Asking for help may be hard
We may be unaware of our need to let other people help us. We should be willing to ask for assistance, but in reality, asking for help is hard. Our reluctance to ask someone to take over tasks we’ve always done stem from our fear of seeing work that is not up to our standards. You pride yourself in producing quality work and the thought of rejecting someone else’s output is upsetting. Especially if it causes a strained working relationship with your assistant in the future.
Trust and communication is the key to letting go of (some) of the reins in running your business. You’ll realize those fears are easily solved by relaying your expectations honestly from the beginning.
Why are you hiring an assistant?
Thinking of all the tasks on your plate every day to keep your business running smoothly is exhausting. It seems you’ve lost control of your to-do list due to the “little things” that keep popping up every day. It’s time to make your life easier by hiring an assistant.
An assistant is good for any growing business as they can help you reclaim your time lost doing the small stuff. Because of your assistant, you gain time to learn and grow your business. Check out our blog post about why hiring a Virtual Assistant can save you a big buck.
To hire the best assistant for your business, decide the responsibilities you need to assign. What management style you’ll apply once an assistant is hired? Do you want to supervise and mentor or distance yourself and let them find their own way?
Office Assistant or Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants are independent contractors who provide administrative services to clients. A virtual assistant usually operates from a home office and due to technology enhancements, can function as office staff. Employers from a variety of industries employ virtual assistants to complete varied administrative tasks. They have remote access to planning documents, emails, and social media. They can do a lot virtually except make you coffee.
Tasks may include
- Responding to emails and phone calls
- Schedule meetings
- Book travel and accommodations
- Manage a contact list
- Prepare customer spreadsheets and keep online records
- Organize managers’ calendars
- Perform market research
- Create presentations, as assigned
- Address employees administrative queries
- Provide first point of contact customer
- Creating, maintaining, and entering information into databases
- Organizing travel itinerary (booking accommodations and reservations)
- Updating paperwork, maintaining documents and word processing
- Blog post management
- Editing and proofreading
- Social media management
- Online review management
- Bill payment and ordering stock
- Research and information collection
- eCommerce listing
- Administrative tasks such as booking flights and hotels
- Creating documents/spreadsheets/PowerPoint presentations
- Website creation/design/development/maintenance
Office assistants usually help high-level executives with day-to-day operations. They work exclusively with individuals and because of that, they can be relied upon to know their overall schedule. They will help plan their days, work with them to coordinate travel, draft emails, and possibly other duties like picking up gifts, dry cleaning, etc.
Tasks may include but are not limited to:
- Devising and maintaining office systems
- Arranging travel, visas and accommodation and, occasionally
- Screening phone calls, inquiries, and requests
- Meeting and greeting visitors at all levels of seniority and cultures
- Organizing and maintaining diaries and making appointments;
- Dealing with incoming email, faxes, and post
- Taking dictation and minutes;
- Carrying out background research and presenting findings;
- Producing documents, briefing papers, reports, and presentations;
- Carrying out specific projects and research;
- Responsibility for accounts and budgets;
- Being involved in decision-making processes
- Helping organize and maintain office common areas
- Performing general office clerk duties and errands
- Coordinating events as necessary
- Maintaining supply inventory
- Maintaining office equipment as needed
- Aiding with client reception as needed
- Organizing and attending meetings
- Liaising with clients, suppliers and other staff.
Are you more comfortable communicating with your assistant face to face? You may want to hire someone to go to your office every day. Do you prefer to get someone to take over tasks that need to be monitored throughout the night? A virtual assistant may work for you.
In the end, it all boils down to the goals you wish to accomplish, the duties you’re willing to assign and your natural management style. Best of luck in your business.