Whether you are a part of a big industry or an entrepreneur doing business all by yourself, you might have encountered a situation where, as the business grows in size, it comes with many uninvited tasks to perform and, with the limitation of the staff, you find it difficult to do them all. Here, a virtual assistant can be a savior.

If you are still unaware of these subject matter experts, then this article is particularly for you, so dig in for some new learning.

virtual assistant guide

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is a self-employed independent contractor who offers administrative or technical services to a client, usually on a remote basis, outside the client’s premises. This offers the entrepreneurs the maximum opportunity to focus on their core business development areas and expand their business. Virtual assistants are usually employed by bigger enterprises, SMEs, start-ups, etc., across a diverse range of industries.

Unlike earlier times, their job role is no longer confined to clerical tasks only. With the latest technological innovations, theoretically, virtual assistants can now do anything that a physically present employee might do. They can offer assistance in marketing activities, web and graphic design, bookkeeping, and many other services based on their skills. 

As the world has seen a shift to remote working post-pandemic, working from home has become the latest fad as companies have recognized the benefits of the same. But virtual assistant services existed long before this, and the companies that worked with them or are still working with them got all the market gains.

What does a virtual assistant do? Types of virtual assistant services

Hiring a virtual assistant is determined by the nature of the business, which varies from client to client. Some companies hire a VA for admin tasks, some for creative bits, and some for accounting and more. All in all, the list is endless; hence, here are the most demanded virtual assistant services.

  • Website maintenance

    When you have a website, it is mandatory to check it regularly in order to remain up-to-date and maintain relevance.

    • Services a VA provides:
      Regular website and content updates; forum moderation; site monitoring; analytics; and comment moderation
  • Social media management

    Online presence is vital in this ever-growing world of social media. Increasing brand visibility and connecting with the audience are critical, and you need a subject matter expert to do so.

    • Services a VA provides:
      creation of social media profiles, profile management, trend research, community management, promotions and advertisements, and report generation.
  • Customer support

    Prioritizing customers who require any sort of assistance and resolving their queries for the product or service they purchased comes under the customer service umbrella.

    • Services a VA provides:
      Lead generation, email management, phone call management, IT management, and cold calling
  • Graphic designing

    Designing is an eminent part of the digital world; wherever someone is consuming content, it is either written or graphically represented, and thus the need for graphic design is at an all-time high.

    • Services a VA provides:
      Creating illustrations, social media graphics, designs for website assets, and brand-related graphics
  • Video editing

    Creating brand awareness with a hard-hitting video is the best option for a company. Video editing virtual assistants can turn raw footage into a professional and eye-catching video with their editing skills.

    • Services a VA provides:
      Raw footage to post-production video, fancy transitions, colour corrections, and sound editing
  • Accounting and bookkeeping

    Day-to-day record keeping and transaction analysis is a time-consuming task that requires assistance.

    • services a VA provides:
      Preparation of invoices and financial statements, regular updating of annual returns, preserving accurate records, maintaining ledgers, and recording commercial transactions
  • Market Research

    Virtual assistants for market research understand the demographics, new trends, and other market factors. Considering the above factors and detailed market research, these VAs check the viability of a plan and track its success rate.

Now that you know what services virtual assistants provide, it’s time to understand why you should hire one.

Why do you need a virtual assistant?

  • Economical/cost effective

    The marketers called it a “cost-effective option,” and hiring a VA to get the job done is a wise decision to make; hence, most of the businesses and entrepreneurs are believing in offshore outsourcing.

    It saves the company money. When a company hires someone full-time, it incurs certain costs.But, when you hire a VA, you pay them on an hourly or, in some cases, monthly basis, depending on the work flow. This is definitely penny wise and pound foolish!

  • There is no training fee

    When you opt for a virtual assistant service, you get personnel with the best skill set and expertise. In such a case, you need not train them from scratch, which ultimately saves you time and money.

  • Appropriate for small businesses

    Small businesses or start-ups have a very limited budget to spend on multiple things; in some cases, they have no physical offices, and sometimes the doing it all approach harms the business. In such a case, hiring a VA can be a wise decision, but why?

    • Pay according to the tasks given.
    • quick turnaround time
    • Error-free work

I hope we have resolved some of your queries up to this point. Now, we will talk about certain myths related to virtual assistants.

Myths about hiring a virtual assistant

  • Communication is not effective

    Some businesses don’t opt for digital assistant services just because they believe that when things are virtual, communication is not smooth or effective.

    Well, we will quote it like this: before COVID-19 stumbled upon all of us, many working sectors believed in physical offices, and there were very limited or no work from home policies, which changed entirely during the time of the pandemic.

    Same goes with digital assistance; effective communication is not limited to face-to-face encounters anymore.

  • Only a full-time VA is productive

    This is not true! Most businesses only use virtual assistants for 15-20 hours per week or lesss per week or less. Also, in many cases, they are paid on a per-hour basis or on the basis of the time taken by the project.

  • VAs are virtual headaches

    Virtual assistants are the best kind of working professionals you can find on the internet. They are subject matter experts, highly experienced, and believe in quality deliverables at an affordable cost with minimal or no intervention.

  • A virtual assistant is just a secretary

    In this dynamic world, everything is evolving, and so are the virtual assistance services. VAs with a wide range of skill sets are available for the type of assistance you require for your business.

We hope now you’re convinced that hiring a virtual assistant is all about helping you and your business.

Since you know everything about virtual assistants… Let’s move on to the most frequently asked question.

How do I hire a virtual assistant?

Hiring a virtual assistant depends totally on the type of work you want them to complete for you. For example, if you have small tasks to be completed within a certain timeline, then freelance virtual assistants are the best. And if you’re searching for someone for a longer engagement, then a virtual assistant service is what you need.

  • Establish your expectations.
  • Create a budget.
  • Please post the requirement.
  • Check the background and work portfolio.

For more details, read Where to Find Freelance Virtual Assistants?