A virtual assistant, or VA is a professional who is skilled in performing the necessary and behind-the-scenes tasks that enable your business to run smoothly. They can handle everything from acting as your answering service to creating a monthly or weekly newsletter for distribution throughout your customer network. They can take your knowledge, expertise, and creativity and put together a newsletter that is informative and a true reflection of your company.
So the question becomes, in today’s tough economic times, can your business afford a skilled VA to take care of your newsletter publication needs? Truthfully, you can’t afford not to. While every business is unique, most small businesses have a number of characteristics in common:
- Financial resources are limited
- Owners and employees are expected and required to accomplish many different tasks every day.
- Time always seems to be running out
- Survivability and the ability to thrive depends greatly on the ability to innovate, care for customers, and move on opportunities at a moments notice
Chances are these characteristics sound a bit familiar to you as a business owner. If they do, consider this scenario:
Bob, a trusted and valued employee, is sitting at his desk, working feverishly to get the financials completed for the quarterly report due tomorrow. This number crunching would have been done at least a week earlier, but meetings with clients, fixing the copier machine, and dealing with a finicky computer had all conspired to reduce his need schedule to ruins. Peering over the last set of numbers, he sees the shadow of his boss looming over him.
Bob looks up to see his boss place a pile of papers on his desk, and hears his boss ask him to take this information and create a great newsletter that he can send out to the existing customers. The boss knows that he can count on Bob to do a great job, but he is worried about the workload that he is placing on Bob’s shoulders. So, the Boss decides to take some of the projects out of Bob’s inbox and do them himself, so Bob can have more time to complete the newsletter. Both stay late into the evening and go home tired, but satisfied with their work.
A few days later, however, it is apparent that the work completed by both Bob and his boss isn’t quite as good as it could be. It is, of course serviceable, but both men know that they could, and should have done better.
Now, let’s change the situation a bit by bringing in a virtual assistant.
Bob looks over the last of the financial information for the quarterly report and notes any corrections that need to be made prior to submittal for final approval. The day is winding down, and he has a few projects left in his inbox, but they are nothing that can’t be handled over the next few days. It has been a hectic week, and he will certainly sleep well tonight.
An email notification pops onto his screen, and he opens the email. There, staring at him is the draft newsletter that the VA, Beverly has created based on a few documents and a hurried email he had sent over earlier that week. As usual, he is relieved and somewhat amazed at how she can take their musings, writings, and half-formed ideas and transform them into a professional looking newsletter. He looks it over, approves the content, and forwards the email to his boss for final approval and distribution. He knows that by tomorrow morning, all 125 of his regular clients will have something new from the company waiting for them in their email inbox.
Bob takes one final look at the financials, and does a quick review of the upcoming projects. With the newsletter handled by the VA, he knows that he can devote his time and energy into caring for these projects and the customers associated with them. He shuts down his computer and leaves for home, looking forward to the spaghetti dinner waiting for him.
As a business owner, you have the option, and the responsibility to chose the scenario that is best for your situation. So, would you rather have an overworked staff that may produce work that doesn’t quite meet your standards, or the help of a virtual assistant who can handle the production of a professional newsletter, and leave the business of your business to the experts, your employees?