You know the feeling when you want to build a company but you’re time-starved and constantly being pulled in every direction? A jack-of-all-trades defying all odds to be a master of all? I know! It happens to all solopreneurs, small business owners, business coaches, consultants, side-hustlers…the list goes on.
How about when you want to work on your own terms, and no one else is taking the responsibility for what is being done? Well, that’s what you signed up for! If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t give up hope yet. Here’s the good news:
Today’s businesses are being presented with a new opportunity: a more flexible, affordable and bigger opportunity. There are ways to stay more productive and maintain your sanity. In this article, I am going to show you how to double your business productivity using one simple hack: virtual assistant services!
In today’s world, there’s no denying the benefits of hiring virtual assistants to help get your business up and running. Not only is it cheaper to hire a VA to handle tasks like calendar management, email management, writing blog posts, social media posts, online marketing or digital marketing. It’s also cheaper for your business to become more productive without hiring full-time staff.
Let’s start with the basics.
Understanding the Work of Virtual Assistants
What are Virtual Assistants?
Virtual assistants (VA’s), in the eyes of many business owners, are an invaluable asset. But who exactly are virtual assistants, and what do they do?
According to Investopedia, a Virtual Assistant is [usually] an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients while operating outside of the client’s office. A virtual assistant typically operates from a home office [or a managed location] but can access the necessary planning documents, such as shared calendars, remotely.
NOTE: Our definition of Virtual Assistant does not refer to the likes of Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Windows’s Cortana, or IBM’s Watson, which are bots or programs that are designed to perform tasks on your behalf.
We have known VA’s as individuals who work remotely in online job positions that involve administrative tasks such as answering calls, taking notes, and scheduling meetings. However, today’s VA’s do more than that.
In-Demand Virtual Assistant Services
Being a VA is not just about answering emails. Virtual assistants provide a wide range of services for their clients. They can organize and manage calendars, keep books of record, track all necessary business information, process payments, or even represent you in meetings.
Aside from the administrative tasks, the following virtual assistant services are increasingly becoming popular: graphic design, web design, project management, content creation, podcast production, email marketing, social media management, sales funnels, accounting services, software development, and more!
Differences Between Virtual Assistants and Freelancers
Virtual Assistants and freelancers are alike in the sense that they are professionals who provide services to solopreneurs, small business owners, and busy professionals. However, there are subtle differences.
- Freelancers are generally responsible for one specific task, which is selected based on their skills and experience, while VA’s are often responsible for many different tasks, which vary depending on the needs of the company.
- VA’s may be required to work in specific hours (with an hourly rate), while freelancers may not be restricted to work in any specific hours.
- VA’s typically work in the comfort of their own home, while freelancers may work in a variety of different locations including the client’s office.
- Freelancers may work with more than one employer, while VA’s may only be available to one employer at a time, though this is not by any legal obligation.
I must be quick to add that, as Virtual Assistants and freelancers continue to become popular career options, these differences are being blurred by the day.
What are the Benefits of Using a Virtual Assistant Service?
Get Access to Global Talent
Virtual Assistant companies provide an amazing opportunity for small business owners and solopreneurs to source talent globally at a fraction of the cost. This comes in handy when the entrepreneur wants a diversified workforce or is unable to find that talent locally.
Avoid all the HR Hassles
Using Virtual Assistant services is perfect for entrepreneurs that want to focus on their core business responsibilities and don’t want to worry about hiring, training, onboarding, employee benefits, personnel overhead costs, and all the legal obligations that come with full-time or part-time employment.
With an assistant on call, there is no need to worry about having to find the next employee or outsourcing staff, knowing that everything can be taken care of by the virtual assistant services company.
Save Time and Money
Choosing the right virtual assistant service helps an entrepreneur manage their business more effectively, saving tonnes of time and money. In a study conducted by Adobe in 2016 office, workers between ages 25 and 34 spend over six hours every day checking and replying to emails, there is no need to spend hours a day doing tasks that you don’t have time for. Virtual assistants are a great way to get help with your business, even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend. On top of that, virtual assistants are typically much cheaper than traditional employees.
Increase Business Productivity
Running a business requires a lot of time and effort. It’s an uphill battle to ensure everything is being managed well. When you are starting out, you are the marketer, salesperson, designer, bookkeeper, fundraiser, customer service personnel, social media manager, and everything in-between. This can be counter-productive and make you lose focus. With the right mix of virtual assistant services, you can easily increase your business productivity and gain focus.
Save Your Sanity
It’s tempting to become a Jack-of-all-trade when starting out. If you yield to the temptation, you can live in a world of constant insanity and chaos.
Taking a break from the daily grind. Spending more time with your family and friends. Improving your personal health and well-being. Improving your weekly productivity. Enjoying a sense of community. Improving your work/life balance.
With the right virtual assistant services company, this won’t be imagination anymore, It will become your reality.
Here is a gist of everything I have said about the benefits of using virtual assistant services:
In a world where resources are scarce and growing, virtual assistants greatly expand what a small business can do. A virtual assistant is a flexible, on-demand employee. Virtual assistants are uniquely skilled in a variety of talents and function as a team player for your company. They can be sourced from anywhere with fewer legal obligations; they can become your personal assistant; they can do content writing, and perform unlimited tasks for your company; they can manage your social media account, and they can save your sanity! The more they know about your business, the more valuable they can be.
When Do You Need a Virtual Assistant Service?
You might be thinking to yourself, “I’ve never used a VA service before, so I don’t need one now.”
Well, think again. A VA can do a lot for you. They can help you stay organized, save you time, and give you more flexibility.
But, when is it time to use a VA service?
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, you know you need one.
- If you’re feeling like you’re not spending enough time with your family because of work, it’s time to get a VA.
- If you are a busy entrepreneur and you are lagging behind your deliverables, then consider hiring a virtual assistant company to help you out.
- If your work is centered around social media marketing, content writing, blog management, online client retention, or doing things online, it may be time to increase your productivity with a virtual assistant service
- If you’re frustrated with mundane business tasks, it’s time to consider hiring a dedicated assistant
- If your business is suffering from a lack of expertise and you can’t afford a full-timer, there is a cheaper option – hire a VA services company to tap into their wide pool of talent.
- If you are just starting out and want to avoid making startup mistakes, let a virtual assistant company help you out.
- If you are a solopreneur but want to grow your business with global talent, look into working with VA’s
How to Double Your Business Productivity Using Virtual Assistant Services
This is the meat of today’s blog post. In order to double your productivity, you need to be systemic and more intentional. The following seven (7) steps are what we recommend to our clients who are considering working with VA’s. They have been proven over time to work if you follow them.
1. Assess Your Needs
Start by assessing your business needs. Where do you need help in your business?
Are you inconsistent with social media or you want someone to develop a social media strategy for your business? Are your business finances out of order? Do you need someone to deal with common customer service problems – a full-time assistant, full-time support team, or backup assistants? Do you require someone to do mundane repetitive tasks or a creative undertaking?
Why do you want to outsource this task? Maybe you don’t have the expertise for it, maybe it takes a lot of time, or maybe you don’t enjoy doing it. Whatever the answer may be, it’s important you figure out why you need to outsource some of your daily tasks.
2. Set Goals
At the risk of sounding cliche, I will say, do not hire a VA without setting a goal. Based on your needs assessment, you should craft a simple goal stating the outcome you want from hiring a VA.
Here are some examples:
- Hire a Project Manager (or an Online Business Manager) to streamline my business processes and build a virtual team to allow me more time to double my client intake.
- Engage a virtual assistant services company to handle my variety of tasks including cold outreach to potential clients, building sales funnels, and filling my editorial calendar for social media marketing. This should result in a minimum of 20 new customers per month.
- Recruit a dedicated, full-time Virtual Assistant to handle admin tasks, email management, and customer complaints, resulting in an 80% reduction in customer dissatisfaction.
- Hire a virtual assistant specializing in content strategy to revamp our content marketing and SEO efforts. This should lead to doubling our organic traffic in four (4) months.
3. Have a Budget in Mind
Now that you know your specific needs, the outcome you are looking for, and the number of personnel you may require to accomplish your goals, you can be clear on a budget. The question you should ask yourself is “How much am I ready to pay for the outcomes I seek?”
It’s always a good idea to consider how much you are ready to spend before you go out looking for offers.
4. Hire the Right Virtual Assistants
Not all Virtual Assistant companies are the same and not all VA’s provide the same results. In looking out for the right match, you may consider:
- The reputation of the virtual assistant company
- The training and qualification of the VA’s you will be working with
- English proficiency
- Time zone differences
- The VA’s work experience in undertaking similar tasks
- The VA’s ability to follow instructions and complete tasks on time, with little or no supervision.
Pro Tip: Hire VA’s for specific tasks. VA’s do not have infinite skills so be sure what skillsets you are looking for in a VA.
5. Establish Your Work Processes
Here is where you set clear instructions and provide a step-by-step process to guide your virtual team to accomplish all the wide variety of tasks you assign. You may consider checklists, templates, and guides.
Here are some tools you may consider for your work processes:
- Trello for task management
- Slack, Google Drive, and DropBox for communication and collaboration
- Loom for giving instructions in a video format
- GoogleMeet for quick video meetings
6. Track Work, Measure Progress and Give Feedback
It’s now time to measure. One of the ways to know whether you are having your money’s worth from hiring a virtual assistant is to track and measure their progress of work. And here is the secret: without setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals, you won’t know what to measure.
But it’s not only the tracking that’s important; you also have to give feedback for your virtual team to improve if you care about your business. Remember, the more they work with you and receive constructive feedback, the better they become, which is good for your business.
For tracking time, you may use Timedoctor and for tracking progress and giving feedback, you may use the task management and collaborative tools mentioned above.
Here are some key points to note:
- Do not wait till the assignment deadline before you track work and measure progress. This should be an ongoing process so that you can course-correct if anything goes wrong along the way. Outsourcing doesn’t mean dereliction of duty; it means responsible delegation of duty. Remember, what gets measured, gets done!
- You may do your final progress measurement on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis or whichever cycle works better for you.
- Even if you are using a personal assistant service, you can still track and measure work performance
- Finally, you may need to make some tweaks or adjustments to your work progresses before creating another milestone.
7. Rinse and Repeat
Now, with a better perspective of what works and what doesn’t work, you may repeat your workflow with the needed adjustments.
Double Your Productivity with Virtual Assistant Services from eJobsAfrica
With affordable plans, eJobsAfrica – a virtual assistant services company – can help you to double your productivity.
Here is what you can get from working with eJobsAfrica:
If you’re starting out or are already in business and not sure what you need to do to improve your business online, a strategy call with the eJobsAfrica team will straighten things out for you. You will get a better perspective and be able to set goals that will lead to the accomplishment of your desired outcomes.
On the call, we will break things down for you to nail down your business strategy, marketing strategy, your buyer persona, sales funnel, etc. On top of that, we could assist you with developing a checklist for your workflow.
Book a call now.
Transparent and Affordable Pricing
For getting your money’s worth, eJobsAfrica is very transparent with its flexible and affordable plans:
- No contracts
- No set-up or hidden fees
- 7-day money-back guarantee
A Dedicated Relationship Manager
To ensure you are matched with the right Virtual Assistant(s) and for smooth progress of work, you will be entitled to a Relationship Manager who will assist you with our seamless onboarding process.
Talented, College-Educated VA’s
90% of our VA’s are college-educated, highly proficient English Language speakers, and are tech-savvy.
The other 10% are Canadian and U.S-based experienced VA’s who may be needed to support our clients’ needs in situations where location matters to the client.
Dedicated Client Workspace
Unlike other virtual assistant companies, you do not have to invest in another tool to manage your VA’s. You will have access to our VA-client collaboration platform with your dedicated workspace to track work, measure progress, and give feedback.
What’s more! There are team management features to build a winning virtual team for your business.
Put eJobsAfrica to the test and see how you will be able to double your business productivity in no time!
The Icing on the Cake: Make Impact While You Improve Business Productivity
eJobsAfrica is transforming the way businesses can double their productivity, but here is the sweetest part: while our VA’s are helping you to double your business productivity, you get the unique opportunity to provide mentorship to these talented, young African college graduates. What else could you ask for?
Supercharge your business productivity while making impact in Africa!