As you know, having your own office implies knowing how to manage your time and resources well. But, above all, it requires the constant search for business opportunities, without neglecting the execution of your projects and monitoring the current clients you work with. Has it happened to you that you are in an important meeting and a client calls you and you cannot answer?
Or that you wanted to take a couple of days of vacation outside the country and then you see that you have 2 or 3 days of unanswered emails, messages on your social networks, and many pending? It is then that having help becomes essential and a virtual assistant will be very useful.
A Virtual Assistant is a person specialized in a specific area who provides their services remotely. It is usually in charge of repetitive and time-consuming tasks, but which are necessary for proper business operation: administration, web development, marketing, social media, agenda management, call management, among others.
Usually, VAs work independently (under a scalable business model), although due to their popularity, agencies of virtual assistants have emerged, which are in charge of connecting VAs with their clients.
The figure of the virtual assistant had its boom starting in 2005. Entrepreneur magazine states that since that date, teleworking in the US has increased 79.7%.
This increase is mainly due to the technological development that the planet has experienced in recent decades. Now, thanks to the internet, anyone is able to telecommute and be connected when their boss requires it, without having to be present in the office.
What is a Virtual Assistant about?
Thanks to the use of technological tools, it is now possible to optimize work, performing various functions from anywhere. And all you need in most cases is a computer, internet, and a phone number.
This makes it possible for business managers to delegate certain tasks to someone else to be in charge of following up and solving them without needing to be present all the time.
Some of the functions of a virtual assistant are:
- Email attention
- Attention of telephone lines
- Technical support and customer help
- Managing your schedule and managing appointments
- Tracking sales prospects
- Request for quotes and search for suppliers
- Search for new clients and business opportunities
- Email marketing
- Response to queries on social networks and chat
- Billing and charges by phone or through the internet
- To work with a virtual assistant, you can coordinate via phone, email, and task management tools like Asana or Trello, which allow you to assign tasks, monitor progress, and organize everything by project if you need to.
Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant
You save on space, equipment, and office supplies
In addition to saving space, since the virtual assistant does the work from home, it also means that you can save on the acquisition of equipment. This means that you will not need to invest in furniture, computers, air conditioners, etc.
You hire for less money
One of the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant is that you can only hire seasonally or by schedule. Another possibility is that you only contract in the periods in which you have to travel or in certain hours or days in which you cannot serve clients. Therefore, by paying only part-time, you are saving money on paying a fixed full-time salary.
You respond faster to your customers
As a business owner, it has surely happened to you that you have been very busy and time passes without being able to check your email. Or suddenly you have many appointments to attend and you do not have time to check your social networks, update them, respond to comments, etc.
To do this, a virtual assistant can support you by responding instantly to the queries that customers usually make, answering the phone when you are busy and do not miss the call, answering emails more efficiently, etc. It can even reply to the chat on your website or the inboxes and private messages from your social networks.
Your business remains open even if you aren’t
It’s a relief to have someone who can take care of customers while you’re gone. The virtual assistant can take calls, resolve everyday matters, schedule appointments for when you return, etc. And if a very urgent matter arises, he or she may contact you for consultation. Thus, your business does not stop and at the same time, you can have time for yourself.