Tag Archives: business admin support
In business we have some expectations for clients and suppliers. We all try to live up to those expectations to provide the best service to the people around us. Unfortunately, if expectations are not expressed or acknowledged then we can find that our expectations are not ‘lived up to’ and this can leave people feel dissatisfied or unhappy with our service?
Last Friday I attended a Chocolate Making Course in Dorset, which I hoped would teach me the art of chocolate decorating and the technical aspects behind being a chocolatier. I enjoy making fudge, toffee, coconut ice and various other little treats and wanted to add chocolate making to my repertoire.
I was extremely surprised with the outcome, not in a good way. It would seem that the course did not quite live up to my expectations. Instead of a professional chocolatier course it was aimed more toward children. I spent the course covering marshmallows in chocolate and making chocolate pictures. Not only this, the course was meant to last for 1 hour 45 minutes and finished over an hour earlier. I’m not sure whether my expectations were set too high and I assumed that I would get the answers to my queries without stating what those queries were. In hindsight I should have checked the finer details.
Within my business, myPA Virtual Services I am always clear about the expectations I expect from my suppliers. In addition my clients are meticulous about the type of admin support they are after and what services they need from a Virtual Assistant. However this course has reminded me that silent expectations can never be lived up to. You need to express what your expectations are and only then can you ensure everyone you deal with is happy. If you ask those important questions you are likely to get the results you are looking for. This will ensure you don’t waste valuable time, resource and money for your business.
Whether you are a small business owner, an internet business operator, an entrepreneur or simply a very busy individual, a virtual assistant can help you perform a number of daily admin support services that need to be performed and are fundamental to ensure your business and personal life runs smoothly and effectively.
When a virtual assistant performs the countless admin support tasks that are beneficial in our modern life; they offer the small business owner the opportunity of time to concentrate on their own business and life style. In many instances the VA is able to undertake the task asked off them at a cheaper rate than a full-time in-house employee or a temp service.
Admin Services, such as invoicing, collections, and credit control are available from virtual assistants. A secretarial service does not generally provide these types of services. However, a virtual assistant performs these and the services of a secretarial service, such as audio typing and data entry. Additionally, office services such as electronic filing may also be performed.
Other office admin services that must be performed in-house are not ruled out either. While most VAs work remotely, they are often willing to work on-site for a short period of time to complete admin services such as filing or other office services. It is always advantageous to speak to your VA and see if they are happy to provide admin support in your office.
As a Virtual Assistant I am frequently asked to visit my client’s offices. Last week, one of my clients had the opportunity to reorganise their home office and wanted to use our admin support services to ensure their office ran efficiently from the start.
We were discussing how the office should be set up and what new equipment they were going to need to ensure they are able to fulfil their own admin support role. We also discussed their current internal procedures and which procedures need to be enforced, which procedures needed to be amended and tweaked and how to conjure some additional procedures to ensure the business ran smoothly.
It was an interesting discussion as we seemed to spend most to the time discussing how they should use their in trays, the importance an in tray could play in improving their own admin services, which would inevitably lead to improved customer services and communications, one of the business goals for this quarter.
Every small business and Entrepreneur has an element of providing admin service to their client’s, whether it’s keeping records of purchases, sales or financial documentation. One of the fundamental tools available to help improve the admin support role is to use an in tray. The top in tray is generally used for work that needs to be completed within a certain number of days. The middle tray is used for work in the process of being completed that the bottom tray for long term projects.
Our discussion evolved around the use to the top and middle tray. We discussed what is deemed to be important and what needs to be placed in the top tray for immediate action and what is considered to be in the process of being completed and put in the second tray. My client argued that, in theory, if you have received some form of correspondence, via the post, email or over the telephone than the task at hand is already in the process of being completed as the person sending the correspondence has already initiated the task/job; so the correspondence needs to be placed in the middle tray. The top tray would be for any correspondence that they send out and were waiting for a reply. As they sent out the correspondence the task/job is already important as they wouldn’t send out any information if it wasn’t needed or requested.
The role of a Virtual Assistant can be a tricky one, as you have to gently inform the client that just because they sent out some information it isn’t necessarily important to the recipient. Although there is some validity in my clients in tray theory, I suggested that just because someone has initiated a task, this doesn’t mean that the task needs to be completed instantly; you need to ascertain the importance of the task to the business goals.
We finally agreed on the principle that ‘the needs of the business should come first’ and if any correspondence is generate or received in the business then the importance of the correspondence would be judge by how the task/job associated with the correspondence would be beneficial to the business and those of the businesses objectives, goals and strategy.