What Is A Virtual Assistant?

In today’s fast-paced business world, work and personal life can be difficult to balance as your day to day tasks can quickly start to pile up. When there are a lot of things bogging you down and you spend several hours each week on repetitive or menial tasks, it can be tricky to stay on top of everything. This is where a virtual assistant steps in.

A virtual assistant is an individual who provides support services to a business from a remote location. Many of them work as contractors, although some are hired as full-time remote workers. They are employed by companies of all sizes and across many industries.

The birth of the first virtual assistants began in the 1990s during the dawn of technology when reliable internet was brought to more homes.  And businesses realized employees can operate out of their homes and still get the job done. From then on, it has benefited many people in more ways than they could possibly imagine and it now has become one of the most prominent jobs developed by the IT industry.

Virtual assistants typically perform administrative tasks but they may also assist with any other elements depending on the business needs. Some of the most common tasks and responsibilities of a virtual assistant include:

  • Manage calendar and appointments
  • Organize meetings٫ travels and accommodations
  • Email management
  • Project management
  • Manage social media accounts and content management
  • Blog post writing, graphic design and marketing
  • Online research for materials and sources for presentations
  • Data entry
  • Manage a contact list and lead generation
  • Provide customer service as first point of contact
  • Personal errands (e.g. purchasing gifts online)

One of the major advantages of hiring a virtual assistant is that they can often perform a variety of tasks on a flexible contract and you only have to pay for their time. This level of flexibility can save business owners thousands of dollars every year, while also giving them the opportunity to expand their contract as their business continues to grow and requires more services.

Time is your most important business resource. If you are struggling to grow your business simply because you are wearing too many hats and you’re finding it hard to juggle work and personal life, it may be time to outsource some of your tasks to a virtual assistant. 

In the end, having a virtual assistant can help ease your workload significantly and change the way you approach work and, ultimately, the way you live. And as working from home has become more accepted, and businesses find hiring a virtual assistant is more cost-effective, there is no doubt that the demand for virtual assistants will continue on a steady rise for many more years.