What to outsource to virtual assistants
Whether you’re a business owner or an individual who wants to outsource some of their tasks, this article aims to help you get started by discussing what to outsource to a virtual assistant:
Think of the most essential tasks you need and see if you have the capacity to do them — the tasks that you or your in-house team do not have the capacity to do or those not within scope are the ones perfect for outsourcing. Outsourcing is the process of delegating those tasks or projects to a third party.
But what exactly is a virtual assistant? A “virtual assistant” or VA can be hired as an independent contractor to provide services remotely. They won’t be working at the same workplace where you are and may be based in. Typically, you’ll only be paying for their services, unlike if you hire employees to work at your company.
You can also find some VAs through a staffing agency or a business process outsourcing company. Depending on the service provider’s offerings and setup, the VAs hired through them may work from their respective offices or may also work remotely like the independent contractor VA. The benefit of hiring a VA is that you’re not limited by the constraints of an in-office work setup: you can hire someone or a team to work for you from wherever.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of the process covered, let us help you put together a virtual assistant task list with our recommendations.
Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA production
Social media is a powerful tool that can help promote your business. You can be successful at it with the right tools, strategies, and a capable manager to handle all of these. This particular task can be outsourced to a virtual assistant who will manage all of your social media accounts and pages on:
- Pinterest (or any other platform you use)
You can start by having the VA create content and graphics for your social media accounts. Depending on your page’s purpose, your VA may also be expected to post breaking news or trending topics if it’s relevant to your brand.
Once the page starts gaining followers, they may also be expected to do some community engagement activities by replying to queries and comments. Likewise, social media management also requires a lot of strategy work. For this reason, it’s best to look for a virtual assistant with experience in digital marketing. In particular, those who are skilled in content strategy, copywriting, and graphic design would do well in this role.
An essential part of running a business is ensuring your finances are healthy and you’re not missing out on payments, earnings, bills, and all that. Reconciling transactions and balancing your books are important tasks that can be outsourced to a trusted VA.
Virtual assistants with accounting expertise will oversee your financial records to avoid discrepancies in reporting. They will also ensure you’re in compliance with your tax responsibilities and earning what you’re owed.
Partnering with a reliable BPO company that provides accounting services can give you peace of mind knowing your finances are being taken care of.
Many companies turn to outsourcing to virtual assistants for back-office support. This is especially the best option for businesses that are just starting out and may lack the personnel to handle such types of activities.
While crucial and part of an office’s day-to-day operations, back-office tasks can easily be time-consuming but are nevertheless easy to outsource if you decide to do so.
Here are some examples of back-office processes that you can add to your virtual assistant task list:
Safekeeping of digital files
Organizing your digital files is an important part of managing your business. As a business owner, you probably don’t have the time to do it yourself.
Luckily, there are many VAs who specialize in organizing and cleaning up digital documents. They can help you stay on top of things by setting up a system for filing digital documents that work best for you. Additionally, they can perform the following tasks to ensure your files are up-to-date and easily accessible when needed:
- Finding old files that are no longer needed and deleting them from your computer permanently so they don’t take up space anymore;
- Backing up files to a cloud;
- Organizing important files into folders where they’ll be easy to find later;
- Scanning and making copies of important documents such as contracts, receipts, etc.
Once your business takes off, you may find yourself going off to meetings and conferences near and far. To keep up with your commitments, it’s important to have a system in place to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.
A VA who specializes in schedule management can help keep things in order and prevent you from missing out on your appointments. They could also send out or decline invites on your behalf, freeing you to focus on the core aspects of your business or profession.
Whether you’re preparing for a presentation, writing a blog post, or interested in tapping a new market, all these can only succeed if you perform research. You can get the latest and most accurate information by researching and doing investigative work. Afterwards, you can use the facts you’ve gathered to help your business grow.
It’s a time-consuming but ultimately rewarding function, so it’s important to take the right steps when conducting a research project. Make sure you don’t miss out on anything by getting help from a virtual assistant researcher.
The process may comprise of interviews, surveys, and observational work, among others — very much similar to what you’ve previously done in school. A good VA can help you sort through the collected data and put them together in a way that makes sense and is helpful for your business.
Sending correspondence/E-mail management
An overflowing inbox can be tiresome to go through as it could take up much of your workday. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to help you deal with them so you could focus on the more important aspects of your job? Why not add “sending correspondence” and “e-mail management” to the things you outsource to a virtual assistant?
Stay on top of your communications with the help of a VA who will monitor your inbox and respond to queries and invitations sent to your inbox. They could also help you steer clear of junk mail and sort your mail into categories.
In fact, you don’t have to limit your assistant to helping you out with your virtual mail. Need to send a thank-you card or birthday greeting to an associate or client? It’s one of those tasks that falls by the wayside because it can easily slip your mind to buy a card or stamps. A virtual assistant will gladly help out with these things.
Website creation and maintenance
If you’re a business owner, the last thing you want to do is spend hours on your website. It’s hard enough trying to keep up with everything else in the day-to-day operations of your business, but when it comes down to things like building and maintaining a website, the process can be exhausting. And if you don’t have the time or knowledge required for this task, then hiring someone else may be the best option for getting things done quickly.
Trust a virtual assistant with IT and website management expertise to do the task for you. Let them work on your vision for your website and build your presence on the internet. When the site is already up and running, the same VA(s) can be tasked to do maintenance work by monitoring its performance and resolving technical issues right away.
Hiring a virtual assistant frees you up to focus on the core aspects of your business or profession.
If you feel overwhelmed with the day-to-day tasks of running your business, getting a virtual assistant is the way to go.
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“11 Tasks to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant – My Cloud Crew.” My Cloud Crew, https://www.facebook.com/MyCloudCrewAustralia/, 11 Feb. 2020, https://mycloudcrew.com/blog/11-tasks-to-outsource-to-a-virtual-assistant/.
Nevogt, Dave. “The Ultimate List Of Tasks to Outsource to Virtual Assistants.” Hubstaff Blog, Hubstaff, 6 May 2021, https://blog.hubstaff.com/virtual-assistant-tasks/.
Rob Rawson. “100 Tasks You Can Outsource to Virtual Assistant Services.” Time Doctor Blog, https://www.facebook.com/TimeDoctorSoftware/, 9 July 2021, https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/virtual-assistant-services/.