How Virtual Assistant Services Can Help Nigerian Startups and SMEs
I think it’s high time we start talking about how virtual assistant services can help Nigerian Startups and SMEs. If we can put this into serious consideration, we can begin to achieve much in 24hours in our businesses in Nigeria. Most Nigerian startups are sole proprietors.
A good number of the business in Nigeria are understaffed, and this is contributing immensely to the level of productivity recorded in the country.
Proprietors’ expectations for setting up the business are not met; this is mainly because they don’t have enough hands.
A business that should start with 10 employees on average mostly starts with 2 to 3 employees. The employees are overworked, and this reduced their productivity. It is not purely the fault of the proprietors as well; it is because they can not afford to pay an extra 7 full-time staff.
However, there is still something that could be done to change the trend of things. This is by employing virtual assistants or contract workers that you’ll pay only when they actually do the work.
Who is a Virtual Assistant?
For many when they hear the word virtual assistant all that comes to mind is an invisible administrative assistant or secretary.
However, it is well beyond that, a virtual assistant offers help to individuals, companies, and organizations over the internet.
You can employ a virtual assistant on a short- or long-term basis. A freelancer or virtual assistant can fill in for a specific project or commit to a certain number of hours per week or month.
How Virtual Assistant Services Can Help Nigerian Startups and SMEs
You can spend hours upon hours trying to build, develop, or grow a business. But the way you spend your time could end up hindering your company from becoming successful. In this section, I am going to show you how employing a virtual assistant service can help you as a startup or SME.
It saves your time and allows you to focus on a more important task.
Hiring a virtual assistant can help you to free up some of the time you spend working on administrative tasks and replace them with what you do best. Hiring a virtual assistant can free up your time in posting content on your blog, following up with vendors/clients, answering emails from clients, data entry, or responding to social media mentions.
2. It helps you to spend more time on marketing and income-generating tasks.
3. It allows you to employ professionals for your business at a very low cost.
Virtual assistants do not require workplace or employees’ benefits.
Their wages are determined by the number of hours worked or the type of tasks performed. Virtual assistants offer far more capabilities and can be personalized for each person.
4. Finally, you will be helping to reduce the rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
Since you will always have different tasks to perform, you will have cause to hire different people per time for each task. By so doing you are helping those people to be financially free as well.
Duties of A Virtual Assistant
Administrative Work like
- Basic data entry
- Organizing your to-do list and calendar
- Diary management – Scheduling meetings and appointments
- Answering phone calls
- Booking travel arrangements
Plus, anything that an administrative assistant does.
2. Email Management like
- Carrying out email marketing campaigns and managing email lists.
- Answering general questions, job inquiries, and follow-ups.
- Sifting through all your mail to weed out any spam that has crept in.
- Filtering and organizing your inbox.
What’s the result?
Your email channel will be fully functional – without you having to do anything about it.
3. Personal Tasks like
- Helping you make purchases – gifts, stationery, hardware, books, and perhaps even clothes!
A lot of these tasks don’t need to be done by someone in person; they can easily be outsourced to a Virtual Assistant instead.
2. Organizing your personal to-do list and calendar.
3. Booking travel arrangements for weekend trips or vacations.
Social Media Management
Social media is an important weapon in your marketing plan. However, managing social media can be time-consuming.
VAs can help you to:
- Schedule posts.
- Create content to share on your social media accounts.
- Analyzing statistics and reports.
- Engage with your followers.
It’s very crucial to have someone experienced here as managing a company’s social media presence is complex. Your social media accounts need to be able to connect with people, be engaging while staying relevant.
Managing Finances like
1. Maintaining budgets.
2. Making purchases.
3. Keeping track of your expenses to make your finances as transparent as possible.
Research is a very important part of any company’s growth strategy.
Without some sound insights, you’ll never know how to grow.
But a business owner can’t spend hours on research while still trying to run a small business.
You need a dedicated person whose natural language is data crunching.
This VA would be able to:
- Find formats for press releases.
- Screen applications for an affiliate program.
- Keep track of competitors’ products and services.
- Analyze consumer trends and so on.
There is a lot to research! That is why assigning it to someone in your team who already has other duties is not a great idea.
It will most likely be overwhelming for them.
So, you can turn to VAs for research.
Since they don’t have any other duties – they will stay focused on solely gathering and analyzing data to help your company.
Content writing has pitched itself to the top of the digital marketing ladder in recent years.
Large organizations or corporations put out blog posts often. This is because it helps them to boost their search engine optimization and drive organic traffic to their website.
Content creation isn’t an easy task. Employing a VA to oversee this process can be a great digital marketing decision on your part.
If your blog puts out new blog posts on a regular basis:
- More people will be able to find your business on search engines.
- This will also increase the number of visitors and clicks that you’ll receive on your website.
- You will have more conversions as a result.
The challenge is that it is not easy to create content regularly. Apart from writing, there are lots of specific tasks like finding and editing images, research, uploading articles to your blog, and so on.
That is why it is a good idea to outsource your blog posts to a virtual assistant.
For instance, there is a surge in the number of agents and brokers using virtual assistants for their real estate marketing activities – including content creation, social media, organizing open houses, and the likes.
Customer Service was one of the first fields to incorporate VAs en masse.
Why? Your customers are not interacting with you in person, so you don’t need an in-house customer executive either.
Also, as most customer service interactions are largely centered on addressing concerns that can be answered easily from a manual, you don’t need a high level of expertise here. However, if an issue is beyond your VAs, it can always be directed to a full-time employee.
Should you want your VAs to have limited access to your customers’ information? You can use a Co-browsing software like Talkative which sets up a secure way to see your customers’ screens rather than a less secure approach like screen-sharing.
You can view our previous post here, to see more duties of a virtual assistant.
Do you need the help of a virtual assistant today? We’ll be glad to help contact us.