Despite the booming success of the outsourcing industry, many startup businesses still haven’t fully realized the potential of utilizing virtual assistants. Or, are just uncertain of how virtual assistants—most commonly known as VAs— fit in the startup business model.
However, as industries get more cutthroat than ever, the success of a startup business becomes more and more reliant on its capability to implement a high degree of effort, manpower, and workload prioritization.
To put it simply, startups that haven’t utilized remote virtual assistant services are greatly disadvantaged by competitors who do. These startups focus the bulk of their resources and efforts to the core, essential processes of business growth and expansion—having delegated administrative and daily operational tasks to an offshore virtual assistant.
As markets get more saturated with large enterprises implementing expansion plans and aggressive takeovers to recuperate profit losses, competent Virtual Assistants present cost-effective support towards making sure that your startup successfully establishes its position in the market.
Here are 10 tasks that experienced General Virtual Assistants can take care of.
1. Email Management
It may seem to take only a couple of minutes a day. However, the total time it takes for any startup business owner to go through, sort, and respond to emails everyday amounts to a significant amount of time that could have been utilized for more productive causes.
A General Virtual Assistant can be utilized to check and filter emails, respond to inquiries, manage spam, and even create prioritization schemes to relay only the most crucial emails to you.
To scale up this task, Virtual Assistants can learn how to establish auto-responders and follow-up emails, to make sure you are reaching out properly to all key stakeholders.
Why take the tedious route of answering and accommodating even the most general emails, when you can have an experienced VA cover all the bases of your email communications?
2. Calendar Management
It’s already expected that a startup’s calendar will be extremely busy—and may even present some forms of disorganization due to the number of meetings and tasks that have to be carefully dedicated to their own intervals.
Instead of arduously organizing every hour of every weekday, have an experienced virtual assistant manage all facets of your schedule.
General VAs can handle everything about your calendar—from establishing, updating, and managing important events, to properly scheduling potential client meetings and other important appointments on the most mutually convenient time for all parties, to arranging and creating itineraries for meetings and travels.
It’s time you experience the convenience of just having to show up to events instead of worrying where to place them.
One key aspect of a well-organized calendar and itinerary that is managed by an experienced Virtual Assistant is the ability to forecast availability on a weekly and monthly basis. This full awareness of availability opens up more opportunities to pace the business’ expansion plans and other motivations.
3. Social Media Management
The digital landscape is now the most potent playing field in terms of market expansion, with the bulk of consumers and clients spending significant hours on social media platforms.
The biggest social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn present so many opportunities that a Virtual Assistant can harness.
As most Virtual Assistants are social media users themselves, most of them already come with honed skill sets at managing social media accounts. Instead of personally taking care of the company’s social media profiles, or letting these digital opportunities go to waste, have a VA take care of all things concerning your startup’s presence on the Web.
Here are just some social media tasks a VA is more than capable of handling:
- Open and set-up social media accounts in platforms that the business hasn’t explored yet
- Update these social media accounts with relevant company profiles and links
- Write, edit, and share coordinated content in all social media sites
- Engage with potential audience and clients: respond to inquiries, share relevant information, thank clients for mentions, comments, shares
- Promote pages
- Run social media challenges and contests
- Collate and interpret insights
- Schedule posts and track engagement such as comments, likes, shares
- post job openings and recruit potential employees such as contractors and freelancers
- Upload videos and pictures
- Observe competitors and report rankings and online visibility
- Research trending hashtags
- Regularly audit social media accounts in terms of traffic, engagement, mentions, and audience growth
- Respond to comments made on the website’s blog
- Suggest and help building a social media strategy
Many of these tasks can be further upskilled to ensure that your startup doesn’t only have an online presence—but that it has a unique brand identity that is clearly projected to millions of potential clients and audiences.
4. Data Entry & File Storage Management
The most tedious tasks in any business operation most particularly for startups are data entry and file management.
But, there’s no way around it.
It is of utmost importance that relevant data is being recorded, stored, managed, analyzed, and used by the startup to fuel its growth and management.
This type of workload is the bread and butter of General VAs—inputting thousands of information and implementing a solid file structure across all the folders.
This is most prevalent in company database building, wherein hundreds and maybe even thousands of entries in sales, leads, contacts, and other relevant data have to be regularly updated and stored properly.
A competent VA is adept at creating, managing, and sorting excel files out of this bulky information. General VAs can take care of creating documents from handwritten drafts, faxes, and dictations. Virtual Assistants can cover the creation of simple forms and surveys for customer feedback.
To complete the cycle, VAs can launch, maintain, and manage cloud computing accounts (DropBox, OneDrive, GoogleDrive) to make sure all these files are exactly where they need to be. This saves the startup business significant hours and costs, as they can just go ahead and analyze and utilize the data as intended.
Another important aspect of data entry is transcription. Integral information may sometimes come in the form of video and audio files from podcasts, meetings recordings, that have to be transcribed. This task is better off handed over to an efficient Virtual Assistant.
VAs can also greatly help streamline the reporting process. Most reports already follow very specific templates, so VAs can definitely create and prepare repetitive and templated reports by filling in necessary fields with updated information.
5. Customer Service
Customer service is one of the most important aspects of running a business. The quality of service may even make or break a startup business’ reputation, therefore greatly affecting sales potential and opportunities.
Many Virtual Assistants possess excellent communication and diplomacy skills from years of experience in the customer service industry. A VA can handle receptionist duties such as handling incoming phone calls, responding to inquiries, noting important messages, and escalating concerns as necessary.
Aside from making inbound/outbound calls, and appointment setting duties, VAs may also manage marketplace accounts to respond and manage orders. While handling the company’s eCommerce platforms, they can constantly keep the inventory updated.
VAs can also take care of processing orders and managing customer refunds. They may also establish customer support through chat and email tickets. These can be further upskilled by having a VA produce the customer care scripts from all concerns/ scenarios that customers reach out for.
6. Online Research
One of the most productive tasks to delegate to a Virtual Assistant is gathering leads from rich-data sources on the Internet. Have a VA gather emails for potential leads, partners and clients, which will greatly help in expanding the business’ reach.
VAs can also help bring up important statistics, facts, data and other relevant information for possible meetings and presentations. They may also search and reach out for ways to contact industry experts to participate in company webinars, or influencers for possibilities of representing the brand.
A VA can handle all external and internal communications for a startup business. This may involve creating and sending out invitations, newsletters, thank you notes, greeting cards, announcements, etc. to personnel and clients.
VAs can also speak to customer service representatives for the tech support needs of the company. VAs can also put together welcome and goodbye packages for clients and staff.
8. Logistics and other Miscellaneous Matters
VAs work best when they contribute to seamless business operations. There are so many aspects to running a business and many of them involve having an extra set of hands.
Take loads off of your mind by handing over background tasks, personal errands and routine arrangements towards a Virtual Assistant.
Here are a few ways to maximize a VA for all sorts of logistics needs:
- Take minutes from meetings and then create a detailed, organized report.
- Turn data into detailed reports and slideshows.
- Prepare powerpoint / keynote presentations.
- Prepare and present weekly reports on operational flows such as hours, deliverables, sales, attendance, etc.
- Recruit potential team members and contractors or freelancers
- Interview job applicants and speak with references
- Conduct background, credit, and criminal checks for incoming, existing and outgoing personnel.
- Put together care packages and small gifts for clients and staff
- Perform generic errands for the office, including buying items online, arranging locations for office parties, and hiring cleaning services
9. Graphic Design & Content Writing
Virtual Assistants that possess creative backgrounds and experience can be utilized to create content and its corresponding media, whether these are images or videos.
VAs can assist with basic video editing, creating/designing infographics, logos, banners, icons, headers, and even websites.
VAs with writing experience can help a handful regarding content:
- Blog post research, writing, and creation
- Blog publishing management
- Article marketing
- Adding tags & images
- Revising and updating content to add in keywords
- Moderating blog comments
- Directory submission
Over time, as VAs settle more into their roles, they can be trusted to commit to higher levels of marketing and design responsibilities.
10. Basic Bookkeeping and Accounting
Keeping track of all the aspects of a business’ finances takes a lot of hours of painstaking labor. Most especially with startups, the business’ finances will always need a higher level of structure and order than large enterprises who already have established systems and dedicated departments for it.
Virtual Assistants with meticulous attention to detail are the perfect fit for basic bookkeeping and accounting responsibilities, which may include any of the following:
- Preparing, sending, following up, and managing client invoices
- Basic Bookkeeping using Finance & Accounting Technologies such as MYOB, XERO & Quickbooks
- File yearly taxes for the company
- Internal bookkeeping and payroll duties: calculating hours, adding expenses, updating salaries
- Handling banking transactions, such as paying bills and transferring funds
- Collecting documents for tax season
There are so many aspects to running a startup business where a skilled, experienced Virtual Assistant can offer much-needed services.
Over time, investing in a competent Virtual Assistant may prove to be the most cost-effective and efficient solution that a startup business can implement to streamline the business’ operations.
The second most important aspect regarding the acquisition of a Virtual Assistant for a startup business is implementing a clear prioritization structure on the most urgent tasks and responsibilities that has to be delegated, and then gradually upskilling these tasks as the VA becomes more adept at the tasks.
And what’s the most important? It’s ensuring that the Virtual Assistant you acquire is highly experienced, skilled, and versatile at all sorts of administrative tasks and more.
Here at Virtual Champs Global, we have seven years of experience in the industry of providing only highly experienced, carefully selected Virtual Assistants for all sorts of business practice needs. Contact us to know how we can best assist your company.