Have you been struggling to balance your work and personal life? Are you tired of feeling like you're not achieving enough? Do you ever wish you had more time to focus on your goals?
You're not alone.
Success in business depends heavily on your ability to focus and prioritize—and having the time to do both well.
When you outsource tasks that don't contribute directly to your business goals, you free up time and energy to devote to more important work and help you make more significant progress in a shorter amount of time.
In this article, we explore 50 tasks that, although essential to your daily operations, consume too much of your time, leaving little left over for the things that are important to you, your goals, and your business.
Let's begin by understanding who a virtual assistant is before we dive into how they can help you as a business owner.
What is a virtual assistant?
As a small business owner, you know that there are a million things that need to be done each day. From dealing with customer inquiries, updating your website, and writing blog posts to keeping track of your social media marketing and chasing invoices, the list is never-ending.
With only so many hours in each day, finding enough time to cross everything off by the close of business can feel like an impossible challenge, but if things fall through the cracks, your company is unlikely to thrive.
So rather than try to tackle all these tasks yourself, why not let someone else do them for you?
A virtual assistant (VA) is a skilled independent contractor who provides professional support with a wide variety of tasks that are often simple but can take up a lot of time.
Virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular among many businesses as they offer a more flexible and cost-effective alternative to full-time in-house employees. Working from a home office, for as many or as few hours as you need, virtual assistants can help to reduce costs by up to 90%.
See: Virtual Assistant Vs. Freelancer: The Best Ways To Outsource
Let's go ahead and explore the different time-consuming tasks that you can outsource to an experienced virtual assistant to help you get more done each day.
50 tasks you can outsource to a virtual assistant
General administrative tasks
From general organization to more specific tasks, when you outsource admin work to a virtual assistant you save both the time of doing it yourself and the expense of hiring a full-time employee.
1. Email management – A lot of people spend way too much time managing their email inboxes, sorting through junk mail, responding to messages, managing spam, filtering, and so on. A virtual assistant can easily manage such tasks.
2. Calendar management – Scheduling appointments, meetings, and any other events can all be handled by a virtual assistant.
3. Checking voicemail messages – In your busy schedule, you may lack time to check all the messages left behind by current and prospective clients. A VA can check the messages for you and return calls on your behalf if necessary.
4. Data entry – According to a recent survey, 76% of workers can spend 1-3 hours per week simply moving data from one place to another. Simply offloading any manual data entry tasks on your plate to a virtual assistant could end up saving you the equivalent of six full working days at the end of each year.
5. File management – A virtual assistant can help you create and manage a Cloud account such as DropBox, OneDrive, or Google Drive to ensure that you don't lose any of your files or waste valuable time trying to track them down.
6. Paying bills online.
7. Keeping track of expenses and receipts.
8. Generating and sending invoices to clients.
9. Keeping databases up-to-date, e.g. contact lists.
10. Checking customer service inbox or ticket system – If you have a growing number of customers or several clients, it can be helpful to hire VAs. With the right guidance, they can handle questions, concerns, and complaints on your behalf.
11. Sending invitations, greeting cards, and gratitude notes to team members, clients, and customers.
12. Creating, merging, or splitting PDF files.
13. Creating spreadsheets or graphs from supplied data.
14. Preparing guides or documents for newly-hired team members.
15. Converting PDF files into editable Microsoft Word documents.
16. Generating online forms, questionnaires, or surveys to obtain customer feedback.
17. Checking documents for errors – When it comes to checking documents or assets, asking someone who was involved in creating it can often end up being the wrong choice. Because they are so close to the project, they can often become blind to the details. But a fresh pair of eyes is more likely to spot errors—big or small—and be able to accurately assess how well the item conveys its intended message. So before you send out any important files or documents, a virtual assistant can help you avoid any potentially costly mistakes.
18. Taking notes in your online meetings.
Content creation tasks
Regular, quality content is a must for any successful business. In today's competitive markets, you need to stand out with exceptional writing to stay ahead. Hiring a virtual assistant who is experienced in writing can help you with the following tasks:
19. Writing articles and blog posts.
20. Researching blog topics.
21. Guest posting or guest blogging on relevant websites.
22. Creating and sending press releases.
23. Creating marketing materials such as eBooks and white papers.
24. Proofreading and editing written copy.
25. Formatting blog posts to include relevant pictures and company links.
26. Uploading or publishing content to your chosen platform.
27. Answering any questions and responding to any comments on company blog posts.
Social media management tasks
As the world increasingly moves online, it's more important than ever to make sure your business has an impressive and active social media presence. Virtual assistants with the right skillset can help you get noticed and build up positive online engagement with your audience.
When it comes to social media marketing, there are plenty of opportunities to reclaim valuable time by offloading to a virtual assistant.
28. Creating social media posts across your business’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, or Pinterest accounts.
29. Sourcing images for posts.
30. Light graphic design work to create bespoke visual assets for social posts.
31. Scheduling social media posts for higher reach and engagement.
32. Finding high-performing previous posts to repurpose and share on different platforms.
33. Checking notifications and responding to direct messages.
34. Keeping your social media accounts up-to-date with correct information, links, promotions, and so on.
35. Moderating your Facebook or LinkedIn group.
36. Scheduling and promoting Facebook or LinkedIn events.
37. Creating subtitles or captions for video content.
38. Researching potential opportunities for third-party cross-promotion.
Email marketing tasks
Email marketing is a highly effective way to engage with your target audience, clients, or customers. But for any business owner, it can be hard to justify taking the time to make an e-newsletter when all the other demands of their business are vying for their attention.
However, it's crucial to remember that letting these tasks fall by the wayside can mean missing out on powerful opportunities to develop your company's growth.
Here are the tasks that an experienced virtual assistant can help you with.
39. Creating promotional emails.
40. Scheduling the delivery of emails according to your marketing plan.
41. Adding new subscribers and removing unsubscribers from your list.
42. Creating segments in your mailing lists to send more relevant and personalized email content to your subscribers.
43. Curating interesting content for email newsletters or digests.
We know it's not just administrative work that can hold small business owners back. With so many different tasks and duties that can take up your time and prevent you from focusing on your company's growth, it's no wonder that so many business owners feel frustrated and overwhelmed by their to-do list.
The good news is that the services of a virtual assistant can be utilized in more ways than you might expect.
Here are some more responsibilities that you should consider outsourcing to a virtual assistant. Not only will you be saving yourself time and money, but you'll be able to focus on the more important parts of your business.
44. Regularly checking your website for errors such as broken links and outdated information.
45. Transcription of audio or video – A virtual assistant can transcribe the recordings of your meeting, a podcast episode you want, a voicemail message, or anything else. They can then give you a well-organized transcript, saving you the hassle of doing so yourself.
46. Performing research – Whether you are looking for certain data, important statistics, and facts to use in a meeting, or you just want to find out about your industry, your competitors, and potential customers, virtual assistants can be a business owner's best friend.
47. Managing stock of supplies or inventory – Despite the fact that they work remotely, your assistant can still help daily operations in the office run smoothly. For example, they can order supplies or equipment on your behalf to be delivered to your office space.
48. Event planning – If you have an office event coming up but don't have the time to plan for it, a virtual assistant can help choose suitable locations, book venues, create invites, organize sending them to guests, and much more.
49. Creating presentations.
50. Travel planning – When planning your next trip, consider letting a virtual assistant handle it. They can take care of all the details of your journey, from booking flights and accommodation to creating a detailed itinerary. This way, you can relax and enjoy the experience without having to worry about the logistics.
What's the bottom line?
As a business owner, you are the leader. You are the visionary. You are the catalyst. The buck stops with you.
While there's a lot to be said for the value of hard work, you cannot do everything yourself, and nor should you try. The real secret to success lies not in doing as many things as possible, but in doing the right things. When you’re spending most of your days on tasks that aren’t driving your business forward, you can lose valuable progress.
By leveraging the power of outsourcing, you free yourself up to do so much more in your business in less time.
There are many things in your business that you can (and should!) outsource, and hiring a virtual assistant is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to do so.
Working with a virtual assistant is a great way of making sure that your most critical tasks receive the attention they deserve from you, while also relieving you of the stress and pressure of having to tackle all the other day-to-day administrative tasks on your plate, too.
If you’re ready to join over 22,000 business owners that have already used our VA services at Time etc to reclaim valuable time and achieve more, speak to our expert team to get started with a dedicated virtual assistant, or try us out for free today.