When you decide the time is right to start your own business, there are many factors and areas you need to consider. Will you run your company from your own home? Will you take on staff at first? How will you fund the business to begin with?
You could spend a considerable amount of time working everything out before your business takes off. And rightly so. If you do not think things through thoroughly, you could run into major problems once you have already started operating. So it is better to iron out any potential problems before you get started with your company.
One way to ensure you don’t run into any initial problems is to outsource certain areas of your business. This is an especially good idea if you are starting out as a sole trader. When you are running a business on your own, you will have a lot to on your plate, which could lead to a lot of stress. So rather than have to think about a lot of extra administrative tasks, you’ll be better off outsourcing these tasks to a virtual assistant.
What is a virtual assistant? They are freelancers who work for companies and specialize in different areas. There are many benefits of hiring freelancers rather than full-time staff. Mainly to do with money. You won’t have to pay contractors sick leave, holiday pay or provide them insurance. And it also saves a lot of office space!
So which tasks should you be outsourcing? Here are five types of virtual assistants who can get your new company get up and running.
An Executive Assistant would be your personal assistant who would keep you on top of your day-to-day schedule. They would organize your calendar for you and arrange your meetings and interviews around your usual schedule. They will also be able to check your inbox for you and clear out any junk mail. Usually, it is also an Executive Assistant’s role to answer any emails which aren’t too important. Another role of theirs would be to carry out any basic administrative tasks that need doing from time to time. Maybe helping out with some customer service or pitching in with social media. As you can see, most of these tasks can be done from anywhere with an internet connection. It isn’t necessary for your Executive Assistant to be in the office. This is why many businesses are now choosing to outsource their assistant positions. It is a great option for you to try out while you are in the first few months of your business. During that time, you will likely only need someone to stay on top of your calendar for you! If you have customers in different continents, you can try hiring a virtual assistant in a different timezone. This way, there will be someone to answer any important customer queries or complaints while you are in bed! They can also get things ready for you before you hit the office.
Once you start employing staff, it is important to have someone working in HR on your team. People who work in HR will deal with recruitment, salaries, and the wellbeing of your staff. As most of these tasks can be performed online or over Skype, it is not necessary to outsource an HR Assistant position. However, it is a good idea to bear in mind, that you will need to employ someone in-house when you need someone of a senior level, such as an HR Director. But that won’t be for a while yet! Tasks that the HR Assistant will be dealing with include writing and posting job adverts online, coming up with a shortlist of applicants. They will also carry out interviews. Thanks to Skype, interviews can be carried out online nowadays. All other HR responsibilities can be carried out online over email or Google Hangouts. Getting them to join in on conference calls for meetings is also a good idea.
Social Media Assistant
Social media plays a crucial role in almost every business these days. It is a useful tool for spreading the word about your company and also gives you a great, innovative way to interact with clients and customers. It is also one department that you don’t really need anyone in-house for. As long as your Social Media Assistant has the log-in details for your accounts and blog, they will be able to work from wherever they like. Another important part of social media marketing is content marketing. This is adding SEO-driven content to your website and blog to help you move up the Google search rankings. Ultimately, good content marketing will spread the word about your company efficiently. One of the best ways to go about this is to start a company blog. For this, you can employ a freelance content writer or just ask your Social Media Assistant to write your blog posts for you. If they are new to the world of SEO, they can find some handy tips on here. If you are still unsure about outsourcing this kind of work, there is a lot more relevant information in this SEO Outsourcing Guide.
Just as with HR, starting off with an outsourced Finance Assistant can help you get your accounts and books in order. This needs to be done before you consider hiring an in-house Finance Director. You will need to keep all invoices and receipts that go through the business. These need to be saved in hard paper copies as well as soft online copies. Seeing as you have copies on your computer, you can easily email them to an outsourced Finance Assistant, who can help you to keep a check on your books. They can organize your accounts before the time comes to send everything off to your accountant. It is a good idea to hire a Finance Assistant as soon as you can afford one. As company owners, it is often easy to forget about the state of our books. It is important not to let them get too messy. Otherwise, this only creates more work for your accountant. And more work for your accountant could end up with them charging you a bigger fee! So it is important to have someone making note of everything that is coming and going from your company bank account on a daily basis.
Business Development Manager
As your company begins to grow, you will need to hire someone who is dedicated to business development. A Business Development Manager is responsible for finding potential new clients and trying to get them on board. The position involves a lot of calling and emailing to try and develop relations. Obviously, phone calling and emailing doesn’t have to be restricted to one office. So it is perfectly plausible that some companies now outsource their business development positions. One of the best thing about outsourcing your business development to a professional is that they are experts in their field. They will know all the trends to follow as well. They’ll already have the tools needed for efficient work in their industry too. This means you don’t need to spend money on extra software or equipment. As it is their profession, they will also have a very efficient method in place to find and cultivate new business relationships. You probably won’t have such a method in place. Outsourcing this part of your company means you don’t need to think about setting up just yet, saving you lots of time.