In the most basic definition, a virtual assistant is an employee that provides assistance and support for your business from some other location. There are a large number of functions that a virtual assistant can provide to a business of all sizes and industries. Some virtual assistants have a specialty area and can be particularly helpful if you have a specific need.

A virtual assistant can help you put efficient processes in place. These processes can include anything from invoicing that is automated to preprogrammed responses to email. There are many businesses that do not have the time to put these processes in place. They are busy trying to run their businesses and do not have the time to add efficient processes, which only works against them. A virtual assistant can take over that responsibility for you.

Virtual assistants can filter through all methods of communication for you. You do not need to respond to all emails, phone calls, or other forms of communication. Some are informational that do not need attention or can receive a programmed response. These are items that a virtual assistant can handle. They can filter through your messages and triage them and pass along the messages that need your attention.

Your business probably has a large amount of data coming in that you may or may not need to process. We have immediate access to a fair amount of data that can be incredibly helpful if it is formatted properly and consumable. A virtual assistant can collect the data and organize it in a way that is meaningful to you and your organization. They can review all of the analytics that comes in from your website or application. They can create reports and provide updates to you. This can give you easy access to only the data you think is important.

A virtual assistant can handle tasks that tend to take a lot of your time but need to be done. You may have data entry tasks or some research that needs to occur. This is something you may not want a highly active employee to handle because you want them to focus on items that are of higher importance. You can feel good about the quality of the work being done without having to use a key employee to handle it. This frees up your employees to do the job they are skilled at doing. Your business has a goal of producing a product, regardless of what the product may be. You want to allow your employees to handle those tasks by allowing a virtual assistant to handle other tasks.

Troy Lambert
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.

Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.