So you have decided that you need support with your tasks and a Virtual Assistant Service is the most cost effective option that will fit in with your business model, but now you are wondering how you can make it work ….
It’s not as hard as you think! There are so many options of organising your work with your new Virtual Assistant Service, but to take the pain out of it, here is just a few pointers to help you get started and pass over the mundane tasks that you want to free yourself from.
Accounts & Bookkeeping
- Expenses & Accounts Payable Invoices: You can scan and email, fax or post them to your Virtual Assistant, who can then sort and enter them into your on-line Accounts System, expenses sheet and provide you with the final totals and dates that items need to be paid, keeping on top of all of the tasks for you.
- Accounts Receivables: Email your Virtual Assistant the details of the Invoices you need to raise and they will record all of the details in your on-line Accounts System, raise the invoices and either forward them directly to your Client by email or post or return them to you if you prefer to send them yourself.
- Bank Reconciliation: You can download and share your bank files with your Virtual Assistant, who can then upload these into your on-line Accounts System and reconcile all of the transactions for you. No Problem!
- Credit Control: Your Virtual Assistant can keep on top of all of the invoices you’ve issued and make you aware of any that are unpaid by the due dates. You can then decide if you prefer to speak to your Client or if you would like your Virtual Assistant to handle this for you.
- Self-Assessment and VAT Returns: By looking after all of your Accounts and keeping track of your sales and expenditure, your Virtual Assistant can help you prepare the necessary returns to the HMRC and save you £££’s in Accountant’s fees, by providing all of the figures in your on-line Accounts system, ready for you or your Accountant to submit.
Database Management & Data Processing
- Keeping your contacts up to date: You can scan and email, fax or post details of you new contacts to your Virtual Assistant to keep your contact database updated, whether this is your personal address book in your email account, an online database or CRM system or just an Excel spreadsheet. Your Virtual Assistant will ensure that all of the details are entered accurately and are there whenever you need them.
- Sending email newsletters and campaigns: Your Virtual Assistant can prepare the draft for your approval and to your requirements and can then implement the sending out of your correspondence either using an email marketing tool or by post, saving you valuable hours to concentrate on growing your contacts and prospective clients. Your Virtual Assistant can also deal with the feedback from these campaigns ensuring that you have current information in your mailing list / database.
- Need to change database software? Your Virtual Assistant can convert your existing data and upload it into the new database and then support you and your staff while you learn how to use it.
Presentations and Reports
- Creating Presentations for Training or Business Meetings: Your Virtual Assistant can create the presentation that you need with content, diagrams, charts and images on your template to your requirements. All you need to do is provide the instructions and text and leave the styling and animations – i.e. all the fiddly time consuming bits to your VA and then you can get on with other essential tasks! When you receive your presentation file, if it is not exactly what you need, then make sure you let your VA know, it is all part of the learning curve or working together to ensure that you have exactly what you need and when you need it.
- Creating Reports and Hand-outs: Your Virtual Assistant can work on the layout of your reports and hand-outs, getting them print ready for you and also ensuring that they look professional and contain the correct information. Make sure that you provide your exact needs and requirements so that your VA can translate your instructions into finished documents for you
Event Management / Meetings
- Need to organise a Meeting? Just let your Virtual Assistant know your budget, requirements regarding venue, catering and facilities and let her do them do the rest! They can research pricing and provide you with all the options that are available and then make the booking on your behalf. A good VA will also liaise with your delegates and provide them and you with all the paperwork and information that is needed, just ensure that you let them know if hotels or transport is required and they can also research this for you and assist you and your delegates with logistics so all you have to think about is what you need to achieve from the meeting
- Corporate, Company or Personal Event? As with a meeting it is just a case of letting your Virtual Assistant know your budget, requirements regarding venue and catering plus also if you need any additional assistance with hosting or providing entertainment. Your VA can then provide you with all the options that are available and the assist with booking your chosen options plus also if needed provide or recruit assistance for the duration. A good VA will also look at all of the small details to assist you and your guests and ensure that the Event runs smoothly.
Travel Arrangements / Diary Management
- Travel Arrangements: Your Virtual Assistant can provide you with all the details you need if you have to take a journey – and this should not just be limited to Air / Train travel, but also can research and provide you with driving plans and options of where to stop for breaks if it is a long drive. If you are staying away overnight then your VA can also assist with Hotel Bookings, Restaurant Reservations and even organising dry cleaning, early morning calls, newspaper etc. All you need to do is provide your VA with your requirements and they will research all the options and come back to you with the details so that you can choose what best suits your needs and budget. Once everything is confirmed, a good VA will also provide you with an overview document that you can refer to and know exactly what has been arranged and pre-paid.
- Diary Management: Your Virtual Assistant can support you and ensure that you do not miss another event, deadline, birthday etc. by keeping a log of all of these for you and if available ensuring that your online diary is updated. Travel plans and transfers between meetings can be calculated for you and itineraries provided as an aide memoire if you prefer not to work from your Diary. When first engaging with your VA, then also let the have a list of the important dates that you need to remember, and they can remind you of these too – especially helpful if you need to prepare, buy cards or presents etc. A good Virtual Assistant is not only there for your business but also to help you personally as well.
There are many ways your VA can support you and also how they can work effectively you. In a future blog we will look at the marketing support, especially Social Media Marketing and how your VA can assist you with keeping on top of all the tasks that are involved to keep you on top of your game!