5 Things you can outsource to a Virtual Assistant

When out and about networking so many people say to me “what can you do for me?” or “what do you actually do?” and sometimes it’s hard to put into words.  What kind of admin do you do for your business? So, a virtual assistant can do the stuff that needs doing but doesn’t earn you income or you don’t know how to do. So, I have put together some very generic headlines of tasks that can be covered by a Virtual Assistant but put in more detail of what I have done that gets covered by these headlines.

Inbox Management

Come on fess up how many emails are in your inbox? I can’t cope if I have an inbox that goes on forever, I like to compartmentalise so that I know where it is when I go back later for reference.  If you have got to the point of now knowing where to start, I sometimes find working backwards is a great place.

Forbes reckon we receive at least 200 messages a day and can spend about 2.5 hours reading and replying.  Can you relate to this? You could help calm this down by taking some of the following steps:

  • Unsubscribe to unnecessary emails/spam
  • Turn off notification emails
  • Set up folders and subfolders if needed to file away ones you need to keep
  • Tag – in Gmail you have the ability to set up tags and any emails relating to this will drop into that folder for you to deal with at a later date

Just a few simple steps like these can result in a more streamlined, less cluttered and a more manageable inbox.

Typing Services 

Yes, this is still in demand! How do you think I wrote this blog?! I learnt to type 40 years ago on a great big manual typewriter, I still remember them all lined up on the desks in school banging away until I could do 30 wpm, so the keyboards we have today are a dream.

These services are still in demand for letters, proposals, quotations etc.  Also, this is a great service for anyone with a learning disability such as dyslexia, these people are so creative but just can’t get it down on paper – step in the Virtual Assistant to help.  The ability to dictate what you want written is common – I have had a client who dictated into an email and then I just had to “pretty it up” to make sense and look professional. You can also dictate straight into a word document, then pass to your Virtual Assistant to proofread and format it.

Audio transcription is by no means dead, used a lot by researchers, authors, bloggers and SEO experts all needing what is said to be put into written form for evidence.  Converting documents from one format to another may not be known by you on how to do but it can be by your Virtual Assistant. It is also a time-consuming task, but someone with good typing skills can do it a lot quicker than you.

Data Entry & Keeping in Touch

This heading can include such a broad spectrum of tasks I can think of a few that I have done that come under this:

  • Adding contacts to spreadsheet
  • Adding contacts to CRM system
  • Copy & paste from one area to another

Have you got a great big pile of business cards that you have been collecting for a period from networking?  I know I did until I put them into a CRM system so that I had them in one place for easy reference and so I could keep in touch easier.  I have also helped people with their contacts by putting into a spreadsheet with just doing this bit of legwork, they can then add to their Google contacts or third-party mailing system ready to keep in touch with their contacts.  

Another bit of data entry I have done recently is working with a digital agency where they are building a new website for a client and copied a bit of information from one site to another, time consuming and boring for them but a task a Virtual Assistant can zip through no problem.

Keeping in touch – Mailchimp is the most popular choice of third party marketing platform which is something I do for another client, getting bored of doing it themselves, I set up and schedule their event emails, the initial legwork is time consuming but once done and automated that’s another job off your list and all done by your Virtual Assistant who will do a professional job to make you look good.

Diary Management

What can a Virtual Assistant possibly do for you under this heading? Scheduling is another good word to cover this and great for businesses providing a service.  I work with a Driving Instructor and put together the pupil schedule taking into account what type of car they use, where they live and their availability and fit it all in around that, time consuming, fiddly and I love it!  I have a new client who is a chimney sweep, not wanting to be troubled with phone calls during the day when he’s working all calls go to one number, I pick up the messages, record the details and set the appointments accordingly, taking into account the location and fitting in that would suit all concerned. 

Setting up a good app for this, enables for them to give a better service and keeping their clients updated with their appointments several weeks in advance as the programmes used will produce a text or email confirmation or even both.  It also means that my clients have their evenings and weekends free.

Accounts Administration 

A job that many people seem to avoid!  Are you using a cloud-based system? Do you want to but don’t know where to start? Help is at hand with a Virtual Assistant who can set up and maintain one for you.

  • Send out invoices & record the income
  • Input your expenses, invoices, etc
  • Record your mileage

Well I could go on about other bits that a Virtual Assistant could do for you, and sometimes you just need a one-off helping hand which is ideal in busy periods or for holiday cover.  Otherwise I work with my clients on a regular, monthly retainer basis so when a job comes up then they can say to me “can you just….”

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