The 5 Common Types of Virtual Assistants
Delegation is key in being able to create and sustain a successful business model. If you’re one of those business owners who think they can be a one-man show all throughout – you’ll end up being stretched too thin, overwhelmed, and, eventually, burnt out. One way to effectively delegate is by hiring virtual assistants that you can trust to take some work off your plate and to handle some aspects of your business for you.
First off, what is a Virtual Assistant? A virtual assistant or VA is essentially a person who provides various services to entrepreneurs or businesses from a remote location. In the past five years, along with the rise of the nomad lifestyle and remote working, the VA industry has also experienced a significant upsurge. A VA can handle a broad scope of tasks, depending on your requirements or the industry you’re in – so, it’s also important to note that there are different categories of VAs that might help you assess which kind you need.
(The list below isn’t all-inclusive of types and tasks. It’s a general overview of the five most common types of VAs and their specific functions, but there’s definitely a longer list, as you delve further into more particular niches and responsibilities.)
- Technical/Customer Support
Especially in the e-commerce industry where great customer service is crucial, customer support virtual assistants can help you in handling your overall consumer base. Technical support VAs can save you from the hassle of having to learn and set-up different digital applications.
Some of the things they do are:
- Responding to client inquiries and complaints
- Managing inventory and CRM daily
- Doing website maintenance, audits, and back-ups
- Acting as helpdesk and fixing technical errors
- Social Media
No matter what your business is, building a robust online presence is vital in this digital age. Under this bucket are several more specific roles like: copywriters, graphic designers, campaign specialists – but, these VAs are generally in charge of your online brand.
Their tasks include:
- Setting up and updating social networking profiles
- Creating, curating, and repurposing content
- Growing your database by building awareness and strengthening engagement
- Analyzing reports from campaign results
Think of Jarvis to Ironman or Alfred to Batman – these VAs are the generalists who cover a wide range of responsibilities, from clerical work to personal tasks.
Examples of which are:
- Making travel itineraries and booking reservations
- Acting as gatekeepers and filtering through mail
- Creating reports and presentations
- Organizing your files and to-dos
- Real Estate
The property industry is one of the first industries to realize the benefits that hiring virtual assistants bring. By relying on a VA to handle the back-office work, brokers and property managers have more time to focus on actually closing
Some of the work assigned to them are:
- Building lists and generating leads
- Setting appointments and posting ads
- Preparing and filing paperwork
- Updating property listings and following up on clients
Keeping track of financial information is vital to any company. Needless to say, it’s also tedious and time-consuming. Delegating these tasks to skilled and experienced VAs is a surefire way to ensure accuracy.
Some of the specific tasks you can delegate include:
- Processing payroll
- Projecting cash flow and account reconciliation
- Budgeting and managing expenditure
- Preparing reports for filing of tax and other purposes
Again, these are just some of the more common types of VAs in the current market. Some businesses may need virtual staff with an even more specialized set of skills. In 2016, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 3.9 million administrative assistants – and the demand will only continue to increase, especially since hiring a VA can give a company cost savings of up to 78%. While many VAs are capable of doing work across different categories, hiring a specialist for a certain job (especially those that you’re not very familiar with) and giving them a definite scope of work can help them be more focused and more efficient in their tasks. Proper designation and management is needed for your VA-partnership success.
FGC+ has been a provider of highly-skilled virtual assistants for small-to-medium businesses since 2011. Still not sure which one is right for you? Get on a discovery call with our client success team to know if this is the right step for you.