What is virtual assistant?

What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is an independent worker who assists with administrative, business development, social media, marketing, or other tasks. By taking over recurring tasks and administrative work, they release time for little business owners, entrepreneurs, and managers.

The virtual assistant works remotely, often from a headquarters. Virtual assistants could also
be US-based but can also be located in another country.
VAs became incredibly fashionable small businesses over the past decade because they’re a versatile workforce. A virtual assistant is often part-time or full-time, counting on your requirements.
Virtual assistants could also be paid an hourly rate. Or they will get paid a hard and fast fee per week or month.
Often, you’ll get a far better deal and deeper benefit by hiring a full-time virtual assistant, for several reasons:
Prices are often surprisingly affordable, especially for offshore workers.
It’s easier to integrate a full-time assistant into regular workflows and obtain a deeper enjoy the arrangement.
A full-time VA is going to be better positioned to find out any special software apps you need, develop cordial relationships with co-workers and customers, and grow with you because the business grows.
Some virtual assistants work as independent freelancers. Others are a part of a corporation or agency where you hire the corporate to supply a versatile workforce. once you work with a virtual assistant company, you handling a manager who will discuss your needs and find the simplest fit.
Benefits of a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants can do tons to spice up your business’s productivity. consider it this manner. How an owner spends his or her time could be the most important thing about the success of the business. So, business owners (and key managers) got to spend their time on high-value activities.
What type of tasks a virtual assistant can do for you?
A virtual assistant performs a spread of tasks. These range from scheduling appointments to screening and responding to emails. But scheduling and emails are just the tips of the iceberg. If it is often done online, a virtual assistant can probably roll in the hay.
Here’s your ultimate guide to virtual assistants, what they’re and what they are doing.
Calendar Management
Managing your calendar, both professional and private, is one of an entrepreneur’s greatest challenges. From providing reminders to scheduling appointments, virtual assistants can make it effortless for you. They can:

1. Coordinate and schedule calls and appointments. This alone typically saves owners about 10 hours every week and keeps them from doing these tasks that they dislike. The keys to offer your assistant rules about when and who. VAs also schedule involves some team members.
2. Confirm appointments. A best practice is to offer the virtual assistant an inventory of appointments to verify, like subsequent day’s appointments. This eliminates dalliance when the opposite party forgets or waits until the eleventh hour to cancel.
3. Provide reminders about calls and appointments. There are times once you might forget to form a call, especially when out of the office or in back-to-back meetings. The virtual assistant can call or text you a couple of minutes before to make sure you don’t forget.
4. Reschedule calls and appointments. While you’ll attempt to avoid it, sometimes, you would like to reschedule. Your VA can handle this for you.
5. Provide notice of schedule changes to others. The virtual assistant also will provide notice to the opposite party and obtain the rescheduled time confirmed.
6. Protect time. It is often hard for business owners to mention no to someone who wants to satisfy for a coffee to “catch up.” The VA is often the bad cop.
7. Send and maintain a “pending list”. Each week, virtual assistants can send you an inventory of individuals that haven’t skilled requests for fixing a gathering or a call so you recognize once you need to urge involved.
8. Inform significant others once you are going to be out of town. As a part of a travel process, the VA gives significant others calendar invites with the out-of-town dates alongside flight and hotel details. This keeps them informed.

Email and get in touch with Management and Communications

If you’re buried under plenty of emails — or if you need someone to update your contact list — note. an honest virtual assistant can save hours of your time by doing the subsequent activities:

9. Screen emails. supported rules you set, VAs will delete, respond, forward, or flag emails for your attention.

10. Add people to contacts. once you have a call, meeting, or another sort of engagement with someone new, the virtual assistant can add that person’s details to your contacts.

11. Update people’s info to contacts. Sometimes, a contact’s telephone number or other information isn’t known directly. A VA can add information to contacts because it becomes available — say from an email signature.

12. Add contacts to CRM. one of the most reasons that tiny businesses don’t use their CRM app is thanks to the time involved in entering data. Virtual assistants can increase and organize your CRM system.
Phone Tasks
If you would like some light receptionist work done, or phone interactions, a virtual assistant can do certain tasks.
13. Perform light receptionist duties. When expecting important calls that you simply might not be available to answer, calls are forwarded to the virtual assistant.

14. Transcribe voicemails. As most voicemails can now be received by email, these are forwarded to the VA for transcription. And any necessary follow-up activities.
TravelArranging flights and hotels for business travel could eat up far more time than you realize. Isn’t that point you’ll better spend performing on your business? A virtual assistant can:

15. Research flights. A virtual assistant can screen flights to satisfy your criteria and present options to you. By providing them with an airline, seat, and other preferences, the VA will save a tremendous amount of your time over the course of a year.
16. Research hotels. almost like aviation, by providing the virtual assistant with hotel preferences, including any special rates you get, they will present a shortlist to you.
17. Book flights and hotels. By providing the VA with credit cards and frequent flyer information, they will book travel once you’ve decided.
18. Research transportation options. This includes rental cars, rideshare, and sometimes even public transportation.
19. Book transportation. Beyond researching these options, your virtual assistant also can book the remainder of your transportation — as they are doing your flights.

20. Arrange for events. Whether it’s a special restaurant or meeting space or maybe a concert, the virtual assistant researches and makes arrangements for you.
21. Suspend newspaper or mail. Your virtual assistant can stop these regular services once you are traveling.

Business Development
Whether researching leads on LinkedIn or finding email addresses, there’s tons of leg add business development. A virtual assistant can do these activities, letting you specialize in the private interactions involved in making sales.

22. Research leads on LinkedIn. B2B businesses (and some B2C businesses) must keep an inventory of ideal clients. A virtual assistant, following guidance from you, can research LinkedIn and creates an inventory of prospective clients.

23. Find email addresses. Using databases alongside Google, a VA can find email addresses of prospective clients you would like to contact.

24. Design presentations. A VA can enhance proposals by finding and inserting a prospect’s logo and changing the text color to match. they will also animate slides as appropriate.
Management
As you scale your business, there’ll be many management functions that require to urge done. you’ll get to assemble reports for clients. this might simply mean producing tons of knowledge you’ll have already got. There are other management functions — like recruiting more people to your team. you’ll easily delegate a number of these to your virtual assistant.
25. Assemble reports. A VA can create KPI reports at pre-determined intervals to track progress.
26. Help to recruit employees. The competition permanently people is tougher than the competition for workers. VAs screen LinkedIn for prospective employees supported criteria that you simply provide.

Accounting
Does doing the books or sending invoices to fill you with dread? Why not have your VA do that stuff instead.

27. Maintain the books. With touch training, virtual assistants can review and match transactions and handle monthly reconciliations.

28. Create and send invoices. With the assistance of templates, a VA can create invoices and send them to clients.

29. Chase down payments. All companies should have an asset process. virtual assistants can follow that process and collect A/R. the method can include escalation to the business owner or somebody else when appropriate.
Personal Errands
You’ve got a private life too. Making restaurant reservations and sending gifts takes time. But they’re extremely important for maintaining your personal relationships. And you’re alleged to be running a business at an equivalent time? Get your virtual assistant to assist.
30. Make personal restaurant reservations. Armed with personal preferences and log-in details for booking sites like Open Table, VAs can book restaurant reservations then invite the guests.
31. Make purchases. Sometimes even Amazon doesn’t have what you would like and therefore the purchase process is just too time-consuming. A virtual assistant can shop online and obtain you what you would like.
32. Research and send gifts. When a present card won’t do, your assistant can search for something unique and make it happen.

33. Manage the logistics for your hobby. Whether finding and arranging a studio for your garage band or arranging the small print of your book club, a VA can take the tedious details off your plate enabling you to rock (or read) on.

34. Hunt problem orders. When an order doesn’t arrive on time, a virtual assistant can do the waiting-on-hold and obtain to the rock bottom of it while keeping you updated.

35. Manage the family calendar. This is often another simple personal task your virtual assistant can begin your plate.

36. Schedule medical appointments. With birthdates and insurance details, a VA can schedule doctor visits and even start to fill out those annoying forms.

37. pay personal bills. For those vendors you don’t buy from regularly or who don’t have online payment options, a virtual assistant pays the bills.

38. Call stores to urge information. Whether you’re trying to find a hard-to-find bottle of scotch or a present, a VA will make the calls to seek out the shop that has what you’re trying to find.

What skills a virtual assistant must have?

Virtual Assistant must have these skills
Word Processing skills. Word Processing may be a basic virtual assistant task that is nearly always done by virtual assistants and is never overlooked. …
Oral Communication and Writing skills. …
Computer skills. …
Self-Motivation and Discipline. …
Quick Thinking and Effective Decision Making. …
Lastly, Love Continuous Learning.

Is virtual assistant a job hard?

Being a Virtual Assistant is tough work.

If you are not a naturally ambitious or motivated person, you would possibly struggle. it’s not the type of job where you’ll afford to abate (even if you’re performing from home with nobody watching you!). Word can get around quickly about how good or not good you’re as a VA.

Virtual assistant is a type of an online job in which a person works from his or her home office in an independent capacity for the client. The tasks performed by virtual assistants are diverse in their range and includes administrative services, digital marketing tasks, bookkeeping, web designing, blogging, graphic designing, scheduling client’s customer base or supplier chain activities, making phone calls on client’s behalf, looking after client’s email addresses, managing client’s events, social media campaigns management and even involve managing client’s personal tasks. In the recent years, many people have become more inclined towards working from home. Also the pandemic has forced people to continue their business activities in limited physical boundaries. This factor has created a sharp rise in the demand for virtual assistants.

Reasons Behind Hiring Virtual Assistants:

Some of the reasons for which virtual assistants are hired by employers most often by small start-ups and entrepreneurs instead of increasing workforce at the office place are listed below:

Enhancing Work Force Productivity: The key in any business either on small scale or large scale is to first focus on the technical details of the business venture and after that to focus on managing daily routine clerical tasks. Though businesses cannot afford to overlook the latter category of work, still it is observed that entrepreneurs can accelerate their profit stream if they manage to perfect the technical details of a business. This is the chief reason behind why businesses toady outsource back-room tasks to virtual assistants in order to be able to focus on enhancing technical work force productivity and responding to their requirements in accordance to rapidly changing business dynamics.
Outsourcing is Cheap: Outsourcing costs less in comparison to opting for permanent staffing by eliminating expenses related to in-house training, provision of office space and office supplies and amount incurred on infrastructure and number of personnel needed by HR department to hire and train new employees. Hence, making use of virtual assistants as online employees is cost efficient.
Faster Service Provision: Virtual assistants help entrepreneurs in faster provision of business service to the target customer base by eliminating the need to invest time on secondary tasks. Thus by saving time, businesses are able to focus on technical production refinements which enhances productivity and consequently boost company’s bottom line figure.

Developing a Career as a Virtual Assistant:

Most people assume that freelancers or virtual assistants are in this field on a part-time basis just to make a side income. However with the shift in world’s dynamics towards online workers, more and more people are adopting this field as a full-time job. There are few tips and tricks which virtual assistants can use to match their income stream to the income stream generated by a professional vacancy.

Online Certifications: There are a lot of online courses and certifications that are available now with the purpose of providing proper educational training on various technicalities involved in this field. An individual can complete such a course at his or her own pace within a specified time and at the end of the said time period, a test is conducted after which digital certification document is issued. This not only enhances your knowledge base as a virtual assistant but also establishes your credibility in front of clients even if you are just a beginner in this field.
Professionalism at Home: Majority of virtual assistants carry out their assigned tasks from their home space. While on the one hand this practice saves times spent on commuting and gives flexible working hours, on the other hand, it is very difficult to operate from the comfortable and interactive home environment. Successful virtual assistants are observed to follow the practice of dedicating specific hours for their work completion at a secluded disturbance free space within their home. This practice helps freelancers in effective and efficient time management which is one of the most important factors in virtual assistants’ work life.
Specialization Makes You Pro: Rather than working on a number of different projects belonging to different niches, try to figure it out which niche attracts you the most and in which you feel comfortable working in. Focus on a particular area of interest and make yourself an expert in it. Since experts get the highest pay rate in any niche, this strategy will help strengthen your income in the long run.

Summary:

Virtual assistants provide numerous benefits to entrepreneurs and also this field can be adopted as a professional career.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) What does a virtual assistant need to know?
Virtual assistants must possess the know-how of basic software tools like MS-Word and MS-Excel. Also, they need to have thorough understanding of the search engine tools as finding content is the most important aspect of freelancing and VA’s job descriptions’.

2) What can a virtual assistant do for you?
Virtual assistants perform a diverse range of jobs for their clients including administrative services, scheduling clients’ appointments and meetings, supervision of email accounts, supervision of social media accounts, digital marketing services, blog posts’ writing, data entry and similar clerical nature tasks.

3) How many hours a week do virtual assistants work?
There is no hard and fast rule in this regard. Actual time spent on this job depends on whether an individual is pursuing his/her career as a virtual assistant on a part time basis or as a full time job. Generally, people perform their virtual assistant job as a part time position.

4) What educational requirements are needed to become a virtual assistant?
Virtual assistants are hired on the basis of their skill set and portfolio. Education does not play a direct and active role in the hiring process of virtual assistants. Writing and communication skills are of utmost important in this job area.

5) From where entrepreneurs can hire virtual assistants?
Upwork, Freelancemyway, Guru, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer, Simply Hired, Aquent, are some of the most popular websites to hire virtual assistants. In addition to freelancing websites, there are freelancing agencies from which clients also hire virtual assistants.

6) Are virtual assistants considered employees?
Virtual assistants also known as freelancers are usually not hired as full time employees. Rather they are viewed as contractors for a specific task.

7) What are virtual assistant skills?
Since virtual assistant job is a remotely based position, ability to communicate your ideas to recruiter and ability to effectively listen recruiter’s instructions are the two most essential skills. Another important skill for freelancers is self-discipline and time-management as there is no one to supervise them directly, they need to act like their own boss and ensure quality service provision.

8) How much does a virtual assistant make?
Pay rate of virtual assistants depend on a number of factors like their experience level, specialty field, knowledge base of various SEO tools, geographical area, type of virtual assistant, full-time or part-time preference and rating provided by freelancing websites.