Increasing business productivity is crucial if you want to maximize profit. If you have a business, it’s not just about products or services. It’s also about how you run your business. Many small businesses do not realize the importance of streamlining their business processes. When productivity goes down, profits go down, and businesses get into financial trouble – they can become impossible to survive.
A Virtual Assistant can help business owners leverage their time and increase business productivity by automating many of the mundane and repetitive business activities. With the assistance of an Administrative Virtual Assistant, you are able to pass off simple tasks like scheduling, email management, booking and data entry to a highly trained and qualified Virtual Assistant. These professionals are not employees, but independent contractors who are knowledgeable about many areas of business.
You can automate tedious business tasks with the use of Google Docs, Excel spreadsheets, Power Point presentations, notes, memos, task lists and more. Invoicing is one area where a Virtual Assistant can really make a difference. Instead of writing out individual checks, a skilled and dependable Google Docs or Excel spreadsheet expert can complete all of the necessary paper work for you, including printing, sending electronic payments, invoicing and tracking taxes. For businesses with small or medium size invoicing needs, having a virtual assistant business partner can free up your schedule to take care of other things-like growing your business or working on important client projects. A Google Docs or Excel spread sheet can be used for invoicing, tracking payments, creating reminders, and managing information from sales receipts, credit card invoices, bank statements, and more.
One of the primary goals of planning and implementing an online CRM strategy is to improve business intelligence through better understanding of customer buying trends and preferences. In this respect, using online tools such as Google Docs, which is free for up to 7 free account holders, is particularly helpful. To make it even easier for you, many of these business intelligence tools include “share” functionality, so you can make an initial list of tasks that need to be completed and shared. Later, once you have a better idea of what you want to accomplish, the tools will automatically generate checklists, worksheets and action plans that you can review before taking any steps toward implementing a CRM strategy.
While you would expect a high level of technical expertise among a group of virtual assistants working together on a large project, most of them are actually quite comfortable using most common office software applications (excel, Microsoft Office, Open Office, etc.). Of course, there are always exceptions, but most of the time your VAS will be able to use excel, outlook, PowerPoint and other common programs that most people are familiar with. In addition, some of your VAS may have previous experience with CRM tools (and likely still do) so it’s easy to get a jump-start on your own learning curve. Google Docs is also a great document management application that most virtual assistants have used. You can simply create a free workspace and invite your clients to join the online discussion area where you’ll all get in on the conversation.
Once you’ve gotten your online CRM strategy rolling, it’s time to organize all the data, voice conversations, notes and other business activity that need to be tracked. One way to do this is by using a “to do” list. Your VAS can take a role in directing your virtual assistant network by creating subgroups within the group and directing them to prioritize business activity. When they’re done, each virtual assistant can forward the information to the appropriate person in the team. This allows everyone to easily track progress and distribute workload as needed.
Some businesses choose to outsource their CRM strategy to a virtual assistant company. This works great for businesses that already have an existing in-house CRM system in place and want to upgrade only the front end application. However, for companies who are trying to boost their on-site CRM capabilities but lack the knowledge or time to integrate a web-based CRM tool into their existing in-house system, a VAS makes a great VAM/CSM solution. A VAS can coordinate email, voice communications, document management and other business activity that’s related to customer care. You can easily input this new data into your existing CRM tool and run reports that will help you understand your interactions with your customers better.
Another option that many vases provide is the ability to export data from one place to another. If your company’s information needs to be shared across different departments, VAS have the ability to export the data into a format that’s compatible across all departments. This means no more searching through folders of computer files when it comes time to organize all of the information that needs to be shared within your company. With one centralized location, all departments can view, edit and search documents within their own secure online environment. No more wasting time searching for important data or spending precious time typing it out yourself – it’s all in one place with a virtual assistant (or VAS).