How Startups Are Using Virtual Assistants
Mike Maser summed it up perfectly: “Time is your greatest asset when you develop a dream, a team and a product all at once. The opportunity to break ground and the risk of losing land are raised every day. In the result, I’d devote an extra hour to make sure that we have taken a step forward. “And it is only normal that things will fall through accidents if you are a start-up that runs at the breakneck speed in start-ups. Social media is ignored, mail goes unanswered. Each startup has a washing list of objects, but they don’t — or stuff they do, but can do much better.
And there’s a quite simple reason: startup teams aren’t a resource that is limitless. There are only so many hours in the day, so much time and effort on your staff that every team member has to invest in place to get your business where it wants to go. And there is, of course, another famous constraint on startups: a bank account. Whereas bigger, more profitable businesses growing face a problem and spend money on it, entrepreneurs have to be much more careful when and how they spend their money.
If you still are a startup and are trying to introduce great ideas. You have many ideas, but you have little resources to actually make those ideas come to pass. Yet irrespective of how many things you perform, assign yet prioritize, you and your staff are still going to have to determine Sophie’s style of choosing about where to direct your efforts— and where to quit.
And when you are like 99,99 per cent of start-ups, you’re driving nuts with that stuff.
This sensation — the feeling that you are operating continuously but somehow still don’t improve, seeing chances slip through your fingers and important task falls through the cracks — that means it is time for a virtual assistant.
Digital helpers are a great way to add a high quality network to your squad without breaking the bank. A good virtual worker does more than buy or manage your food supplies: it becomes a seamless member of your team and will contribute to pursuing your company’s objectives. You are managed by virtual assistants, you stay focused, you are calm. But most of all, virtual staff take time and time from your team to work on projects that are really** important to your business.
“We have a special role in our activities and aspire to be an important part of our mission like every other member of our team.”
An increasing number of start-ups use technological supports to drive their business towards their milestones as a secret weapon. While the ways that virtual assistants can support busy people in their personal lives have been paying much more consideration, there has not been much debate about how entrepreneurs can use virtual assistants to guide their businesses to actual results.
In this post, we should research how virtual employees can become part of the corporate team and move the needle throughout real ways that can be used for example.
What Is A Virtual Assistant
“Too many people regard VAs as just grunting jobs. But if you can invest your time training correctly, it can get you far more advantages.’
Let’s ignore the misunderstanding straight off the floor: a virtual assistant is not just a personal assistant.
As a startup, you have to fix your customers ‘ issues. Digital employees are not very different: you and your colleagues are in the company, in other words, of solving their customers ‘ problems. Big problems, little issues: they’re going to solve a problem pointing a virtual assistant. We should meet someone who can if they don’t fix it themselves.
Opportunities are all relatively small activities performed by themselves, which hinder the team’s profitability. But they’re going to add up together. Digital helpers are advocates of such small tasks and free themselves for larger, more lasting projects, that require your full care.
“There’s just too much logistical work in my company for one guy— without VAs I can’t work! I’m never going to sleep or can show my audience interest… Including: listening to common types of e-mails I receive, helpdesks and signups as well as reconnect / suspensions in Paypal for Community members and course students with technical problems, control of mailing lists, activities of social media marketing, drafting newsletters, editing of articles, etc.
For the startup course, everybody on the project does at least two to three people’s work. Each has its core area of responsibility, but four or five tasks are taken out of their main area that simply have not yet found a home. This intermediate one, the thing that does not fit perfectly within the job description of the complete team leader, appears to be the very thing automated helpers can do. Great automated helpers will fill in a large variety of locations and gather slack anywhere they need to be gathered.
“Digital aids have proved an incredibly valuable tool for Mallard Creatives ‘ growth and development. We’ve used virtual helpers to plan business trips to assist us in editing and checking solid business offers. They are effective, competitive and able to manage a wide range of tasks. Give it a shot if you’ve not already tried to work with a virtual assistant. You will not miss it, I believe. “I do.
There is an assumption that it is because a virtual assistant’s experience stretches so far, but that could not be far from the reality because people utilize virtual assistants in basic tasks such as booking flights and making appointments. A highly trained, very talented working force is a virtual assistant. And many times the skills have slipped and may not be as powerful as they are in places where you and your team can.
Tom Drake, Drake Media Chairman, understands very well the importance of a virtual assistant in improving his own expertise.
“In order to handle the tasks which are not my strengths I used virtual assistants to focus on what is good and to measure the rest,” he says. “For starters, CreateHype.com targets woman entrepreneurs, in particular those selling on Etsy. Therefore… I employed VAs to serve as network coordinators–to publish and to manage the calendar of publications and the associations with which we operate.
As Tom points out, the benefits for this form of strategic delegation are huge: “I am more able to focus on my online business by coping with activities such as this (and more) by somebody who is better equipped.”
How To Use a Virtual Assistant
A company can use the virtual assistant in as many forms as businesses do, but several topics occur again and again. Virtual helpers are an outstanding support resource:
- Free up time
- Stay organized
- Discover opportunities
- Stay connected with customers
- Augment your full-time team’s skill set
With those general ideas in mind, let’s look at some real-world examples of how startups are using virtual assistants—and getting results.
1. Tackle Inbox Anarchy
Yeah, the inbox email— where efficiency of entrepreneurship goes to die. We all know that feeling to make a quick check-in at an early Monday and looking up to find the morning totally shot three hours later.
Posteing is one of the first functions which can be passed to a computer aid. There are very few risks, and the price you buy is enormous.
It is not merely time management to assume the role of a virtual assistant for inbox hygiene: it can affect the company quite seriously. For instance, take Dave. Dave is the CEO for a new startup, with a new startup CEO mailbox full of email. Yet nuggets of company gold remain hidden among all the sales pitches and job interview calls: media interview inquiries, lunch invites to potential partners, bizdev openings. These emails can actually lead to important business opportunities if Dave reaches them quickly enough. The question is that Dave rarely gets close enough to do it. Many of us ignored Dave mostly because the document had been lost in his mailbox and could never again be used.
These emails can lead to significant business opportunities when Dave reaches them fast enough. The issue is that Dave seldom approaches it enough. Mostly because the document was lost in his mailbox and could not be used again, many of us ignored Dave.
“Our Zirtual assistant played a critical role in supporting me as a CEO liaison for our organization clients. Our assistant has played a key role in ensuring I am able to build ties with our consumers and potential partners, whether it is call arranging, going to the East Coast for business meetings or attending conferences and activities.”
2. Get a Handle on Scheduling
Plan maintenance is one of those things you might imagine you could do by yourself, because fans ‘ scheduling applications are proliferating nowadays. But if you’re a busy start-up founder, we’re ready to bet that you have run into several situations in which you have lost track of the old database— and lost valuable chances.
Wil Shroter, CEO and founder of Startups.com, discovered in person how important scheduling management is when he divides his hours between Startups.com’s Columbus, Ohio offices.
“I was unexpectedly divided by two time zones and the operation of the timetable became far more complicated,” says Wil. “Time differences had to be implemented to send the team back home, travel to and from San Francisco meetings had to be arranged.”
Wil would be the first person to say that without the aid of its virtual assistant it would almost be impossible to navigate the confusion. “She doesn’t just hold me on time and work — which, you realize, isn’t a little thing if you know me— she makes sure I get the most of my time in any area.”
3. Keep Track of Meeting Takeaways
Raise your hand if that sounds familiar: hang up and dive head-first into your next task at the conclusion of a conference call. A few hours later, you found that you had completely forgotten about the key elements as you ready to circle back to perform your call-up assignments.
Meeting notes are another field in which the top organizational skills of a virtual assistant can shine. Action items, deadlines and further questions— every virtual assistant can capture them, so you can get to work straight ahead, rather than losing time to trace your steps if you’re ready to jump to action.
According to CEO of Brilliant Solutions!
“The tools, templates and systems I enjoy simplifying complexity. My VA worked so well — a complete game changer. My VA became an integral part of my business activities at once (and tranquility) and I’m sorry I didn’t sign up years ago.”
4. Streamline Processes
If you are like other entrepreneurs, we realize that your back end procedures have not improved so much by design as by a jammed cockpit of whatever you could do at the moment. In other terms, there are some places which could function much more efficiently with a little TLC than they are at present.
A virtual assistant can be a great resource for helping to remove these shortcomings and develop potentially saving your company time and money in solutions (not to mention hair pulling and teeth crushing).
5. Help With Process Documentation and Scaling
The moment of the lightning bolt is your first success at any startup and you realize that you have something special. However, when you prove that you can achieve this success and repeat it on an increasing scale, where the rubber really hits the road.
There is much work required to record the procedure to this end — and this is another environment in which a virtual assistant may play a crucial role.
6. Keep Tabs on Trends
You might have learned about Sisyphus’s Greek myth, the guy who had actually been forced to roll down a rock up the mountain again. Staying with news in the start-up will sound like this: there will only be a new wave of stories coming in before all recent updates and you’re right where you have started.
A robotic assistant will help you keep up to date with what occurs both in the company and in the field of entrepreneurship. Your VA will produce personalized lists of articles from your choice of publications and summaries of any significant entries and connections for you and your company. The result: all this insight is in your best interests, without having to spend time doing the work.
7. Compile Market Data & Statistics
As you build your company and corporation, you are deeply driven by the intuition to say your consumers which is relevant or where the organization should go next. Often though, to back up your argument, it takes a little more statistical information – and that is where your VA can go.
Perhaps you are a local startup ready to expand into new towns beyond your initial test market. Or if you go to a major investor meeting next week, you must add some statistics to your presentation to show just how important a problem you help to solve. A virtual helpers can take up their sleeves, immerse themselves in their data and obtain the statistics you need to decide on.
8. Scout for Talent
HR and recruiting are often the first things that you can do when you’re a lean startup. This decision probably feels like the right one 95 percent of the time. But then it’s time to add a new team member, so you suddenly lose hours scrolling through LinkedIn profiles.
HR and recruitment are often among the first tasks you should do when you are a beginner who leans. This decision probably feels like the correct one 95 percent of the time. But it’s time to add a new member to the team and you suddenly lose time to scroll through LinkedIn profiles.
9. Help Out with Lead Generation
Lead Generation is another area where, with a little guidance and a push in the right direction, virtual assistants can save busy startup teams hours of valuable time and effort.
Startups.co co-founderand COO Elliot Schneier was losing big bits of his time to find direction and get ready for sales calls when he learned that his VA will take care of him with a little advice on where to search and what to do. He has asked her to work with potentially customer research through LinkedIn and their websites and also to send e-mails to Elliot. There were positive effects of virtual assistant while working with lead generations. “Because I knew she had already taken care of the basics,” Elliot says. “By the time that I went to the phone, I could overcome many of this exposure and get directly into what was most important. “I might cut my closing time in half with his hard work and focus on building relationships with prospects instead of results.”
10. Grow Your Social Following
Your social websites are a lot of likes and reviews in your inbox: if you let them as they would come over in your life. It’s a double-edged sword, though, because if you neglect your social media presence, and you’re neglecting your company’s single most important contact point with customers.
Social media and the skills of a virtual assistants are a match made in heaven. A VA can keep an eye on trending topics, flag tweets from key influencers, write and schedule posts to ensure that your output is consistent. Most importantly, they can look for opportunities to bring your company into the conversation, and turn that activity into measurable growth for your company.
11. Monitor User Conversation
Whether it comes in the form of tweets or Facebook comments or threads on Reddit, your customers are talking about your company, and what they have to say can have a huge impact. Just ask or any number of other companies who have been unfortunate enough to have customer support snafus go viral because they didn’t have eyes on what was going on in the Twittersphere.
Yet tracking the company’s User Buzz is another stuff that you can take your time to consume and discourage anything else from getting done if you require. A virtual assistant is the perfect tool for holding an eye on your company’s rhythms. Therefore, they will blast any question until the correct person is able to become atomic before the case.
12. QB Your Crowdfund
Anyone who’s ever tried it can tell you: running a crowdfunding campaign is about a lot more than putting a profile up on Kickstarter and waiting for the pledges to pour in. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to run—time and effort that most startups, busy actually building the product they’re hoping to get out there, don’t exactly have.
The fundraiser is the same sort of small project designed to fit a virtual assistant. Creating a crowdfunding campaign A virtual assistant can provide supporters with knowledge on their needs, keep the website informed as the campaign progresses, and develop and implement a social media strategy to increase their exposure, with some social media know-how and awareness of the basic marketing method.
„ We developed an detailed plan and incorporated our VA assistance before the launch. When we produced another move, we agreed on the role of our VA. Like all other team members, our VA played a particular importance in our activities, and became an integral part of the puzzle. “Throughout the Kickstartern initiative, our VA is still one and a part of Soma’s team today.
13. Ghostwrite content
It is an imperative to produce thoughtful, convincing, well-written content about your industry in a start-up ecosystem increasingly driven by thinking leadership. Nevertheless, not everyone is a wordmaker, and it is not always possible to take the time to pump out a 1000-word thinking piece.
Writer is one of the most frequent and useful skills in the tool belt of a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants may play an important part of trying to get your message out if a market writer or expensive organization isn’t in the budget, including web posts and articles to emails and social media.
Perhaps you are a company creator of cyber security: in the aftermath of the open letter from Apple on the privacy protection of customers you realize that you want to speak to a wider audience about how important this decision is. When you realize that there is a short window for the post that has an impact, and know that if you have written the article yourself, you will not be able to get it out in due course.
In an age characterized by instruments and computers, apps and software, it may come as a surprise that one of the biggest efficiency strategies there is in fact a good old-fashioned workplace for busy start-ups. But this is realized by an increasing number of start-ups: sometimes there’s no substitution for the ingenuity and problem solving of a human being — and that’s how a successful virtual assistant will make the difference.
In this article, we’ve tried to shed light on some of the most common ways startups use virtual assistants, but by no means is our list an exhaustive one. As we said before, there are as many ways to use virtual assistants as there are companies that use them, and ultimately, the best way to find out how your virtual assistant can help your company is by asking them. The longer your VA works with you, the better they’ll get to know you and your company—and where their skills fit into the picture.
Never ignoring that you and your colleagues must not leave the work of finding the best virtualassistant(s). The best way for you to achieve a VA match is by partnering with a service that understands start-ups and the unique challenges they face. Services like these are in keeping with a virtual assistant who meets the needs and goals of your firm and leads you to the point where you say, as so many entrepreneurs do when you ask them “I don’t know how we did it without our VA.”