Simple tasks have always been taken for granted. In cases of the more crucial ones, those basic jobs are usually done at the last minute just to be able to meet the requirements and deadlines. Most of the time, quality work or efficiency suffers. The question is, however, is this something you want for your business?

We are currently living in a stage where most transactions transpire online. Online transaction is no longer just a fad, a fleeting demand, or a craze that would eventually dwindle, but it has already become part of what people refer to as the "new normal", not to mention something that has proved to be a cost-effective way of promoting and marketing one's business. Communication online is undeniably faster, thus results are, more often than not, better. Having said this, a business has to cope with the surge of inquiries and clarifications regarding its products and services.

If you happen to be a one-man-band trader, it is counter-productive to just sit behind your phone or computer all day long, trying to respond to each one of the chats and email messages coming in. Besides, there are other equally or more important chores that need to be attended to, otherwise they will only be delayed - or worse, neglected. You need to keep your pace to meet your deadlines, attend all your meetings and appointments, ensure that your deliverable and deliveries are fulfilled, reports and proposals submitted, and income and expenses accurately recorded in your accounting ledger, among many other important tasks. Taxing, right?

Fortunately, virtual assistant services make it easier for you to manage your daily tasks. These services have a multitude of available online personal assistants to help you with anything you might need that can be done remotely. Costly? Not really. Virtual assistants perform a great number of duties which allows business owners ample freedom to focus on the more critical matters of their businesses. Hiring a virtual assistant is more practical and cost-effective because this person can fulfill the tasks of more than one job role.

To give you an overview of how a virtual assistant can help you, here are some straightforward yet significant tasks one can outsource to a virtual assistant:

  1. Data Entry

This is a job that can take a chunk of your time because performing this task entails efficiency, accuracy, and, not to mention, outstanding organizational skills. Encoding data from one platform to another requires attention to detail and should not be done in too much of a rush, otherwise minor mistakes made could lead to potentially greater problems that would further take you away from the more important things at work.

  1. Transcription

When listening to something, sometimes it's easier to understand when you've got subtitles to back you up. This is called audio transcription, which is another one of the many services a virtual assistant can provide for you. Transcribing can take hours and even days of your time, so it's best to delegate this task to a virtual assistant so that you can make better and more productive use of your time as you wait for the final output to help you understand that lecture or presentation better. If you run a podcast, you can even turn your episodes into an e-book and have your virtual assistant encode your episodes for you while you work on the more important aspects of your e-book launch.

  1. Lead Generation

Lead generation is a marketing strategy where a brand collects details of target audiences and reaches out to them to initiate consumer interest or inquiry into products and/or services offered by the brand. This can be done via a multitude of ways - often email or social media opt-ins, but sometimes, this can also be done manually.

For email and social media opt-ins, the brand offers an attractive deal, which is often a free ebook, podcast, template, or whatever other products and/or services that they specialize in, and to avail of this freebie, the customer must opt-in by leaving their email addresses or connecting their social media profiles to the brand's website. A virtual assistant can help set this up for you on an email marketing tool so that you won't have to worry about the trivial details and tasks that come with setting up a lead generation campaign like this. All you have to do is provide your virtual assistant with the details of the campaign, and you should be ready to go in a matter of days - or even just a few hours, depending on the type of campaign that you would like to implement.

On the other hand, there is also the type of lead generation where your virtual assistant manually builds a list of prospects for whatever purpose this may serve you. Here, details are collected from various websites online, which mostly includes the prospects' name, company, position, and contact details. These details are then used for various purposes, which may include sales outreach or for sending out newsletters. This is the type of work that entails much attention to detail and a whole lot of time, so it's the perfect task to delegate to a virtual assistant while you focus on building that marketing strategy that you would like to implement with the new prospect list you have.

  1. Social Media Management

Social media management covers a lot of tasks, including social media engagement, content creation, graphic design, copywriting, influencer marketing, video editing, and more. Having a virtual assistant who has mastered most, if not all, of these skills could be beneficial for you and your business as you wouldn't have to hire someone full-time for the different tasks that need to be performed for social media. Your dedicated virtual assistant can create your monthly content calendar for you, create graphics and provide copy for these, engage with your community of followers, and build this community even further.

Social media management may sound like an easy task since pretty much everyone is on social media these days. However, managing a brand's social media is a different story. This entails a myriad of skills that revolve around marketing, copywriting, and more. Being the voice of a brand is an important role that you should be putting importance to, and being consistently visible is just as essential as providing top-notch graphics and copy for your brand.

More than this, having to analyze your audience's data and behavior on social media can be quite a taxing responsibility when you have so much to do during the day, one of which is the daily operations of your business. After all, there is no business to talk about on social media if operations are put to a halt, right? Lucky for you, virtual assistant services such as OkayRelax can help you manage your online presence so that you won't have to worry about losing your digital relationship with your followers and potential customers.

  1. Appointment Setting

Coordinating with existing and potential clients, as well as partners, can be quite a chore when you have so many other things to focus on at work. Neglecting your other tasks just to secure a slot for an appointment with them isn't exactly productive as well, so what else is left for you to do?

You guessed it: a virtual assistant has the necessary skills needed to communicate with your clients and partners via email well, plotting each appointment slot accordingly so that your schedule is organized and goes along smoothly. All you have to do is check your calendar and make sure that you are on time for your scheduled appointments. No worries, no fuss.

  1. Administrative Tasks

Sending a fax, email management, report making, and presentations... these are only a few of the variety of administrative tasks virtual assistants can do for you daily. Little things that pile up can turn into a giant of a task, so it's helpful to have someone manage the trivial tasks for your business that you are too busy to do. Having someone else monitor these responsibilities daily is also a practical idea, as it is much easier to keep things organized and well-balanced. In case something goes wrong, someone would be able to notice right away and call your attention before things escalate for the worst.

  1. Database Management

This could be a list of prospects, your current sales list, or your newsletter subscribers list. Having to check and update this list regularly can be a redundant task - time spent working on this list may be very well spent on creating that social media video ad you've been working on to generate more sales. However, you know that this list is crucial to your business' sales and marketing needs, so this is something you have to set aside time for. But time is of the essence, and you still have a lot of urgent tasks to attend to. Well, whatever purpose this database may be for, your dedicated virtual assistant will surely be able to manage this for you. Virtual assistants are trained to be organized and analytical, so these are perfect skills for someone to have when managing your database.

  1. Online Grocery Shopping

While it's easy enough to shop online on your own, managing a business and a home can keep your hands full. Add to that the fact that most grocery stores these days that offer online shopping are fully booked, so you're left with no choice but to keep looking at other options in the hopes that one store among the sea of supermarkets can accommodate your order and deliver to your area. Time is money, however, and with every minute and every second that you take just trying to find a store that would cater to your order, is also time spent away from your family and from looking for ways to keep generating money for your business.

Lucky for you, virtual assistants are not only equipped to handle tasks for your business needs, but also your personal needs. You don't have to spend hours on end just trying to find a grocery store that would cater to your needs - let your virtual assistant do that for you. Just list down all your grocery items and their respective specifications, and hand the list over so you can sit back and relax while your virtual assistant scours through grocery stores in the area to place your order. Next thing you know, your bag of groceries is outside your door, waiting for you.

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  1. Activity Recommendation

With your business taking up most of your waking time during weekdays, it's often hard to find the time to plan out activities for you and your kids to do over the weekend. Sure, watching your favorite movies and series could be fun, but there has to be something else to do, right?

Virtual assistants can help you out on this, too. While you work during the week, they can come up with a list of activities for you and your kids to do during the weekend, and provide details about these activities as well. The best thing about it is that they can recommend activities that are tailor-made for you and your family. Before providing a list of recommendations, they will first try to get to know you - the ages of you and your kids, what your likes and dislikes are, what you're allergic to... basically, they will only suggest age-appropriate options that you and your family will surely enjoy.

The importance of delegation

When starting a business or pretty much anything at all, it seems easier to do everything on your own, until you realize how overwhelming all the responsibilities could be. There's no need to dwell too much on these everyday tasks because a virtual assistant can help you perform all these while you carry on with managerial functions, and still have enough time for your personal life. Will it be good for you? Absolutely. Will it be good for your business? As one great businessman who owns multiple food chains would say, *"Delegate, do not abdicate."*

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