Every business needs assistance large or small, corporate or private, someone has to answer the phones, respond to emails, organize meetings, and create a long term business plan. The list goes on. Accomplishing these daily tasks and long term goals takes work; it can be overwhelming, time consuming and tedious. As an entrepreneur you could apply your time as a jack of all trades, but it’s likely not the best idea for growing your business. Instead, consider enlisting a Virtual Assistant (VA) or a Virtual Project Manager (VPM) to support you. But wait, which one? Are they different or are they the same? Both roles are critical to your success, however, before you can delegate work to someone else – you must understand the difference between them and choose which best suits your requirements and business objectives.
Here are some (but not all) essential tasks of a Virtual Assistant (VA):
- Marketing Support: It’s important to stay on-deadline with your marketing calendar. These tasks are recurring, are time-consuming and need daily attention. They involve Social Media posting and upkeep, posting new blog articles, setting up newsletters blasts, website administration and maintenance.
- Sales Support/CRM Administration: In order to keep your business flowing and your sales pipeline moving, answering client inquiries by email in a timely manner are essential to a healthy client base. Updating and accurate client scheduling are also primary necessities to keep your business structured.
- General Administration/Organization: Being organized about time management helps you complete tasks that have deadlines; and most importantly doing so efficiently and accurately. It’s critical to manage customer contact lists, maintain multiple calendars, plan meetings and keep tasks prioritized.
The tasks listed above are just a few of many that a VA can perform. Virtual assistants work on hourly retainers or have set packages and they charge anywhere in the range of $25 to $55 per hour in the US. As with any service provider, the more experience a Virtual Assistant has or if they cater to a specific niche or specialty – the more they can charge. Succeeding as a VA takes skill, attention to detail, personal organization and continuing education to assist online businesses and the vital programs needed to run a virtual office. There are several types of programs a VA should familiarize themselves with; such as task management programs, CRM’s, help desk applications, email marketing software, social media management tools, and the list goes on. The client delegates the tasks they need done, and the VA is responsible for getting them completed by deadline. VA’s set their own work schedule and a high quality of work is expected of them (without supervision).
Here are some (but not all) requirements of a Virtual Project Manager (VPM):
- Project Planning: A Virtual Project Manager is the lead on a project and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of a project and maintaining a successful implementation/outcome. VPM’s create project action plans, timelines, manage other virtual team members, and resources.
- Team Organization: Similar to planning, a VPM understands all aspects of the project action plan they create and will organize the team and resources so that all members are assigned roles (based on their own skills or strengths) and holds everyone accountable in all aspects to successfully execute the final outcome.
- Leadership: A VPM is comfortable with ironing out complex issues, leading the team, monitoring the tasks, and making sure the project is executed properly and the finished objectives are met. Making sure that all team members stay motivated is fundamental to their client’s success.
A VPM’s niche and experience whether marketing or technical assumes a key part in what they charge their customers. Virtual Project Managers can make an upwards of $55 to $100 per hour in the US. They are generally the go-to person that ensures the client’s goals and expectations are met to create a successful end result with any project.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to know when to seek help and the type of support you need.
To learn more about CT Virtual and the Virtual Project Management, Marketing, PR, and Creative Services we offer –Schedule your free discovery session! Have specific project management questions, ask me on Twitter! Visit our Online Creative Portfolio!