Every business needs help with essential admin in and around the office – typing documents, sending out invoices, following up with customers, taking calls etc. etc.
What you might not know is that you don’t need to employ someone to do this nor do you need to be a big shot to get a Personal Assistant on call !
I have always been a fan of automation. Automate everything.
We all know the “McDonald” story – where anyone of us can make a decent hamburger so why are we all not multi-millionaires with chain stores all over the world ? McDonald automated and systemised their entire business to the point that a new franchise store, simply followed the rules and it was an instant success.
In Business there are plenty of items that must be systemised and automated. What I want to focus on is something that not many business are aware of – The Remote Personal Assistant.
This is not a new phenomena but something that is very untapped and very underutilised mainly because business are not aware of their potential.
Let’s look at a typical case scenario we have all faced in business:
You have competitors in the market. You want to know what they are selling, at how much they are selling their products, how good or bad is their customer services – basically you want to know how you are doing compared to them and how you can improve to be better.
How do you do this ? – You have to phone each company, get them to email you their product info, get quotes from them etc. etc. etc. This is a very time consuming task !
The solution – you hire a Remote Personal Assistant. You very simply go online to any number of websites that offer such a service, hire the Assistant and task them with this mission.
Sounds too easy ? Well, it is !
What are Remote Personal Assistant ? – companies all over the world have set up a facility where they hire personal assistant. These assistants wait for a task or a brief and they have an hourly rate to complete that task.
Where to Find them ? – There are websites that offer this service all over the world. Some are based in the US which charge more then companies based in India and China. My suggestion – if you need something that required a good command of the English language, use someone in the US or Canada. If you need research done or documents for internal usage, feel free to use someone in non-English speaking country but be specific with your instructions.
What to Task ? – do not engage with a Personal Assistant unless you have a very specific goal in mind. Your task must be sent through via email and must contain cut-off days or total number of hours that this task must take. If your require a large task, you should specify progress reports that must be emailed to you to ensure that they are on the right path.
In other words avoid “Please research my competitors and let me have it when it is done”
Rather say “I need to know at how much company X and company Y are selling their Widgets at. I need this info by tomorrow”
What can a Personal Assistant do ? – Mostly anything that doesn’t require their physical presence. They can organise confrences, arrange parties, arrange meetings, book hotels, create presentations, do research, update websites, basic telephonic support, proof read documents etc. etc.
Why use a Personal Assistant ? Yes, we know that you can do this yourself – but why would you want to ? If you think about the number of hours that it takes to complete these tasks isn’t that time better spent by you doing something else ? For example closing another deal or spending time with your family ?
It’s called BTE – Better Time Elsewhere !
Some sites I like (go to Google and search – there are plenty !):
Elance.com – lots of companies here.
HireVirtualAssistant.com – they offer: Phone answering / message taking;Basic customer support; Appointment scheduling; General clerical assistance;