Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Virtual Assistant? Not Just for Business Owners Anymore!

Sep30: Angela

During one of my past lives, I was an outside sales rep. Then I got promoted to Regional Sales Manager. Yep. That was me for about 8 years of my life. And it was CRAZY!! As the Ford commercial says, “My day wasn’t 9am to 5pm, it was 5am to 9pm.” That was a good day. It was non-stop. And I was exhausted. One of my coworkers and I had a motto: 4,000 miles a month, 4,000 minutes a month. I’m ashamed to say that I had successfully mastered the art of talking on a cell phone, taking notes with my right hand, drinking with my left hand, and driving with my knee. Yes, all at the same time. How else would I get it all done?

I had a huge client base, a huge quota, the largest territory in my region. As a Sales Manager, I had an even larger quota, 8 sales reps to manage, and multiple territories to visit. It didn’t get any easier. Instead, my workload grew.

At the time, much to my detriment, I had never heard of a Virtual Assistant. Because had I? I would have hired one in a minute flat. To do what, you ask?

  • Expense Reports. My expense reports, first and foremost. Man, I hate doing those things. Do you know anyone who does? I would have turned that over immediately.
  • Travel arrangements. That would have been next on my list. What a cool thing it would have been to call up my VA, ask them to make reservations for the following locations and nights. They would already have my frequent flyer info for discounts and my preferences.
  • Reporting. Who doesn’t have reporting? I would have turned those over right away as well.
  • Setting Appointments. When traveling for business, you want to maximize your time spent in any one location as much as possible. My VA would have made all of my appointments. And if I didn’t have enough to fill my time scheduled at that location, they could have found more leads for me to follow up on.
  • Follow up. How cool would it be to have a VA do all your follow up? Email things to your client. Research new info to share. Imagine giving your VA a call while leaving a client’s parking lot with a list of things you need them to email over for you. One less thing to do when you get home at 9:00 that night. Oh! And while they’re at it, how about having them update your contacts list for you? That deserves its own bullet point.
  • Update your contacts list. That would save me a lot of time and I wouldn’t have to panic when I lost the business card. I could have taken a picture of each side and emailed it over to them via my Smartphone. What a saver that would have been.
  • Event Planning. When I wanted to participate in a trade show, I could have had the VA coordinate it all for me. Getting the materials delivered, scheduling it, you name it.

Yeah. Had I known about the whole Virtual Assistant thing? I would have most definitely taken advantage of that. Just reading back over my bullet points and calculating the time I spent on these small, simple tasks alone, I’m thinking a VA would have saved me about 10 hours a week. Which is 40 hours a month. Wow! That’s a whole extra week added to my month. How many more customers could I have added to my client base then?

So often people think you need to own your own business to hire a Virtual Assistant. That is absolutely not the case. While CVA has many customers that do own their own businesses, they also take care of many clients that don’t. After working here for nearly two years, I have had plenty of opportunity to look back over my work history and see where a Virtual Assistant would have benefited me and made me an even more productive employee for my company. The scenario outlined above is a very real scenario and one that not only I lived, but that many of our customers live as well.

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do, start thinking about what someone else could easily do for you, or what you hate doing the most. What drains your energy so you’re not as effective at the revenue producing tasks that are essential to you being successful? I bet by the end of the week, you’ll have found a whole extra week for your month too.

photo credit: sakanami
Posted on October 20th, 2010 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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