What is a virtual assistant and what do they do?

“I would like to hire a virtual assistant”… Perhaps you have heard that phrase more and more frequently and wonder what it is about, or you may have only seen the Artificial Intelligence assistants on your mobile. 

However, having a virtual assistant is something that more and more entrepreneurs or independent professionals are seeking, because they offer benefits that you too can and should take advantage of.

A Remote Team Member is just a person who is in charge of providing support to businesses, from the organization of tasks to technological aspects.

Let’s say that they are a lifelong assistant, but with the small peculiarity that they carry out their work from a distance, through the Internet, using tools such as:

  • Emails
  • Teamwork Platforms
  • Specialized applications

In this blog you will learn what a virtual assistant is, what their functions are and what the benefits of hiring one are.

First of all…

As you know, having your own business means knowing how to manage your time and resources efficiently. But, above all, it requires the constant search for business opportunities, without neglecting the execution of your projects and the follow-up of the current clients with whom you work with.

In a few words: Sell without stopping producing and producing without stopping selling.

Has it happened to you that you are in an important meeting and a tenant calls you and you cannot answer? Or that you wanted to take a couple of days of vacation outside your country and then you see that you have hundreds of unanswered emails, messages on your social networks and many tasks pending?

This is the perfect moment to consider hiring a Remote Team Member! 

Why is the presence of a Remote Team Member necessary?

Their importance lies in the fact that they can help us complete those tasks that seem to be quite simple, but that together end up taking a lot of time out of our day.

Time, as you know, is crucial when you want to grow a business.

And if you are alone, no matter how hard you work, how many sleepless nights you spend, or how many vacations and holidays you miss, there will always be tasks to do.

This is where a Remote Team Member comes into play.

They will help you take care of those simple tasks that take a lot of time but are just as necessary to ensure that the company or business operates on a regular basis, while you can focus on other tasks.

How does it work?

Thanks to the use of technological tools, it is now possible to optimize work, performing various functions from anywhere. And the only thing that is needed in most cases is a computer with the right specifications and good internet. This makes it possible for you to delegate certain tasks to another person so that they can follow up and solve them without you being present all the time.

Some of the functions of a virtual assistant are:

  • Email support
  • Support via phone
  • Technical support and customer help
  • Management of your agenda and appointment management
  • Follow-up of sales prospects
  • Request for quotes and search for suppliers
  • Search for new business opportunities
  • Email Marketing
  • Response to inquiries on social networks and chat

In order to work with a Remote Team Member, you can coordinate through phone, email and task management tools like Asana or Trello, which allow you to assign tasks, monitor progress and organize everything by projects if you need it. Similarly, you can implement a CRM (customer relationship management) or customer relationship management tool, such as Hubspot, Salesforce, Zoho, among others, to centralize the management of contacts, business opportunities and sales closings.

Now, you are probably wondering if it would not be the same to have a regular office assistant. Meaning: What is the advantage of having a virtual assistant over a regular office assistant?

Here are some huge benefits that hiring your very own virtual assistant can provide:

  1. You’ll save a lot of time.

From answering emails to doing specific data analysis, these tasks can eat up a lot of time. You will be able to free up some of your valuable time with the assistance of a virtual assistant.

Time is money in business. That is why having someone available to handle the back-end can be extremely beneficial. Train your virtual assistant and show them the ins and outs of your company. You can focus your attention on other things like growing and operating your business once you’ve established a relationship and are confident that they know the ropes.

  1. Reduced Labor Costs.

If you hire another full-time employee, you will have to pay not only their salary, but also their taxes, sick days, holiday leave, worker’s compensation, and medical/dental benefits. Virtual assistants, on the other hand, usually work as independent contractors. This means they are responsible for all of their own expenses, including taxes and insurance. 

You simply hire them to do a specific job and pay them for their time. Consider how much money you’ll save that could be put to better use!

  1. Productivity will increase.

Virtual assistants are responsible for tasks such as email management and spreadsheet maintenance, but they can do so much more! Data entry, answering phone calls, communicating with vendors, clients, and payroll all contribute to increased productivity.

When you hire a reliable VA, you will have more time to focus on your business’s growth. Freeing up time means freeing up resources, which is a win-win situation for everyone. 

A good virtual assistant should also be able to identify areas where you can be more productive and save time that you are unaware of.

  1. Flexibility

When hiring a virtual assistant, you have the option to look for someone who can communicate with you even outside regular business hours.

If your virtual assistant works from home, they are more likely to be “on call” for you, even if it means taking a late-night phone call or responding to an email in the wee hours of the morning. This adaptability is especially valuable if you run a fast-paced business and require someone who can complete tasks on the fly.

  1. Hire specific skills that your business needs

Whether your company is large or small, you and your employees are unlikely to have every skill required to run it.

  • What if you need a professional website but don’t have a web developer on staff?
  • What if your company requires a new logo but none of your employees are graphic designers?
  • What if you need your marketing materials translated into a foreign language but don’t have any bilingual employees?

This is where a virtual assistant can help. Whatever task needs to be completed, you can find a qualified virtual assistant with the skill set you require.

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