Virtual Assistant or Virtual Assistance: What Does One Do?

Virtual assistant or virtual assistance is setting up your business for growth. So why not outsource and enjoy being productive in the most economical way?

Don’t lie; you are struggling to keep up with the responsibilities of running your business. You go to the office before 9 a.m., then you go home way past 5 p.m. Yet, even with all the extra hours you put in to finish your work, you still have plenty of stuff to do the following day.

We get it—you don’t want to hire help, especially when you’re a small business with limited resources. So, instead of breaking the cycle, you stick to the endless loop of very little productivity. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Outsource your work that drains your energy throughout the day. It’s time to realize that you can’t manage everything on your own; you need help. That’s where a virtual assistant comes in.

Virtual assistant or virtual assistance—whatever you want to call it. This remote support is what you need to scale faster.

What’s a Virtual Assistant or Virtual Assistance?

Virtual assistance is getting help from an independent contractor you call a “virtual assistant.” They offer a variety of support to a company or an entrepreneur while working outside a central office.

Most of the time, virtual assistants work from home. But despite the physical distance, remote assistants are still able to access necessary documents and data that allow them to function optimally.

People who work as VAs have specialized skills and years of experience under their belts. This is why the demand for virtual assistance continues to grow.

  • How Do They Work?

    A virtual assistant is different from a freelancer or an employee. With a VA, you don’t have to worry about paying the same taxes or compensation benefits as you would when hiring a full-time regular employee.

    These remote support work offsite and are responsible for paying their own utilities and other office equipment.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Virtual Assistant?

Virtual assistants wear so many hats; it’s hard to keep up nowadays. However, the specific duties of a VA will depend on you—yes, YOU. What do you need?

A bookkeeper. A social media manager. A researcher. A writer.

A virtual assistant fits all of your business needs in the most economical way.

Some of the most common tasks of a virtual assistant include the following:

  • Administrative Support: answering phone calls, planning travels and events, ordering supplies, managing the calendar and scheduling appointments
  • Customer Service: interacting with clients, gathering feedback, providing instructions, troubleshooting issues
  • Email Marketing: crafting email marketing campaigns, monitoring campaigns, preparing reports
  • Data Entry: gathering data, transcribing data, evaluating data accuracy, deleting irrelevant information, maintaining a customer database and preparing source files
  • Content Management: managing content calendar, writing new content, publishing content and gathering resources

What’s So Good About Working with a Virtual Assistant?

Well, aside from being able to do a lot of things simultaneously, a virtual assistant can improve your business performance with the promise of growth and no extra costs.

  • Reduced Operational Cost

    Perhaps the greatest thing about working with a virtual assistant boils down to the money savings. When you hire a regular employee, you are committing to pay for rent, utilities and other operational costs that will be too heavy to carry for a startup or small business. A VA eliminates all that baggage.

    In short, you are hiring contractual workers residing in countries with low costs of living to whom you’re paying by the hour with no long-term commitments or obligations.

    You can do the math, but definitely, you’ll be saving loads of money hiring them than choosing the alternative.

  • Fill the Gaps Within Your Organization

    Lower quality work. Productivity loss. These are some of the scary effects of skill gaps within an organization.

    By hiring virtual assistants, you get to fill those gaps in your company fast—from project coordination to technical support. And do you know the best thing about it? You get to access these valuable skills without spending too much.

  • Enhanced Efficiency

    Another advantage of hiring a virtual assistant is how they can increase efficiency significantly. VAs take over the tasks behind the scenes—the activities that are repeated and take so much time to complete, like responding to emails or managing clients.

    Though these types of tasks are necessary, they also take you away from your priorities. Once you outsource them to a remote professional, you’ll be freeing up your time for the essential activities, yay!

  • Easier to Scale

    Virtual assistants are your best bet for helping you scale through a wall of tasks. Their ability to handle time-consuming activities is one of a kind.

    You get to be more productive and focus your energies on areas that need your attention. This is easily beneficial for small firms and startups that are growing rapidly.

What Makes a Great Virtual Assistant?

After hearing us sing the praises of why you should hire a virtual assistant, you’re probably in a sprint to hire one. But don’t rush; here are some qualities and skills you need to look for to make certain you’re getting your money’s worth.

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure

    It’s going to be busy in the office. Sometimes your VA may have to jump from one chore to another, which may give them tons of stress. That’s why they have to be able to work under pressure.

    The ability to work under pressure means being able to manage a mountain of work while still maintaining order. Your virtual assistant must understand their priorities and finish work in a timely fashion.

  • Open-Minded

    Being open-minded is one of the qualities that makes a virtual assistant truly great. If they are open to feedback and are willing to implement changes to become better, they can be an invaluable asset to the company.

  • Resourcefulness

    Resourcefulness is a great quality to have for your virtual assistant, especially because business is unpredictable. They will encounter issues they might have to face alone, which require them to think outside the box. It will help a great deal if your VA can think creatively to turn these challenges into opportunities and optimize what they have to work with.

  • Reliability

    Reliability is one of the most essential qualities to look for in a virtual assistant. Your VA should be consistent in meeting deadlines and following through with their commitments. When your remote professional has high reliability, you can trust their output. It also builds a great image for the company—for being consistent and dependable.

What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Virtual Assistant

For sure, hiring a virtual assistant makes you think about the price of the labor. However, that is something you shouldn’t lose sleep on.

One thing that you should assess is whether or not your virtual assistant can communicate with you effectively. You have to make sure that you can delegate tasks to them in a way that works best for you. Don’t worry, there’s a manifold of communication platforms that you can choose from—emails, Zoom calls or Skype and Google meetings.

Additionally, your virtual assistant should have the skills required to get the job done. You don’t want your data entry VA writing content for your website, do you? Trust me, it will not work. Get someone who is versed in the matter to get the job done correctly.

Lastly, before hiring your remote assistant, it will be easier to navigate the whole virtual collaboration thing if you have clear and detailed guidelines about the tasks that need to be performed. It will reduce the risk of misunderstanding, which usually happens when you’re working with someone in different time zones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Meaning of Virtual Assistance?

Virtual assistance is getting help or support from a remote professional. Work happens remotely, using tools and other collaborative platforms to complete tasks.

This kind of setup allows clients to work from anywhere and for virtual assistants to offer help despite distance.

What Is a Better Way to Say Virtual Assistant?

Virtual assistants are remote professionals. They are agents who provide support to entrepreneurs and business owners around the world, taking up several business-related duties to free up more time.

What Is Another Name for Virtual Assistance?

The term “virtual assistance” is often synonymous with a “virtual assistant” or a “digital assistant.” These alternative names reflect the nature of virtual assistance, providing services carried out in a not-so-traditional way (remotely).

The Bottom Line

Without a doubt, what a virtual assistant does is beyond what we could’ve hoped for. Imagine getting high-quality work done without the hassle. These days, that’s unimaginable.

Virtual assistant or virtual assistance, this is the kind of assistance you need in your rapidly growing business—seriously!