We know that the festive period is one of the busiest times of the year. Customers tend to always scramble to get things done right before Christmas and businesses will be trying to close up the year on a high, from starting last minute projects and assignments to needing urgent favours and help.
Here’s how a virtual assistant can help relieve your end of year stress and reduce your to-do list.
Email management and answering calls
You may be getting ready to go on holiday but that doesn’t mean that all your clients and suppliers are doing the same. While answering calls and replying to emails may seem like something you should be handling yourself, you’ll be surprised to learn how much time you’ll save by delegating this to a virtual assistant.
Emails and taking calls can be quite disruptive if you have millions of other tasks to work through. If you plan on going away for the Christmas and New Year period and have a lot of work to do before you go, a virtual assistant can help keep you on track. You can even use this service if you plan on taking leave during this period. While it may seem small in comparison to your other priorities, it will keep your clients happy while you take a much needed break.
Diary and calendar management
If you run your own business, we don’t need to tell you how busy December can get. On top of the Christmas parties and festive get-togethers, you’ll also have clients booking in last minute meetings. You may also have travel plans to organise and have the added headache of booking flights and accommodation for the whole family.
A virtual assistant can use their expert organisational skills to take the stress away of having to manage this yourself. They can help manage your work timelines, confirm and decline appointments and keep you updated on the latest meeting schedules. Having someone manage your calendar will alleviate the stress of doing this yourself so you can work through the things that need your attention before you put the out-of-office on.
Providing customer support
If there’s one thing we know about the festive period, it’s that no businesses are safe. Customers go crazy with their online shopping and usually it starts well before December. No matter how much traffic your website receives, it’s essential that you keep up with your customer enquiries.
Whether it’s processing orders or returns, replying to a customer enquiry or monitoring shipment deliveries, a virtual assistant will be your lifeline during this time. Another great quality of a virtual assistant is usually they’ll have previous experience in responding to customer complaints and processing orders. An experienced virtual assistant means a quicker return on investment.
Giving thanks to clients
As a dedicated business owner, you may be used to thanking your clients yourself. But as your business and clientele grow, replying to each and every client won’t be possible. With a virtual assistant, this becomes possible. Virtual assistants can take over this whole time-consuming process and arrange either personalised hand-written cards or eCards that will reach your clients before they go on holiday.
Struggle with gift-giving? With a virtual assistant, you can leave the stress of buying gifts for your clients behind. Have your virtual assistant shop on your behalf and find the best holiday discounts.
Chase outstanding invoices
It’s likely that as you near the holiday season, you may have a few clients or suppliers who fall behind with their payments. This isn’t something you want to drag on into the new year and you have to take into consideration that your clients and suppliers might be closing up shop and going on holiday too.
Collect money faster with a virtual assistant. Managing your accounts receivable is no easy task and it’s one that can keep you up at night. Collecting money that you’re owed is very important and often the survival of your business depends on it. Leave this to a virtual assistant who has the time to follow up with clients or suppliers and has the expertise to ensure it’s done correctly and consistently.
Bookkeeping and admin tasks
If you’re not a numbers person or you’d rather be out in the field meeting your customers, consider outsourcing your bookkeeping and administrative duties. Monitoring your books is probably one of the most important aspects of running a business but it’s not always everyone’s favourite.
If your virtual assistant has a background in bookkeeping, why not delegate this task to them? Knowing how our business is performing and managing cash flow are two areas that virtual assistants can help with.
Monitor social media and festive promotions
After calls and emails, you may also be spending a large amount of time scrolling through your business’ social media profiles. It’s easy to get distracted and before you know it you’ve spent two hours on Facebook reading through comments.
Delegating this to a virtual assistant, especially during the peak seasons, will help you focus on areas of your business that require your attention.
Plan for the new year ahead
As we near the end of the year, as a business owner your mind will shift to business reflection. You’ll be thinking about the new year and want exciting new initiatives you want to implement. Sometimes it’s hard to get your ideas out of your head or even find the time to sit down and plan out the new year.
A virtual assistant can help with analysing your company’s performance for the current year and help plan for the next. A virtual assistant also brings a unique perspective to your business progress and what your areas of improvement are. They can also help delegate tasks so you have more time to focus on the areas that need your attention or to spend more time at home with your family.
How do you know when it’s time to hire a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants are a great affordable alternative to hiring a full time employee. Only pay for the services you need and feel satisfied that the person you’ve hired is an expert and can work autonomously with very little supervision.
You might also want to consider hiring a virtual assistant if:
- You spend more time working in your business than on your business
- You want to grow your business but feel like you’re already too busy
- You’re burnt out and spend your nights working on your bookkeeping or admin
- You need the support but you don’t have time to train someone new
Reduce your administration stress by working with Carbon’s virtual assistant. One of the most common complaints from business owners is that they wish they had more hours in the day to get everything done. This is even more true during the holiday season and most business owners spend all their time working on their admin tasks.
Whether you need help managing your calendar or emails, assistance with invoicing or bookkeeping, giving thanks to clients or providing additional customer support during Christmas and New Year, our virtual assistant has you covered. Get in touch to learn how we can help your business.