Why Every Small Business Needs A Virtual Assistant
- February 9, 2023
- 9 min read
- By Sabeeha Banu
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Small businesses start with big dreams. An entrepreneur must keep track of many daily tasks. These include managing customer service, marketing, advertising, and website maintenance. Additionally, these routine tasks take time, making it difficult to focus on business progress. To this end, budding businesses need an extra pair of hands to do tiresome work so they may concentrate on more important goals.
Hiring a full-time employee accounts for expenses. These include a desk, computer, the cost of employee benefits, and payrolls. In comparison, hiring a virtual assistant would help businesses avoid these expenses and save the firm 78% annually.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
Employees vs Virtual Assistants vs Temporary Employees vs Freelancers
Businesses hire workers as permanent employees to grow their company, uphold their workplace culture, and concentrate on their corporate goals. Hiring a full-time employee comes with:
- The cost to recruit – advertising, interviewing
- Monthly salary
- Employee benefits - insurance
- Office equipment – desk, IT, phone, stationery
- Holidays, and other statutory payments
- Training & skill management costs
These workers' employment conditions are predetermined. Companies hire temporary workers for a range of projects and any period.
Pros: It is a great technique to locate staff when companies require them immediately. Additionally, it is an excellent option to augment personnel when permanent employees are on leave during periods of high business activity.
Cons: The lack of passion and demand for shorter working hours among temporary workers causes productivity challenges for businesses.
Freelancers are independent contractors that work for businesses on specialized projects locally or remotely.
Pros: Most freelancers are skilled professionals who exhibit high levels of skills and deliver projects on time.
Cons: Since freelancers come with different skill sets and salaries, finding the ideal one to meet the company's objectives can be challenging.
A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who provides support to businesses remotely. They handle a wide range of business tasks, including:
- Calendar management
- Virtual admin services
- Sales support
- Travel and event management
- Accounts and Bookkeeping
Pros: Hiring a virtual assistant is beneficial for companies as they only pay for the number of hours a virtual assistant works. Also, hiring a virtual assistant doesn't incur any overhead or travel expenses.
Cons: The best part of virtual assistants is that they come with the best skills and work remotely. So, hiring virtual assistants is not a good idea if businesses want someone to work internally.
3 Reasons Why Hiring Virtual Assistant Can Add Value to your Small Business
Hiring a virtual assistant is very beneficial for businesses. Virtual assistants are proven to add value to any business by reducing the workload, driving business growth, increasing efficiency, and enhancing productivity.
Here are the top 3 reasons why hiring a virtual assistant can add value to a small business:
1. Virtual Assistants Fuel Business Growth
Some virtual assistants have a wide range of specialties. While some VAs are specialists in marketing, scheduling appointments, bookkeeping, sales, social media management, and other fields. As a result, virtual assistants with a wide range of skills and the capacity to adapt to highly competitive business environments can foster the growth of budding firms.
2. Virtual Assistants Work 24/7
Virtual assistants can work around the client's schedule and are flexible with their time. Additionally, a competent virtual assistant completes and delivers assignments on schedule. They free up enterprises from administrative duties and provide them more time to unwind, network, and establish business strategies. As a result, virtual assistants help small businesses become more productive and efficient by handling different administrative and other business tasks.
3. Virtual Assistants Save Small Business Money & Time
Each year, process inefficiencies cost businesses. These are frequently the routine activities that virtual assistants (VAs) may carry out, from scheduling the workday to handling accounts and more tasks. Hiring a virtual assistant saves businesses time and money. With a VA, businesses don’t have to deal with a time-consuming recruitment process and can hire a VA as an as-needed contract worker instead of a full-time salaried employee.
Top 10 Businesses Leveraging Virtual Assistants for Growth
Virtual assistants help businesses be more productive by taking care of recurring and crucial business tasks. Here are the top 10 industries that are utilizing virtual assistants for growth.
1. Real Estate
Real estate companies must deal with a tonne of paperwork, create listings, and more. A real estate virtual assistant handles the repetitive tasks that a real estate agent performs. They make significant, valuable contributions to a real estate business at a fraction of the cost of regular staff. Virtual assistants in real estate organize meetings with prospects and edit digital marketing materials for properties. Additionally, they handle buyers under contract agreements, update MLS listings, close deals, and more.
2. Accounting & Bookkeeping
Businesses need an expert to maintain and interpret financial records. Since full-time accountants are so expensive, they are not an option for small businesses looking to reduce expenses.
Virtual assistants manage different tasks, including calendar management, bank reconciliation, data entry, record organization, and accounts payable and receivable. They oversee ledger entries, reconciliation of transactions, and bills. Consequently, virtual assistants look after the financial stability of small firms and assist with regular administrative responsibilities.
Office Beacon offers skilled accountants and bookkeepers adept at handling all accounting and bookkeeping business needs.
Entrepreneurs, especially those who are just starting, find it challenging to run an online store. Managing orders, stocks, and live situations present challenges for businesses. E-commerce businesses can benefit from a virtual assistant's fast handling of duties, including order processing, product description, returns and exchanges, and product listing.
Small businesses who wish to promote and sell their products on online marketplaces can do so swiftly and affordably with the aid of virtual assistants.
An e-commerce virtual assistant can help small businesses with the following tasks:
- Creative Designing
- Photo and Video Editing
- Website & App Development
- Data Entry
- Accountant & Bookkeeping
4. Information Technology
The IT industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Small enterprises must effectively manage their business operations to establish their brand presence in the competitive marketplace. To this end, a virtual assistant can aid IT companies in website development, administrative support, technical assistance, customer support, and more. They ensure the business has zero downtime and runs on a secure and reliable network.
5. Database Management
Database management is a tiring and never-ending task for any business. Also, it is the most critical aspect to run any business smoothly. Companies need to keep information on prospective clients, business contacts, order details, inventory lists and more. For this, businesses need experts to update their database with new data and manage the data. A virtual assistant can help businesses in preparing data, checking the accuracy of data, updating records, data management, data presentation, data backup and all the data needs with ease.
6. Human Resources
Every industry needs an HR specialist to handle human resources. Virtual assistants are an extension of an in-house HR and help businesses to manage their everyday HR activities. They keep HR records up to date, ensure the employee needs are fulfilled and act as a point of contact between the company and its employees.
A Human Resource Assistant can help small businesses with the following tasks:
- Screening Job Applicants
- Preparing Job Offers
- Recruiting New Hires
- Candidate Onboarding
- Recording Employee Data
- Performing Payroll Duties
Office Beacon's skilled Human Resources virtual assistant can help businesses to focus on their growth by handling all the HR tasks effectively.
7. Law Firms
Law firms use virtual assistants to enhance productivity, achieve profitability, and save costs. An executive virtual assistant can help law firms with all the activities that optimize business efficiency. They perform the following tasks:
- Compiling Critical Data
- Preparing Evidence Charts
- Collecting Documents for Subpoenas
- Monitoring Cases & Documentation
- Performing Research & Analysis
- Drafting Documents of Legal Disciplines
- Managing Schedules
- Reviewing Legal Documents
- Understanding Legislation Trends
- Writing Legal Briefs
- Maintaining Research Database
The entertainment industry comprises many tasks that involve finding venues, working with vendors, scheduling events, and managing registrations. A virtual assistant can aid businesses in the entertainment industry with administrative support, social media management, tracking supply inventories, and more.
The marketing sector is significant. However, managing marketing activities may be challenging for small businesses. It takes a lot of effort to plan brand marketing strategies, from conceptualizing the products to publicizing them. A virtual assistant can aid marketing firms with different jobs, including managing social media, running and managing ads, graphic design, customer service, and other duties.
A virtual assistant can aid a marketing company with the following duties:
- Content Management
- Social Media Management
- Website Maintenance
- Lead Generation
- Email Marketing
- Public Relations
Businesses seek SEO services from the very beginning to establish their brand presence, engage with their target audience, and uphold their reputation. Hiring a full-time employee with expertise in keyword research, running Google ads, managing social media ads, graphic design, and other similar duties is expensive. A virtual assistant could be a lifeline for small businesses trying to achieve their SEO objectives.
A Search Engine Marketing assistant can help businesses with:
- Collecting & Analyzing Data
- Identifying Trends & Insights
- Maximizing ROI in Paid Campaigns
- Managing Campaign Expenses
- Launching & Optimizing Various PPC Campaigns
- Overseeing Accounts On Search Platforms
- Monitoring Budget And Adjusting Bids
- Tracking Kpis To Assess Performance
Every industry, especially those that are just getting started, requires a virtual assistant. Businesses can concentrate on the critical tasks that fuel growth by outsourcing business operations to a capable virtual assistant.