A virtual staff is a collective of contracted people who work online from a remote location. Businesses regardless of size, scale and type of industry will benefit if they outsource work to a virtual assistant. But small business enterprises will benefit the most given their tight resources and limited access to capital.
To help you understand more about the benefits of outsourcing, we have prepared an infographic for you. Enjoy! (To download and embed the infographic, scroll down)
Despite the increasing popularity of integrating virtual assistants in the work force, quite a number of people still have misconceptions on what a VA can do. There are those who believe a Virtual Assistant functions like a secretary and provides personal assistant services at the same time. While those functions are still expected for a typical Virtual Assistant, the profession has evolved to include more technical skills.
Small businesses are well advised to assemble virtual assistants covering key areas of operation. An example of a structure for a virtual organization is as follows:
General Administrative :
- E-mail filtering
- Customer Relationship Management
- Appointment Setting
- Calendar Management
- Outbound/Inbound Phone Handling
- Preparation of Cash Flows
- Disbursement Schedules
- Payroll Preparation
- Website Design
- Website Maintenance
- Network Security
Digital Marketing :
- Social Media
- Lead Generation
- Content Creation
This organizational structure covers the back office and marketing functions of a business. The Back Office group builds the foundation of the company by keeping track of the activities that support the operations of the enterprise. Can you imagine if the business owner had to perform all of these tasks on a daily basis? His business would not progress. And if he or she tried to set aside some of these activities, it would confound the situation by increasing the rate of delays, the level of risk and the probability of missed opportunities. Even if the business owner had the requisite skill sets to perform these tasks, there simply wouldn’t be enough time to get everything done accordingly.
There are five great reasons why your business should outsource work to a virtual assistant.
Lower Cost of Operations
A Virtual Assistant or VA costs approximately one third of a regular office worker and is not entitled to benefits mandated by the government. As a remote worker who is essentially self-employed, a VA operates from his or her own location and provides the computer and other hardware for operation. By hiring a team of virtual assistants you lower your costs of operation by saving up on payroll, benefits, rent and Internet.
For several business owners, time becomes a precious commodity. A staff of VA’s can relieve the business owner from having to attend to non-essential tasks so he or she can focus on activities that can potentially generate revenues. In the United States, businesses aggressively outsourced non-core functions to countries such as the Philippines and India during the fall of worldwide equities market in 2007 so they can re-align resources to core functions that bring in revenues.
In addition to having more time to focus on essential tasks, a team of virtual assistants increase productivity by focusing specifically on areas that fall under their core competencies. For example, social media functions to enhance the businesses’ online presence but is a time-consuming task. You need to have time to create content, research, post articles and engage. Not only that, but all of these tasks require a specific skill set which only experienced social media marketers possess.
Hiring virtual workers from varying remote locations improve flexibility especially if time zone differentials exist. For example, you can schedule your General Administrative and Accounting VA’s to work during your regular office hours. Their scope of work covers tasks that are related to your daily activities. Then you can schedule the IT and Digital Marketing VA’s to work after-office hours. They can receive incoming calls and inquiries. By hiring VA’s, you can have your business attended to 24 hours.
It was Tim Ferris who put the VA in the business vocabulary. By hiring VA’s to attend to his non-essential tasks and some key areas of his business, Ferris was able to experience life and become more productive. Despite what we think of our abilities, we cannot do everything ourselves. There comes a point where the more we do, the less we accomplish and the more stress we experience. Stress compromises more than just our level of productivity. Stress poses a serious health risk and is the leading cause of many disorders and afflictions.
By outsourcing work to virtual staff, there would be better organization, greater efficiency in operation and it would be easy to track performance as well as determine accountability if there is a lag in performance.
Read more about outsourcing at OutsourceWorkers.com.au.