Time is probably the most valuable commodity in business. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done and it can soon leave you feeling overwhelmed. The good news is that a VA will significantly reduce your workload by taking on many tasks that take up your precious hours. They can also help with your time management. Let’s see how a virtual assistant saves you time.
Organising Your Project Management System
To save you from having to deal with all the tasks on your time management system, your helpful VA can pick up the repetitive ones and do them for you on a day to day basis. This can include things like:
1. Email Time Management
We’re plagued by endless emails that are basically junk and of no interest or are low priority. Even though we have automated junk message filtering, some things still get through.
It’s estimated that an average business professional spends around 28% of their working day reading and then answering emails. That’s a lot of wasted time!
A VA can scan all of your incoming messages several times a day and delete any that are worthless, notify you of anything of high importance or make an initial response to any that can wait until later.
Simple templates can be created that your VA will use to respond to common emails and frequently asked questions.
Ensure they know what you consider to be of importance and how you want things handled. Very soon they will get to know your clients and common contacts and won’t need to ask you what to do.
You’ll be left wondering how you ever managed without them.
Any meetings that need setting up can be done by your VA, providing they have access to your online diary system. This ensures no clashes occur.
It’s often a good idea to only conduct meetings on two set days a week and at allocated times. Only move from this if the other party is unable to make it on your schedule. Again your VA can negotiate this for you.
3. Work Allocation
You can allocate work to your VA using your work management system by order of priority. This can help keep you freed up for other things.
4. VA Meetings
Although it takes a small amount of time, it is well worth setting up regular meetings with your VA to discuss your requirements. This lets you discuss where you need extra help, any upcoming jobs you’ll need them to do and so on. It also gives them the chance to ask any questions they have of you. The frequency of such meetings will depend on the workload required of them.
5. Online Tools
There are almost an endless number of really useful online time management tools. These include things such as Trello, Toggl and MyHours. These can be used to help you stay ahead of the game with your time management.
A good VA will already be familiar with many of these tools and able to recommend which ones they find the most useful, helping you both save and track your work time more effectively.
6. Repetitive Tasks
If your work requires you to complete repetitive tasks such as data entry, give it to your VA, as it can take up a huge chunk of valuable time. A VA can complete the work for you, freeing up hours for you to do something more productive.
Basic bookkeeping such as creating and sending invoices or chasing late payments can also be work given to a VA.
Many businesses require some kind of research doing to find out information. From something as simple as checking weather reports to keeping up with current trends. A VA can find all kinds of information for you and then compile it into easy to use data such as a competitor analysis or a list of which of your competitors are using plastic packaging. Ongoing research can also be kept regularly updated.
8. Client Relations
Every client or employee wants to believe they are of the most value to you. To make them feel extra special you can do something personal, a small thing like sending a birthday card or a congratulatory note about an achievement or important event.
A VA can compile a database to log dates and other information to achieve this. They can then send a card or note on your behalf, with a brief message to you so you know it’s been done. This makes you look great, when in fact you haven’t really done anything!
9. Social Media Time Management
Keeping your social media presence up to date is often a huge task taking many hours per week. There are many scheduling apps to help you, but even so, creating content can be incredibly time-consuming.
This is where your trusty VA steps in to save the day, all you need to do is give a list of topics and when you want them posted and your VA can do the rest. From image sourcing, and even creation, to written content. Some VAs specialize in this and may charge a premium. Even so, it’s another job done without you having to worry about it.
10. Content Writing
Fed up with finding interesting topics for blog posts? Had enough of spending hours writing the articles? What about newsletters, website copy, press releases, newsletters, ebooks, courses, in fact, any written items. Generally, a copywriter is your first port of call for these things, but a VA is also often able to handle basic writing tasks more than adequately.
11. Trip Planning
If your job requires you to travel a lot, then spending time searching for the best-priced airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals and so on can eat away precious hours. A virtual assistant is able to research this for you, saving you time and money.
12. Graphic Design
With current software, almost anyone can succeed in producing decent graphic design products by using things like Canva. From social media graphics to newsletters, leaflets, brochures, and all manner of other business documents that require imagery. Remember to always stay on brand.
Although it’s simple enough to do, it’s still incredibly time-consuming, so having a VA take on the task can be a real help. Be sure to ask if your VA is comfortable with this type of work as not all are.
13. Basic Website Maintenance
Most VAs are familiar with website builders such as WordPress and will easily be able to post up blogs, revise website content, images and even add new products. They can also update your plugins and do backups to keep everything running smoothly and keeping you safe.
Another thing that can take time is checking for broken website links. A VA can go through all of the links on your site to ensure they’re working correctly and notify you of any problems.
Time management isn’t only about trying to fit as much into your day as you can. Smart time management includes getting the help of others to carry out basic tasks that eat into your day. A virtual assistant will help keep your business running smoothly and free you up to do more important jobs like making money. There may be an element of training necessary to begin with, but ultimately, it will be well with your investment.