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Can a Virtual Assistant Can Make You More Productive?

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Virtual Assistant jobs popped up in the 80’s to support moms looking to work from home. This niche didn’t take off until home internet access and use became standard worldwide. The market is steadily growing.

 

What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?

A Virtual Assistant or VA is an employee who supports various business operations from a remote location. VAs assist with things such as reputation management, inbox management, social media content, online customer support, phone support, and basically any business-related task that does not require a person to be in the office physically.

 

Reasons to Consider a Virtual Assistant (VA):

  • You Can Focus On What You Do Best: You started your business for a reason and you have a specific set of skills. Hiring a VA to take care of things that are outside of your skillset will free up time that you may have wasted trying to learn the ins and outs of or struggling through trial and error to complete. Areas include bookkeeping, social media management, marketing, etc. You can use your free time to focus on things that you’re actually good at and grow those skills further.
  • Tedious Tasks Taken Care Of: Areas such as data entry, email responses, and internet research are important to your business.  They can be very time consuming. Hiring a VA to take care of these areas provides you the confidence that these tasks will be completed without you really having to think about them or spend your time working on them thus allowing you to do other things for the success of your small business.
  • Better Organization of Data: Data is essential to help you make decisions about your business but most of it can be distracting and overwhelming. Some data areas include customer data, web analytics, and more. Hiring a VA to go over and organize the data allows you to quickly access the information that’s pertinent to your business at a particular moment.
  • Better Communication: Your business receives tons of emails, online inquiries, comments, and calls daily. Some are important but others are not. Hiring a VA to manage your communications can allow you to really focus on the ones that are worth your personal time and effort.
  • Reduce Inefficiencies with Processes: Inefficiencies cost your business time and money and most business owners do not have the time to properly setup processes for their business. Processes can include automated invoicing or auto-responders to email inquiries. Hiring an experienced VA to set these processes up and run them will make your business more efficient.

 

Hiring a VA allows you to outsource the business items you struggle with or do not want to do.   Additionally,you can trust that the tasks will be handled competently. A VA can free up a ton of your time to focus on things that you are actually good at. It also gives you a better opportunity to work on growing your business, rather than getting stuck in the day-to-day operations.

Businesses You Can Start Tomorrow

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By Debbie Gregory.

Having a great business idea usually begins with filling a need. Whether you are going to sell a product or provide a service, your status as a veteran owned business or service disabled veteran owned business gives you a leg-up on the competition. The general public, corporations and the government all want to do business with you.

So what type of business should you start? The obvious first choice is something that is related to the things you enjoy. Many hobbyists go on to elevate their interests into thriving businesses at little to no cost.

Here are some examples:

Gear-heads who have a love of cars and motorcycles could launch a swap-meet style business that offers fellow enthusiasts the chance to meet up and buy, sell and trade parts.

If you love being on your computer, perhaps an online researching company would be up your ally. All you need is a phone, a computer, and internet access.

If your talents run more to the social media side of the web, social media management is an up-and- coming area that many companies are looking to outsource. Scaling up and hiring others will allow you to focus on getting new clients.

If you enjoy painting, you’re not just restricted to residential properties. A graffiti removal company is an unfortunate necessity in most cities nowadays.

Like working from home? You can become a virtual assistant. Once you are established, you can scale your business as you secure more clients.

If you’d rather be out and about, consider an errand running service. Again, as your business grows, you can hire employees. And since most people know how to do this already, your employees won’t require a lot of training.

If you love animals, there are numerous opportunities available, including pet walking, pet waste clean-up, pet day care, pet-sitting and pet transportation. You have the choice to either stick to one specific service, or choose a number of them. It’s your business, so it’s up to you.

If you know enough about a subject to advise others, start a consulting business. This could include IT consulting, fund-raising for non-profits, advertising consulting, public relations, writing services, and many more.

Gifted in math? Start a tutoring company or a tax return service. Interior design your thing? Start a design business or staging company.

If you’re willing to invest a bit more money in your business, you might consider the following:

A mobile paper-shredding service- Again, an unfortunate necessity in today’s identity theft climate.

A residence for the elderly- Turning a private home into a home for older people who do not wish to or cannot live alone can be a very profitable business. Keep in mind that who you employ to take care of the residents is probably the most important element.

Corporate health/fitness centers- Develop and manage fitness centers for corporations since higher stress, longer work days and constant multitasking make it difficult for employees to find the time to act on wellness goals. Creating an on-site wellness program works due to the amount of time spent at the workplace.

These are just a few suggestions, and with a little leg-work, you can find your niche.

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