Let a Virtual Assistant Free up Time, Save Money for your Business
When you first start out in business, you have to take on the bulk of the tasks
associated with running it yourself out of necessity. Unless you have an extremely well-
funded startup, you likely don’t have the budget to start hiring employees right out of the
gate. Once you are in a position to start hiring, you still want to make savvy choices
about your budget. There are definite advantages to hiring a virtual assistant instead of
bringing someone into your office.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is someone who works remotely who can handle a number of
responsibilities, including administrative work. Their talents don’t end there, though; a
VA can also provide assistance with technical and/or creative tasks.
Benefits of Working with a VA
• Save Time by Delegating Routine Tasks
This is the main reason most business owners consider hiring a VA. By delegating
routine tasks to someone else, you free up your time for tasks that will build your
business, such as meeting with potential clients or exploring new opportunities.
• Save Money by Paying Only for the Service you Need
One of the benefits that makes virtual assistant services so budget-friendly is that you
only pay for the services you need. You can choose the level of service, and make
adjustments as your needs change over time.
• Keep Overhead Costs Down
Working with virtual assistant help means that you don’t have to physically provide a
desk and office equipment for the person who will be providing services to you.
Overhead costs are lower than if you had to account for these expenses in your office
You are not responsible for paying for benefits such as health insurance, employee
deductions or vacation pay on behalf of your VA. They are responsible for their own
• Commuting is not a Problem
A VA can work even during bad weather. Car trouble, construction or public transit
delays don’t have an impact on a VA being able to go to work.
Scheduling is not an issue, either. You assign the work to your VA, and it comes back to
you. The VA is not limited to working “standard” business hours, and can work
whenever she feels most comfortable, so long as the work gets completed in a timely
• No Temp Agency Fees
If you called a temp agency to get some help on an as-needed basis, you would have to
pay a fee over and above the rate the person being placed with you is being paid. While
the agency would screen the candidate to ensure that they have the qualifications you
are looking for, if you needed help at a later time, there is no guarantee that you would
be able to be matched with the same person for future work assignments. When you
hire a VA, you will get the same person who can get to know you and learn about your
• No Training Costs
When you are looking for someone who has specific knowledge or experience in a
particular area, hire a VA who already has the skills and training you need. In this way,
you sidestep having to pay for an employee to get training and learn the skills you need
— right now.
Tasks you Can Delegate to a VA
If you aren’t sure what types of tasks you could delegate to someone else to look after
for you, the following list will give you some ideas. When starting a new working
relationship with someone, keep the tasks you are delegating simple until you get t o
know them and their work style a little better.
• Arranging Appointments
Set up a shared online calendar and let your VA look after scheduling appointments for
you. She can look after the back-and- forth details and once the appointment is
confirmed, arrange for it to sync to your smartphone.
• Make Travel Arrangements
If you have ever had to go out of town, you know how time-consuming it can be to find
the best connections and prices for flights and hotels. Your virtual assistant can help by
searching online for you and presenting the findings for your approval or simply making
the reservations on your behalf.
• Answering the Phone
With a virtual receptionist, your business line is being answered by a live person when
you are unavailable. Your clients/customers will feel more comfortable that their calls
are being handled by a live operator. This strategy also makes your small business
appear larger than it really is if you are interested in working with larger companies in
• Answering Email
Email has got to be the bane of modern existence. It is constantly flowing into toward
us, and it seems to never end. Rather than trying to keep up with it on your own and
running your business, have your VA look after some of it for you.
She can screen out a certain amount of emails, deal everyday items on your behalf and
ensue that you see the ones you have to deal with personally.
• Organize Expenses
If you are using accounting software to track business spending from your bank account
or credit card, it will pick up your expenses and categorize them for you. Paper receipts
will still need to be input manually into the accounting program and categorized correctly
for record keeping and income tax purposes.
• Sending Invoices
This is a necessary task, but one that doesn’t necessarily have to be looked after by you
personally. Give instructions to your VA, and let her prepare them for you.
• Conduct Research
The next time you need someone to collect information for you online, turn the project
over to your virtual assistant. She can get the work done while you turn your attention to
• Prepare Slideshows
Your VA can help you prepare for meeting with clients by putting together PowerPoint
presentations for you. You’ll find it easier to get, and keep your audience’s attention by
providing them with a visual aid they can follow as you are speaking. Graphs, charts
and images bring your topic to life and help them understand your message.
• Writing Reports
A virtual assistant can help you stay on track by writing basic reports on tasks you need
to complete on a weekly basis, sales, deliverables, etc.
• Publish Posts to your Blog
You provide the content, and your VA looks after uploading and publishing them on the
schedule you indicate. Ask her to find images as part of this service, since sourcing
images can end up taking up time that you could be spending elsewhere.
• Moderate and Reply to Comments on your Blog
Ask her to remove any spam comments, as well as anything containing offensive
language. She can reply to other comments, forwarding any ones that she is uncertain
about to you for a reply.
• Post Comments on Other Blogs
Posting helpful and relevant comments on other blogs in your niche and including a link
to your website can help to increase exposure for your website. This task does take
time, and would be an excellent choice to delegate to a VA.
• Participate in Discussion Forums
Ask your virtual assistant to visit some discussion forums where your potential
clients/customers are likely to spend time online. Let her spend some time getting to
know the boards first before making comments or answering questions. (You can help
Making the choice to work with a virtual assistant makes good sense from a business
point of view. You can get more work done, more efficiently, and only pay for the hours
you need someone to help you. Virtual assistants come to the table with current skills
and have the flexibility to work on their own schedule to get your work done.
You may come to rely on more than one VA for your business for different functions.
Each person may specialize in different types of work you need or have availability at
specific times that are convenient for you, such as in the case of a virtual receptionist.
The virtual assistant’s flexibility is one of their greatest assets in being able to provide
assistance to business owners. Don’t ignore this valuable source of assistance as you
grow your business.