Virtual Executive Assistant: What Do They Do?

A Virtual Executive Assistant Can Change Your Life!

A virtual executive assistant or virtual administrative assistant can be a game-changer for any business person, but it is essential to design the role for success. If not done correctly, these virtual assistant positions can add more stress to already strained professionals.

Executives often become overwhelmed when taking on operational tasks such as accounting or customer service. To reduce their stress levels, it’s best to create a role that efficiently focuses on these tasks. This can help the executive to feel more in control and make work easier to manage, and virtual assistants are the way to do it.

What does a virtual executive assistant do?

Hiring A Virtual Executive Assistant

When hiring a virtual assistant, it’s important to think beyond the immediate crisis and design a role that will be successful in the long term. Otherwise, the business professional may find themselves caught up on tasks after a matter of weeks and then struggling with what else to give their virtual administrative assistant.

A virtual executive assistant should help alleviate stress, not add to it – especially while the executive is trying to relax while on vacation. Designing the right role can avoid these issues and make life easier, happier, and less stressful.

A Virtual Executive Assistant Role That Works For the Busy Executive

Making this role work really is in the initial design. As consultants, we often find that overwhelmed executives are taking on operational tasks they shouldn’t be doing, such as accounting or customer service. Designing a role that focuses on these operational tasks in an effective way can help relieve the executive’s stress levels significantly.

Virtual Executive Assistant

What Tasks Can A Virtual Executive Assistant Do For Your Business?

A virtual executive assistant or remote professional can provide invaluable assistance when it comes to operational tasks that need to be completed directly by the executive. These tasks are of a sensitive nature and can range from overseeing customer service efforts to managing vendor relations. By delegating these responsibilities, executives can ensure that their job is completed efficiently and with minimal stress.

Virtual Executive Assistant Can Do Quality Control

When problems arise, a virtual assistant or remote professional can be invaluable. They can research the issue to determine the cause, no matter if it’s due to processes and procedures or a lack of training. After figuring out the root cause, they then help solve the issue – whether that means rewriting unclear procedures or reviewing task documents with those executing them.

If any flaws are noticed in the entire process or workflow, leadership teams must be consulted to determine the next steps. Quality control is an ideal role for a virtual assistant or remote professional when not occupied with executive assistant duties.

Audit Your Sales Team

Having a remote professional on board to support sales teams can help make sure sales people are following guidelines and following up with prospects.. They can ensure processes and protocols are followed, as well as take notes that help operations stay informed of the business coming in. This helps create a better relationship between sales and operations, reducing potential conflicts and crises that may arise from miscommunication.

A remote professional can make sure the sales pipeline is properly audited and all necessary rules for follow-up are enforced. Utilizing reporting tools will provide visibility to both operations and sales teams, resulting in better harmony between them and avoiding blindsiding operations  with unexpected business.

Audit Your Processes and Procedures

As businesses grow, virtual assistants and remote professionals can be a huge help in keeping operations organized, up-to-date, and running smoothly. The audit and management necessary for these tasks make them ideal for an executive assistant’s workload – especially when personal tasks are scarce or their workload is light.

By engaging virtual assistants and remote professionals, leaders can trust that the operations will remain clean, documented, and consistently compliant with all software changes.

Do A Full Financial Audit

Leaders who want to increase their profits this year might find it hard to find the time to research and answer important questions. Here is an example, “Are salespeople taking an extra day in Nashville and charging the company?” or “Is the SEO vendor really doing what they say they are doing?”. Taking a closer look at these issues can help to identify potential cost savings.

A virtual executive assistant can be used as your eyes and ears in the company to ask questions, get answers, and provide valuable insights. They can help you assess whether activities such as marketing campaigns, sales commissions, and HR departments are actually making a difference in your bottom line.

Virtual Executive Assistants Can Do Research

Staying ahead of your competition can be difficult without the assistance of a remote professional. They can help you investigate new technologies, research CTOs from “XYZ Company” on LinkedIn,  and review feedback for coaching programs online.

As busy executives, we often lack the time to do the necessary research and background digging that can lead to better decisions. That’s where remote professionals and executive assistants come in. Your remote professional can research potential software, coaches, team members, private equity companies, and clients – giving you all the data you need to make an informed decision. With their assistance, you can be confident that you are making the right choices for your organization.

Project Management for Virtual Executive Assistant

Having a remote professional or executive assistant can take your organization’s progress to the next level. Track project development, spot obstructions, and organize meetings to quickly address problems. Virtual Assistants can monitor and oversee vital projects to ensure they are completed on schedule and within budget. This facilitates efficient operations and maximizes outcomes.

High-Level Reporting

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we often have to generate reports for investors, silent partners, and other stakeholders. Rather than spending the effort to gather the data by yourself, let your virtual assistant do the job of obtaining the pertinent data and creating a thorough report.

Initially, collaborating with your virtual executive assistant can help determine necessary information, procedures for locating it, and formatting it in an engaging way that resonates with the target audience. Once these specifications are outlined, your executive assistant can then produce detailed reports on a regular basis according to your instructions.

Manage Your Engagements, Events, Podcasts, And More!

Utilizing a remote professional as your executive assistant can be one of the best investments for your business and personal brand. Have them apply for awards that recognize your accomplishments and progress. 

They can also reach out to podcasts and request you as a guest, increasing your online visibility and the potential for new clients. Furthermore, they can propose speaking engagements at events and conferences, allowing you to showcase your expertise in a more engaging format.

What tasks can an executive assistant perform for your personal life? 

A virtual executive assistant can manage a variety of tasks in your personal life, including organizing appointments, making travel arrangements, managing expenses and more. Virtual executive assistants make sure you never miss a special occasion for your family or clients.

Virtual Assistants can take the hassle out of shopping by sending gifts on your behalf. Furthermore, they can help you create processes for gifting to ensure that your clients always feel appreciated on holidays, anniversaries, and other important days.

11 Personal Tasks Your Remote Professional Can Help You With:

  • Kids’ sports calendars and school calendars
  • Make sure all their important events get on your calendar so you never miss another holiday show
  • Book vacations and travel
  • Pay your kids’ school fees for lunch and sports uniforms
  • Buy your kid’s school supplies and books online for you
  • Book your travel and hotel and make sure you get all the points
  • Book orthodontist appointments, cosmetic appointments, and doctors appointments for the whole family
  • Book home maintenance appointments or schedule your oil change
  • Book your kids’ teacher conferences
  • Book all the family’s after-school activities and fill out all the forms
  • Book your kids for summer camps and fill out all the forms

My executive assistant Jorge is essential to my success as a working mom. He handles all of the form-related tasks, ensuring I never miss high school admittance test deadlines or my kids’ sports and music competitions. My virtual executive assistant helps keep our family organized, on time, and at the right places for their activities and I don’t know what I’d do without him!

Get The Most Out Of Your Virtual Executive Assistant

As an overworked professional, hiring a virtual executive assistant can be a real lifesaver. It’s important to take the time to carefully consider what their role should entail. Think about how you can structure the role in a way that streamlines your operations, while also freeing up your time and reducing your stress levels. With the right system in place, a virtual assistant can make all the difference!

ICYMI: The Future is With Virtual Assistants

At Anequim, we’ve seen first-hand how the rise of virtual assistants, remote professionals, and executive assistants has been a game changer for modern businesses. With the introduction of virtual assistant technology and remote executive assistant services, companies are now better equipped to manage their operations with ease. Let Anequim help you scale your business faster than you ever thought possible!

Reduce Your Staffing Costs

Virtual assistants can be employed at a fraction of the cost of traditional employees while providing the same level of expertise and efficiency. Remote assistants offer the same benefits as regular office-based employees but come without the need for physical space or extra personnel. 

More Productivity and Flexibility

Companies benefit from having more flexibility in terms of scheduling remote professionals to fit their needs. Virtual executive assistants provide experienced support at all stages from onboarding clients through ongoing customer services tasks such as appointment setting and data entry. 

The Demand is Increasing For Good Reasons

As businesses recognize the value virtual assistants bring, there is an increasing demand for these services, making them an essential part of any modern enterprise. For those looking for additional help with their business, hiring a remote professional is how you do it, without having to invest in physical infrastructure or additional staff costs.

Keeping track of your goals is essential to monitor the progress of your virtual executive assistant and business. Save some time and use our FREE milestone assessment format to keep your objectives going.  

Listen to The Bootstrappers Podcast with Gwenn & Jeremy Aspen for more tips, tricks, and techniques to enhance your business and accelerate growth with virtual executive assistant!

Remote Virtual Assistant Jobs: Are They Good For Your Business?

Is a Virtual Assistant a Good Fit For Your Business?

Are remote virtual assistant jobs a good idea for your business? When considering a virtual assistant, there are a few things to take into account. After all, hiring the wrong person or not being effective at managing that person can really put a damper on progress for in-office employees and remote workers. Questions like “What do I need this virtual assistant to do?” and “How will I effectively manage them?” need to be asked in order to determine if you are ready.

This process of asking questions and assessing needs is key, as it ensures you know exactly what you’re getting into before taking the plunge, whether it’s with hiring a virtual executive assistant, virtual administrative assistant, or an entire full-time remote team. Hiring virtual assistants can provide relief and structure to businesses but it’s essential that everyone is on the same page to make it work.

Virtual assistant having a business meeting

Remote Virtual Assistant Jobs: Processes and Procedures

With a virtual assistant as your remote professional, you can take the guesswork out of managing or training remotely. Processes and procedures are key for maintaining quality services, making sure your staff is on target, and that training sessions run smoothly, especially when working remotely. Plus, you don’t need psychic powers to get ahead – let technology do the work. Investing in virtual assistants is simply investing in your business.

With your remote professional, you’re one step closer to success. You’ll need to be extra disciplined when managing remote teams, so make sure to jot down feedback from one on one meetings and provide video tutorials or written instructions for the training. It’s also great to have someone tune into customer service calls – that way people always see the same face of your business interacting with them. We can’t encourage you enough to start writing down your processes and procedures now so that you can sit back and watch your business take off! Download our free ebook on creating processes and procedures here

Remote Virtual Assistant Jobs

If Someone is Not In-office, are You Likely to Forget About Them? 

For virtual assistants to work for the long haul and be as effective as domestic employees, you need to meet with them regularly and give them feedback. You must have scheduled meetings where you get things done. For small business owners especially, there is always a list of things to do that is a mile long, so it’s not uncommon to simply forget to check in with in-office team members, let alone someone working remotely.

Having processes and procedures definitely helps (a ton) but you still need to check in with your team or it will impact how your virtual assistants perform. Running your business will only get easier and less stressful with scheduled check-ins and accountability, whether it’s with administrative tasks, phone calls, day-to-day operations, or social media management. Even something as simple as data entry for a remote job requires focus and attention, which remote professionals will deliver on if you set them up for success.

Remote Virtual Assistant Jobs: A Mindset Shift

The idea that virtual assistants can only do remedial and super easy tasks was literally infused in our brains for probably twenty to thirty years in the United States. I don’t know how, why or what happened to create this perception, but it was absolutely a pervasive perception in the 1980s- and still is very prominent today. What influenced this false perception could have been the media, pop culture, television shows, or simply family and friends who carried these beliefs from previous generations.

The bottom line is that everyone and their mother told you for as long as you were in business that limitations existed for certain workers and there was no way to get around it. It is incredibly difficult to shift that perception after so many years of hearing it and having it ingrained in the business ethos. Remote professionals, however, are just as capable as anyone you hire in person. Remote professionals can do anything from helping you apply for a business loan to making travel arrangements, and everything in between.

Not Shifting Your Mindset is Bad For Business

You don’t want to miss out on the huge potential of virtual assistants because remote professionals will change your mind fast. They’re not just great for keeping costs low – they can bring a real, profitable gain to your team. To get the most from your employees, you’ll need to challenge them with bigger and more complex tasks. Track the progress of your remote team so that you can see their true potential. And with a remote professional in the mix, remote management becomes a breeze.

Successful entrepreneurs know that you don’t want to set up your project’s success from the start. Make sure you believe in what you’re doing and hire remote professionals that match the vision. That way, everyone gets the feedback they need to stay motivated and improve, making the process faster and easier. As with anything for your business, putting the work in on the front end will prevent setbacks and heartache in the long run.

Remote Virtual Assistant Jobs: Feedback

If you want to reap the same rewards from virtual assistants as you do from domestic employees, it’s essential to give them feedback. While it can be daunting to set up an ‘appointment’ for something as seemingly simple as feedback, making time for it is the only way they’ll progress in this remote work environment – and so will your project! And if giving feedback isn’t your strong suit, no sweat – remote professionals are used to working with employers who need some extra guidance in this area.

Feedback isn’t necessarily about telling someone they did something wrong or giving negative reviews of performance. Tell your virtual assistant what you want more of, knowing what you want more of is as valuable as telling them what you don’t want but having these conversations takes a little more in a remote setting. Successful entrepreneurs build successful teams by finding the right people and putting them in the right roles, and growth comes from attention to these details.

Will You Utilize Technology Tools?

Embrace technology means that you will get the most out of virtual assistants. Invest in phone systems with softphones so calls can be recorded and reports generated. Get a time tracking system in place to ensure your remote professional is paid fairly for their work. Video conferencing has changed how everyone communicates but with this new power comes responsibility. With video meetings, simply having the camera on, so that people can read your body language, becomes crucial to building a strong and successful team. Technology will make things easier and more rewarding, so don’t shy away from embracing it.

Whether a team is working in your office or working from home, technology in the wake of the pandemic has changed how we do everything. There is no difference in quality or performance between in-person staff and remote workers, the only difference is in how much it impacts your budget and bottom line.

Virtual Assistant choosing what technology tools to utilize.

Can You Build The Right Remote Team? YES!

Hiring a virtual assistant is no harder than managing any other employee – it just requires a few tweaks, best practices, and the right technology tools! Seeing the value they can bring to your business with those tools, and keeping expectations high – that’s all it takes to make this year awesome(ish). Don’t forget about your virtual assistants because remote professionals need love too.

Tablet displaying the Right Remote team

Will You Hire Remote Professionals – For Your Business?

Remote professionals are the key to growth in an ever-changing labor-challenging world. Every generation of business owners has been presented with challenges and opportunities and, in every generation, it’s the entrepreneurs that embrace change and opportunities that survive and thrive. So, the real question is this – are you ready to take your business to the next level of success faster than you ever thought possible, all while fulfilling your vision for your company?

Ready to grow your business with VAS? How effective is your leadership? Are you ready to take that step? Find your strengths and areas of improvement with our scoring leadership test for FREE today.

Listen to the Bootstrappers For Entrepreneurs podcast for more tips to help scale your business!

Customer Service Virtual Assistant: The Future Of Business Success

Virtual Assistants Are The Future Of Customer Service

Do you need a customer service virtual assistant? Customer service is getting a high-tech makeover. As technology continues to improve, virtual employees are fully capable of providing businesses and customers with the personalized service they demand. Virtual assistants are quickly revolutionizing the way we experience and interact with retail brands from the comfort of our own homes.

Customer service virtual assistants can deliver fast and accurate assistance for customer service just as, if not better, than domestic personnel. We may not be ready for robots completely take over customer service just yet – but virtual assistant technology is definitely changing things up!

Customer Service Virtual Assistant

Customer Service Virtual Assistant For True Customer Satisfaction

As any business owner knows, keeping customers satisfied is the true ticket to success. Investment in customer service can sometimes feel cumbersome and overwhelming to manage, but virtual assistants are here to help you reach your goals faster than you ever thought possible.

You will be surprised how much further you can get with the same budget when you hire a virtual assistant, they will be helping out on the front lines. Instead of simply talking about wowing prospects and retaining clients as all the business books tell us to do, virtual assistants can make it a reality.

Customer Satisfaction test

Customer Service Virtual Assistant Deliver The Best Service

Virtual assistants can be your virtual customer service dream team. Gone are the days of the dreaded phone tree for phone calls or just having one employee struggle to solve all your customers’ issues about multiple products and services. With virtual assistants, you can have multiple customer service professionals ready to jump on an issue at any given moment and make sure they’re actually solved while getting your customers what they need in a timely manner.

With virtual assistants, you can deliver good customer service that goes far beyond just answering phone calls because now you have full-time professionals to help get your top customers’ gifts easily and have enough resources to proactively check on them. Every interaction will then be followed up with a helpful and branded email courtesy of virtual assistants to make sure that attitude towards your business goes from lukewarm to super fan level.

When you hire virtual employees to help, the quality of service will be so good that your customers’ friends will start singing praises about how amazing you are!

Upgrade Your Service With a Customer Service Virtual Assistant

If you’re stuck in the stone age of customer service, it might be time for an upgrade. Investing in better customer service isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a need-to-have for your business to stay competitive and gain loyal customers. Building customer relationships takes work but ultimately your business will benefit because happy customers are more likely to come back and spread the word about your services.

Virtual assistants are how you modernize your customer support. Building your team of remote professionals ensures your customers receive the kind of attention and experience that makes them loyal and engaged clients. It’s clear why remote professionals are increasingly being called on for customer service solutions in the modern world.

The Right Phone System Is a Versatile Tool For Your Remote Team

Want to take remote customer service to the next level? Then you need to equip yourself with a phone system that offers thorough analysis of how remote professionals are performing and how customers are responding. After all, understanding the wait times, average call duration, and call volume per hour can help you accurately staff up on remote feature handling pros.

With this insight, you can then provide feedback for further improving production quality. From the quality of administrative tasks to the challenges of time zones and everything in between, Remote professionals will excel when given the right tools. Forget about settling for “good enough” – make sure your virtual customer service is actually great with insightful reports.

Keyboard showing an emoji with a virtual assistant customer service headset

Don’t Skimp On The Phone System

Also, you will need a system that records calls or allows you to monitor while the calls are active so you can give feedback and coach the agents. A high-quality phone system like 8×8, RingCentral or NDT is imperative to an impressive customer service experience.

Anyone wanting to take remote customer service up a notch needs to arm themselves with a phone system that lets them go deeper into remote professional performance and customer response. Accurately staffing remote teams requires insight on wait times, average call duration, and call volume per hour – and these stats help you deliver high-quality customer service. 

Don’t settle for “good enough” – use an analytical phone system to ensure remote customer service is GREAT.

Create a Playbook for Your Customer Service Virtual Assistant

When it comes to remote professionals providing customer service, you want to make sure the questions that come in are not just answered correctly, but also with a pleasant tone. 

When your virtual assistants are answering the phone, make sure your remote workers start by saying “Thank you for calling [company name], this is [name], how can I help you?” After they answer any questions, be sure they end with a friendly phrase such as “Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

To ensure remote professionals always get it right and maintain positive customer relations, develop a FAQ document covering hours of operation and other basics regarding how your business operates. This way remote professionals have an accessible resource of accurate information to reference when responding to customer inquiries.

A Formula For Successful Customer Service

For remote professionals who specialize in customer service, having a “playbook” is essential. This playbook should contain all the soft skills necessary for interacting with customers, as well as some language pro tips. For example, it’s important to stay consistent when using terms to refer to apartment living spaces; make sure remote professionals know whether they should be calling them “residents” or “tenants,” and that they’re referring to an apartment rather than a home.

Keeping these things straight in the playbook helps remote professionals stay on brand and serve customers effectively. Developing a playbook for each of your company’s departments is what will make your business efficient, and profitable, and maintain your quality standards. If you don’t have time to write up your playbook don’t worry, this is something remote professionals can help you with too!

Customer Service Virtual Assistant Processes And Procedures

Now that your remote professional has their playbook in place, it’s time to put together the how-tos of all the things they need to do, which is where procedures and processes come in. Instead of telling them what to do, these documents give instructions on exactly how to go about getting those tasks done.

Systematize the ‘checklist’ for functionally answering calls on the phone, pulling up customer information, writing notes about the interactions, or invoicing — remote professionals can rest assured knowing there are step-by-step instructions for our customer service team out there making sure every customer receives amazing service with a smile.

Key Performance Indicators = Accountability

How many calls is an agent expected to take? What are the expectations on how many rings they pick a call up on? What is the average call time you would expect? How many calls can they miss and still be a successful customer service agent? Setting expectations is key to making sure that the customer service your customers receive is incredible. 

But you have to be able to communicate and measure what success looks like. Measuring output on a regular basis lets agents know that performance matters and that you are serious about your goals and have high expectations.

Quality Control You Can Repeat and Predict

Having the game plan in place is great, but remote professionals need to know how to apply it. That’s where procedures and processes come in! These handy documents allow remote pros to keep running like a well-oiled machine. No more confusion about how to field calls, locate customer info, make notes on interactions, or send out invoices — these guides give employees precise directions for every task required. 

Our remote professionals now have the clarity they need to thrive and will make our customers smile with the awesome care they provide.

Keep Your Remote Team Engaged

Being a remote customer service professional can mean isolation from other team members and their supervisors. That is why it is crucial for managers to keep their remote agents excited, engaged and performing at a high level. Doing weekly meetings or offering spiffs (bonuses) for great customer service or online reviews are just some of the ways to do this.

Managers are also encouraged to come up with silly games during the day that will break up the monotony and spark engagement in the team. Lastly, make sure remote employees get recognition for their hard work – feeling like they’re part of something bigger and that their work matters will keep them motivated!

Virtual Assistant being engaged with her Remote Team

Allow The Opportunity For Advancement

Customer service is a hard job especially if it is a high-pressure, high-stress environment where it is one call after the other. If you want to prevent turnover and you are doing all the things mentioned above the next step is to show the agents that there is truly a way to move up in the organization. 

If you can create a path that you can show them where if you execute your job in a specific way and meet these metrics you can move on to other positions and get promoted that can keep high-quality people on the phones mesmerizing your clients with their expertise and service mindset.

Show employees at your organization examples of people who moved up from the call center to positions in management, operations, or other departments in your company. Being a part of something bigger, something fulfilling in new and challenging ways, is how you will inspire your entire team.

Let Anequim Make It Easy For You

If successfully managing remote teams isn’t your cup of tea, you’re in luck! Anequim is here to help you every step of the way. Whether you want to empower and recruit remote professionals for your customer service team, or just manage the entire process yourself – that’s all possible with us. 

We have a vast range of experience across various types of customer service and call centers, so feel free to rely on the experts! Let us join forces with you to turn your customer service vision into reality.

How Do I Find My Customer Service Virtual Assistant?

Creating the perfect customer experience at your company means being prepared for any situation. It’s not just about responding to customers promptly and professionally, but also making sure that they are left feeling truly heard and taken care of. With remote professional teams made possible through virtual assistants, you can know with confidence that every customer will soon be talking about how amazing their service was!

Providing top-notch customer service is definitely possible today – it’s just a question of aiming for the ideal experience every time and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible for remote professionals.

Keeping track of your goals is essential to monitor the progress of your business. Save some time and use our FREE milestone assessment format to keep your objectives going

Hire a Virtual Assistant Today: Why You Need One

Why You Need To Hire a Virtual Assistant Today

Do you need to hire a virtual assistant? Hiring a virtual assistant, who we often refer to as remote professionals, for customer service and support can greatly benefit your business. When you hire support staff at U.S. prices, you may not be able to afford enough people to provide the level of support you expect.

This can result in long wait times and callbacks, as well as being unable to provide the small, personal touches that set you apart from your competition. But by hiring virtual assistants, you can keep your budget the same and have more staff to support your clients, without sacrificing quality.

This will provide the level of customer support you have always wanted for your business, making your customers loyal fans who will advertise your business and help it grow.

The real question is why have you not hired virtual assistants to support your customers already? Outlined below are the questions I most often receive about the benefits of hiring virtual assistants/remote professionals versus hiring full time employees.

Virtual assistant taking notes from meeting

Should I Hire a Virtual Assistant For Customer Service?

Trained virtual assistants can do anything for customers that a domestic employee can do for them from behind a computer. There was a time where people thought virtual assistants could only do easy administrative tasks or rudimentary tasks for businesses. Those days are gone.

Virtual assistants have varied skill sets and can do most anything a domestic employee can do without sacrificing quality. However you measure your domestic employees is how you would measure your virtual assistants.

Nothing is different except that instead of scheduled meetings in your office for feedback, you are meeting over a web conference.

Hire a Virtual Assistant today

Why Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant For a Startup?

Hiring a virtual assistant for your start-up can be a great first move because you can find high-quality talent at a lower cost in countries like Mexico.

Using technology to work remotely is easy and efficient, so there’s no reason not to consider hiring a virtual assistant as an assistant for your business for tasks such as creating time consuming process and procedure documents, drumming up business, or helping with marketing.

Why do Businesses Hire a Virtual Assistant?

Businesses use virtual assistants because they can get high-quality work at an affordable price from workers in remote locations with lower costs of living. Managing remote teams across international borders does require discipline and attention to quality control.

For example, if you are working in an office space and you hear your employee talking on the phone and you don’t like their tone, you would go over to them and give feedback. With remote teams, you would have to use feedback forms and listen to at least one call a day to make sure you like the quality of the call and give feedback. You would also have to have a playbook or procedure for how you want people to talk on the phone.

Using remote labor can help you implement best practices in management and business, which can make your business better sooner and give you the time to focus on your other business operations.

Virtual assistant working with a remote team of professionals

What Would You Use a Virtual Assistant For on a Daily Basis?

Virtual assistants can do whatever you would create a job description for a domestic employee to do that can be done in front of a computer.

There should be no difference in the activities, the expectation or the outcome, at least that is our expectation at Anequim where we hire high quality virtual assistants who work your hours, regardless of their time zone.

how to Hire a Virtual Assistant

Are Virtual Assistants Good for Business?

Virtual assistants are a net positive for any business. Historically people thought that people in other countries could only do easy tasks but over time virtual assistants have proven the power of their skills, work ethic and ability to communicate effectively across borders.

With virtual assistants you may be able to make those stair steps to success, and making a profit less steep because good wages in emerging markets are less than in the United States. Everyone wins.

You as the entrepreneur get the help you need to grow and scale your business and the virtual assistant wins because they are gaining business knowledge and getting a good wage to support themselves and their family.

What Are The Businesses That Hire a Virtual Assistants?

Virtual assistants are commonly used by businesses of all sizes, but their use became more widespread among small and medium-sized businesses after the publication of Tim Ferriss’s “The 4 Hour Work Week” in 2007.

The technology for video conferencing also improved, making it easier for businesses to communicate with remote workers and making it seem like they were in the same office.

The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated the use of virtual assistants, as many businesses were forced to adopt remote work, and it is now seen as a viable option for businesses of all sizes.

Managing remote workers is not difficult, and many businesses now realize the benefits of using virtual assistants.

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant to Help Grow My Business?

Personally, the only way our property management company that we started in 2006 could have grown as fast as it did or sold for as much as it did in 2021 was not in spite of, but because of our investment in virtual assistants/remote professionals from Mexico.

The quality of the work and our ability to grow and scale without taking on debt and get the productivity we needed to become the business we wanted to become was only possible because of virtual assistance and their hard work, dedication and the ingenuity they brought to the business.

Virtual assistance enabled us to produce quality work, expand without borrowing, and achieve the productivity we needed to reach our goals. Their dedication and creativity were essential to our success.

Want to learn more? Make your internal meetings effective and concise using our FREE one-on-one reusable meeting form to save you much time and effort. 

Listen to The Bootstrappers Podcast for more incredible free business tips, tricks, and techniques to help you fulfill your business vision!}

How to Delegate Responsibilities to Your Virtual Assistants

Virtual Assistants: How to Delegate Responsibilities

How to delegate responsibilities to your VAs? As business owners, we all want the best for our businesses, but delegating responsibilities to our team of virtual assistants is one of the hardest things to do. This is our company and doing everything ourselves can feel like how we protect it from slipping through our fingers.

But to grow and scale, it’s important to understand that delegation is a vital factor. Delegating tasks to virtual assistants, which we often refer to as remote professionals, can enable us to finish more quickly. This frees up valuable time that you could be spending focusing on the big-picture elements of your business – ultimately helping push it to the next level.

In this blog post, I will outline how you can change your mindset to move your business forward and scale.

Virtual Assistant working on delegated responsibilities

First: Change your mindset with virtual assistants

Delegating tasks to employees can be daunting due to the fear that mistakes may be made, but it’s important to remember this is a small price to pay for all the extra time you get from not doing everything yourself.

Mistakes aren’t the end of the world – instead, they can provide valuable lessons through retraining and coaching, plus a review of all necessary documentation.

The cost of potential mistakes pales in comparison to what you can achieve with the amount of time freed up from delegating: you can create an entirely new line of products or services, market your business more effectively and increase your customer base.

What and How to Delegate Responsibilities

Look at your daily tasks. Think of how much you would pay someone to do the tasks that you do. Likely you will have some tasks that you consider entry-level.

This can include things like administrative tasks, project management, calendar management, bookkeeping work, creating reports, social media management, responding to comments, administrative work, writing personal emails, etc.

Note the type of tasks or which tasks take a lot of time. Once you hire a virtual assistant start delegating these time-consuming tasks.

Remote assistant getting delegated responsibilities from remote team

How to Delegate Responsibilities: Know which tasks drain your energy

If you’re considering what to delegate to a virtual assistant, it’s important to start by looking inward and identifying the tasks that regularly drain your energy or that you find particularly challenging.

These are likely the first tasks you should consider delegating, as they can quickly become time-consuming and that can often lead to feeling overwhelmed.

Once you have a list of these tasks, it’s then the time to start writing up playbooks and procedures – either with the help of a virtual assistant or before they start – so they know exactly how each task needs to be completed.

What new tasks should you be doing but you are not doing?

Think of the tasks that would really move your business forward. Some of these will be very high-dollar work that only you can do and some of it is just executing more client add-ons that a remote professional could take on, for example, more customer check-ins, or customer support. 

Add the items that you have to do to your new job description as now that you won’t be doing the tasks you are delegating you will have time to move your business forward with tasks that are the best use of your time, and the other items are added to your virtual assistant’s job description.

virtual assistants image

What tasks would shore up your weaknesses?

It’s important to consider any tasks that can help you shore up any professional weaknesses that you may have, such as disorganization, email management and invoicing on time.

To make addressing these issues easier and more efficient, create specific tasks and add them to your virtual assistant’s job description. This ensures that your virtual assistant is able to take responsibility for these areas of your business and free up your own time.

Getting high-quality results with virtual assistants

Now you want to think about how you will manage success with these tasks. What does winning look like for all of these tasks?

How will you measure success with these tasks and can you make these tasks into a cadence for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly so nothing gets forgotten and when your virtual assistant sits at their desk in the morning they know exactly what they need to do right away without effort from you?

Keyboard showing a results key

Finding the right person

Think about the skillset, mindset, and experience someone needs to be really good at these tasks. Also, think of someone you would want to work closely with – what kind of qualities do they need to have? 

You want this to be a person you enjoy working with because life is short you might as well love your job. Think about what questions you would need to ask in an interview to get a good culture fit.

If you take some time to go through this exercise and really think strategically about what you are looking for a virtual assistant to do, how you will measure success and what the expectations will be you have a much higher likelihood of the role working out and the role being successful.

How effective is your leadership? Find your strengths and areas of improvement with our scoring leadership test for FREE today.

Listen to The Bootstrappers Podcast for more incredible free business tips, tricks, and techniques to help you fulfill your business vision!

Virtual Assistants Hours: How Do They Work?

What Hours Do Virtual Assistants Work?

Virtual assistants’ hours and pay can be complicated. One of the questions we are most asked is, “What hours should my virtual assistant work?”

We have found virtual work to be most productive when all people on the team are working the same hours.

pur remote professionals in Mexico are in the same time zone as me, so everyone is happy working during the same hours. Even when there are slight time differences, such as working in Eastern or Mountain Time while living in Central Time, it’s not a big issue and can sometimes be preferred.

Virtual Assistant working on the clock

Asynchronously Virtual Assistants Hours

Our recent guest on the Bootstrappers Podcast Liam Martin, a remote work advocate, supports the idea of asynchronous work. This means that workers can choose to work at any hour and from any time zone, with as few meetings as possible.

Martin believes in using technology to its fullest potential, like making videos for colleagues instead of having video calls and making sure written communication and documentation is thorough, reducing the need for meetings or calls.

Martin is the author of Running Remote and the founder of Time Doctor, a time management software as a service (SaaS).

Synchronously Virtual Assistants Hours?

As a business owner, I run my remote teams with a strong focus on teamwork. We have daily huddles where small teams connect live in the morning and work during the same hours. Video calls are frequently used to answer questions and Zoom meetings typically work for our needs.

Despite never meeting in person, I feel like I have known my team extremely well due to our online interactions.

This type of work is only possible when everyone is working during the same hours.

Should I Just Hire a Part-time Virtual Assistant?

When hiring a virtual assistant, I avoid part-time workers because it leads to unhappy clients. I’ve tried it in the past and it caused problems for everyone involved. The virtual assistants typically were unhappy because they lacked communication, training and felt like they were wasting their time.

The clients were unhappy due to low work quality and high turnover. This was not because the assistants were not talented, but because when someone is juggling multiple jobs, they don’t see the work as a career and therefore don’t put in extra effort or propose new ideas.

The lack of loyalty and focus on a paycheck instead of a career also meant that clients had to constantly train new employees, leading to more unhappiness.

Full-time Virtual Assistants Who Work Your hours is the best option

After trying the part-time virtual assistant program and finding it unsatisfactory, we decided to only hire full-time remote professionals for our clients.

We helped them design job descriptions that went beyond their expectations and included administrative tasks that would help their business grow or things they wanted to do but never had time for. This was a success for everyone involved.

It provided stable jobs for people in emerging markets like Mexico, allowed for skill development and learning new things, and created a more loyal workforce for our clients, solving their labor issues with minimal headaches.

A virtual assistant working full time

For the Happiest VA Give Them Their Holidays off

One way to increase employee loyalty is to give them their country’s holidays off.

Recognizing different holidays within the company can be a productivity hack. For instance, the 4th of July is a great example. During busy work days, there are tasks like database cleanups that are often overlooked. However, if you have a motivated workforce willing to work during holidays, they can tackle these projects that never get done on regular days.

For example, if your contractors’ insurance and workman’s comp information isn’t updated in your system, have your remote professional review it on the 4th of July. If there were past customers who were not offboarded correctly and now your data is not clean, consider using Labor Day to clean it up.

By utilizing holidays with a motivated workforce, you can complete important projects and have your business running smoothly.

A virtual assistant desk showing a post it with "day off!" written on it

The Recipe for the Most Successful Virtual Remote Teams

To have a motivated and productive remote team, keep their working hours consistent and have regular virtual meetings like in an office. Hire in a location where the working hours are suitable, and ensure they are full-time employees to avoid distractions.

Include tasks that will move your business forward in the job description, not just the required ones. Utilize the different holidays in various countries to your advantage by using them for tasks like database clean-up that can’t be done during regular work hours. This can be a powerful tool for your business.

Create an excellent customer service experience quickly with our FREE Service Guide. Start Providing the best experience for your customers now.

Listen to The Bootstrappers Podcast for more incredible free business tips, tricks, and techniques to help you fulfill your business vision!

Onboarding Remote Employees and VAs Successfully

Onboarding Remote Employees the Right Way

Onboarding remote employees can be a unique challenge, but with the right approach, it can be a smooth and efficient process.

I asked Andrea Kelley, client manager of Anequim’s Rent Manager Call Center, to share her remote team onboarding process.

Andrea boils it down to three absolute must-dos: set expectations, discuss your communication methods and styles, and establish goal-based training.

Table displaying Onboarding, getting ready for onboard remote employee

Onboarding Remote Employees: Set Expectations

Setting clear expectations in a virtual onboarding program is important for remote workers to understand company policies, procedures, role, and responsibilities.

Give new employees the resources they need to get started in their role, such as start dates and an employee handbook. Doing so will help them hit the ground running, setting a professional and productive tone from the start.

Make sure to be clear and upfront with expectations from the start:

  • Explain company purpose: Let the new hire know what the company does and what its goals are.
  • Define job responsibilities: Tell the new hire what they will be doing and what is expected of them.
  • Review work schedule: Let the new hire know when they will be working and how much time off they can take.
  • Evaluate job performance: Explain how the new hire will be evaluated and what they need to do to be successful.
  • Talk about growth opportunities: Let the new hire know about chances for advancement within the company.
  • Encourage questions: Give the new hire a chance to ask questions and clarify anything they’re unsure about.

By setting clear expectations, you can help foster a positive and inclusive work environment where everyone is clear on their role and responsibilities. Where long term growth and development are encouraged.

This in turn can lead to a more motivated, engaged and productive remote workforce.

Remote Employee working on set expectations

Discuss Your Communication Methods and Styles

When onboarding new hires remotely, it’s important to communicate your preferred methods of communication. Whether it be through email, phone calls, video calls or text messages. Include when it is best to use each method.

Make sure to lay out the expectations of when and how employees will be expected to check-in. This can include set times such as before or after shifts, once a day, or only in cases of problems. Doing so ensures everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them.

Emphasize the importance of maintaining a professional tone and demeanor, regardless of the communication platform being used.

Share your personal communication style with your new hires, so they have a better understanding of your approach. For example, you might be maternal, funny, or straightforward in your communication.

Finally, it’s crucial to treat your new hires with respect and dignity, recognizing them as both individuals and colleagues. This sets a positive tone for the work environment and helps foster a productive and harmonious work environment and builds relationships.

Remote employee taking notes on communication method and styles while being onboarded

Onboarding Remote Employees: Goal-Based Training

A goal-based training program is essential for the success of new hires in any organization. It starts with a clear understanding of the company’s structure and goals.

Providing an overview of the company’s structure and using an organizational chart to illustrate the roles and responsibilities of each team member can help the new hire understand the bigger picture and their place in it. Communication of the company’s overall direction and how the new hire’s performance will impact the company’s trajectory is also important. This helps the new hire understand their role and the impact they can make on the organization.

The goal-based training program should be designed to help the new hire achieve their objectives and become a productive member of the team. It should be based on real-life scenarios and problem-solving exercises that encourage the new hire to take ownership of their responsibilities.

For example, sharing specific examples of both successful and unsuccessful experiences can help new hires learn from real-life scenarios. When discussing a problem, it is important to avoid emotional language and instead provide a clear and factual description of the situation. Encouraging the new hire to come up with solutions and offering support when needed will help them integrate into the company culture more smoothly.

The goal-based training approach will set the new hires up for success and help them integrate into the company culture more smoothly. By establishing clear goals and expectations, the new hire will have a clear understanding of what they need to do to be successful in their role. This type of training helps to reduce frustration and confusion, and it encourages the new hire to take an active role in their own development.

By adopting a goal-based approach, companies can increase the chances of success for their new hires and help them become valuable contributors to the team.

Bullseye and lightbulb referencing goal- based training

Gwenn’s Short Take

Starting a new job can be a confusing and unsettling experience, especially on the first day. It’s essential for employers to create a positive and supportive atmosphere for new hires from the moment they start. This helps employees feel valued and confident in their decision to join the company.

Provide new hires with access to the necessary tools and resources they need to get started in their role. Doing so will help them hit the ground running, setting a professional and productive tone from the start. This includes setting up their email addresses and making sure they are operational on the first day.

By taking the time to set high expectations and lead by example, you demonstrate your commitment to creating a positive and productive work environment. This sets the tone for a successful onboarding experience and helps new hires feel confident and empowered in their new role.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that new hires feel comfortable and supported as they begin their journey with your company.

Oboarding can be simple and easy, but first, you need an awesome job description. Start making job descriptions that make sense, so you can focus on what your business really needs from you. Learn the step-by-step instructions for writing an exceptional job description with our FREE guide

Listen to The Bootstrappers Podcast for more incredible free business tips, tricks, and techniques to help you fulfill your business vision!