A virtual assistant can handle a variety of tasks, from the mundane and simple to the critical and complicated. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to know what to assign as virtual assistant tasks. Your VA is new and not yet familiar with your business, so how can you assign them work? You need time to train them, right?
Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t immediately put your VA to good use and free up some of your time.
Consider the following 11 tasks that you can assign to your VA almost immediately and with little to no time investment on your part.
Social Task Management
Writing holiday cards, sending thank you notes, or addressing invitations to an event are all tasks that can be easily delegated to a VA. You just need to provide the stationary, a list with the relevant information, and a deadline, as well as the cost of postage.
You can even make notes on the list for personal messages that should be included.
Bookkeeping and Accounting
You may not want to have your VA file your taxes, but you can turn over the books so they can follow up on unpaid invoices or bills. You can also have them enter recent payments, pay some bills, and research potential cost-saving measures.
That stack of business cards sitting on your desk for the last six months? The list of contact info changes that you’ve been meaning to update but just haven’t had time to get to?
Your VA can handle that for you! All you need to do is get the information to her – you can scan them, fax them, or even snail mail them. Let her know if there’s any specific organization structure you’re looking for (alphabetical order, date updated, etc.), and she’ll get it entered and updated for you in no time.
Surveys, research, studies and more are great for providing raw data. The key is taking that raw data and turning it into something that others can understand without having to wade through all of the information.
A good VA can take the raw data you provide and break it down into a PowerPoint presentation or Word document that summarizes the information. Depending on the information you have, you may need to look for a VA with a specialized skill set, such as one with a medical or legal background, to ensure that she can pull the pertinent information. Most of the time, however, you can simply hand over the data and get it back as a simple presentation that is ready to go.
Need to vet a new employee or vendor? Looking into investing in a new product and want to check out the competition or check if there’s a need for the product? Need information from a corporate website?
Your VA can handle all your online research needs. All you need to do is provide clear instructions on the information you’re looking for, and provide any website logins and passwords she may need – such as those for the sites you use to perform background checks.
Email management can run the gamut from simply deleting spam to handling all your emails and updating you on what was there, depending on your comfort level.
Ideally, your VA can filter your emails, eliminating spam and unimportant emails, and respond to important ones on your behalf. The ticket to this is providing a list of key people and topics that are important and providing some previous emails you’ve sent so she can get a feel for your tone.
Initially, you may want to have her draft responses and allow you to check them over before sending to ensure no mistakes, but ultimately, she may be able to handle it for you so that you don’t have to do much at all with your email.
Travel Research and Planning
Whether you’re heading out for business or pleasure, your VA can handle the research and planning for you. Simply let her know where you want to go, when you want to go, and when you want to return. Provide any special information that may be required, such as your preferred hotel or dietary restrictions for plane meals.
With that information, your VA can create a customized itinerary that includes travel dates, times, and methods, hotel reservations, and even plans for some R&R on a business trip.
Provide your credit card information, and she can even book everything for you.
Bonus: Traveling through multiple time zones? Your VA will be the one to figure out the time changes, not you!
Growing the Business
It can be difficult to prioritize which new client, investment, product or service to go after next. Your VA can take that off your hands and do the research for you. They can investigate clients and investment opportunities to determine which ones you should go after now and which ones can wait – or shouldn’t even be on your list at all.
They can also look into which products or services might be most profitable for your business based on consumer interest, whether through surveys sent out or simple research online to see what’s selling.
You can even ask them to take a “Devil’s Advocate” position and put two things against each other, with the pros and cons of each so you can make the final decision yourself if you’re hesitant to hand over total control.
More and more people are coming to rely on digital calendars instead of paper planners. Most online calendars, such as Google, are able to be shared with others. This allows your VA to handle tasks like meeting or event invitations, scheduling interviews, planning corporate or personal events, and scheduling meetings with clients or vendors.
The amount of schedule management your VA can do depends on your comfort level with letting go of your schedule and allowing them to see what you’re up to. If you’re willing to allow a high enough level of access, you can even block out times you aren’t available for anything and let them handle both business and personal scheduling, so that all you need to do is check your calendar and show up.
Stay Abreast of Industry Happenings
In any industry, staying informed and up-to-date on what’s happening is critical to success. But finding time to research and read current events in your industry, along with all your other tasks, isn’t always possible. That’s where your VA comes in.
She can read up on industry topics, and provide you with summaries of current events and what you need to know to be current and relevant. You can then use this information in meetings or even to share on social media.
Social Media Management
Social media has grown to be more and more necessary to stay relevant and in front of consumers, but managing it sometimes takes far more time than seems worth it. A quality VA can take over your social media for you.
Social media management can be as simple as responding to customer comments or complaints on the various platforms, or as complex as creating your content and scheduling it using an automation tool. It can also be somewhere in between. Again, this is all about your comfort level.
A good VA can also help you determine which social media platforms might be best for your business, so that you can focus your attention on the most important platforms, rather than spreading yourself too thin trying to maintain a presence on some that simply aren’t going to benefit you in the end.
It can be difficult to determine what can be a good viritual assistant task from the start and what requires more time or training from you. These tasks are ones that you can hand over with confidence. Once you see how well your VA handles them, and how much more time you have, you’ll feel much better handing over more and bigger tasks.
We’re here to help you, so use us!