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What is a Virtual Assistant?

This is a great question and is usually followed by "so what do you do?" and it can be a tricky one to answer as not all VA's are the same.

Often a Virtual Assistant (VA) is someone who's highly qualified and experienced who's decided that they prefer working for themselves and supporting several clients rather that in a job just supporting one. They normally provide Finance and Administration support and personal support to entrepreneurs and business owners.

Some of us go by the title of Virtual Assistant (VA), Some like be to known as a Personal Assistant (PA) and others as an Executive Assistant (EA). Essentially the bulk of what we do is very similar but there will be some differences.

So why should I hire a Virtual Assistant rather than employ someone in my business?

A Virtual Assistant can be a good option if you need a little help and support but don't want the headache/ cost/ liability of having an employee... imagine this, you've decided you need some help and support, you've put a job advert out there, sifted through all the applications, interviewed a dozen candidate and finally recruited someone. What now?

Well not only will you have to find things to fill their time and pay them for it, but you'll also be liable for Holiday Pay, Sick Pay, Employers NI/PAYE, Pensions etc... not to mention the overheads of providing them a desk in an office and the IT equipment that goes with it... and if you've used a recruitment agency too, then you will have already paid out several thousands of pounds before they've even done any work...

Where as you could reach out and meet with a VA, discuss what help and support it is that you need and then sign contracts and they get started!

But what tasks can you ask them to do?

As mentioned at the beginning, each Virtual Assistant (VA) varies in the tasks they offer, but here is a list of 10 Tasks that you could delegate... ( this list is not exhaustive)

  1. Data Entry / populating your CRM - If you have a sales based business, you might ask your Virtual Assistant to help populate your CRM software. (CRM = Customer Relationship Management)

  2. Answering emails and Phone Calls - It might be that you feel you spend too much time answering the phone and/ or replying to people. You can ask your Virtual Assistant to take calls for you, filtering them and only passing on important messages or to email your clients chasing them for information for example.

  3. Scheduling Appointments - We've recently had several clients approach us who want help setting up appointment scheduling software so that they can streamline the process. Your Virtual Assistant can help you with this task.

  4. Managing your Calendar - Going back to the appointment scheduling, we can also help you set up and manage your calendar so that you don't miss appointments.

  5. Managing your social media accounts - It might be that you don't have time to post on social media as you are too busy running your business, so your Virtual Assistant might help you with post scheduling and/or with creating the graphics too if they are a creative VA.

  6. Researching information - Do you have a project you need help with or a competitor that you want to research, then ask your Virtual Assistant to help you with this, but be clear on the information you are looking for.

  7. Creating documents or presentations - Do you need a presentation put together for your board meeting, or maybe you've got a meeting with investors? Your VA can help you with this.

  8. Organising your files - Do you have a pile of receipts put in a envelope? If you were audited by HMRC would you be able to produce that receipt from the 3rd Tuesday in june last year? Well your Virtual Assistant (VA) can help you organise your files making it much easier to access.

  9. Personal tasks - A Virtual Assistant (VA) can help you with tasks such as booking restaurant/ hotels etc as well as organising appointments and even concierge tasks.

  10. Bookkeeping / Payroll - Not all Virtual Assistant (VA) offer finance, but the team here at VJR Business Support are qualified Bookkeepers and Payroll agents.

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