The Entrepreneur – Managing Risk with a Virtual Assistant
Entrepreneurs are risk-takers. They want to accept accountability for decisions made in the entrepreneurial journey because they believe it is the key to success. Thus, the entrepreneur feels compelled to take on all roles in the business. He or she wants to know everything that happens in the enterprise. Entrepreneurs usually are owners of small business and have limited access to funding. The day-to-day challenge is to effectively manage these limited funds until the business can sustain itself.
With so many tasks and responsibilities to handle what is an entrepreneur to do?
Enter the virtual world and hire a Virtual Assistant.
As the term implies, a virtual assistant is a person who plies his or her business in the virtual world. VAs are hired to manage the tasks a business owner can no longer accommodate. Among the common tasks delegated are secretarial and personal assistant services.
All businesses allocate resources for the purpose of creating organization or structure. But owners of small businesses have tight constraints on spending and cannot afford the US$20/hour rate charged by onsite assistants. Recruiting online assistance is an affordable option as virtual employees on average charge US$10 per hour. Remote workers from Asia and Europe charge even lower at US$4 to US$7 per hour. The cost savings of US$10 to US$14 per hour will go a long way in sustaining the business especially for the first six months of operation where building a network of potential buyers, developing markets or establishing a distribution chain are the main focus.
But a Virtual Assistant can contribute more to the success of the enterprise than just manage non-essential tasks and generate cost savings.
Properly managed, virtual assistance work can transform a fledgling business into an efficiently performing and professionally run enterprise. Before launching a business, the entrepreneur has to build its foundations and these have to be set in place.
Back Office Operations
Back office comprise support services such as accounting and IT. A strong back office group will assure the entrepreneur of efficiency. Entrepreneurs with limited funds should base their decisions on cash flow. A VA with experience in Accounting can track cash flow and keep the business owner within cost parameters. Obligations to creditors must be constantly updated to avoid disruption of services.
Social Media Marketing
The popularity of social media has given businesses access to potential markets worldwide. Several of these popular social media networks have a large volume of users. Social media has become a valuable resource to promote businesses, products and services. But effective social media is all about strategy and knowing what to post, whom to post to and when. It is an exercise where success is contingent on timing and frequency. Most entrepreneurs are familiar with only one or two networking platforms and should outsource marketing. A social media marketer can create content and have these posted on all the relevant networks in the most crucial times and days of the week.
Entrepreneurs are more concerned on handling essential tasks that relate directly to the main enterprise. Non-essential tasks can take valuable time away from functions that could contribute immediately to income. The truth is, managing these responsibilities is essential in keeping the business organized. Entrepreneurs can bring prospects through the operational funnel but converting these to sales is not a skill. Effective communication is crucial in pushing a sale and experienced virtual assistants especially those with a real estate or retail background know how and when to correspond with prospects.
An entrepreneur does not need to designate a VA per key area of responsibility. Some of these tasks can be grouped and assigned to two or three virtual assistants. For example, social media marketing can be grouped with business administration functions. Generally, accounting and sales functions have to be kept separate and distinct.
By hiring a virtual assistant, an entrepreneur can set his enterprise on course and mitigate the risks he or she is expected to meet along the challenging road to success.