Whether you're an entrepreneur just wetting your feet or you're a seasoned executive, time is your most valuable asset and it's also the most wasted, especially in a startup where you're just not ready to delegate tasks because your business is your entire identity at the start and you need to ensure that your company starts off the way it means to go on.
The downside to trying to do everything yourself though is that often, you let your company down by not producing work to the standard you would if you had more time or delivering late because you didn't have the resource and struggled to do it all alone.
A Virtual Assistant is your secret weapon - they work remotely and they're contractors so you don't have to commit to an FTE resource and you have none of the headache of working out PAYE, KiwiSaver, FBT or ACC levies which is invaluable at the beginning when you find it hard to let go and you don't have the time or the funds to commit to a dedicated resource.
Virtual Assistants work on either an hourly rate, a project rate or a monthly package deal and allow you to truly customise your level of assistance to what best suits your business. Working out what tasks to delegate is the hard part but you'll often find that they can do it all and just having a consultation with a Virtual Assistant can help you work out where your biggest roadblocks are and where they can best assist you. Most will focus on administrative tasks - the likes of which you'd ordinarily delegate to a Personal Assistant while others (like Rosie Remotely), offer a far wider range of services extending to graphic design or website design and population.
Here are a few tasks that can be delegated to a Virtual Assistant courtesy of the New Zealand based Virtual Assistant service, Rosie Remotely.
Inbox Management and Calendar Scheduling - A Virtual Assistant can manage your calendar, scheduling meetings and appointments or planning events and conferences. They can also filter your most important emails and respond to others on your behalf, freeing up your time and allowing you to focus solely on the messages that are directly relevant to your role and voice.
Proofreading / Editing - Spelling mistakes leap off the page at us and both spelling and grammatical errors are our biggest pet peeves. Offering a full proofing and editing service, A Virtual Assistant will take an in-depth look at your documents, marketing materials or authorial manuscripts and correct any spelling or grammatical errors, taking the initiative to enhance content fluidity where required. This is especially popular with authors.
Documents & Presentations - Do you need assistance to make that PowerPoint presentation exciting? As advanced users of a number of software packages, your Virtual Assistant can utilise all of the effects and settings available to really make those presentations engaging.
Database Entry / Maintenance - You've recently picked up a slew of new potential clients from a tradeshow, you have a wealth of product information to enter or you just need to organise a bulk amount of information into one easy to navigate database. Trust your Virtual Assistant's error-free fingers to do the entry and maintenance for you.
Digitising Printed Material - Whether it's decades old company records you only have in hardcopy, a manual from before the digital age or even family records you need organised and digitised for future use, it can be digitised because a Virtual Assistant has the time and the attention to details to carry it through.
Dictation and Transcription - One of the fundamental tasks for a Virtual Assistant - simply send an audio file and choose clean or full verbatim and you'll swiftly have your rambling notes or corporate document transcribed without the headache of sitting down to create it yourself.
New Business Setup & Companies Office Administration - Seasoned Virtual Assistants will be used to dealing with the Companies Office, filing annual returns, updating shareholder information or nominee shareholder records and can make the entire process seamless. This comes in extra handy when you're first starting out and don't know how to register your business.
Marketing Collateral - Virtual Assistants are able to create engaging straight to print brochures, newsletters and other marketing materials that are ready to send to the printers with no additional rework required, even facilitating the publishing aspect for you.
Research - One of the easiest tasks to assign to a virtual assistant is online research. Whether you need to find information on corporate websites, do market comparisons on products or services, source new blog topics, find your desired slice of real estate for sale,or you need to get into nitty gritty statistical research, a Virtual Assistant can take on the task to give you the results without the time waste.
Website Creation, Content Population & Site Maintenance - Premier Virtual Assistants like those of Rosie Remotely are well versed in CSS, HTML and web design. They can also take on the maintenance of your existing sites and domain management and renewals to ensure your site's uninterrupted continuity or create ongoing content to populate your site to keep it fresh.
Travel Research & Bookings - Virtual Assistants are able to find hotels, book airfares and research sample itineraries to map out your perfect trip whether that be for business or pleasure and they most always have vast experience both in direct bookings and working with corporate agencies.
Event Management - Workshops, training seminars, conferences, staff events and client functions are hard work if you haven't done them before but a Virtual Assistant can take the stress out of the event and run them for you.
Personal Errands - Often (whether you're a seasoned executive or a newbie entrepreneur), your personal life falls by the wayside as your focus is laser-sharp solely on the business. A Virtual Assistant can pick up the slack and help you both professionally and personally. They can't go and get that haircut you've had to cancel seven times now but they can arrange your drycleaning, your groceries, travel and mail pickups - anything you can think of, they can do.
Rosie Remotely is New Zealand's premier virtual assistance service offering clients exceptional, professional assistance - worldwide and on any timetable, allowing your business to reclaim lost time without the HR headache or FTE expense.