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What is a Virtual Assistant?

What is a Virtual Assistant? Now there’s a question we hear asked all the time. Read on for our definitive definition of what a Virtual Assistant is.

A Virtual Assistant can go by many names. A Virtual PA is the most common alternative. We are, in the most simplest of terms, a Personal Assistant. But rather than sitting in the outer office, we make full use of 21st Century technology to deliver seamless personal assistant support, just virtually. And in today’s world, isn’t that what every business owner or senior leader needs?

So now you know what a Virtual Assistant is, read on as we explain the various things that a Virtual Assistant does.

Company Secretariat Service

A Company Secretariat Service manages, administers, and provides high-quality support to the Board of Directors. Company secretarial services include making practical arrangements for board meetings and maintaining a forward plan of agenda items. One of the most important elements of this secretarial service includes liaising with the Board Chairperson. With this, the secretary will prepare agendas, circulate supporting reports, and prepare and issue accurate board meeting minutes. A company secretarial service will also ensure that systems are in place for logging and tracking decisions and that all board reports are stored within a secure repository.

Yes, we live in a digital age, but businesses still need a good old secretarial service. This could include the likes of;

  • Meeting transcription services
  • Document production (letters, handbooks, minutes etc.)
  • Document maintenance and auditing
  • Supporting with completing and submitting various statutory forms.

Call Handling

One of the most popular uses of a Virtual Assistant is call handling. And in most cases, the client can choose what to divert and when. Some business owners will divert all their inbound calls for example, others may opt to use this solution only when they are on annual leave. Regardless of whether the call handling is needed for one week or one month, it is a great way to keep costs down without compromising on business efficiency or customer service.

Diary and meeting management

McKinsey reports that “to create time and space for critical priorities, business leaders must first of all be clear about what they and their teams will stop doing.” This will often mean reviewing where time is spent and changing working practices to enable leaders to focus on the strategic objectives of their business. A Virtual Assistant can help in two ways with this.

  1. Screening emails to effectively rank them in terms of importance, and removing the spam. The leader can remain focused on their important communications, and not get lost in everything else. For example, we worked with a company MD who continued checking her emails every day of the year, be it Christmas Day or when she was meant to be on annual leave. As she started suffering from burnout, we convinced her to let the VEASS team manage her diary and she has never looked back. Upon her return to work, she could see what was urgent and had a clear folder system in place she had her ‘to work through’ pile, once the urgent emails were dealt with.
  2. Organise Outlook Calendars to book in meetings, whilst also factoring in some protected time for other, important tasks.

Project Management

If 2020 showed us anything, it was the importance of good communication within a business. When business leaders need some short-term, project management support a Virtual Assistant can help. This could be the likes of writing letters for HR records relating to furlough or redundancies or liaising with an ICT company to support with the roll-out of a new system. By working with Virtual Assistant for such projects, leaders know that they are working with someone who has discretion, professionalism, and an excellent ability to multi-task to get the job done.

So, there we have it. A simple summary to that common question, ‘what is a Virtual Assistant?’

If you want to take a deeper dive, head over to the VEASS website or contact our team, who are always happy to help and advise.

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