Virtually Perfect

Virtual Assistant Sadie Bell discusses just what exactly a Virtual Assistant does...

I am often asked “What’s a Virtual Assistant; what do you do?”. Usually followed by, “are you [then insert any from the list below]?”


• Pay as you go Admin

• Work from home typist

• Life coach

• Back Office Services from your house

• Mentor

• Proof reader

• A personal assistant like Cortana for windows

• Personal shopper

• Social media guru

• Do you update twitter for companies

• Event organiser

• Travel planner

• Bookkeeper

• Blogger

• Do you do the non-income generating tasks

• CRM Support

• Webpage updater

• HR consultant

• Secret Wife (let me explain that one later in the blog)


…..the answer is YES to all of the above In fact you can outsource many of the tasks that you do, which consume your time (except for making you a coffee, but I could arrange for one to be delivered!).


Others will say “Why do I need to pay someone when I can do it myself?” and I understand this being questioned too; it is a difficult concept for some to grasp if you have never used one before.
People enjoy being the entrepreneur, jack of all trades running a successful small business or two but if they stepped back and thought “if I free up some time to dedicate to my business it could be bigger and better”, or “if I free up some time, I can be a successful business owner and have time to spend with my family”. Which of these you are depends on your motivations and with VAs help to free up time there is no reason you cannot do both.


A Virtual Assistant service doesn’t have to be just about business support either. I met up with a friend of mine (who shall not be named for reasons you are about to read!) who is a highly successful entrepreneur who’s been involved in many successful ventures. As we sat chatting I explained what my business was about, he said “I don’t need an assistant, I am so used to looking after myself, the bits I don’t like, you know like booking train tickets, the intern in the office does this for me”. A cup of coffee and a cookie each later and we had gone from business to personal-life and the conversation went like this:


“I have got to get my passport renewed, the Mrs will kill me she thinks I did it months ago”; and “I have moved house, that reminds me I must change my driving licence”, and so he went on. I began to laugh. He looked at me bemused. I reminded him that he had opened the conversation with , “I don’t need an assistant, the intern in the office does this for me!” and then I put it to him that a VA could do all of those personal things he had mentioned; the things he should have done but not got round to; the things he could not ask a work colleague to carry out ; the things his wife thought were completed weeks ago and there would be hell to pay if he now asked her to do them. His reply was, “Oh yeah like a secret wife”, (told you I would explain). So YES a VA can do that for you too…


People pigeonhole a Virtual Assistant into the traditional roles of ‘Secretarial’ or ‘PA’ but we can do far more than those traditional tasks and a VA doesn’t need to be just for work related tasks either – if you are busy your personal life may need a helping hand too!


We are no longer stereo typical secretaries, we have moved with the times and are ‘with it!’ (my 14 year old will tell me “saying that is not cool at all”). In fact VAs are so forward thinking that we no longer need to be in an office 8 hours a day. We have apps, gadgets and programs that can do things your desk bound staff are undertaking the good old fashioned way; often the slower way too. I bet we could suggest an app or program for most of the work you undertake yourself…..challenge me, I dare you!


The other added beauty of a hiring Virtual Assistant you only pay for the hours you use! All companies have a fluctuating workload but because they have an FTE on 38 hours a week they will inevitably find themselves paying for employee downtime: the employee taking personal calls, laughing at personal e-mails, playing candy crush on their phone or indulging in a string of instant messaging after their 10 coffee breaks. With a VA you wouldn’t be paying for any downtime.


Once you have taken the ‘leap’ and outsourced work to a virtual employee, when you see the hours you are being billed for I can almost guarantee you will look at reviewing other areas of your business with a view to what else could be outsourced.
Think of the other areas you could save money too:


• No holiday pay,
• No PAYE costs,
• No recruitment charges,
• No training costs,
• No office overheads,
• No equipment to buy,
• No travel and subs expenses
• No employee liability insurance premiums
• No SSP


Only paying for the work you receive!
A Virtual Assistant is a cost-effective, hassle-free way of enabling you to spend more time doing the things you need to do and want to do, and less time doing the things you don’t.


So can a virtual assistant really do all those things listed above? I can only speak for myself and the answer is YES and even more.……..check back to the list at the top:


Pay as you go Admin
As this blog talks about, Yes – you pay for what you receive.


Work from home typist
Yes, I can type and I work from home


Life coach
If I can help you find a way to balance work and life I will do that.


Back Office Services from your house
Yes, all those back office admin jobs that take up your time can be completed from my home


With over 20 years career history in large corporate companies, SMEs, Start ups and Start up incubators, if I don’t know how or where I will know someone who does.


A personal assistant like Cortana for windows
My personal favourite in the list (and most heard with the new Windows 10 advert out). Cortana is only as good as the information you give to her (Windows), I will be 10 steps ahead of you reminding you before you have even thought about asking Cortana to remind you!


Personal shopper
What woman does not like shopping! Of course I can do this.


Social media guru – Do you update twitter for companies?
Yes I do update twitter but there is far more to it than that. Social media is a massive growth tool for a company. Employing a VA to keep it updated and effective is key.


Event organiser
What do you need organising? Your next meeting, your launch party, a networking event even your childrens’ Birthday party – Yes I can do all of those.


Travel planner
Personal or business, it makes no difference to me I will get you there


Yes, All I need is a title from you


Give support with non-income generating tasks
Most certainly, if that frees up your time to work on more income generation projects I am happy to help


CRM Support
Yes with some great systems online or creating your own system


Webpage updater
Let me know your changes and I will add them in


HR consultant
The most difficult part of any business is people management. I can write handbooks, set templates up, draft letters, monitor payroll changes etc.


Secret Wife
Sure hand me the things administrative things you told your wife you had completed months ago and I will discreetly complete them for you.


So if you want a person who can do all of the above and more you really need to consider using Bell for Assistance as your VA team, why not give me a bell? (see what I did there!)


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Virtual Assistant Sadie Bell