With the economy still in a fragile state entering 2011, small businesses are being urged by the Government to lead the recovery effort. The problem with running your own business is the deluge of time-consuming administrative tasks that have to be completed as part of your daily routine.
Traditionally, at the point where administrative tasks begin to take up too much of the business owners time, it is then standard practice to hire some backroom staff to deal with the workload. The problem with taking on permanent staff is all of the costs involved, ranging from pensions to insurance premiums, holidays, sick pay and increased taxation.
Virtual Assistants are the ideal way for a small business to grow quickly without needing to invest a huge amount of money into infrastructure first. There are virtual assistants to cater for almost every type of specialisation. The best tactic for a small business owner is outsource all of the processes that take up too much time or that they struggle with.
A VA can handle all sorts of administrative tasks on your behalf, or complete specialist tasks such as an Internet marketing campaign. They carry out these duties and can run your entire back office from the comfort of their own home office, using fax, phone and email for communication. The only thing a VA can't really do for you is to make you a coffee in the morning!
A Virtual Assistant is also far cheaper than setting up an office overseas. They can operate as a kind of freelance secretary dealing with all the administrative issues in their home country. Common tasks that international Virtual Assistants are given include call answering and first level support in their native tongue.
Some areas of your business really should not be outsourced unless your company has grown so large that you can no longer handle them in-house. Anything involving direct customer interaction (in your own language) is usually best dealt with by you or a trained member of staff.
Disclosure: The author Stefan Töpfer is CEO of WinWeb.com - a leading cloud based small business infrastructure provider (small business software, e-Commerce solutions & business process outsourcing) - the views and opinions expressed are his and are based on over three decades of personal experience as a serial entrepreneur, #1 small business blogger, mentor and angel investor in the SME/SMB sector.