5 Popular Small Business Uses for a Virtual Assistant

virtual assistantAs a small business owner, you have lots of tasks to do on a regular basis. Virtual assistants for entrepreneurs are hugely helpful. Here are five tasks that are popular for new business owners to outsource.  And if you want more info, check out this great Virtual Assistant Guide!

 

Web Research

While I am writing this, a virtual assistant I found on ODesk is sitting at his computer in the Philippines researching local businesses for me. I built a Google spreadsheet and he is filling in the business names, manager name, and manager email addresses for me.

This is just one use out of the unlimited possibilities to use a virtual assistant for online research tasks. I have used virtual assistants for similar tasks in the past and was always happy to save the time. With sites like ODesk, I am able to find someone to work for a much lower rate than a North America based VA.

 

Email Management

If you find a VA you can trust, you can let them into your business email and have them sort through the good, the bad, and the spammy.

A well trained, thoughtful VA can respond to standard emails with a template you pre-wrote. They can delete the junk. They can put together a daily summary of important messages. Whatever you need, they can do. They can work out project details with a client.

Just always make sure to be very specific about what you want them to do when you get started, and you will end up happy.

 

Schedule Management

While your VA is dealing with your emails, why not have them handle your calendar too? Don’t waste your valuable time booking meetings and client appointments. Instead, have your VA take care of that.

Google Calendar, Outlook, and other popular calendars have a feature that allows other people to view and edit your calendar. A virtual assistant can manage your calendar from anywhere in the world.

 

Bookkeeping

I kind of like handling the bookkeeping for my businesses, but many people feel differently. Whether you like Quickbooks desktop or an online accounting program, there are many well trained VAs that can take care of your business accounting for you.

Make sure to find someone trustworthy and well trained for this type of task, as your VA will have access to your business records and bank account information.

 

Data Entry

You know what I totally hate? Data entry. You know who can do it for me? Someone in India, Pakistan, China, or elsewhere in the world for a much lower cost than my time is worth to me.

You can scan and send large files or send your VA loads of information that you need in a spreadsheet or database. Better them than you, right?

About Eric Rosenberg

Eric is a finance blogger at Narrow Bridge Finance and a serial entrepreneur. He runs a media company, flash mob company, and DJ business from his hometown in Denver, Colorado. You can read more about his finance background and connect with him around the web.

Comments

  1. With technology and service merging, we have found a lot of managed services willing to outsource our products and services. For bookkeeping, we use a managed service called Balanced By Us which was able to cut our bookkeeping fees in half.

  2. What steps does one take to ensure that the VA is trustworthy? You are correct…if they have access to your accounts…it’s important for them to be trustworthy.

    Laura

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