Hope for Help
Virtual assistants are self employed professionals who specialize in providing remote support services to clients from a home office. The services offered may range from professional administrative tasks to general office tasks.
A virtual assistant may come in handy in project management. Professional virtual assistants can help you manage your projects from the start to completion while ensuring that all the tasks are done in a timely and organized manner. Outsourcing project management will lessen the burden you have of ensuring that a project is carried out within the budget and in an efficient manner. The virtual assistant will coordinate the breaking down of the project into manageable tasks which is always a major milestone in most projects. Feedback and reports given will help the organization monitor the progress removing the need of a constant follow up. To ensure this, emails and online conferencing are usually used. The will create close communication eliminating the use of your own resources to do the work.
Virtual assistants may also be used to manage a company's secretarial and telephone services. This helps greatly especially in times when most of the staff has gone for a work leave and there is need to maintain the normal functioning of the company. The assistant will help check emails, voice messages and also make important business calls. In addition to this, the office paper work will be handled in accordance with the stipulated rules and policies of the organization.
Large companies, especially those dealing in marketing have a lot of work that may make it hard for the staff to manage. In such a scenario, the services of a virtual assistant may be used to provide marketing support. A virtual assistant can be used to check on the customer satisfaction by using ways of accessing the customers through questionnaires and surveys. The virtual assistance has the advantage of mobility as they are not tied to the set office working hours. Tasks such as promoting the company and bringing it closer the market may be done by the assistant.
Special events that tend to interfere with the normal operation of the organizations can be organized by virtual assistants. Time and money spent in an organization planning and setting up venues may be greatly saved in this way. A virtual assistant may be used to organize the venue of the event, run through the guest lists and ensure everything goes according to the set schedule. Before the event, the virtual assistant will communicate with the invited guests and keep track of those who will be attending sending them all the important notifications. This will work to ensure that the event is successful without much involvement of the organizations in the preparations.
Databases are core to the functioning of any organization. Qualified virtual assistants can provide database management and processing services. This may be tasking for the organization as some of the database transactions need extra knowledge in the internal functioning and structure of data handed. In addition to this, data entry to the databases will be done by the assistant ensuring integrity and security of the crucial organizations data. Organizations may also need to upgrade the database software and carry out some hardware maintenance. Hiring a full time employee for this work can eat on the company’s budget as these tasks do not need to be performed on a daily basis.
At times when an organization needs to hire more employees and crosscheck on the existing staff a human resource virtual assistant may be needed. The management can use the services of the virtual assistant to provide performance reviews and reports that are used by the management in creating policies. Human resource is also in charge of the processing of submitted job applications and scrutinizing them.
The pay of virtual assistants may vary but is generally greater than that of a full time employee working at the office. However, the virtual assistants help save office space, equipment, wasted time and task of training employees to provide the needed services. The overall costs may therefore be much lower in hiring and the organization will be getting fully qualified professional services.
Online money transfer, bank deposits and at times hard cash may be used to pay the virtual assistants depending on the agreement made when signing the contract.
Caution and Warnings
You may find that VA’s can really be a big help with your organization. However, there are some warnings I feel obligated to tell you about. Just as there are unscrupulous people in all fields of services, there are those that have infiltrated their way into this business as well.
Take caution that you work with reputable companies when search for help with your work. The good companies will take painstaking efforts to make sure the people that are going to contract with you have knowledge of what they are purporting to be able to do.
Companies like Odesk and Elance put the potential VA’s through a process to ensure they are going to provide good service to you. These companies do not want their reputation affected because of some person may do shotty work. They want you to continue to use them and not turn to their competition.
Virtual Assistants can be from foreign countries with different laws and expectations from employees. It is not that the VA’s are not do their best work, it just might not be what you are expecting from them. To combat this you should give explicit expectation of what you are looking for. This will allow the VA to have the information to do the work you want. You should also keep in constant contact with the VA to ensure a proper service or product. You could communicate with them via Skype, email, or phone if necessary. Communication is the key to turning out a great product.
If you are not satisfied with the service or product and your VA is unwilling to cooperate with you, then you have no recourse except to contact the company you found the VA through. Explain to them, while providing information that you have had with the VA to help the company decide to get rid of a VA who is not willing to provide the services they should.
Do not ever give out your passwords, account numbers or private information to your VA. If you have to give out passwords, change them as soon as you have finished your business with the virtual assistant. Take care of trade secrets and do not allow them to gain information that can adversely affect your company or business.Credit: Should You Teach Your Virtual Assistant Everything You Know
I hope you find this information helpful. I have had some really good Virtual Assistants and they have helped me quite a bit. I have had one not so good VA and I have had to follow my own advice. The company was really helpful. I have used them a few other times. More often than not, I have had success.