Once an entrepreneur has successfully navigated the first few months of his or her startup phase, the focus typically shifts to a larger but more exciting challenge: “How do I grow my business?”
In various ways, business development represents another kind of startup phase, but this time with different goals, objectives and risks. An entrepreneur will not have the financial capacity to take on big risks at this stage and must therefore be more strategic and purposeful in his or her approach. The best option? Integrate virtual assistants into the plan to provide several advantages.
1. Realign your budget.
The number one reason people hire virtual assistants is to reduce their cost of business. Compared to a regular or full-time employee, a virtual assistant costs less because the business owner does not pay benefits.
Also, a virtual assistant, as a sole proprietor of his or own business, covers those expenses. Thus, you don’t have to allocate funds for additional Internet bandwidth, power and rent. It’s estimated that hiring virtual assistants can save you as much as 40 percent in business expenses.
These savings can then be re-aligned or re-channeled to other aspects of your business, such as a digital marketing campaign, or an upgrade to your operating systems.
2. Scale your business.
If your financials show that your volume of business has been steadily and constantly increasing, but turnaround time for deliverables has markedly slowed down, it may be time to scale up your business.
Scaling requires additional man- and woman-power to accommodate the increasing volume of work. At this point, the last thing you’ll want to do is to impede your momentum due to poor service or inventory shortfalls. So, you’ll be adding more people, but, due to wide cost differentials, full-time employees will likely be out of the question.
Virtual assistants, however, will not only keep your incremental costs lower but keep your business flexible. How?
- Virtual assistants do not have set work schedules; you can assign them to shifts that require greater attention.
- You spend less time training because virtual assistants already have the experience and competency level to get the job done.
- Since virtual assistants are on a contractual basis, they can be easily terminated and replaced.
When scaling up your business, working with a virtual assistance agency is your best option because its personnel have been selected for their experience and reviews from past and current clients. They can easily replace your current virtual assistant if that engagement does not yield productive results.
3. Organize your business.
A glaring weakness of most entrepreneurs is their lack of organizational skill. That’s not necessarily a shortcoming; it’s just that with so much work to do, the need to organize often takes a backseat to more essential tasks. Yet, organization encourages greater productivity.
Fortunately, what may be your weakness in organization is a virtual assistant’s strength, especially if he or she has the experience to help you find the best frameworks for a system that will organize your business. If you are not tech-savvy, a virtual assistant can set up a virtual workplace where everything from project management and file-sharing, to time-keeping and communication can be accomplished.
A virtual workplace in short makes it easier to delegate work, track performance and collaborate frequently with your virtual team. You can get more work done and minimize the risks of mistakes and oversights.
4. Delegate non-essential tasks.
The next good reason for hiring virtual assistants is to free you, the entrepreneur, from nonessential tasks. These include:
- Phone call coverage
- Email filtering
- Calendar management
- Appointment setting
- CRM updates
- Social media management
- Payroll preparation
While you probably have the skills to do all or most of these tasks, you will definitely not have the time. And even if you do, your available time is better spent on functions that require your core competency or are directly related to generating revenues for your business.
5. Capitalize on specialization.
Virtual assistants are no longer limited to personal assistant “secretarial” services. Over the years, as the need to streamline costs has grown, and the Internet has increased its significance in the global business environment, the virtual assistance industry has likewise undergone a transformation. Specifically, the industry opened its doors to more specialized and technical skills to accommodate demand across a wide spectrum of services. You can now find virtual assistants for the following specialized skills:
- Website design and development
- Content management services
- Digital marketing
- Software development
- Medical, legal and audio Transcription
- Translation services
- Inventory management
- Data protection and security
- Market research
This is just a short-list featuring 11 currently in-demand services. But it shows the many possibilities for building a team of virtual assistants to cover different areas of your business.
6. Build a strategic partnership.
A common misconception of people not familiar with virtual assistants is that these are merely “hired guns”: Once they have completed the assignment, they will leave you for the next one. But that is far from the truth. Keep in mind, for instance, that virtual assistants own their own businesses. Like you, they too want to grow their enterprise Therefore it’s in their best interest to consistently perform above and beyond expectations in order to maintain your account.
Shared interest equals a strategic partnership. When working with your virtual assistant, bring him or her inside your process. Indoctrinate your assistant in your culture, open up the virtual floor and allow him or her the opportunity to share ideas. Collaboration is a powerful tool that will take your business to the next level. When both parties are motivated to attain a common goal, spectacular results may occur.
A virtual assistant, then, is not just a person contracted to complete a project from a remote location using the Internet. Properly utilized, a virtual assistant can become your “secret weapon” in building your business, by being one side of your double-edged sword. A virtual assistant is an asset guaranteed to lower your business costs significantly without compromising your productivity. In fact, your assistant will increase productivity exponentially.
For more on virtual assistants, check out their infographic from OutsourceWorkers.com.au.
The concept of project outsourcing has gained a tremendous amount of popularity in the recent years. Every business owner of today trusts on outsourcing his/her projects. There are some business owners who prefer to offer their outsource project to the Outsourcing Service Provider while others choose to hire a freelance artist. In my article I would like to make you aware about some of the pros and cons of both outsourcing techniques viz. a freelance artist and an Outsourcing Service Provider.
Well, outsourcing has actually been of immense help to all those business firms which need to undertake a large number of tasks within a limited amount of time. The owners of such business firms find it easy to complete their projects by assigning the important part of work to either a freelance artist or an outsourcing service provider. If you hire an Outsourcing Service Provider, you can actually complete multiple number of projects within a short span of time because you get a chance to hire a group of professionals who are there to undertake all the important programming part involved in your projects. By hiring an Outsourcing Service Provider, you are actually free from the hurdles of paying an individual programmer on a monthly pay basis. By hiring an Outsourcing Service Provider, you can easily free your human resources department which can then work on other important aspects related to the progress of your company. Apart from these advantages there are also some cons related to offering the outsource project to an Outsourcing Service Provider. One of the major disadvantages is that you cannot communicate with all those programmers who are basically working on your project. This can lead to problems that arise due to half-understood projects.
Talking about the concept of hiring a freelance programmer, I would like to mention that by hiring an individual freelance programmer you can actually be sure about the efficient completion of your project because you get a chance to be in continuous interaction with the freelance programmer who is working on your project. By choosing the best freelance programmer you can also add extra efficiency to your project because the programmer would put in all his/her best programming skills into your project which can make it all the more proper. Since a freelance programmer works from his/her home, you can expect the completion of your work well on time as he/she is able to work according to his/her convenience. You can easily find the freelance programmers who possess excellent programming skills and are willing to work on low prices. Apart from these advantages attached with the hiring of a freelance programmer, there are also some disadvantages attached with the same. One of the major disadvantages of hiring a freelance programmer is the unreliability. If a freelance programmer gets a lot of work during one month, then he/she prefers to take a might take a break from work as per his choice and convenience.
A freelance programmer might also lack a good amount of dedication towards the task assigned to him/her. Since a freelance programmer is free from any sort of pressure from the boss/firm owner he/she might be negligent in his/her work. An outsource project can allow you to grow your business at a faster pace. You can either choose to hire freelance artist or an Outsourcing Service Provider which can help you achieve your goals within a very short span of time.
Hi and welcome to the blog of Virtuadmin. This our very first every blog post and I am very nervous even as I’m writing it, and why is that? I’m Joanna one half of the team, the typist and administrator with over 20 years experience in Secretarial and Administration roles. Alan, my husband and the other half of Virtuadmin brings the Graduate knowledge of Public Policy and Administration to our business.
We have been active for a year, our website www.virtuadmin.co.uk has been designed and built by Alan. Initially we set up profiles on Freelancing accounts such as People Per Hour, Elance, and Guru to name a few; we began the hard and painful job of submitting proposals offering our Business Administration Support Services. It was a long and tedious, and to be honest after a few months of constant day in and day out logging onto these sites, sending proposals and not really getting anywhere we gave it a break.
It wasn’t a conscious decision we just naturally slowed down how active we were on those sites. Then surprisingly one day out of the blue we received an email from a guy asking if we could write a review. Until then we didn’t even know about reviewing products, e-books, android apps or anything of the like.
Alan is the content writer of anything (apart from writing the first post for our blog!) and he got to work on his very first review. That one review was enough then for someone else to hire our services and he has since written a Business Plan for training industry employees in Nigeria on First Aid. It was his/our biggest project and took 3 weeks to collate the data and then present it to the client.
Those first few orders gave us the confidence we needed to really get the business out there and business has been steadily growing ever since.
We would like to thank all our initial clients, and welcome all new clients to Virtuadmin. Thank You Everyone.