Entrepreneurs have to deal with countless challenges to grow their businesses, and one of the most common problems is that they need to perform too many tasks. Sometimes, entrepreneurs don’t want to hire extra help from a virtual assistant because they’ve just started their business and don’t have enough resources. Others just want to control everything and are afraid of relying on others.
Even though the idea of building and running a small business by yourself may seem attractive, the truth is that it’s virtually impossible to handle everything by yourself. No matter whether you open a small coffee shop or start a private practice, you certainly will need some help, at some point.
Shedding the load
If you own a business, it means that you have to work on dozens of time-consuming tasks. You should plan your calendar, send emails, reply to emails, respond to calls, organize meetings, book flights, create reports, manage social media accounts, etc. Even if you manage to deal with all these tasks by yourself, the chances are that you’ll get exhausted quickly and you won’t be able to maintain a healthy work-life balance so that the overall quality of your life will get worse.
You may start experiencing health problems, and your business will ultimately suffer from your decision to avoid any help. Of course, many entrepreneurs don’t hire assistants because they are not ready to spend extra money. However, here’s the good news for you: you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get help — all you have to do is hire a virtual assistant.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is a remote employee who performs different tasks. For instance, virtual assistants can help you manage social media, provide customer support, answer calls, and more. You can delegate any tasks to your virtual assistant if these tasks don’t require the assistant to be present in the office.
There are many virtual assistants that specialize in a particular industry. For example, some of them work in IT, while others work in marketing. Specialized virtual assistants possess skills necessary for a particular niche so they can offer more focused services. However, you can also hire a general virtual assistant and delegate many monotonous and time-consuming tasks that don’t require additional knowledge or skills.
According to research, 59% of companies decide to outsource workers because this approach allows them to save costs. 57% of businessmen note that delegating tasks to remote workers allows them to focus on the most important functions. If you hire a remote assistant, you won’t need to waste your money and you’ll be able to dedicate your time to the most difficult tasks that require your attention. Now let’s consider the reasons why you need a virtual assistant in more detail.
Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs a Virtual Assistant
Entrepreneurs receive hundreds of emails and calls. However, not all of them are actually worth responding to them. Besides, you can respond to some emails with pre-written text. If you pay attention to every email, you will waste a lot of time, and virtual assistants can help you. They can filter all the unnecessary emails and messages while selecting the ones that actually require your meaningful response so that you’ll never be overwhelmed by communication.
Organization is one of the key aspects of any business, even a small one. You need to structurize all the processes to ensure efficiency. According to statistics, inefficiencies make businesses lose 20%-30% of their revenue annually. You have to manage finances, customer data, and workflow. Administration can take a lot of time and effort, and experienced virtual assistants can help you with it, creating and planning processes for you.
It’s good to have a well-organized financial department but, unfortunately, not all businesses can afford one. However, you still have to pay taxes to avoid problems with the IRS. You can delegate all your financial tasks, including invoicing and billing, to a virtual assistant to make sure that all your records are up to date. A trained professional will help you if some customers don’t pay on time, set up reminders, and track billing hours.
Modern businesses have to deal with more data than ever. You need to make decisions based on customer data, web analytics, and lots of other types of information. Working with massive amounts of data is a difficult task. It’s virtually impossible to organize and analyze data when you also have to work on many other tasks so hiring a virtual assistant is a perfect solution.
One of the most obvious advantages of virtual assistants is that they will cost you less than in-office employees. First, you can pay them a performance-based salary, making sure that you will know exactly what you pay for. Secondly, you can hire virtual assistants from abroad. There are many English-speaking professionals who have the necessary skill level but can work for a lower hourly rate than Americans because the cost of living in their countries is cheaper. Besides, you will save operational costs.
Hiring a virtual assistant is a great solution for any company. However, small businesses can benefit from remote professionals even more than other organizations. Virtual assistants can reduce your workload, allowing you to focus on the most important tasks, and improving the overall efficiency. A virtual assistant will cost you less than an in-office employee while performing the same functions. They can reply to your emails, manage your finances, work with data, and perform dozens of other tasks. Therefore, don’t hesitate to hire virtual assistants, and you will see how they can change your life for the better.
About the Author
Ester Brierley is an experienced QA engineer, but her dream is to become a location-independent, traveling entrepreneur. Also, she had found herself as a virtual assistant and a seasoned content creator for College Writers. Follow Ester on Twitter.