One of the biggest challenges of running a business is completing your to-do list. Creative entrepreneurs often jumble several tasks — you’ll likely have to function as a writer, photographer, marketer, graphic designer, and many others.
These tasks can quickly stack up and become overwhelming. In worse cases, this can drain your motivation and passion for running a business.
Hiring a virtual assistant is a cost-effective strategy to prevent creative entrepreneurs from feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. The support they can provide can catapult any creative business into long-term success.
What Is a Virtual Assistant and Why Do Creative Entrepreneurs Need One?
Virtual assistants are independent professionals who provide support to their clients from remote locations. Generally, they take mundane and time-consuming tasks off their client’s hands.
Because being a virtual assistant means having a broad set of professional skills, they can specialize in different tasks, from content creation and graphic design to project management and marketing.
Virtual assistants are also flexible and cost-effective because they can relieve the pressure of completing your to-dos alone. As a result, you can focus on things that matter more to your business — like fostering relationships with old and new customers and looking for better investments — without compromising anything in your personal life.
Still don’t see the importance of hiring a virtual assistant? Here are four reasons why creative entrepreneurs, such as yourself, need one:
Regardless if you’re running a small business with limited reach, remember that you can’t manage it alone. You can try, but this will knock off your mood and productivity levels, as it’s more challenging to focus and get things done if you’re always multitasking.
Having someone help with your workload can go a long way in reducing stress and relieving pressure. This can significantly improve your mindset, allowing you to be your best every time you work.
Aside from the ability to focus on more important tasks without any distractions, working with a virtual assistant also means reclaiming time in your day. The combination of creating a marketing plan to help grow your business and having the time to implement those strategies is a recipe for success.
Hiring a virtual assistant gives you the flexibility and freedom to explore your creativity, allowing you to develop innovative ideas, solve recurring issues, and take more billable hours for existing customers. All of these are crucial for your business’s growth.
Do you work at least 12 hours a day but still can’t complete your to-do list? Are you fond of pulling an all-nighter or working during weekends just to get everything done?
Time management is crucial to your success as an entrepreneur. But this process isn’t just about submitting tasks before deadlines; it’s also about maximizing the time and effort you invest in your business. You can easily achieve this when you work with a virtual assistant.
With a virtual assistant, you can be more strategic about how and where you spend your time. This will put your mind at ease, knowing you’re spending your most valuable resources on tasks that impact your business the most.
According to research from the University of Minnesota, a messy desk is a sign of genius. In fact, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, and Albert Einstein are known to have messy desks. And this might remain true in your case, as creative entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for inspiration.
But disorganization can eventually creep up and cause you to derail your business. The worst part is that you don’t even realize it’s happening.
When you’re constantly dealing with a never-ending stream of requests, missed opportunities, or a cluttered email inbox, being organized can save you a lot of time and money. It’ll also help you keep your insanity in check. This is another area where a virtual assistant can help.
Virtual assistants can provide all the support you need to help you stay organized daily and ensure you never miss a beat. They can help organize anything — from your office’s desk to your physical and digital files.
7 Tasks You Can Offload to a Virtual Assistant
Admitting that you need help isn’t enough — it’s equally important to determine which areas of your business need outsourcing or delegation. Nonetheless, before hiring a virtual assistant, you should determine which tasks are best done by you and which are best done by others.
Here are some tasks you can outsource or delegate to a virtual assistant:
Administrative tasks might be repetitive but essential to maintain business order. How else can you run your creative business if your supplies are late? Do you think your business can continue to operate if data isn’t regularly recorded?
Virtual assistants can deal with the admin side of your business. Like a personal secretary or executive assistant, they can handle numerous tasks and organize large chunks of information. In short, they can make your life as a creative entrepreneur easier.
Here are some administrative tasks you can offload to a virtual assistant:
- Answer phone calls
- Book travel arrangement
- Manage your personal and professional schedule
- Order supplies
- Organize and reply to emails
- Perform data entry
- Plan events
- Take minutes of the meeting
- And more, depending on your business’s needs
Bookkeeping and Accounting
Money is an important resource, which is why you should have an in-depth understanding of the financial status of your business. But this doesn’t mean you should be responsible for maintaining and updating financial records.
Most of the time, it’s better to delegate this task to your virtual assistant, especially if you don’t have any background in finance. Virtual assistants can handle many aspects of your business’s finances; some even have experience working with CPAs.
Content is king in business. Creating high-quality content benefits your business as it helps build relationships with your audience, improve your brand image, and generate more leads.
Unfortunately, not every entrepreneur knows how to write engaging content. But you don’t have to learn this skill from scratch as you can always delegate this task to a virtual assistant.
Many virtual assistants have experience in writing different types of content. Hire one, and you’ll have someone who can write blog articles, conduct keyword research, produce engaging product descriptions, and improve the content on your website.
When your business was still growing, you probably had no problems handling all customer-related issues. But as your business grows, you’ll need more time, energy, and patience to engage with all your customers.
Instead of trying to spread yourself too thin, hire a virtual assistant. They can provide high-quality customer service using different channels, like emails and social media platforms.
Also, when you choose a virtual assistant who lives in a location with a different timezone than your business, you can offer 24/7 customer service.
Even if you’re passionate about graphic design, there are instances when it can become a chore. This is especially true when you receive an influx of orders during a specific season of the year or often get different orders from different customers.
Thankfully, virtual assistants with graphic design experience have become more common. They can care for your business’s visual needs — whether photo editing or designing various marketing materials; VAs have you covered.
Do you sell and ship products internationally? If yes, it’s best to delegate this task to a virtual assistant. Shipping orders isn’t only time-consuming — it can also get stressful as some customers demand updates now and then.
Virtual assistants can manage all the tasks involved in shipping orders. They can pack and label orders accordingly, log when they leave your facility, and update customers about their orders. You, on the other hand, can focus on bigger entrepreneurial activities.
Social Media Management
One survey shows that 77% of consumers will pick a brand after a positive experience on social media. This survey is just one of the many that prove social media’s importance in today’s business landscape.
Working with a virtual assistant is your best bet for getting the most out of social media platforms and driving more customers to your business. They can boost your business’s social media presence by managing your profiles, researching trending content, creating targeted content, and identifying the right influencers to work with.
Welcome a Virtual Assistant ASAP
Several industries have worked with virtual assistants for years as they’re usually more flexible and cost-effective than hiring in-house employees. And with the number of tools available today, it’s easy to manage them even if they’re working from a different country.
Start looking for a virtual assistant with experience relevant to the nature and goals of your business. If you’re clueless about where to start, these articles can come in handy: