A virtual office assistant is no different than your traditional office assistant, with one exception. They work online instead of in the office.
Virtual assistants provide online business owners with a variety of services. For instance, a virtual assistant can take and track product orders. They can help manage emails by responding to customers, deleting spam messages, and forwarding emails to the right person. If they have bookkeeping experience, they can also manage invoices, payments and account reconciliations.
Though these are necessary parts of operating a business, they can be very time-consuming. Consider the following 5 reasons why many online business owners opt to use virtual office services.
Making Efficient Use of the Work Day
In order to build an online business, the owner must dedicate many hours each day towards making the business a success. After all, an online business is open to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
By getting the services of a virtual office assistant, an owner is free to focus on other tasks. This can include establishing partnerships with vendors, creating new products or services, and coming up with more advertising for the business.
Time is one of the most valuable resources of an online business owner. Having a virtual assistant means they can spend time on the tasks that move the business forward and increase their bottom line.
Getting Back to the Purpose of the Business
Aside from making a profit, most owners have at least one big reason why they started their business. This is usually based on a passion, interest, or because they identified a market need.
For instance, someone may open an online store to sell homemade organic dog food because they want to improve the overall health of dogs in our country. The shop owner decides to arrange for the services of a virtual assistant because they want to dedicate more of their time to creating different types of organic food that appeal to dogs of all breeds. They believe that their products will help to extend the lives of dogs and make them healthier in their senior years.
Getting virtual office assistance allows the business owner to focus on coming up with new ideas for dog foods instead of spending their time on the everyday administrative responsibilities of the business.
Creating a Professional Image
A well-trained team of virtual assistants leaves both customers and vendors with a positive impression of an online business, which builds great business relationships. This is one of the largest benefits of having virtual office assistants.
For example, a customer who contacts an owner’s virtual office is provided with quick answers to questions and product inquiries. Also, orders for products are taken in a timely, efficient way which helps to nurture an online store’s reputation for first-rate service.
When the owner of an online store hires a virtual assistant, he or she doesn’t have to worry about the quality of service being given to customers. Instead, the owner can think about ideas for new products as well as different ways to improve on products that are currently available on their website.
Hiring someone to work online is a great way to reduce business expenses. There are fewer overhead costs as office space is not necessary. This saves on having to pay for rent, utilities, and equipment.
It also means that a business owner can hire who they need, when they need help. This makes it easy to scale up or down, depending on demand.
Rather than paying an employee to work 40 hours a week when there isn’t that much work to be done, a virtual assistant can be hired to work for a specific amount of hours or could be paid per project or task, instead. During busy times, it’s easy to add additional hours or hire an extra assistant or two.
Whenever there’s a specific project (such as a new product launch or digital marketing campaign), or a specific skill set needed (such as setting up the e-commerce website or graphic design), the business owner can hire a virtual assistant that has the specific experience and knowledge needed.
Many people open an online business because they want to have more control over their lives. They don’t want a manager telling them what to do each day. Nor do they want to be told what hours to work. Or where they must work from.
Many entrepreneurs are craving flexibility and want a favorable work-life balance. However, running a successful business takes a lot of work. As mentioned, online businesses are also always open. Those long weekends and extended vacations might not be possible, particularly if the owner is trying to do everything themselves.
Hiring the right assistance can alleviate this issue and allow the business owner to enjoy more free time to do as they please.
Garnering the services of a virtual office assistant means that an online business owner has a partner to help them succeed in their industry. Having a virtual assistant is the modern way of getting business done online.
Amanda of My Life, I Guess strives to keep the “person” in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes and more. She focuses on what it’s like being unemployed, in debt and living paycheck to paycheck, while offering advice, support and resources for those in similar situations.