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In order to understand the benefits of a Virtual Assistant, we have compiled this post to give you an insight to our day to day activities. Hopefully this will answer your question and show you how flexible and adaptive a good VA will be for your business.
The fact you are here suggests you suffer the same problem as many. Not enough hours in a day! A good Virtual Assistant will manage everything from time, to information, to people.
Saunders & Lee ‘partner with businesses’ which means we are unlike many VA’s who are primarily ‘task focused’. Instead of addressing individual tasks, we build ongoing relationships with businesses, allowing us to optimise their processes, structures and time management to enhance the companies growth.
An Insight to our Daily Tasks
First up it’s emails; go through the email account for each client to see what has come in overnight. If it’s a two minute action, do it. If it’s a longer action, record it as a task and allocate a date/time to deal with it.
Processing emails for 5 clients will take about an hour and this hour gives us the opportunity to see what fires have ignited so we can prioritise where our attention is to be focused next.
We’ve already dealt with the 2 minute email responses so now it’s time to focus on individual clients and projects. The easiest way is to set up a project management system (or CRM) for each of our clients. This gives our client an overview of what’s going on and allows us to manage everything efficiently.
How does this work in practice?
we’ll manage the project from approved scope through to delivery
For clients whose focus is on sales of bespoke items we’ll manage the project from approved scope through to delivery. In practice this is a lot of scheduling and paperwork.
- We ensure all the CAD drawings are approved by the client
- the invoice and final spec is despatched, signed and the invoice paid.
- We create the purchase order and liaise with the supplier to ensure they understand the project and the schedule. From that point on we are the liaison for both client and supplier.
- We take artwork and ensure it is in the house style.
- We manage couriers regarding deliveries and lost shipments.
By having S&L manage the back office a client of this type saves about a week’s worth of administration each month. That’s a huge number of opportunities that would be lost if they were doing it themselves.
Adapt to Situations
For clients whose focus is people, for example psychologists, business coaches and mentors, the approach is different. For these businesses, we act as a front line point of contact and need a more nurturing tone, whilst remaining proactive to extract all necessary information.
An initial enquiry will be received and we will:
- talk with them to better understand what they need
- identify how they found us
- discuss their requirements
- identify their timescales
Once we’ve qualified the enquiry we’ll arrange for our client to call them back for an initial chat. Assuming the case is being progressed, we will:
- allocate a case number
- progress the enquiry to a case
- create and send the necessary paperwork to all concerned
- reconfirm the appointment to eliminate no shows
Note: an example of how S&L need to adapt, one of our clients needed us to research new payment options. We identified iZettle as a suitable solution to take payments on the day of the consultation, eliminating overdue invoice chasing and cutting down on overall workload.
- Dictated case notes will be emailed to us for transcription.
- Where a solicitor is involved we’ll arrange court dates, prison visits etc.
By having S&L manage the back office a client of this type saves between 4-5 days a month on administration and client liaison. It also means their clients always have a port of call if they are in session.
We manage People
For clients whose focus is Leadership Training, whether it’s online or face to face the same basic elements apply:
- Registration page
- Communication with attendees and managing enquiries
- Issuing pre-reading and course notes
- Feedback questionnaires
And we will manage as little or as much of the setup and administration as you like. To minimise attendee enquiries we suggest creating a registration page like this one.
We will work with you to establish the workflows for your training programme
Each programme takes around a day and a half of administration, so it’s easy to see how this will add up and eat into the core of your business.
Professional Virtual Assistant Services
Until 2011 we managed the global logistics and scheduling for Kantar Group’s senior leadership programmes. Annually this comprised over 50 residential courses worldwide, with a budget of $1.8m and annual delegate attendance of 800+.
The remaining clients use us for more modern PA services ranging from diary and contact management through travel to social media support and email campaign management. For these clients they regain around 3-6 days a month by using S&L.
Once the day to day work for clients is dealt with we’ll then move on to one off projects. This may include:
- researching new ways of connecting cloud based systems
- setting up a CRM for a client so they can walk right in and start using it immediately
- creating email templates for use in Mailchimp campaigns
- devising workflows within CRMs to automate as much of a client’s work as possible
For each new client, we examine their existing systems and transition them to more efficient methods of working.
How this is implemented varies according to what they’re comfortable with. For one client managing their enquiries and patients started as an Excel spreadsheet (devised to work as a CSV file for future flexibility). Once they felt comfortable with the process we then exported the spreadsheet to Insightly (excellent for showing relationships between contacts and linking cases). For other clients they’re comfortable to jump right into a variety of new systems which are linked together.
Saunders & Lee can help
Hopefully, this post gives you an idea of the variety of tasks we manage on a day to day basis. The bottom line is this. Our job is to react to potential new ways to streamline your business and improve your workflow. You concentrate on driving the core business and we identify and implement ways to maximise your overall efficiency.
If you are interested in our services, book your initial consultation here