Accurate data forms the foundation of any successful business. It is used to make critical decisions, track performance, and drive customer engagement. Inaccurate data can cost businesses an average of $15 million per year.
And it's not just money that business owners risk losing out on. According to a recent global study, knowledge workers waste over 40% of their time on manual digital admin tasks.
With so much at stake, how can you prioritize reliable and accurate data entry without neglecting other core aspects of your business?
That’s where a virtual assistant (VA) comes in.
What is a virtual assistant?
As millionaire entrepreneur Kevin O'Leary once said, "As an entrepreneur, your time is your most valuable asset. Invest it wisely." One way to optimize time and increase productivity is by utilizing the skills and expertise of a virtual assistant.
Let me explain.
A virtual assistant is a remote professional who provides administrative, technical, or creative support to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and busy individuals. These highly skilled individuals work from their own location, leveraging modern technology and communication tools to stay connected with their clients and effectively manage tasks on their behalf.
By delegating time-consuming, repetitive, and mundane tasks to a virtual assistant, entrepreneurs can focus on their core competencies, such as strategizing, nurturing relationships with clients, and growing their businesses.
Virtual assistants can handle a wide range of non-core tasks, including managing emails, scheduling meetings, organizing travel arrangements, managing social media accounts, and even conducting research.
Why you need a virtual assistant for data entry
Do you ever find yourself feeling like you're drowning in data, spending hours inputting information into spreadsheets, databases, or other systems?
Or, do all the different demands of running a business mean that data tasks often slip to the bottom of your priorities and get neglected a little more than you'd like to admit?
If so, it's time to consider hiring a virtual data entry assistant.
With data entry being such a fundamental and far-reaching task in business, it's easy to feel like it's an essential part of the job as a business owner. But the good news is that while these tasks certainly need to be done, they don't need to be done by you.
Hiring a virtual assistant not only frees up your time and energy to focus on your most important tasks, but VAs can also bring a fresh perspective, diverse skill sets, and a high level of expertise to the table, which can strengthen your business operations even further.
Hiring a virtual assistant also means that your data tasks will no longer fall through the cracks, as it becomes their responsibility to complete them as required by you.
Let's explore some more of the most compelling reasons you need a data entry virtual assistant for your business operations.
1. Save time
The average business owner clocks up around 35% longer working hours than the national average. Not only that, but 86% of business owners work on weekends, and 53% report working on major holidays. While it's true that a high level of effort and dedication is needed to succeed in business, it shouldn't equate to sacrificing all your free time and neglecting your personal life.
Data entry is among the biggest time-sucks that small business owners will likely face, no matter how simple and straightforward it may feel.
For example, a survey by Zapier found that 76% of workers spend 1-3 hours per week simply moving data from one place to another. This can include copying and pasting information from one spreadsheet to another, transferring data from emails into a CRM system, or updating contact lists. So simply by taking these repetitive manual processes off your plate, you could reclaim the equivalent of around 100 hours per year.
Whether you'd want to use it to focus on business growth or make memories with your loved ones instead of working late in the office, just think of what you could achieve with that reclaimed time in your schedule!
2. Save money
The benefits of hiring a virtual assistant for small businesses don't end with time management. One of the biggest advantages is how much you can save on overhead costs compared to hiring full-time employees.
Let's explore this further.
When you hire staff for your in-house team, you must provide them with office space, equipment, supplies, health insurance, or any employee benefits you offer. You may even have to fork out for advertising the job role as part of the initial recruitment process. These costs can add up quickly, even without their full-time salary.
As a virtual assistant is usually a self-employed worker in a remote location, you only pay for what you need—their productive time completing your tasks, down to the minute.
If the average full-time employee is productive for 2 hours and 58 minutes each day, what might set you back $232.50 to pay a full-time employee would only cost you $106.92 for the same amount of time with a virtual assistant.
So when you tally it all up, hiring a virtual assistant can save businesses up to 90% in operating costs. The money you save can then be reinvested into other areas of your business, unlocking more opportunities for growth.
3. Reduce stress
Juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities can be overwhelming, especially when data entry work starts piling up. According to occupational health experts, being an entrepreneur is one of the most stressful jobs you can have, so it's hardly surprising to hear that you're 43% more likely to experience burnout if you're a business owner compared to the average person.
This is where a virtual assistant can be a lifesaver. Having an extra pair of hands for those time-consuming—yet still necessary—tasks relieves some of the pressure from your intense workload.
With a data entry virtual assistant by your side, you can breathe easier knowing those tasks are ticking away nicely in the background, safe in the hands of an experienced professional.
4. More skills and experience for better results
While entrepreneurs might have to wear many different hats in their businesses, let’s face it, we don’t all have the same set of skills and strengths. There are some things we’ll always just be better at than others.
Data entry may seem like a straightforward task, but it still requires considerable attention to detail. Even small errors can lead to costly mistakes or misinformed decisions.
This is why working with virtual data entry assistants can be a smart choice for any business owner. At Time etc, for example, our VAs have an average of 12 years of experience in a relevant professional setting. This means that they've worked with various data entry tools, software, and applications, and may have a greater awareness of where mistakes are likely to occur throughout the process and how they can be avoided.
If data tasks aren't your strongest suit, you're likely to see much better results when they're handled by someone more skilled or experienced. Not only can you be confident that the information in your systems is accurate and reliable, but you'll have more time and energy to invest in what you do well, which will boost your productivity and your business performance even further.
5. Improve organization
Digital clutter can be just as distracting and obstructive as physical clutter. Trying to find that one document you need is like looking for a needle in a haystack when your computer is full of duplicate files and messy folders. In fact, a global survey of knowledge workers found that the average time spent searching for documents is 4.5 hours per week!
Keeping your digital space organized can be a daunting task, not to mention time-consuming in itself. However, it's something you can't avoid if you want to maintain an efficient workflow and make the most out of your days.
A virtual data entry assistant can help keep your databases, spreadsheets, and other systems well-organized and up-to-date. This saves you both the time and frustration that comes with searching for critical information amidst a cluttered and chaotic data landscape.
Data entry tasks to offload to a virtual assistant today
The term 'data entry' covers a large spectrum of activities, as essentially, it is the act of inputting information into computer systems.
This is good news for business owners, as regardless of industry, there is no shortage of different tasks that can be handled by virtual professionals to help reduce their workload and take their business productivity to the next level.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of the best ways you can use a virtual assistant for data entry.
A data entry virtual assistant can prove invaluable for maintaining and managing existing databases, ensuring that information is kept up-to-date and properly aligned between systems.
This may also include:
- Data preparation: An important first step when it comes to managing data. This process involves eliminating redundancies and incomplete information from a dataset to ensure it remains precise.
- Data compilation: Information can often be spread across multiple locations, making it difficult to access and process. A data entry virtual assistant can gather everything into one place for increased efficiency when you need it.
- Resolving data conflicts: Companies must rely on the accuracy of their data for critical decisions, so if there are inconsistencies or conflicts between different related databases, a data entry virtual assistant can look into the issue to try and find the source.
They are also handy when it comes to creating backups of any data so that important information is not lost.
From focus groups, video conferences, and consultations, to customer support calls, training resources, and interviews, there may be a great deal of audio and video recordings you'll have to deal with in your business.
But in most cases, the spoken details in these recordings are much easier to review in the form of text, rather than having to repeatedly replay clips over and over again.
The industry standard for transcription is said to be a 4:1 ratio—one hour of transcription time for a 15-minute-long recording, for example. However, there are many factors that can affect the time it takes to transcribe a particular recording, such as audio recording quality, the number of speakers, background noise, speaker “coherence” (i.e., do the speakers talk over each other? Do they speak quickly or slowly?), or any special transcript requirements, such as timestamps or true verbatim transcription.
So if you need to transcribe an hour-long recording, you can expect it will take you a minimum of four hours to complete. That’s a significant portion of your day gone, with not much to show for it. Hiring virtual assistants for transcription tasks instead allows you to spend that time where it will have the most impact.
Digital administrative tasks
We all have those tedious repetitive tasks that we dread doing.
Most virtual assistants are well-versed in back-office admin or clerical work, so whatever it is that's holding you back, there's a good chance a VA can help.
- Organizing expenses and invoices
- Update lead and prospect records
- Input orders and manage inventory
- Scheduling meetings and events into your calendar
- Creating graphs or charts based on collected data
- Keeping track of website or social media analytics for further reporting
To find out just how many of your digital administrative tasks can be handled by virtual assistants, enter them into our free to-do list optimizer tool.
What's the bottom line?
There are numerous benefits to hiring virtual assistants for data entry tasks. It saves you time and money and increases productivity, allowing you to streamline your business processes and better serve your clients' or customers' needs.
Are you ready for a less stressful, more successful life? Are you ready to take back control of your time?
Time etc is dedicated to helping hardworking and ambitious entrepreneurs take their businesses further by matching them with the best virtual assistants for their needs.
Speak to our expert team to get started or try a skilled virtual assistant for free today.