In my experience most business owners start a business to enable them to make a living doing something they love, be it graphic designing, painting, carpentry, plumbing, writing or gardening (the list is endless). However, the majority of business owners seem to be spending increasing amounts of time completing administration tasks (essential to keep the business running) rather than spending time working on the money making aspect of the business, which coincidently is often also the reason they started it in the first place.
This is where a Virtual Assistant can help and become a valuable asset to your business (as well as to your sanity in some cases!). The kinds of tasks that a Virtual Assistant like myself, can take off your hands, leaving you free to do what you went into business for, are:
Invoicing can be boring and time consuming but it is a necessity when running a business. Luckily however, it is a task that is easily outsourced to a Virtual Assistant. Depending on which accounting system you use for your business, you could give us the log in details and we can use that information to ensure your invoices are sent and keep track of payments. Alternatively, if it is an Excel spreadsheet or even scraps of paper that you are using to try and keep tabs on your invoicing then we could use this to create an invoice template and a streamlined invoicing system that ensures your customers are always invoiced promptly and you are aware of payments you are awaiting.
Creating, updating and maintaining databases
Whether that is organising lists of suppliers so you have one central document for easy reference, getting all your business cards collated into a useable mail list or an updating an email list. These are the kinds of tasks that a Virtual Assistant can do for you. Frequently these kinds of tasks are moved to the bottom of a never ending ‘to do’ list but if you get on top of them you will find it will help your day to day productivity as well as helping ensure administration tasks run more smoothly.
This task ties in with the above, but is still often a time consuming task that a lot of businesses just don’t have the man power or resources to get done, so outsourcing can be a great way around this.
Typing up notes or meeting minutes
This could be anything from a couple of pages of notes that you need typed up for a client, a few pages of minutes that need typing up and formatting or an entire notebook full of handwritten notes that need to be word processed. These kinds of tasks are something frequently completed by a Virtual Assistant as they are so easy to outsource, you hand the handwritten version over and receive it emailed back to you in an electronic format in a timely manner.
Completing a mail merge or email mail shot
Mail merges are a wonderful way of sending bulk mail to a list of individuals or companies, however if you don’t have the spare hours to be able to do this in house then it is something that can be outsourced to a Virtual Assistant. A Virtual Assistant could even build your list of recipients if you don’t already have that.
Emails are most likely the biggest time waster in an office environment or for any business owner, there are often hundreds of unwanted or spam emails that arrive in our inbox every week. A Virtual Assistant could delete these for you; unsubscribe you from the emails that are of no use and flag up any urgent emails, so when you log in to your emails you can instantly see which emails need an urgent response, which require a response at a convenient time and those that are for your reference.
This can be a task that often business owners do not have the time to complete, whether it is checking out competitors websites with a view to find out what is new with them or what they are charging for a similar product or finding out information about a particular company, product or place. This can be something a Virtual Assistant could do for you and then summarise the findings so you have all the knowledge you require with none of the time involved.
Have a clear out of paper archives
If you have boxes of paper archives that you need to keep, but could store them electronically, then scanning all the paper documents and renaming them so you can finally throw out those paper copies is a task that can be given to a Virtual Assistant. It clears out your office and also makes the documents easier to search if you ever need to find a certain document again.