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One of the greatest challenges faced by many small business owners is finding the time to do the actual work that defines their business.
Whatever your business involves, whether it’s designing websites or building a better mousetrap, you need uninterrupted time to devote to working on your ideas and products. And the routine tasks that must be completed each day, the things that have to be done even if they don’t leave you feeling very productive – email, phone calls, social media updates, advertising, scheduling meetings, accounting, mailings – take away from the time you can spend developing new products or services, or establishing new client relationships. A virtual office assistant may be the perfect solution.
A growing number of business owners are relying on the services of virtual office assistants to help them run their businesses more efficiently and cost-effectively. The reason for this becomes clear once you realize the number of ways a virtual office assistant can help you.
Phone calls. While steady phone calls may mean more new business, they are also an interruption that draws your focus away from your work. A virtual office assistant will answer calls and take messages based on your explicit instructions. You’ll only have to take the calls that are truly important.
Email. You want to start the day working on a new idea, but first must answer the dozens of emails that arrived overnight. Let your virtual office assistant sift through the inbox, answering any correspondence that doesn’t require your personal attention.
Computer tasks. Your virtual office assistant will take care of data entry, preparing correspondence, printing projects and any other tasks that don’t require your immediate attention. A virtual assistant can also conduct online research and prepare contracts, estimates and invoices.
Bookkeeping. A good virtual office assistant will be familiar with basic bookkeeping and accounting, and can help with payroll, accounts payable and receivable, and preparing financial reports.
Scheduling. Never double-book appointments again. Your virtual office assistant will maintain your calendar and schedule meetings and calls. You can also delegate travel research and reservations, saving you precious time to prepare for your trip.
Social media. Getting your name out there via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the like can do a world of good for your business. It also takes a lot of time and, let’s face it, can be a huge distraction. Let your virtual office assistant update your social media, helping you to avoid getting sidetracked by Candy Crush Saga.
Blogging. Even if you prefer to write blogs yourself, let your virtual office assistant do the posting. Ideally, your virtual assistant will develop a degree of familiarity with your business that allows you to let go of the writing duties, too.
Industry research. Want to stay on top of the latest news and trends in your industry? Let your virtual office assistant locate and condense the information you need to know in order to stay current.
Each item in this list is an essential part of running a business. The good news is that none of these tasks need to deter you from the important work that is your specialty. A highly qualified virtual office assistant can be an invaluable asset, freeing you to devote your time and energy to being creative and productive. And best of all, you don’t have to hire and pay individual staff members to provide different services. A virtual office assistant allows you to work uninterrupted, confident that the day-to-day tasks that you need done will be done well.
Now, for a more in-depth overall solution to keeping those costs low, here is a Free Checklist for the 10 Must Haves of a Virtual Office.