If I say Virtual Assistant (VA) what comes to your mind first? a) An application program, like iPhone’s Siri and microsoft’s Cortana, or b) someone working remotely on supporting your business? Entrepreneurs get confused by search engines and press coverage related to Virtual Assistants, so the time has come to bring some clarification, especially to make you realize what a Virtual Assistant could have done for you this year.
VA vs VA
Digital Virtual Assistance from text-based to voice-activated software – first introduced by Apple in 2010 – is designed to be your personal assistant by completing electronic tasks for you: search for data, locations or people, call and event scheduling, make reservations, read emails, take notes, send and read text messages.
Chances are entrepreneurs might fall in love with their Digital Assistant: a survey found more than 40 percent of participants using Virtual Assistant apps could imagine a romance with their device! So, how could a Virtual Assistant in the flesh be up to your expectations with such a competition? Actually, we are not talking exactly about the same value and experience.
Digital Assistants are called ‘intelligent’ by IT industry, meaning they are highly intuitive and can perform a conversation; Virtual Assistants are not only intelligent, they are also engaged and dedicated to your project.
Softwares may meet some of your needs giving you what you explicitly asked for; Virtual Assistants meet your expectations – they understand what you want exactly.
You might fall in love with your app’s abilities but you might also fall in love with a Virtual Assistant’s talent to support your business.
Technology is very helpful with simple, repetitive tasks, but proactivity and insight are irreplaceable.
6 reasons why some entrepreneurs are reluctant to hire VAs
Here is a list of biggest obstacles and how to overcome them :
- Fear of remote relationship
=> Try to communicate mainly through your most familiar device, there’s no need for fancy technology.
- Time consuming
=> Simplify follow ups – one format, visual, oral or written, set checkpoints and deadlines, schedule short meetings.
- Fear of losing control
Highly achieving people don’t do everything themselves!
=> Which tasks to delegate? Typically bookkeeping, live customer service or general administration. Delegation relies on itemizing tasks, sharing your expectations and setting goals and deadlines to succeed.
- No time for proper training
=> A learning curve is always one to consider, will it take a week or 4, 6? An experienced VA makes training easy and flawless by helping you using mapping tools and tutorials necessary to accomplish delegated tasks.
- Invoicing / budgeting must be complicated
=> Hourly rate or project rate, it’s yours to decide what you can afford to keep your budget under control. Remember that you’re actually saving money, hiring a Virtual Assistant is cost effective compared to a regular employee.
- Hard to find the ‘perfect match’
=> First impressions can be misleading! Make a matching test within a short period of time and then take a fact-based decision after the trial.
Hassle-free business support
This year you could have had more time to expand your company and get rid of stress. A Virtual Assistant could have dug up business opportunities by handling inbound calls and emails, creating catchy graphics for your website or translating your contents to help you reach foreign markets. A Virtual Assistant could have been your secret weapon with her/his specialized skills like SEO, market research, Social Media management, website maintenance, and could have helped you to be one step ahead.
But, 2015 is not gone yet! If you:
- Are ready to move your business forward
- Can envision the business results you would expect to see
- Want to execute rather than getting drowned into day to day tasks
it’s time for you to hire a Virtual Assistant.