These days, we are all trying to do more with a smaller staff. Taking on additional team members is an expensive endeavor, and some tasks don’t even require a dedicated in-house team member to get done. If you’ve got needs but not the means or necessity to hire a new employee, a virtual assistant can be a terrific means to that end.
If you think that a virtual assistant may be a good fit for you, you’ll want to amass a solid list of virtual assistant tasks to outsource before beginning your search. Not all tasks can or should be completed by someone outside your organization. Identifying the places you need the most help in reducing wasted time is a good place to start. Once you’ve got your list together, you’ve got to address the most important consideration, which is whether to outsource or not to outsource.
WHY WE OUTSOURCE
There are some fantastic reasons to outsource virtual assistant roles in your organization. You’ll save money on employee salaries, freeing up more money to expand your business in other ways. Outsourcing also reduces your overhead, meaning you can get by with a smaller office. The smaller rent payment that goes along with it is a great bonus.
Aside from the money saving benefits that come with outsourcing some of your work to a virtual assistant, you’ll also increase your productivity and free up some time that you can spend with your family or relax and recharge. You can even use that time to drum up more business. There are a myriad of benefits that come with hiring a virtual assistant, as long as you understand what to outsource and what not to outsource.
WHEN TO OUTSOURCE
Even though a virtual assistant may be a real live person or group of people, in the context of how they fit in with your team, it’s best to categorize them as a tool that helps you get things done. A virtual assistant should simply assist you in everyday tasks that don’t take a lot of technical, industry, or company information.
Popular virtual assistant tasks to outsource
If you’re thinking about hiring a virtual assistant, you first need to identify what they’ll be doing. The best virtual assistant tasks to outsource are usually the things that have little to do with what your business actually does. So, what should you outsource?
The first thing on our list is all the administrative tasks that need to get done every day but distract you from the service your business actually provides. Things like answering phones, checking emails, and scheduling needs to get done for businesses to run smoothly. Still, they can be done by someone with little knowledge of the industry and are very popular virtual assistant tasks to outsource. Outsourced administrative assistant tasks is a great way to save you money on payroll and allow you to operate in a smaller space.
A short list of virtual assistant tasks may include things like:
We all know a solid social media presence is needed to connect with our potential clients and customers, but not all of us have the skill sets that allow us to efficiently handle all our social media accounts in-house. Rather than hiring a full time employee to deal with social media for you, consider a virtual assistant. They can help you craft effective social media marketing campaigns and even schedule posts and reply to queries for you. What can you have them do for you? Here are a few virtual assistant tasks to outsource.
- Create social media posts
- Create a posting schedule for your social media content
- Identify social media leads and pass them onto the team
- Find out what your competition is posting
As a general rule, we don’t want to outsource many roles where money is involved, such as closing big deals and making purchasing decisions, but the simple data entry and repetitive tasks associated with basic bookkeeping and accounting can be great things to outsource. It’s not something that requires full time help, and you don’t need a whole lot of technical knowledge to perform the tasks correctly.
Market research is a very beneficial, but very time consuming endeavor. You could easily spend hours every day digging for info, but it’s much more efficient to have someone else do the digging for you and present their findings in an organized and useful way.
In real estate, maybe that means the virtual assistant researches things like home listings or price points in different areas. In manufacturing, maybe they would look into what the competition is producing and research trends in the market. The key is to have your assistant knock out the time consuming portion and deliver the info you need when you need it. As far as virtual assistant tasks to outsource go, this one is a game changer.
If you rely on cold calling to generate clients for your business, this is another place where your core team may be wasting a lot of time. By outsourcing your cold calling, you’ll only have to pick up the phone when you’ve got someone who’s already expressed interest, meaning your time spent on the phone is used getting information from your potential clients and closing deals.
WHEN NOT TO OUTSOURCE
Now that we’ve covered some good virtual assistant tasks to outsource, let’s look at some tasks that are best handled in-house. Since some tasks are much better completed by either yourself or some other highly qualified person within the organization, you’ll want to avoid outsourcing them to reduce your chances of problems down the line. So, when is outsourcing not beneficial?
Any time you’re dealing with the most important aspects of your business, make sure you have dedicated in-house team members to handle them for you. A virtual assistant may have a basic understanding of your field, but they don’t understand your business the way you do. They also may not fully understand your specific region or customers, so they aren’t ideal candidates for handling these aspects of your business. You are the professional, so you should be the one serving your customers. This may be the most important list item when asking yourself, “what should you not outsource?”
While a virtual assistant can easily handle the cold calling portion of the sales process, closing is definitely not one of the best virtual assistant tasks to outsource. You and your team have a whole lot more direct knowledge of your product or service and can be much more effective at closing sales. You also have the authority to make changes in things like deliverables, timelines, and price, which are things you wouldn’t want to hand over to a virtual assistant.
Management and leadership roles
Management is best orchestrated by someone who is in the office and sees the team members each day. Having someone manage your team virtually is possible, but they have no way to connect and bond with the team, which will likely make them less effective than in-house management personnel would be.
While there are some companies that offer outsourced management or leadership services, these are not the best virtual assistant tasks to outsource.
What does a great virtual assistant look like
In a perfectly efficient world, we could use virtual assistants to perform any task associated with our business. However, going this route would eliminate the camaraderie and relationships we build with the people we work with. Companies that do not outsource at all do facilitate interoffice relationships, but they also have more overhead costs and deal with more wasted time.
Finding a balance between in-office personnel and virtual assistants will deliver the best results. A virtual assistant is best used as a tool to complete the simple, daily tasks that eat up so much of our time, and the creative work is best left to your local team.
Creating a list of virtual assistant tasks to outsource will help you get the assistant that works best for you. VA tasks can be completed while you are working on more pressing matters, meaning you can slow things down a little and enjoy the success of your business, whatever that looks like.