Virtual assistants provide professional, administrative or professional assistance to other entrepreneurs. Clearly, they can be some of the best business relationships you can possibly have. Businesses often underestimate the potential of the relationship.
Many entrepreneurs think of a virtual assistant as a secretary who they can unload projects onto that are too boring and unimportant to merit their own attention. You need to remember that a virtual assistant is an entrepreneur themselves, probably with similar skill sets and qualifications. You should treat them more like a business partner than an employee, because they may know just as much about running your business as you do.
If you are going to benefit from a virtual assistant, you are going to need to do a few things:
- Develop a rapport and long-term relationship.
- Be clear on the extent of their knowledge. They know a lot more than doing administrative work, so don’t assume they can’t help you with something.
- Don’t treat them like an employee. They are either a professional you contract out to (like an accountant or lawyer) or you can pretend they are a partner. They may not be a partner in any legal sense (although you can offer them the opportunity if you really like their work) but you can have a better relationship by viewing them as such.
Beyond the traditional tasks people delegate to their VAs, consider using them for some of the following as well.
A virtual assistant will be able to develop PowerPoint Presentations that will make your meetings go more smoothly. Keep in mind, they know how a business meeting should go and probably have more experience preparing clients for them than you do. Make sure you take advantage of their expertise.
Virtual assistants know how to look into target markets and find you relevant information. If you sell tools to help businesses with their projects, a virtual assistant will look into that market and tell you everything you need to put into your product to satisfy your clients. They will also tell you where to advertise to reach your target audience.
Your One-man Marketing Team
Your virtual assistant can do everything you need to market your product successfully. They can help you construct a marketing plan, submit ads and track your marketing campaign every step of the way. They will even find more efficient ways to monitor your customer feedback and make suggestions for improvement.
These are only a handful of ways that a virtual assistant can help you. When you hire a virtual assistant, make sure you get your money’s worth and treat them as the experts they really are.