Automation is the way of the future.
Large businesses and corporations around the world have been taking advantage of automation for decades now, saving themselves huge amounts of time and money. With the advent of many affordable online automation services, and the skills and abilities of Virtual Assistants, automation is now in the hands of small business owners and entrepreneurs. By effectively utilizing a Virtual Assistant experienced in setting up and managing these automated systems, you can also save yourself a great deal of time and energy that you can then reinvest back into your business.
#1: Social Media
Social media can eat up your entire day. Do you know why so many teenagers are great at social media? It’s because that’s all they do! They sit there for hours, interacting with their friends and engaging in online conversations. Unfortunately, as a small business owner, you just don’t have the time to do this. Updating all of your social media platforms can take an hour or more out of your day. That’s why you should use a Virtual Assistant to do it for you!
A Virtual Assistant can write all of your social media posts, create content like blogs to share, and post them at optimal intervals using an online social media management system such as Hootsuite. I can write a month’s worth of social media and schedule them to be posted at the best times to maximize engagement. With a combination of Hootsuite and a Virtual Assistant, you never have to worry about your business’ social media again!
#2: Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most potent and affordable forms of advertising. There is a huge benefit to having a professionally designed and written newsletter or ezine drop in your clients’ inbox every week. But the question is, when should those emails be sent out?
You never want to send out randomly timed emails when you are doing an email marketing campaign. You never want your clients to feel like they are being spammed, but also want to make sure you keep in regular contact with them. Emails should be sent out with precision, following a schedule to make sure that they arrive in your clients’ emails at optimal times. This can be difficult to do if, say, you are in the middle of a busy day. On the other hand, an experienced Virtual Assistant can help you set up an automated emailing scheduler, such as MailChimp, to guarantee that your ezines, newsletters, and marketing emails go out exactly when you need them to.
I find Harvest to be an absolutely invaluable tool for keeping track of the time I put in on tasks. Part of being an excellent Virtual Assistant is providing my clients with exact accounting of how much time it took for each of their projects. The great thing about Harvest is that it can automatically takes those time-entries, put them into a professionally formatted invoice, and send them out to my clients without me having to do a thing. This kind of functionality can save you time, energy, and make sure that an invoice never gets lost in the shuffle again.
#4: Project Management
How long is your to-do list? Keeping an accurate and well managed to-do list can be an invaluable resource for a small business owner (Believe me, I know!) If you have an absolutely packed day, it can be easy for things to spin out of control if one single item on that list goes undone. It can start a chain-reaction that can completely destroy your productivity.
One of the best things that a Virtual Assistant experienced in Project Management can do is set up an online project management system for your business. All of your projects and tasks will be set up in one single, online service accessible from anywhere. You can assign tasks to specific team members and, when they are finished the task, they can just check it off, informing you that the next part of the project can continue.
#5: Calendar Management
Besides your to-do list, a well-organized calendar is a must for an entrepreneur. It can be a challenge to keep everything straight, and there is always the danger of a double-booking or the possibility that an important client might get lost in the shuffle. Many larger companies employ administrative staff to handle this sort of thing, but that’s out of the reach of many small businesses. Or is it?
You can hire a Virtual Assistant to take care of your calendar management and scheduling for you. Utilizing an online resource such as vCita, they can set up a system that will allow your clients to access you and your business, scheduling meetings and consultations automatically through an online interface built directly into your website.
Automation can be intimidating. Many of these systems and resources can seem foreign at first and, although simple once you get to know them, have a steep learning curve attached. As a small business owner, you have better things to do than spend dozens of hours learning how these systems work. Hiring a Virtual Assistant who knows exactly how to automate these, and many other, aspects of your business can be worth every single cent, saving you so much time and effort. Contact me today and I can help guide you through these automated systems and set your company up so you never have to worry about the nitty-gritty details of sending out marketing emails, updating social media, scheduling, and invoicing again!