And Do I Need One?

The questions, ‘What is a Virtual Assistant?’ and ‘Do I need one?’ are very familiar to me. Let me start by sharing a definition of a Virtual Assistant.

A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent, highly skilled professional who provides professional administrative, technical and creative support to clients from their own remote office. A Virtual Assistant uses a wide range of tools to communicate with clients, including (but not limited to) online and cloud-based work spaces, email, fax, VOIP services and phone calls.

Virtual Assistants come from a variety of business backgrounds, but most have several years’ experience earned in the “real” (non-virtual) business world. Many Virtual Assistants were most often Administrative or Executive Assistants in traditional work environments before becoming a Virtual Assistant.

Answering the question as to whether or not you need a VA is not complex. If you find that doing the basic tasks in your business, such as getting your invoices out, mailing products, scheduling your time, entering information into databases, sending newsletters etc. is taking up valuable time that you could be spending working on building your business, then a Virtual Assistant is for you.

As a business owner, you should be focused on the big things – a vision for your business, putting together a plan to reach that vision, developing new products, spending time with your clients and marketing. In other words, those “big picture” tasks that grow your business.

Maybe you feel like you don’t have enough time to hire help. So you do the work yourself. Because you do the work yourself, you don’t have the time to work on growing your business. So then you don’t feel like you have the income to hire help. And so on.

You’re probably discovering you feel overwhelmed, drained and with zero creative energy. Instead of jumping out of bed excited at being in business, you wake up each morning facing an extended to-do list and waning enthusiasm for what you do best.

The following list is a brief guide of what a Virtual Assistant can do for you:

  • General business administration and secretarial tasks
  • Designing and formatting training material
  • Customer service support
  • Draft business writing and proofreading
  • Newsletters and email marketing
  • Internet research
  • Website content updates
  • Organisation of travel and accommodation
  • Diary and email management
  • Social media updates
  • Blog babysitting and management
  • Customer service support
  • Plus so much more

By hiring a Virtual Assistant, you’ll have more time to devote to the tasks you most enjoy (rather than struggling with the ones you do only because there’s nobody else to do them), you’ll be less stressed and have much more creative energy. Plus you’ll probably find yourself making more money.

If you are ready to try a VA but not sure how to begin, we suggest starting by making a list of everything you do in your business each day. If you get stuck, keep a notebook on your desk and write things down as you do them. Now look at the list. Pick out the things you could delegate to a virtual assistant and would free up your time to build your business. We suggest starting out small, delegating around 10 hours per month. Ensure you use those extra hours to focus on marketing and building your business!

As your business grows, you’ll be able to delegate more to your Virtual Assistant, and spend more time doing what you do best, in turn generating more income and building the business you have always dreamt of!

Nicole Graham | Business Mentor, Strategist | Hong Kong

Founder and Director, Nicole has been working in the remote support, virtual assistant, outsourcing space since 2007. A professional with multiple certifications, she is passionate about supporting small businesses in growth and development.