Hiring A Virtual Assistant – Why What You Don’t Know Can Harm You

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Far too often a small business owner believes that they simply cannot be replicated. They may not outwardly state this as a policy, but inwardly they may feel as if they have to “have their fingers in” every element of the business. It can be difficult to outsource, especially some of the tasks that may traditionally in the past have been seen as the domain of the business owner him or herself.

This level of thinking may well have been brought about by what, in the past, was a very clear delineation between tasks in the office environment. For example, somebody would have been employed to handle only payroll issues. Another person would have been employed for data entry reasons. Yet another would have been employed only as a receptionist. Often, then the small business owner would have been left to take on the “other” tasks and the myriad of smaller responsibilities that did not fit in the job description of the aforementioned people.

As a consequence, many potentially crucial business development tasks may have fallen by the wayside. Yes, the business owner may believe that they were responsible for some of these areas, but in truth they would know that they simply didn’t have time to allocate within their already burgeoning schedule.

This is one reason why many business owners are considering a complete change in structure. It’s also why they are considering a project based approach to infrastructure that not only streamlines their operation, but ensures that many crucial tasks are no longer overlooked.

For example, consider industry knowledge and intelligence. Most people would immediately recognise the importance of keeping on top of developments in their niche, yet they may not have been able to do so for the aforementioned reasons. There is a perfect solution today. A virtual assistant can be engaged on an ad hoc or ongoing basis to keep up with industry news and developments, and certainly to ensure that no important developments or events are overlooked or possibly missed.

A business owner should develop a strategy and outsource this task to a virtual assistant. Then, the most important sources of information can be monitored. When developments come up that are likely to be of interest to the business owner, the virtual assistant can go out and gather more relevant information. They can do additional research in order to present a valuable cache of information to the executive.

Business owners are not expecting the virtual assistant to take high-level action, as this is of course the remit of the owner. However, no action can be taken without the right type of information and without somebody – the virtual assistant – keeping a watchful eye on developments on a regular basis.

In addition, when customers and prospects see that the organisation clearly has its finger on the pulse, then they may be more inclined to do business, or to continue placing their trust. The virtual assistant can provide the ammunition necessary to reach this goal on a very efficient and cost-effective basis.

What are your thoughts?  Do you strongly feel that you have to have someone IN the office to assist you?