How a Virtual Executive Assistant Can Transform Your Small Business

How a Virtual Executive Assistant Can Transform Your Small Business

Do you and your small business need to be rescued from a long list of ever-growing administrative tasks?  Managing your calendar, updating your social media, helping with client relations, invoice creation and invoice chasing, plus travel booking – it all takes SO.  MUCH. TIME!

A Virtual Assistant can come to your rescue.  Virtual Assistants are not superheroes…but they are darn close to it!

There are so many advantages to virtual assistant services for small businesses, all of which add up to less stress for you and more time to attend to growing your business. Just picture this:

1. A Virtual Assistant can be there when you aren’t.

If you were to hire help to work with you onsite, your new assistant would likely be from the same city and definitely the same time zone. 

Why not extend your ‘open hours’ and your ‘office locations’ by hiring a Virtual Assistant from another part of the country…another time zone?  By having a live body attend to your business before you start your day or after you call it quitting time, your business can be attended to for a longer time by a REAL person.  So great for customer relations!  And happy customers translate to business stability and growth for your small business.

2. A Virtual Assistant can fill in the gaps.

You are a fantastically talented professional (c’mon…brag a bit!), but you don’t know how to do it all, nor do you want to. 

By hiring a Virtual Assistant for small business owners, you can complement your skills by hiring an Assistant who has the skills to round out your business and help you take it to the next level. From recommending improvements to streamline your business processes, to creating forms and templates, to basic bookkeeping…a Virtual Executive Assistant can offer a set of complementary skills – or shall we say the crackers to your cheese?

3. A Virtual Assistant can be the second brain in your brainstorming.

As the old adage says, “Two heads are better than one.”  There is wisdom in that statement!  As a small business owner, you are used to working on your own. 

But wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to hash things over with every once in a while?  Virtual Assistants for small business owners have experience in being a sounding board and can offer the wisdom of their experiences or a fresh perspective on your ideas and business plans.

4. A Virtual Assistant is cost-efficient.

Maybe you have thought about hiring an Assistant but can’t justify the cost of adding another position to your company’s payroll.

Source deductions, benefits, and vacation pay are all costs you just can’t justify at this stage in the business life cycle.  Enter Virtual Assistant services for small businesses.  The savings are two-fold.  First, by hiring Virtual Assistant services for small businesses, you pay an hourly rate and are not obliged to pay a cent more. At VEA we cover the rest by contracting our Virtual Executive Assistants to you.

And second, you pay for only the time you need, varying from month to month as your business needs ebb and flow.  This gives you the flexibility to have help when you need it, without worrying about costly downtime or wage-related expenses.

Flowers

Conclusion

So…do you think it’s time for you to virtually go ‘plus one’ up?  By hiring virtual assistant services for small businesses, you will expand your open-for-business hours and get help to tackle your daily administrative needs. 

You will add an on-call administrative professional with skills that complement your own, and who can lend an ear to bounce off new business ideas and strategies. All of this, without formally committing another person to your payroll.  It’s the best of both worlds. 

Consider hiring a Virtual Assistant for your small businesses. After taking the time to train your Virtual Assistant you can start to take moments to sit back and enjoy life without worrying about emails, phone calls and scheduling.

 

Derek Burbidge
Manager of Sales and Marketing

Why Your Business Needs a Virtual Executive Assistant

Why Your Business Needs a Virtual Executive Assistant

Before we even get into this, you might be asking yourself, what exactly is a Virtual Executive Assistant? The answer is simple! They are highly valuable and experienced team members that can access the necessary tools and data that a traditional in-office Executive Assistant does. Only remotely.

Before you argue that you need someone in-house to be able to truly get the job done, let me give you some insight into why your business needs a Virtual Executive Assistant.

A cup and a laptop on a table.

1. Your day is filled with monotonous tasks leaving you no room to focus on growth.

Your time is valuable. You are the head of your company. The visionary. The creator. Therefore, you need time to be in your Zone of Genius. To be able to grow your business to new heights. To be able to focus on the bigger picture, not the day-to-day tasks.

Common administrative tasks such as, booking meetings, answering emails, or even making travel arrangements, can be time-consuming, daunting, and ruin your creative flow. You don’t need to use up your energy with these tasks, a Virtual Executive Assistant can handle all of these with ease.

2. You know you need help but not enough for a full-time assistant.

Your business is growing but you don’t have a big enough workload to fill 8 hours of the day that a full-time assistant would require. You don’t want to pay someone to stare at a computer screen for 6 of the 8 hours in a typical workday and hiring a part-time employee is no easy task. It’s hard enough trying to find a full-time good fit these days. That pool gets even smaller when you are looking for a part-time person.

Most Virtual Executive Assistants work with multiple clients, so you get the expertise of a full-time employee that has worked with various executives for a variety of different organizations. But you only pay them for the time you need them.

3. You don’t have time to hire and train an employee.

Listing the job posting, sorting through thousands of unqualified resumes trying to find the diamond in the rough, interviewing multiple people only to have to do a second round and possibly lose your top candidate to another company because you didn’t have the time to offer them a position before they got scooped up by someone else. Sounds like a long, inefficient, and arduous process, doesn’t it?

VEA has a large team of Virtual Executive Assistants which means you don’t have to sort through a pile of resumes and take the time for monotonous interviews. We do it all for you. After our initial call we hand-match you to the best fit or let you interview between the top two we think will be a great fit for you and your business. No AI or “next up”, everything is done by our experienced Onboarding Concierge to make sure the fit is right for you.

VEA’s home base is in Calgary, Alberta, Canada but has contractors all over Canada to choose from. Virtual Executive Assistants in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver or surrounding areas from coast to coast.

Each of our Virtual Executive Assistants has years of experience already and if there is something they need help with? Well, they also come with a whole support system ready to help. VEA can provide training on certain software, assist with problem-solving, and even provide a backup EA if needed.

4. You’re a creator, not an organizer.

Let’s face it, we are all built differently. It has been proven that many of us only operate on either the right side or the left side of our brains most of the time. This means if you are a creator, a designer, or an entrepreneur, you more than likely are not the most organized individual. If you happen to be an individual that is both, congratulations! You are an anomaly! But still, your time could be better spent than doing administrative tasks.

However, if you are more like other right-brain entrepreneurs, you may need some assistance with your organization and administrative tasks. Executive Assistants thrive on organization and structure. They are wired to take on the tasks that you may normally find a constant struggle. They love to help and make your life easier.

Conclusion

Bottom line: Virtual Executive Assistants can offer even more than most traditional EAs because having a whole team of support and resources constantly backing them up makes them an endless bucket of knowledge. Some that maybe even have a few organization tricks you never even thought to help streamline your processes helping eliminate time-wasting clerical errors.

Virtual EAs cost you nothing in equipment or office supplies. No need to pay for an office space for them and no need to provide traditional employee benefits because they come with their own. They are independent contractors that have already taken care of everything they need.

A clock with averlay text "Looking for more time to do what you love? Hire a Virtual EA."

So, is the question really, why your business needs a Virtual Executive Assistant or is it, how can you afford NOT to get a Virtual Executive Assistant?

If you are ready to join thousands of business owners that have already realized that Virtual Executive Assistants are a smart investment in your company’s future, give VEA a call today!

Derek Burbidge
Manager of Sales and Marketing

Finding a Virtual Executive Assistant in Canada: About VEA

Finding a Virtual Executive Assistant in Canada: About VEA

Girl attending a meeting on laptop

How awesome would it feel to take your to-do list from “overwhelming” to “complete” and keep it manageable forever? 

How relieved would you feel in knowing that the things that keep you up at night are now being addressed and managed?

Manage Your Tasks More Effectively

VEA is a virtual executive assistant (EA) and bookkeeping company. We help business owners and executives free up their time so they can focus on what matters most – working on (not in) their companies!

You probably have a number of administrative tasks that are taking up too much of your time. VEA offers a solution that will help you focus on the most impactful tasks to grow your business while delegating other jobs to a trusted partner.

Administrative Tasks

In many cases, checking email, booking travel, managing expenses, and scheduling appointments is not the best use of your time. We call these items administrative tasks, and offloading work to an executive assistant is a great step toward focusing solely on the biggest projects that help scale your business. 

When deciding what to hand off first to an EA, a good rule of thumb is to pass along the tasks that drain your energy, you don’t enjoy, and drain your time. 

For example, many of our clients have told us that they spend hours a day sifting through endless emails, many of which do not even provide valuable information. A skilled EA can help you achieve Inbox Zero, which is the idea that you spend less and less mental energy on managing your emails as your EA oversees that task for you. Can you imagine waking up one morning with no emails in your inbox? Miracles can happen.

What Tasks Can My Virtual EA Perform?

All of VEA’s EAs are highly experienced and possess a broad professional skill set. Here are a few of the top ways you can work with an EA to lighten your daily workload and refocus on the things that generate growth.

  • Email Management: Productivity and mental well-being improve when your inbox isn’t cluttered with hundreds of unread and un-categorized emails. Your EA will not only help you manage incoming emails but also establish filing protocols that will ensure you can stay on top of emails well into the future. Inbox Zero is possible with the right executive support. 
  • Document Processes: Make employee and customer onboarding a more successful and rewarding experience when you can easily share your tried and true business processes with stakeholders. Your EA can draw up detailed descriptions of how to execute processes and outline the exact steps needed to complete a task from start to finish.
  • Calendar Management: Ensure important meetings and deadlines don’t fall through the cracks. Your EA will manage appointment setting, reminders, and even help you get ready for appointments so you are always prepared and in control of your workday.
  • Travel Booking: Have you tried to change or cancel your travel arrangements in recent years? An experienced EA can effortlessly navigate the world of flights, hotel reservations, and rental car bookings. They also know all the tricks for transferring vouchers, using your points cards, altering itineraries – so you can be on your way without losing years of your life to on-hold music in meantime.
  • Vendor Management: If you run a business, or even head up a department within a larger organization, chances are you contract out for various vendor services on a regular basis. Your EA can communicate with vendors, track and place orders, and stay on top of contracts. There is a lot to do, and nobody should be expected to manage it all on their own.
  • Research: Similar to vendor management, an EA not only keeps tabs on all current vendors, but they can also help research and vet potential vendors, suppliers, product research options, software, etc. If you give your EA the parameters, they will be happy to find relevant options.
  • Data Entry: It may feel tedious to some, but accurate data entry is essential to knowing your customers and building valuable relationships. A good EA has an eagle-eye for precision, and fast typing fingers don’t hurt either, so your databases are always up-to-date and working for you.
  • Appointment Setting: How often do you set a meeting, only to have someone change or cancel it? Or, perhaps your unpredictable schedule oftentimes leads to scheduling gymnastics in order to accommodate you and the team? Rather than risk missing meetings or feeling frustrated over the amount of time you spend on rescheduling, let your EA take over this menial, yet critical, task, so you can be sure you are showing up to the right things at the right time, and not stuck in renegotiating times and schedules if something changes on the fly.
  • Transcribing: Yes, there are a host of tools and apps these days to turn audio into text. However, no technology is foolproof, and transcribed audio still requires some heavy editing in order to make it understandable. No surprise here that a good EA is happy to take on this transcribing challenge. Also, not all conversations can be perfectly recorded by a speaker. An EA can also transcribe what is said during key meetings or presentations so you have a long-lasting record of what was discussed, and when.

When is it Time to Hire an EA?

How do you know if you are ready to hire an executive assistant? Ask yourself – what is one hour of my time worth? Calculate your current hourly rate by dividing your salary by 48 weeks (assuming you take vacation) by 40 hours/week.

$125,000 / 48 weeks / 40 hour = $65 hourly rate

Or, calculate your intended future salary by dividing your desired salary by 48 weeks by 40 hours/week

$250,000 / 48 weeks / 40 hour = $130 hourly rate

Once you have learned your business and you become profitable, start handing off tasks that drain your time and energy so you can focus on the highest-value jobs. If you are taking out a business loan or bringing on a VC, you can start to build your team and outsource faster.

Free up Your Time and Grow Your Business

VEA offers a range of executive services to support busy business owners. We find passionate, creative, experienced, and dedicated talent in many of the departments necessary to run a successful company. 

In addition, our staff is 100% North-American based. Our specialty is long-term partnerships that come at a fraction of the cost of traditional, in-house employees. There is only a 20-hour minimum requirement per month for our EA services and no minimum requirement for bookkeeping and fractional controller services. And, we’ll never ask you to sign a long-term contract. Set up is quick and easy, and your EA will become a vital part of your team in a short time frame. 

As a business owner/executive, you should be spending your time on the things that only you can do – the tasks that provide true ROI to your company.

In a lot of cases, that isn’t checking your email, booking travel, managing expenses or booking appointments. This is where a virtual executive assistant comes in.

We have passionate, creative, experienced and dedicated talent in many of the departments necessary to run a successful company. In addition, our staff are 100% Canadian. Our specialty is long term partnerships that come at a fraction of the cost of traditional, in-house employees. VEA has low minimums of 5 hours a week and only requires 30 days cancellation. You pay only for the time that your virtual executive assistant is actually working on your tasks. Set-up is quick and easy and your virtual executive assistant will become a vital part of your team in a short time frame.

Contact us to learn more! Visit our EA services page to see some of the ways we can help you & see our blog post on how VEA can help you with our Virtual Bookkeeping services.

Lanna Thompson
President, VEA