What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?




  • February 13, 2015

    Interested in hiring a virtual assistant but not sure what they can do?


    Here’s the quick and dirty:


    If a job can be done online, I guarantee there is a virtual assistant out there willing to help you and your business.


    This is great news you say! Hold that thought for a second.


    Have you ever hired your plumber to fix your car?


    The Internet hopes not.


    In everyday life you hire someone to perform a task based on their qualifications and experience. The problem with delegating anything to any virtual assistant is that you will find very mixed results.


    Sure, there will be sprinkles of successes here and there, but most of our experience shows for a dirtier, rather than quicker, outcome. It really does pay to understand what a virtual assistant can and should do.


    Lucky for you, I’ve prepped most of your homework right here.


    So What Do Virtual Assistants Do?


    If I were to list every single duty or task that a virtual assistant could perform, this would be an extremely long post that could take you hours to read.


    So rather than list every single thing, I put together a list of some of the more general or common tasks and duties which you can delegate to an assistant.


    Specialization VS Generalization


    As I mentioned in my previous post “what is a virtual assistant?”, some virtual assistants come from a specific industry and choose to specialize in one area such as project management, real estate, sales, or bookkeeping to name a few. Other virtual assistants choose to do a little of everything and in essence act more like a general virtual assistant or virtual personal assistant.


    Virtual Sales Assistant Can Help You Grow Your Revenue


    A virtual sales assistant is a good example of someone who specializes but also performs a lot of general administrative duties.


    For example, if your sales team doesn’t follow up and log information about every lead into your CRM what happens? That lead goes cold and your chances of converting that lead into a sale become harder.


    A sales assistant who works remotely can help with this process, and more, to ensure that money isn’t slipping away all because your sales team is too busy.


    Here are more examples of things which you can delegate to your virtual sales assistant.



    • Prospect development and Lead Generation: Identify potential prospects, research their contact information and give you the context to reach out to them
    • Nurture and growing your client base: Monitor relationships and referrals by ensuring regular touch points through investment updates and other communications
    • Managing and preparing documents: Ensure proposals, key investment documentation, and other reports are ready when you need them
    • Update email or contact lists in your CRM: Make sure all information is properly input so warm leads don’t go cold.
    • Manage your calendar: Schedule and re-schedule your meetings and confirm appointments

    As I mentioned before, there are many VA’s who specialize and Sales is but one type of specialization.


    General Virtual Assistant


    I don’t need to tell you that if you’re drowning in administrative tasks or trying to juggle too many things at once, then not only does your job become a source of stress, but it can be difficult to run your business.


    Luckily for you the vast majority of virtual assistants specialize in administrative tasks. Here are some general and administrative tasks your VA can perform for you.


    NOTE: When you hire a virtual assistant to do general administrative tasks, be realistic in what you want them to do. A VA who can handle the ins and outs of your calendar and travel booking may not also be able to handle video editing for example. Maybe with a little training they could but there is no VA that can do it all. So be prepared to train your VA or hire a second VA to handle the specialized task.


    Correspondence and Communication


    One of the biggest time drains can be simple correspondence and communication. Think about it: how much time do you spend on this task alone each day instead of focusing on your core business?


    Hiring a virtual assistant to handle some of these tasks for you can not only alleviate a lot of stress, but it can also free up big chunks of time so you can actually get in a full day’s work with less distractions. Consider some or all of these for your VA:



    • Calendar management
    • Follow up with customers and clients
    • Send thank you and other reminder emails
    • Manage and schedule appointments or bookings with clients and customers
    • Email management and filtering
    • Answer calls
    • Answer support tickets
    • Liaison between you and your team members
    • Reply to customers and client’s enquiries via email

    Travel and Flight Booking


    If you travel a lot and do your own travel bookings then hiring a VA can be a godsend, but it can be a bit tricky at first. He or she has to understand your schedule and learn your preferences. But once they do, it can be a huge time saver for you. Travel tasks for your VA might be:



    • Book flight
    • Arrange meetings with customers or clients in between stops
    • Book hotel
    • Book car
    • Apply all necessary rewards and miles programs

    Presentations and Spreadsheets


    All virtual assistants have access to a computer which means the majority of virtual assistants will have at least a basic understanding of spreadsheet, word-processing and presentation software. Why not outsource simple reporting and presentations to a VA? Here are some ideas:



    • Create basic reports (monthly, weekly, daily, or annually)
    • Create charts for board meetings
    • Data entry
    • Create slide shows
    • PowerPoint presentations
    • Create basic flyers

    Projects and Research


    If you have a special project, a virtual assistant can take over a lot of the more mundane tasks that need to get completed but not necessarily by you. Every research project is different but here are some basic things you can delegate to your VA.



    • Conduct initial or all research to help get a project started.
    • Setup a system or database to store all the research.

    Be Realistic!


    As you can see, the list of things you can outsource to a VA could get ridiculously long. Just don’t expect one person to be able to do everything on the list or to do it all perfectly right from the start.


    And just like working with a physically present employee, delegating tasks and duties to your VA requires planning and organization up front. Some tasks, especially online tools and specialized software, will require training and time to learn.


    With a little bit of patience, training, and understanding, your virtual assistant could become indispensable to you and your business.


    so what can a va do for me

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