What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is a remote worker who performs certain tasks for a business or individual. A VA can be useful to business owners because they’ll be able to take on tasks that require specialized attention, but these may also be tasks that don’t fit into your duties of running a business each day. These may also be tasks that will put too much strain on your employees if they try to do them, especially if they don’t have the right skills for them. Here’s a list of six specific types of virtual assistants that your business may be able to benefit from hiring.
1: Administrative VA
Usually, you’d want to hire a VA that specializes in the specific tasks related to your industry, but an administrative VA (or a general virtual assistant) may be better. This type of VA is skilled in general administrative work, such as answering emails, scheduling appointments, and filing paperwork. They may also be able to provide other services mentioned on this list, such as bookkeeping tasks, customer service, and social media and website management. When hiring this type of VA, make sure that you understand their full range of expertise.
2: Bookkeeping VA
Bookkeeping and other tasks related to the finances of your business are usually best handled by a professional, and a bookkeeping VA can do this for you. This type of VA is usually an accountant, so he or she is an expert in tasks dealing with payroll, taxes, and other finance-related areas of your business. This is one area where you may prefer a professional over a general VA.
3: Customer Service VA
A customer service representative is a person (or company) that all businesses can benefit from having because it allows them to focus on the customers right in front of them, rather than those dealing with issues away from the storefront. A customer service VA can handle all of your customer-related issues over the phone or through emails. They should be highly knowledgeable about your company and products/services to be able to effectively help your customers in need, and they should know how to provide excellent customer service.
4: Information Security VA
This type of VA isn’t one that most people think about, but it could be one of the most important VAs a business could have. An information security VA is a cybersecurity expert, and they’ll be able to make sure your business isn’t at risk of a cyberattack or threat. A virtual chief information security officer will provide their expertise to ensure your business’s sensitive information is kept safe from hackers and other unauthorized persons.
5: Social Media VA
A social media VA will handle all of the details of your social media pages— which is something you should have no matter what type of business you own. They will keep track of all your social media posts by creating them, and scheduling them, and they’ll also manage and engage with the comments under each post. This is a lot for you to do on your own in addition to running a business, so having a social media VA will take a lot off your plate. This person should also be knowledgeable in content marketing to create engaging content on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn.
6: Website and Blog VA
In the same way, you’d need a VA to manage your social media, you’re also going to need one to manage your business website (and blog, if you have one). Your website VA will be in charge of tasks like fixing website errors, flagging spam comments, and installing certain plugins. On the other hand, your blog VA (who may also be the same person/company as your website VA) will be responsible for creating engaging blog posts and monitoring and responding to the comments there.
As a business owner, your focus is to manage and grow your business, and a virtual assistant can help you do this. You may find that you need a virtual assistant if you’re spending too much time on menial tasks if you need additional assistance over full-time help, or even if you simply have the budget to hire a VA. You can always hire a general virtual assistant on a trial basis to allow you to see how much having one helps, if at all. The bottom line is that you should always strive to do what is best for the success and integrity of your business.