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PowerPoint Design Services ~ From Collaboration to Completion

“Good design is good business” Thomas Watson, Jr

How we present ourselves is essential to our business success.

Most businesses will utilise presentations for promotion, training, motivation or pitching an idea or product – and a lot can ride on its effectiveness.

Creating a visually compelling presentation and showcasing our ideas via design can be challenging – and time-consuming.

Do you need an impressive presentation but don’t have the time to design or create it?

Perhaps you would like to create some visually rich content, well-crafted images or customised charts or graphs but you’re not sure how to do it?

Or maybe your presentation needs the professional touch, but you haven’t the motivation to do it yourself?

Well, help is at hand.

I love PowerPoint and have been creating presentations for longer than I care to admit.

I’ve worked with large corporations and small business owners creating presentations for marketing, sales and promotion as well as re-designing presentations and providing images and slides for tutorials and instructional videos.

With its versatility and functionality, I’ve also created Social Media flyers for clients with PowerPoint, incorporating video and music for optimal interaction.

In conjunction with PowerPoint, I also use CorelDRAW to create customised graphics and icons.

I successfully work as a remote freelancer with clients all over the UK.

So whether you need to update your current slides or build a presentation from scratch, contact me to discuss how I can help you convey your ideas more creatively.

Please visit my newly created ‘portfolio’ page which showcases some of my work in both PowerPoint & Word.

https://p3va.co.uk/powerpoint-presentation-designer-ms-word-formatter/

The Advantages of Having a Virtual Assistant

The Advantages of Having a Virtual Assistant

“Are we limiting our success by not mastering the art of delegation? …. it’s simply a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” – Oprah Winfrey

Running a successful business is hard work. Business management requires a lot of commitment. Day to day routine tasks can take up so much time. Working harder isn’t necessarily working smarter. Every business owner will at some stage ask themselves whether time-consuming admin tasks are a valuable use of their time, and consider delegating.

However, advertising, interviewing and hiring PA support is not the only option.

Many business owners are now collaborating with Virtual Assistants as they offer time-saving, cost-effective solutions to successful business management.

“Nothing in business is as valuable as time” ..… and hiring a Virtual Assistant will help you better manage your time – providing more productive admin solutions to help your business run smoothly.

The Advantages of Hiring VA Services

You don’t need an office to accommodate a Virtual Assistant. VA’s have their own resources, so you don’t have to provide equipment or a workspace.

You only pay for the hours they work, and they will manage their time, and effectively your time, wisely.

A good VA has a vested interested in the success of your business. It’s essential to their success & reputation.

A good VA will collaborate with you to achieve your business goals and objectives giving you more time to focus on core business procedures.

A good VA will offer flexibility and can work to your schedule and provide help when you need it.

A good VA is an experienced, independent contractor. You don’t pay for holidays, sickness, training, benefits or NI.

A Virtual Assistant can become a great business partner – and contribute to a healthier work/life balance. Running a business needn’t be stressful and with more time to focus on other core areas of business you’ll find work more of a pleasure and less of a chore.

If your goal is to establish a successful business, then delegation is key.

Consider how valuable your time is…does it make sense to continue managing without help? You’ll be surprised by how much an extra pair of hands can help your business thrive.

If you’re interested in outsourcing your admin tasks to a trustworthy & reliable Virtual Assistant, please contact me for a free consultation.

Call: 07817 190 714, or email: peggy@p3va.co.uk

Transcription Services – An Audio Revival

Transcription Services – An Audio Revival

When it comes to audio typing, or transcription services as it is now more commonly referred to, I am so grateful to the advances in technology.

I remember being an audio typing whilst working for a bank in London and the manager used a Sony Dictaphone! He provided recordings of all letters & meetings that needed typing. The sound quality was dreadful, so a lot of my work involved guesswork and assumption. I managed to work my way up from VDU operator to secretary, so guesswork and assumption paid off!

Thankfully, digital dictation has improved and as a ‘school secretary’, most recordings were sent via email. Pause has gone from a clunky stop/start to the click of a mouse, and volume control equates to more clarity than crackling background noise.

Technology has now advanced so far that recording meetings, interviews and even conversations and thought processes are easier than ever. Smartphones are now equipped with apps that will record and transcribe – however, we do not speak the way we write!

Transcription which aims to capture what was said as opposed to transcribing exactly what was said is called Intelligent Verbatim Transcription. The ‘filler’ words – the ‘um’s, ‘ah’s and ‘you know’s’ are removed to provide a more coherent transcription.

The digital era has also brought what is now an ever-present medium – video. From webinars to tutorials and social media campaigns to ‘vlogging’… Businesses and consumers are making, viewing and sharing an ever-increasing number of videos.

And transcription has taken off as a result, re-vamping and re-defining an age-old office service.

Many small businesses and entrepreneurs are now employing Virtual Assistants to undertake transcription of video recordings to provide clients and consumers with additional company literature, presentations and newsletters. Transcription services are now more frequently being used in the production of manuscripts for documents, essays and books.

Do you have audio files of meetings, interviews or conferences which would be great formatted into a document? Or have you thought about transcribing your podcasts or UTube videos into presentations?

If you’re interested in outsourcing your transcription tasks, please call me for a free consultation: 07817 190 714 or email me: peggy@p3va.co.uk

VA Document Formatting Services – From Delegation to Completion

VA Document Formatting Services – From Delegation to Completion

Creating professional documentation can be a timely process.

Whether it’s an extensive report on strategic planning or competitor analysis or a lengthy business plan or project proposal – it’s often a long way from initial idea to finished product.

Sometimes it’s difficult juggling the various stages of document creation.

A lot of time and energy can get wasted or lost, and many business owners now rely on VA services to complete formatting tasks.

A Virtual Assistant can:

Assist during the initial stages, organising as well as typing audio and handwritten notes from meetings;

Create draft document templates;

Research information and data;

Source and create high-quality images, graphs, tables, charts and infographics.

A Virtual Assistant will design a word document with;

A linked Table of Contents for easy navigation;

Generate lists for Figures and Tables;

Create/source graphics, images etc., for Figures & Tables

Format text styles;

Create headings & subheadings;

Customise chapters and sectioned pages;

Create stylised text boxes;

Customise layouts with headers, footers and page numbering with brand/logo inserts.

With over 20 years experience & great attention to detail, I provide polished & professional documentation ~ I also enjoy what I do too!

If you’re interested in delegating your formatting tasks to a trustworthy & reliable Virtual Assistant, please contact me for a free consultation.

Call: 07817 190 714, or email: peggy@p3va.co.uk

Project Management – The Nature of Great Planning

Project Management – The Nature of Great Planning

You often find you have more tasks to do than time to do them. Many tasks are pulling you away from what you really need to be working on. You’ve compiled a to-do list but just can’t figure out how to prioritise to make things happen.

You know the next step is to hire support.

Many small businesses are now working with Virtual Assistants to establish their goals and do what needs to be done.

Project Management, or the science of getting things done, is a valuable process for businesses. Developing procedures is an important part of goal setting and success.

But project management is no longer a corporate term for big business strategy.

Current research shows that the growth of SME’s, entrepreneurs and sole traders is increasing rapidly. The workplace is downsizing yet workloads are increasing alongside the introduction of new technology. Business strategy & project management – its effectiveness and efficiency –  is no longer about size – it’s about working smart.

Think for a moment about the projects in your business and the tasks on your to-do list. Continually relegating tasks or failure to complete tasks on time are often fundamental shortcomings in planning. Regardless of the size of the project at hand, often applying these 5 principles can provide a more effective process and more successful outcome.

Initiation

Have a clear idea of what needs to be done. Prepare a preliminary breakdown of objectives and intended outcomes.

Planning

The planning stage determines the life cycle of what needs to be done. Outline the work to be performed and determine what resources are needed, the cost, scope and duration. This phase is vital: a successful outcome requires preparation and processes.

Execution

This is when the actual work is done – where the plans are actioned, tasks are undertaken, forecasts are determined, and timelines are utilised and monitored.  This stage is the longest, but it will reap the benefits of good preparation, planning and development from the previous stage.

Monitoring & Control

This phase involves reviewing the performance of the tasks. Identifying any issues or variances from the plan and monitoring to see if there are any adjustments or changes needed to determine a successful outcome.

Close & Follow-up

At this phase, all tasks are completed and finalised. It is also an opportunity to assess and review the processes.  It’s a chance to discuss any observations and evaluate if any changes could be implemented to benefit any future projects/tasks.

Once you’ve developed a process for completion you can better establish what you need to do and what can be outsourced. Delegation is key. Having an extra pair of hands on deck will inevitably provide a more successful outcome.

A good Virtual Assistant will be focused on assisting you with implementation, execution, monitoring & development procedures to ensure successful completion.

“Collaboration Equals Innovation” –  Michael Dell

What is a Virtual Assistant & why do I need one?

What is a Virtual Assistant & why do I need one?

Current research shows that the growth of SME’s, entrepreneurs and sole traders is increasing rapidly and many UK’s corporations are downsizing in favour of flexible working. As more companies are embracing remote working, virtual assistance is becoming a more viable option.

A Virtual Assistant is, essentially, a freelance PA and with this current trend, advertising, interviewing and recruiting for an assistant is no longer the only option when hiring for professional business support.

A Virtual Assistant offers flexibility and can provide assistance when required. VA’s are paid for the hours they work only and don’t require holiday or sickness pay or training, benefits or NI. They have their own resources, so their clients don’t have to provide equipment or a workspace.

A good VA is an independent contractor, a business person, who can be trusted to provide professional business support services.

As most would do their research before hiring a contractor for home improvements, or a professional to handle legal affairs, the same should be applied when hiring for business support.

A VA can become a great business partner, however, due diligence is required. It’s important to do your homework and to know what to look for.

Qualities of a Good Virtual Assistant

Responsiveness – acknowledging/responding to emails promptly.

Professionalism – always courteous & approachable – instilling confidence & demonstrating competence.

Reliability – dependable & consistent in delivering quality services with agreed deadlines.

Attention to detail – thorough & accurate when accomplishing tasks.

Good communication skills – confident & articulate with excellent written & verbal communication skills.

Good time management skills – focused, organised & motivated multi-tasker.

Flexible/adaptable – an experienced organiser that doesn’t require micro-managing.

Compatibility and the right skill set are fundamental; however, all good VA should also demonstrate the above qualities.

Virtual Assistant skills vary, and it isn’t unusual to hire a number of VA’s for a variety of tasks. A good VA will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the support you require.

When is it time to hire a Virtual Assistant?

If you’re experiencing one or more of the following, now is the time to hire a VA:

  • You have a backlog of admin tasks & you don’t know how to prioritise them & avoid necessary tasks as a result.
  • You are having trouble keeping track of client details, meetings & deadlines.
  • You have tasks that need doing but you don’t have the skill-set to undertake them.
  • You spend a lot of your time on tasks which can be delegated. Time which would be better allocated to business development & growth.
  • More often than not you work a full week & weekends.

Essentially, lack of time is why you need to delegate to a Virtual Assistant. Time is infinitely more valuable than money… so spend it wisely.

Delegation is key.

“Focus most of your time on your core strengths and less time working in areas you suck at”

Yanik Silver

If you’re interested in delegating your admin tasks, please call me for a free consultation: 07817 190 714 or email me: peggy@p3va.co.uk

10 Tips for Effective Time Management

10 Tips for Effective Time Management

Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.

– Peter F. Drucker

Having spent most of my working life as an EA/PA, I have witnessed first-hand how time management is essential to business growth and success. The most accomplished of all those I have worked for were those with strong time management skills.
Being constructive with your time means constantly reviewing and improving your working practices. To assume that time management is purely behavioural and just merely working through the tasks on your to-do list, is a mistake made by many who struggle with time management.
Our cognitive techniques, how we mentally prepare and approach time management, are essential to the development of productive time management skills.

1. Stay ahead – get an early start.

The time you schedule to schedule your time is crucial. Creating a plan in the morning, or the night before gives you an overview of how your day will progress and you’re better equipped for a more productive day.

2. Know your goals, create a plan daily & prioritise wisely.

Be realistic about what’s achievable when establishing your goals. You can’t do everything at once so prioritise and focus on the task at hand. Checking tasks off your list will provide a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep going.

3. Plan ahead & make preparations ~ target to be early.

Preparation is a prerequisite to planning. You wouldn’t plan a meal without ingredients! Preparation is needed to do the work. Doing your homework in advance ensures you’re able to remedy any shortfalls and are better prepared for the unexpected. Habitually investing time in preparation reduces stress and increases confidence.

4. Eliminate distractions.

Create a working environment that’s free of external distractions and is conducive to concentration. Have set times during the day to answer calls and emails.

5. Apply complete focus to one task at a time ~ deliberating over the totality of your to-do list is counterproductive.

A to-do list can seem overwhelming, so focus on one key task at a time. Try dedicating a set amount of time to each task and disconnecting from all distractions (phone, email, social media).

Breaking each task into sections can also make the work less daunting and more achievable.

6. Don’t trifle over insignificant detail ~ maintain a positive mindset.

Don’t waste time and energy believing everything will get done in exactly the way you want. It’s easy to lose focus over minor details. When you find yourself getting stressed over a task, give yourself a break to re-evaluate and assess a different and essentially more productive way of managing the task.

7. Turn key tasks into habits.

Ultimately, our habits become a way of life. If we choose to follow a routine, we are less likely to waste time getting started. It requires a lot of perseverance, effort and self-discipline but the results are undoubtedly more rewarding.

8. Remember, there’s no room for success in procrastination.

It’s impossible to procrastinate your way to success! Success is in the ‘doing’. It has been said that both fear and desire can motivate human behaviour. The desire for the rewards when accomplishing tasks for example or the fear of the consequences if tasks remain incomplete and on-going.

It’s down to us to determine what motivates us to move from a to z in order to be more constructive with our time and this too requires self-discipline and determination.

9. Look after yourself & leave a buffer-time between task.

There’s no denying that plenty of sleep, exercise and eating well are essential and necessary for a better quality of life both personally and professionally. During the working day, it is also necessary to take ‘time out’ as there’s often a fine line between staying focussed and taking things too seriously. A buffer time gives you an opportunity to step back and review what you’re undertaking.

10. Establish whether undertaking admin tasks are a valuable use of your time – could they be completed more efficiently if outsourced? 

Assessing what’s a good use of your time is necessary when establishing productive time management skills. Spending a lot of time on tasks which are time-consuming and don’t come naturally and you don’t enjoy isn’t constructive. As they say, you can do anything, but not everything!

There are many repetitive and time-consuming tasks involved in running a business and these tasks can become overwhelming. Delegation is key.

“Spend the bulk of your time in your Superpower – the things you love to do and excel at – and delegate the rest”

The Evolution of LinkedIn

The Evolution of LinkedIn

Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change.

If everybody followed the rules, nothing would ever change. Without change, there would be no progress.

– Richard Branson

I feel it necessary to begin by stating this isn’t an article on the changes in LinkedIn’s functionality and features. That’s a whole other article and not my strong suit at all!

And I’m not trying to write something in the hope that it will go viral and I’ll get loads of likes, views or generate more connection requests (though a few thumbs up would be gratefully received!).

My reason is to share the journey I have recently been on and how LinkedIn has been an important part of that journey. Why? Because having been encouraged, motivated and inspired by so many on LinkedIn, I just might help someone myself! (It’s all about the ‘share’).

As a freelancer/small business owner (and dream-chaser!), I’ve learnt over the past year how business growth goes hand in hand with personal growth.

As I started setting up my business and deciding which ways to best promote and market my services, all avenues led to the same destination – social media.

The choices still seem endless and the various apps and how-to’s – it’s enough to drive a person back onto the 9-5 treadmill!!

It’s true, many travel into the world of social media and find a platform they’re comfortable with and stay there. Some have more skills, knowledge and experience and can happily jump between the various platforms. But from what I’ve read, everyone has a preferred platform and LinkedIn’s mine.

Initially, I started using LinkedIn years ago as a sort of business directory and later as a job site.

But LinkedIn has changed recently. Some don’t like the changes and admittedly, change can often be frustrating. I have read many posts that say it is becoming more like Facebook and the reoccurring posts stating, “LinkedIn is not a dating site” and the frequent “Millennials are ruining LinkedIn!”.

What’s happening is LinkedIn is evolving and stepping up its game. Conversations and engagement have become progressively more expressive and meaningful and it’s evitable you’ll get those that manipulate the evolution process.

It would seem B2B & B2C is becoming a thing of the past being replaced with H2H. And it’s true, the Human2Human analogy is becoming increasingly popular as more people utilise hashtags such as #genuine, #authentic and of course #human.

It’s essential that we are able to socialise in both a professional and human manner and engage more. And this is what LinkedIn is great at providing. I love that I have a platform where I’m able to express my thoughts and experiences as I am doing now.

LinkedIn is great for networking not just for business but to connect with like-minded people across various industries. I have met some great people on LinkedIn and the opportunities for personal as well as business growth are endless. It is possible to establish mutually beneficial, sincere and genuine connections here and that’s why I appreciate the active LinkedIn community.

Ultimately, it’s all about relationship building and remote working can be quite isolating. Social media can also generate feelings of loneliness and although I’ve been stung a few times, I’ve made some great connections – and that’s my focus.

I believe you reap what you sow and it’s vital to maintain a positive attitude… and that karma will get those that exploit it for their selfish ill-gotten gains.

Demystifying VA Mythology

Demystifying VA Mythology

There are many misconceptions surrounding Virtual Assistance – some understandable, others laughable and many alarming.

Before I became a VA, I had no idea what a VA was. It was by chance that I came across the term when I attended an interview for an EA position (which I knew I was over-qualified for but was drawn to the term ‘home-based’ in the job description – a 4-hour daily commute to London had become more than soul-destroying).

I began extensive research to see if this was a viable option for me – how could I develop the skills, experience and knowledge I’d gain to become a VA. When I realised I could set up my own business and work for myself, I was determined to may it happen.

What was, and still is, most encouraging and reassuring is the support from the VA community –  the camaraderie – most VA’s believe it is essential we inspire and motivate one another. As one great VA once said, “Collaboration not competition  ❤️  When one of us wins we all do”.

From the many misconceptions regarding Virtual Assistance, is born the greatest obstacle most VA’s face – the notion that it won’t work and that they can’t be successful business owners.

A major change in perspective is crucial as these common prejudices are standing in the way of VA development & growth.

Here are just some of the misconceptions we need to expose and expel.

Myth #1

VA is a stop-gap until a ‘proper job’ is found.

I’m sure many VA’s, like myself at the beginning of their VA journey were told “that’s a great idea until you get a proper job”.

The current economic climate means finding work is a job in itself and finding meaningful employment is difficult and job security isn’t a guarantee.

But being a VA isn’t something you can do in the interim. Most VA’s opt to work independently as it gives them more control over their future and their career and they value the autonomy their VA profession gives them – it’s their dream job and as such, most VA’s are actual full-time business owners, dispelling the myth behind just moonlighting whilst working full-time or until a proper job is found.

Good VA’s are invested in their profession and its development.

Myth #2

Virtual Assistance is an easy option – anyone can be a VA

I can feel the outrage of many VA’s as they read this one. Being a VA is hard work. You need a strong backbone, a thick skin and the presence of mind when finding and dealing with clients as well as managing and maintaining a sustainable business – it’s easy to break under the pressure. As rewarding as it is, being a good VA and running a successful business is no easy feat. Amongst other things, you need to consider building a client base and good reputation, financial management, marketing, training as well as initially working long working hours to create and promote your business.

Myth #3

VA’s are mums or students looking to make extra cash as it’s easy money.

No doubt there are VA’s who are mums and students – I applaud anyone who can cope with being a VA AND bringing up a family/studying. Indeed, there are VA’s who are doing it for a little extra cash. But a majority of VA’s are business owners – and for most being a VA is their only source of income and their livelihood is dependent on their business success – running a business puts a significant amount of pressure on a persons’ time and energy. It’s a balancing act when you factor in other commitments and most struggle as being a good VA means working long hours. Starting a new business also comes with considerable financial constraints.

Myth #4

VA’s are expensive

This misconception is due largely to the difference between independent and agency VA’s and the choice is down to the individual when it comes to deciding which option to take. Due Diligence is advisable.

However, good VA’s who are business owners have carefully considered everything when setting up their business, especially rates for services. A good VA has not only done their research but has a wealth of skills, experience and knowledge which can be utilised in providing a first-rate service and their charges reflect this. Their business is dependent primarily upon reputation, testimonials and referrals. Why would they price themselves out of the market? An hourly rate may seem high but you only pay for the time they spend on your business and a good VA will make your business their priority – in this business, more often than not, you get what you pay for.

Myth #5

VA’s are for temporary assignments only

Many still believe that VA’s provide only ad hoc/project work. It is often more practical and economical to hire VA services via monthly packages once long-term admin tasks, etc., have been established.

Many business managers/owners have developed long-standing working relationships with their VA’s and they’ve become more business partner than assistant. A good VA’s intention is that they instil trust and confidence in their clients to develop a better working relationship. This is fundamental to a wholesome long-standing business partnership which is what a good VA strives for.

Myth #6

VA’s are unreliable

Sadly, there are some VA’s who are unreliable. They not only let down their clients but VA’s in general. I have experienced first-hand the result of this inexcusable behaviour. I had to bear the brunt of a client’s bad experience and their apprehension and reassure them about the efficiency in hiring a VA. This lack of professionalism has a huge impact on the VA industry, especially on VA’s starting out. This can create a lot of insecurity and doubt.

Any VA worth their salt knows the importance of reliability. It’s essential to business growth and development. It shows professionalism, consistency and trustworthiness – key factors in running a successful business.

A good VA will want to retain their clients so creating a good and lasting impression is crucial to them.

Fortunately, there are so many good VA’s who also collaborate with other VA’s to ensure clients receive exceptional service and assistance. It’s important they remain steadfast and never negotiate with themselves. As with most situations, you can’t allow yourself to be tarred with the same brush. This is where a strong backbone is required – proving your competence against someone else’s irresponsibility.

Myth #7

VA’s work 24/7

Home-based employment brings with it the assumption that you never clock out. Not so. Many VA’s specify times of availability and response and do offer an out of hours service. Which means the usual Friday evening downtime for most is a Monday afternoon for a VA!

Good time management, planning and preparation are central to providing a professional and efficient service. Meeting deadlines and prompt and effective communication is vital.

A good VA is a great organiser and multi-tasker – they need to be when working with several clients. Any successful VA will confirm that time management is essential to remote working. There are long and often late hours, but finding the right work-life balance is key to business survival.

Myth #8

VA’s are employees

In a word, no. VA’s are independent contractors.

VA’s work with their clients and not for their clients and their working relationship is a business partnership. Virtual Assistants do offer the same services an EA or PA would but not as an employee. A VA will stipulate in their contract that they work independently providing a service. Understanding the difference between employee and VA is paramount not only to creating a successful business relationship but also in establishing employment status with the HRMC.

It is not unreasonable to expect a VA to be resourceful, proactive and flexible, however, a good VA is a skilled and capable professional and unlike an employee does not need micromanaging.

A good VA has a vested interest in their clients’ business success – they are proficient, resourceful and reliable, and many business owners will attest that their VA is their greatest business partner.

A good VA values the autonomy of freelance work and strives to provide quality work to ensure a better quality of life. It has been said that remote, flexible working can be more productive and that the future is freelance.

You can think of freelancing as volatile and risky, or as flexible and opportunity-rich. Doesn’t having multiple sources of income and multiple moneymaking skills sound less risky than putting all your eggs in one employer’s basket? Freelancing lets you shift gears when the world does.

Sara Horowitz

15 Tasks you should Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

15 Tasks you should Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

One of the pitfalls business owners experience is wearing too many hats.  They struggle to develop and grow due to task overload. Getting bogged down with the details of day-to-day responsibilities ends up being counterproductive.

Outsourcing tasks to a Virtual Assistant will reduce this pressure. This will provide more time to focus on business growth and development – achieving greater productivity and success.

An experienced VA will offer services that cover individual projects and can also provide services on a weekly or monthly basis. They’re well organised and can complete tasks faster and more efficiently.  The following should be outsourced to a Virtual Assistant;

1.   Managing email accounts

Email management is one the most time-consuming of tasks. Maintaining a ‘healthy’ inbox is, however, vital.  A good VA will make sure your email accounts are decluttered and well organised and ensure clients are contacted and/or updated in a timely manner.

2.    Email marketing

Marketing via email is essential in promoting your business. Whether it be company newsletters, offers or updates. Email marketing campaigns boost potential customer awareness and can increase your client base. Regular client contact will improve client relations and business reputation.

3.   Diary/calendar management

A good VA can take the hassle out of planning, organising & scheduling meetings and appointments. They’ll make all the arrangements – all you have to do is be there.

4.   Copy & audio typing

Having a background in EA/PA roles means many Virtual Assistants have a wealth of experience in audio and copy typing. They can transcribe meeting notes from audio/video files, letters & documents and weekly/monthly reports.

5.   Microsoft Excel

Excel is one of the most significant spreadsheet applications. Excel’s functionality can perform most business computing needs. A good VA can utilise Excel for production and management of reports, accounts, records and statistical information.

6.   Invoicing

A VA can prepare and send out invoices as well as providing processes for scheduling invoices and reminders for up to date customer account records.

7.   File management

Creating, labelling, sorting and maintaining accurate computer filing systems is something a good VA will excel at doing.

8.   PowerPoint

Most business slideshows & keynote presentations, brochures and business materials are created using PowerPoint. This is another time-consuming task which can be delegated to an experienced VA.

9.   Creating business document templates

Creating business templates for company headed letters, documents, invoices, presentations and reports are not only time-saving but also essential for consistency. A VA can create templates to ensure the correct business information is always provided accurately.

10.   Social media management

Ensuring up to date company information, news, recruitment ads and blogs etc., is essential to promoting and establishing a reputable business profile.

11.   Website management

A website is one of the most important business marketing assets.  Updating web content and website maintenance is necessary for promoting a professional business profile.

12.   Design

Hiring designers to create business materials can often be expensive. Designing logos, business cards, brochures, banners, icons, eBook covers etc., is a task many VA’s undertake. They can then incorporate it into company literature and publications.

13.   Internet research

The ‘information highway’ can be tricky to manoeuvre. An experienced VA can collate relevant information and data resources. This research can then be presented in many formats for a variety business purposes.

14.   Telephone support/call answering

Telephone calls can be as time-consuming and disruptive as emails. A simple call diversion can save valuable time. Your VA can be your representative. They can liaise with co-workers, contractors and clients. Supporting and managing your business requirements on your behalf.

15.   Event planning

Planning and managing an event requires great organisation. A good VA will excel at researching venues, catering services, suppliers etc. Providing costs/quotes, organising guest lists, drafting and mailing invites etc., to ensure the event is successful.

Finding the right VA to outsource tasks to will provide a better business structure. This, in turn, will also increase business productivity. Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant gives you more time to focus. You’ll then excel in your business and not become overwhelmed by it.

Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive.

Timothy Ferriss