Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Small Businesses: Why Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant Can Save You Time and Money

When you become self-employed, your business becomes your responsibility and its failure or success rests with you. When you've been used to being an employee, the mental shift in becoming a business owner can be therefore be quite overwhelming. As well as bringing in fee-paying work, you have to also be the managing director, the marketing director, the administrator, the IT expert, the graphic designer and the person who makes the coffee. One way to lessen the load is to learn how to outsource.

You probably started a business because you're good at offering a service or a product or you spotted a gap in the market. You probably didn't start a business because you have a burning desire to spend hours doing paperwork! Why not free up your precious time so you can spend it actually making some money, by delegating the everyday running of your business to a trusted assistant?

You won't have to worry about providing a desk, or any office equipment, or training or even tea or coffee! Unlike office-based secretaries or temporary workers, virtual assistants work from their own well-equipped home offices. If using technology isn't your strong point, there's no need to worry: a good VA will be up to speed on the latest equipment and software, and how best to use it. You won't have to worry about, bureaucratic red tape and employment law issues. Nor will you have to pay your assistant's National Insurance contributions, sick pay, holiday pay or maternity pay. Even if you only want a one-off project completed, most VAs will be able to work ad-hoc hours and charge you accordingly - there's no need to get tied into a monthly retainer contract if you only want a few hours of office support.

Not sure whether a virtual assistant would be able to help you? VAs provide a plethora of services, many of which are included in the list below:

Typing and transcription

Word processing

Creating and formatting

Excel spreadsheets

Desktop publishing

Scanning documents

Diary management

Making and receiving calls

Making and receiving telephone and internet bookings

Mail merges and mail-shots

Database management

Content creation and management

Copywriting and copyediting

Proof reading and editing

Email marketing and newsletter creation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)


Article writing

Website design and management

Social media management

Book keeping and accounting

Online marketing

Setting up and maintaining affiliate schemes

When you find a VA who's a good 'fit' for your business, you will be able to have the same person working with you on different projects and who gets to know their business as well as you do. Your virtual assistant has a vested interest in helping you become successful: the more work you get, the more work your VA gets!

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