If you are a business owner and you don’t don’t have a virtual assistant working for you yet, it will only be a matter of time before you realize that certain jobs, specifically those that don’t really require any face to face interaction with customers or coworkers, can be given to people who are working from home, even if home means thousands of miles away, or even in another country.
Thousands of businesses, both big and small, have realized that it can also be very cost effective if certain jobs were performed exclusively by someone connected to them via the internet and based in countries where the cost of living is lower, and therefore, with people who have lower salary expectations such as virtual assistants based in the Philippines. This could mean greater savings or the ability for you to hire more staff and achieve more with your capital.
But what kinds of tasks can a virtual assistant do?
The most common types of tasks would be those traditionally performed by a typical office-based administrative assistant such as scheduling appointments with clients, booking flights and hotel rooms, following up with clients/customers and answering and making calls. But there are a lot more that remote-based staff could offer.
A virtual assistant service company could provide you with a variety of home-based staff capable of specific specialties or skill sets such as data entry, database building, file management, research, transcribing voicemail, video or audio, podcasts, creating basic reports, and acting as the go-between you and other online team members.
But going “virtual” does not mean that you simply send a few emails, send your staff on their way and expect amazing results immediately. You, as the employer, will need to prepare your company for this new way of doing business. Write down an overview of your business and how each member of the team will fit in. It is important that your virtual staff understand what it is that you do and how you do things, what direction you’d like to take your business into and what your plans are for the long term.
Project management systems
You will also need to have a good system for keeping control and communicating with your remote staff (or remote team, if you decide to hire more than one). You should consider using an online project management system instead of simply sending instructions via email. The best kinds of systems are those that have efficient ways of notifying those involved and provide ways of scheduling tasks.
Learn to set reminders for due dates, and also include alarms for simply following-up on how your staff are doing with a particular task. More importantly, learn to set aside time each week for talking with your staff. Most of the communication could be done through email or chat, but you should learn to interact with your remote staff and engage in discussions with them to make sure that they are able to understand your intentions and meeting your expectations.