more time to attend to the core functions of your business. Core functions are the tasks that generate income for the company.
Third, because a Virtual Assistant is paid on a per productive hour basis, he or she will work to make sure all assigned tasks are accomplished on or before the designated date. With a Virtual Assistant, you are guaranteed that time paid for is time well spent.
3. Improved Organization
One of the most valuable skills of a Virtual Assistant is organization. You cannot be a successful Virtual Assistant if you do not have exemplary organizational skills.
Remember that a Virtual Assistant is just like you; an entrepreneur. He has to manage his own clients, time, expenses and income. Over the years, organization becomes second nature to the Virtual Assistant.
For the entrepreneur who has to remain focused on the core business, he must be assured that all obligations are taken care of and settled on time. A Virtual Assistant can neatly file all of your payments and create a weekly cash disbursement schedule to make sure creditors are paid accordingly.
4. Learn New Skills
Even though most of the tasks delegated to virtual assistants are categorized as non- essential, you can learn the systematic way in which they handle or organize them. Most entrepreneurs have so much work on their plate they have no time to learn new skills.
A good example would be social media marketing. It is one of the most popular and effective techniques of online marketing. Nearly everyone on the planet has a social media account but not everyone can do social media marketing.
Demand is high for virtual assistants who have skills and experience in social media because this is one aspect of business development that requires dedicated time and strategy.
By working frequently or at the very least, observing how the Virtual Assistant carries out her social media marketing tasks, you can learn how to create and implement campaigns on your own.
5. Greater Flexibility in Operations
Some entrepreneurs are concerned about the existence of time zone differentials when you hire virtual assistants from remote locations such as India or the Philippines.
These entrepreneurs are very much hands- on and feel more comfortable with close collaboration which can be a challenge in the virtual world. Because of logistical concerns, some of these entrepreneurs feel more comfortable if the Virtual Assistant can work with them during regular work hours.
Problem is, with a 12 hour differential that could have an effect on the quality of work of the Virtual Assistant.
A solution would be to hire two virtual assistants each with only four hour shifts. With the shortened work hours, they would be able to maintain focus better because the four hour work schedule would decrease fatigue.
Another option would be to hire a team to oversee your business after your regular operating hours. This way, your business can be managed for almost 24 hours a day. If the post- shift group is tasked to manage customer service, they would be able to attend to all inquiries.
6. Reduced Levels of Stress
Entrepreneurs are hard workers. They put in long hours every day sometimes even on weekends. But success is not determined by the quantity of your hours. It is all about staying productive.
With a Virtual Assistant, you can delegate not just the non- essential tasks but also other responsibilities that need to attended to. By delegating some of your tasks to the Virtual Assistant, you will free up time for yourself.
Entrepreneurs have little appreciation for the value of rest and relaxation. Many do not want to take breaks because they view it as missing out on opportunities.
The only time they realize the value of rest is when they start having health issues. Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Your business is an investment that you have to grow. But without rest, the levels of stress can reach dangerously risky levels.
Hire a Virtual Assistant and teach her the ropes. In time she will be proficient enough so you can finally take the vacation that has been put off for the last few years.
The benefits you can gain from hiring a Virtual Assistant will go beyond the numbers indicated in the Profit and Loss Statement.
Not only will productivity and income levels grow when you hire a Virtual Assistant. You will also develop as an entrepreneur by learning new skills, competencies and having a greater understanding of your strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. You will develop the necessary tools and skills necessary to sustain the success of your business.