Running a business is not a leisurely walk in the park where you can take your time and watch the day pass you by. Entrepreneurs and business managers know there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish each and every task. This is the reality but there’s a way around this. You may be reading this because you’ve already hired a virtual assistant, or contemplating hiring one.
Virtual assistants handle most administrative tasks and help you unclog your workday. However, having the right tools is just as important as finding a suitable VA to get the job done. Technology allows you to invest in cost-efficient software to get the best out of your time and investment. With the right tools, software, and apps, your VA can easily do these for you:
- Efficiently assist in accomplishing tasks
- Automate repetitive workload
- Track and organize communication
- Monitor productivity
There is a minefield of software out there that can perform most of the tricks of your trade but we’ve made it easier for you to sift through by categorizing them according to your needs.
One of the most essential aspects of running a successful business is communication. While emails have been around for the longest time and have provided faster means of relaying messages, many tend to get lost or buried. The truth of the matter is, an efficient virtual assistant rarely relies on emails because it is considered to be a productivity drain. Quick and succinct responses means getting things done on short notice.
Effective communication is an integral function of being a virtual assistant. Slack easily deals with this, being one of the best instant messaging platforms for remote or virtual teams. It allows real-time communication between clients and virtual assistants, or between CEOs, managers, and their remote teams. Different document and image files can be shared along with audio and video recordings which are conveniently cloud stored.
Expect smooth relays of project directives as everyone gets to chat with each other individually or conduct team huddles. Meetings also allow for screen sharing if there is a need to present. At the same time, specific channels may be set up to conveniently distinguish projects and make them accessible only to the concerned staff.
Also known as G-Suite, this collection of various software tools enables virtual assistants to get multiple things done in one comprehensive package.
- Google Mail is a great marketing tool for sending out mass emails and automatically filters spam messages. Your virtual assistant can easily label incoming emails to ensure every message is read and prioritize them as they come.
- Google Docs lets you create, edit and format text documents
- Google Sheets is awesome at data entry and budgeting.
- Google Slides provides you with all your presentation needs.
- Google Calendar sorts out your schedule and helps you stay on track with projects.
- Google Meet is a video conferencing tool similar to most video chat programs where you can schedule or launch instant virtual meetings and simultaneously share screens and files.
Google Drive is one of the cheapest cloud storage you can use for both personal and work files.
Similarly, Zoom is also a video conferencing solution that took the internet by storm during the coronavirus pandemic. It has the capability to host events, video webinars, and conference rooms with a large capacity to accommodate multiple users all on HD video and audio. The platform is equipped with privacy and security features that provide passcodes and user authentication so you are able to discuss sensitive information within a chosen group.
Effective email marketing relies on the ability of a virtual assistant to manage the client’s audiences and customers. When new products and services are launched, this email platform can seamlessly blast information to targeted audiences and customers via newsletters or marketing ad campaigns. Send segmented bulk emails and have the ability to analyze the performance of your campaigns.
ACCOUNTING & BOOKKEEPING TOOLS
No business should be without software that can accommodate data entry as well as accounting and bookkeeping solutions. Whether you’re running a small or mid-sized company, you need an efficient program that you or your virtual assistant can use to access and understand data and financial entries.
This is the most popular accounting software used by startups. Track expenses, create invoices or detailed expense reports that can be synced with an existing bank account. Any information that is stored is directed to a cloud and encrypted storage that only authorized users can access. Your VA can also download these reports and present them as needed.
Also a cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping tool, this application also allows you to create invoices and track expenses. Syncing it to your bank account lets you conveniently accept payments from customers as well. Moreover, you have the option to send automated reminders to customers to make payments should they be delayed. Your VA no longer has to spend unnecessary time sending email payment reminders to your customers.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS
If you’re looking for a way to manage several projects simultaneously and effortlessly, you need to adopt new digital tools. Up your game by implementing these tools as they provide you with versatile management tricks with their power-packed features that eliminate time-consuming tasks involved in tracking projects.
This powerful project management tool is a complete Work OS that is designed to help VAs and remote teams organize and complete tasks efficiently. Shape your workflow the way you want it to and streamline projects for maximum productivity. The built-in Dashboards let you analyze and create summaries across multiple projects. Watch your projects progress with its widgets that track budgets and time workloads.
Anyone with a social media presence who wants to grow their audience can benefit from Hootsuite. This tool enables you to monitor and navigate across different social media platforms from one place. Create, format, edit and schedule content posting for each of your social media accounts while checking on audience and page insights.
GRAPHICS AND PRESENTATION DESIGN TOOLS
Canva is one of the most popular and basic tools for graphic design projects that even beginners can use with ease. Not everyone has an eye for color and aesthetics, but Canva is a go-to app for everything you need to push out ads, social media banners, brochures, and deck presentations. Its free version lets you play around with its featured templates, images, elements and color swatches that still look professionally made.
Artistically inclined VAs with experience in using illustration tools can make the most out of this basic software. It is free but has a feature-rich toolset that can help enhance your graphic design needs. It is easy to use but for beginners, it could be a cost-efficient tool to use while learning the ropes before purchasing more complicated graphics design and illustration software.
Key Take Aways
Virtual Assistance is a growing business need in many industries today. Hence, we expect virtual assistants to acquire numerous skills to remain competitive and relevant for companies to hire them. These basic tools we have listed, combined with the core skill set of a reliable virtual assistant can definitely boost your business toward a productive path. EVS virtual assistants are curated and screened to ensure they have basic knowledge and skills of these essential tools. We only pair the best outsourced VAs with our valued clients. Find out more about our virtual staffing solutions. Connect with us today!