Looking for a plan?   1 877-277-0677
Current Plan participant?   1 800-665-3365

Small Business Tips Blog

Virtual Assistants: Maximizing Outsourcing for Your Business

A virtual assistant, as defined by Wikipedia, is an independent contractor who is “generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office.” They are growing in popularity, and with the ever-increasing functionality of online work spaces, outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants has never been easier.

However, this increasingly popular contracting is often met with trepidation. Hiring a virtual assistant comes with uncertainties such as prioritizing the tasks to be delegated, identifying the right time in a business’ development to contract those tasks, and locating someone reliable and trustworthy.

There are a number of resources to optimize this process for your business’ benefit. Alina Dizik, freelance writer and contributor at entrepreneur.com, proposes a helpful, though certainly-not-comprehensive list of tasks that can be delegated to virtual assistants to your benefit: bookkeeping, online research, database entries, data presentations, managing email, social tasks, travel research, scheduling, chasing business, and industry knowledge prep.

Relinquishing control of task management can also be a difficult step for new delegators. Part of the unease associated with virtual assistants exists in trusting a new and unknown party with the “Things to do” list. That said, Mathew Carpenter at sixrevisions.com offers some cogent advice on how to maximize your outsourcing experience and reduce any accompanying anxiety. Among other points, he advises to shop around and be patient when searching for a quality virtual assistant. For the sake of safe-guarding your business, he also recommends increasing the duties of your assistants gradually and to never rely on just one service provider.

When is the right time to outsource a virtual assistant? Entrepreneur Ryan Lee, ryanlee.com, recommends having a target financial goal in mind before you begin the outsourcing process. By giving your business an established baseline first, one that you’ve proven to be able to consistently achieve, you’ll make the hiring process more comfortable and prudent for your business. “What gets me crazy,” he pleads, “is seeing someone hiring an employee before they’re ready for it. And they start losing money quickly.” Don’t jump too soon – a little hard work out of the gates will yield more rewarding hiring opportunities down the road.

Some Virtual Assistant Resources: guru.com, elance.com, odesk.com, ivaa.org, freelancer.com.

Carmen Morgan
Writing on the Wall

Resources:

10 Things to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant - http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225318#comments (Alina Dizik)

The Reality of Outsourcing and Virtual Assistants - http://ryanlee.com/outsourcing-virtual-assistants/ (Ryan Lee)

8 Tips for Using Virtual Assistants and Personal Outsourcing - http://sixrevisions.com/project-management/8-tips-for-using-virtual-assistants-and-personal-outsourcing/ (Mathew Carpenter)

11 Freelancer and Virtual Assistant Outsourcing Sites - http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/09/11-freelancer-virtual-assistant-outsourcing-sites.html (TJ McCue)

Pin It

From Our Small Business Blog

Part 3: Using your blog to boost web traffic

As we mentioned in Part I, people are using their smartphones more than ever to solve problems and answer questions. With your blog, you have an opportunity to provide those answers.

The only questio

26 Jul, 16

Part 2: Creating a Successful Blog

Creating a successful blog is no different than creating any other successful product. It needs:

ear goals

ammitment to quality

>

>contency

uc

y, there are a lot of tools and techniq

19 Jul, 16

Subscribe to our Small Business Tips newsletter

Call Us Toll Free 1 877-277-0677

© Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan 2012