If you're a small business owner, you've probably had days when the whole world feels like it's sitting on your shoulders. With all of your responsibilities, being swept away by somewhat trivial matters is commonplace, and even though all of those meetings and appointments on your calendar might be important, having to remember them all on top of your hectic workload can be exhausting.
Instead of letting yourself inch closer to burnout, however, there is a solution blossoming across the Internet: virtual assistants. If they sound like some kind of modern day artificial intelligence, it's because they do share similarities with the basic duties of a 1950s secretary. They can help you monitor phone calls, send you alerts before meetings start and even book appointments for you, freeing up entire chunks of your day that would otherwise be taken up with communication alone, and that's just one aspect of their usefulness. If things like small business bookkeeping and sifting through emails are getting you down, it might be time to look into a virtual assistant.
What are they?
There are a few different kinds of virtual assistants. First and foremost, it's important to understand that they're all digital by design, allowing you to stay productive wherever you are. From there, you have a choice between smart apps, such as Apple's Siri feature, and a virtual service provided by a third-party company.
The former is helpful for the more immediate issues that might plague your schedule. If you're in a big hurry, for example, and don't necessarily have a chance to slow down and type out a message or fill out a date on your calendar, an application like Siri will make this work hands-free, allowing you to dictate information to the device rather than forcing you to do everything by hand. For these little tasks, this is perhaps the best option, as you are still largely in control.
For the other time consuming tasks, however, such as updating social media, writing newsletters and responding to basic customer service communications, you might need something with a little more substance. Enter the wide world of virtual assistants as an inexpensive paid service. With this option, you are essentially connecting with a freelance agency of professionals who are trained to work with you on all of those littler tasks that take you away from the work of moving your company forward.
Why choose this option?
When you're trying to grow your small business, flexibility is essential. To that end, it's important to trust who you're giving information to, which might make some decision-makers leery of hiring a VA. By conducting a simple search of the third-party company's credentials, however, you'll get a good sense of its reputation. You'll also inevitably develop a strong relationship with your VA, allowing you to take their services for granted without fear of any trust-related repercussions.
Instead of thinking of this service as a permanent solution to solving your tasks, it might be easier for you to think of them as a means of completing little duties for now. In the end, most businesses transition this role to a full-time employee, but when you're just starting out or are in the process of building up a new brand, what's better than an extra helping hand that you interact with from afar?