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Why is collaboration important and is it for you?

Collaboration (Teamwork) is different and way more important than simply working together. With the fast development of modern information technology, you don’t even have to own a separate office and hire staff there. Depending on the specifics of the work, instead of hiring regular staff, you can hire a Virtual Assistant instead!

Collaboration and teamwork www.assistent.ee

Successful business growth requires a great purpose, dedicated people, a solid plan, financial accuracy, courage, and a just bit of blind faith of  doing the right thing in every situation! I bet you already have some of those down! But have you been able to tick all the boxes?  If not, our Virtual Assistant is the one and only, who you should approach first, because that way you can confidently strengthen the parts of your company, that are lacking…

 

 

Step 1 

Who is a Virtual Assistant and is this the right kind of collaboration for me? Do I even need one?

First, take stock of your needs and desires and compare them with the services offered by our Virtual Assistants. Is there an overlap? Is this collaboration for you?

What are the necessary duties?

If you are a small entrepreneur, who needs regular, small-scale assistance (who doesn’t?), then our Virtual Assistant services are an easy solution for you. Are you familiar with the scenario,   where you are so occupied with the principal tasks at hand, that it feels like you are missing just a single helping hand? Do you feel the need for someone to schedule some appointments for you, write the necessary letters, deliver all the important mail and invoices, do routine reports, or even help you to plan social media posts? In that case, the Virtual Assistant will definitely be of help to you!

Will I need a person on-site?

One of the most important nuances of working with a Virtual Assistant is, of course, the location!

Developments in modern technology have made home office work and teleworking more than possible. So it’s quite natural that things are moving in that direction, where secretaries and assistants are moving into the virtual world as well, from the comfort of their own homes. For example, if an accountant or developer can get their  job done at a home office, why can’t the secretary and/or assistant do the same?

Collaboration and teamwork www.assistent.ee

Many roles – One home!

To put it simply, a Virtual Assistant is just like a regular secretary, assistant or office manager, but who does most of the tasks in their home office and assists clients over the form of teleworking, often without meeting them in person. If you definitely need a person on-site and around you in the office, then this kind of collaboration might not be the best solution for you… 

So the main line is to carefully consider all of your work tasks, before deciding whether or not to work with a Virtual Assistant. Tasks that seem impossible at first glance may end up possible with teleworking! If still you hesitate, contact us at any time! We can discuss whether this and what form of cooperation is right for you.

Will I have the resources to pay for this service?

Going into more detail, a Virtual Assistant is an independent entrepreneur, who determines their own salary and hours, takes care of their own taxes and tools. The partner can order exactly the  amount of services they currently need and/or can afford. The VA closely monitors their work hours and invoices only for the work completed. Just pure work and joy, no payroll and other such stuff! 

You only pay for work completed, not for any coffee breaks, sick-leave and unemployment insurance. A Virtual Assistant is not in your office on a daily basis as a fixed expense on your company’s payroll. The Virtual Assistant helps you when you need it and does it virtually over the Internet, no time wasted on commute! You can communicate with your Virtual Assistant conveniently via email, Skype or phone. If necessary, information and documents can also be exchanged through appropriate programs and apps. Nowadays, a Virtual Assistant is someone, without whom any boss just cannot cope.

A Virtual Assistant will definitely be useful if:

  • The cooperation does not require physical presence in the office
  • You are just getting started with your business and need a helping hand, but don’t (yet) have the opportunity or desire to hire someone
  • Your company has tasks that needs to be done on a project-basis
  • Your company needs to temporarily replace an employee on holiday/sick-leave 
  • You want to be a Company of One 

 

Advantages of Virtual Assistant:

  • A Virtual Assistant saves you time and money – you only pay for the ordered services, not for any unfilled hours
  • You won’t have to spend any resources on creating more workplaces or buying tools, nor will you have to pay tax on your assistant’s wages
  • There won’t be any need to find a brand new specialist, nor a need for a probationary period to find out, whether the employee has enough experience or skills. (We already guarantee excellency and verified previous experience!)
  • The Assistant could help you with tasks that you may not be able or want to do for any reason 
  • You’ll have the opportunity to focus only on tasks that matter most for you  – you’ll be able to  focus on what you really enjoy about your business!
  • There won’t be a need to buy extra inventory or rent an office for the Assistant

We understand that everyone has their own fears about the unfamiliar. If you have never used this kind of a service before, you’ll probably have many hesitations and questions. Please let us know! We will be happy to give you all the answers. 🙂

 

What have been the common fears of our partners?

  1. Is the time spent mentoring worthwhile?
  2. Does the quality suffer?
  3. Is it financially justifiable?

 

How have these fears faded?

Timo (Digital Agency Lavii): All is fine with fears now, because I see that things can be done without me and I can focus on other activities where I can create value for my clients. After all, numbers are the ones that matter. Like uploading articles, increasing traffic, I don’t have to do things that seem boring to me, etc.

So, unless you absolutely need a person on the spot, a Virtual Assistant is just the right partner for you!

 

Step 2

The Necessary Ingredients for a Productive Collaboration

Collaboration and teamwork www.assistent.ee

We’ll help you map out exactly what you need and set specific future goals. On a grand scale, you might already have an idea – is it business development and management services; marketing and customer relations; OR is it accounting? But from here we still need to go into more detail. What sections could  be directed to someone else? Which are too important?

 

In order to help map out your needs, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my current situation?
  • Which tasks are most essential? Can I list them in order of urgency?
  • Which activities do not directly require my supervision or involvement and could be done by another pair of hands? 

Feel free to write down these thoughts and consult us. Depending on the nature of the collaboration, be prepared to answer any additional questions. We will always consider your company’s wishes and needs first!

For example, we may ask:

 In case of assistance jobs:

  • Which parts of the process commonly cause the most headaches for you today?
  • Do you have partner companies?
  • Do you already know how to secure and keep track of your important documents? 
  • How do you engage with your clients?
  • How many different email addresses do you use ?
  • What accounting system do you use?
  • And other, more detailed questions, depending on the specifics!

 

Social media management

In case of social media, be prepared to receive a form from us. Or you can fill the same form in here and send it directly to us. That way, our collaboration can start even quicker, because we will already have the basic information right away and can find out more about your wishes and needs accordingly!

For business start-ups or accounting services:

  1. How far are you with starting your own company?
  2. Does your business already have a name?
  3. Do you need any help  registering your business? (Including VAT registration?)
  4. Company registry code?
  5. Specialty?
  6. Working hours?
  7. Number of employees?
  8. Is the company liable for VAT?
  9. Current state of accounting?
  10. Accounting software used (if any)?
  11. What are the monthly expenses?
  12. What are your expectations for our  Virtual Assistant?
  13. Are there any more questions or problems, which may arise during the collaboration?

 

What questions have we been asked about the collaboration? 

How do you communicate with your partners? How do you measure working time?

With collaborations, most of the time we use email, but for a quicker response we can also be reached by phone or through Skype! Work time is measured through UKU. But another commonly used app is Toggl

 

Step 3

What happens next in collaboration?

Once we have identified and agreed to the key points of  the collaboration, it will be time to decide on what the ensuing work will look like. This kind of process design will have two levels

Collaboration and teamwork www.assistent.eeThe first one is setting out the general idea. We will make an agreement on how and where we will share the materials and information necessary for the work. We will set up a schedule for how often social media posts should appear, how often you would need to check and organise your emails, or how often  accounting is required. 

The second one, however, is a lot more detailed. If you have any specific instructions in mind for a task, you should prepare a step-by-step guide for your Virtual Assistant. It is by far the best way to guarantee that any unintended mishaps can happen!

What kind of a guide?

There are generally two types of guides: written and video. You have probably encountered both already! A written guide can be easily made with some kind of an online tool (such as SweetProcess) or a standard Word document.

Write down the different steps  at each section and include an illustrative picture for each step. In this way you can create a nice, unambiguous guide.

Collaboration and teamwork www.assistent.ee
Illustrated ex. Adding a new coupon

 

Some great tools to create such images are Skitch and Jing. Both have their own advantages. For example, Skitch allows you to blur sensitive, confidential information, which is not critical to the completion of a particular passage or may, in some cases, mislead the viewer. Not in the mood for writing? Well…

Record and demonstrate –

If you are not a fan of written guides, you do not need to look any further than Youtube for some quality video format guides. It takes no time to give your future Assistant tips and you can easily make a high-quality video, all the while working on a single passage yourself.

One handy tool for this is Loom. Just create a user, add Loom as a Chrome extension, and you can comfortably start filming at any time.

Collaboration and teamwork www.assistent.ee

You can even start it, for example, while you post content on a website or social media. At the same time, you can talk about what you are doing, the reasoning, and share it later with your Virtual Assistant, who can then follow and replicate the tasks according to your set preferences.

Of course, there are numerous similar tools available out there on the Internet, in case Loom is not to your liking.

 

But I don’t have time for making guides!

We understand time is a valuable resource and you don’t want to waste it. However, there are ways to find the small amount necessary for making an simple-to-follow, yet effective guide for any future collaborations:

  • For example, devote about 30 minutes every morning (in case you choose to write  the instructions). And within a week, you might have it completed already. 
  • Or ask the assistant to be your “shadow” and let them write down the instructions for the  activities and turn them into a guide. 
  • If you have decided to work with a  Virtual Assistant, then most of the work will probably be done remotely. In that case, make a small Skype call to quickly show your assistant how to do the task. The recording of the call  should be sufficient material for the Assistant to then create a guide for future reference. Simple as that!

Or we could do it!

If necessary, we could also create a (written) guide based on any information you provide. We will, of course, send it to you for review, before work begins, so that everything can go smoothly. Only after we have received confirmation, will we start working. And there is no need for worries, should the collaboration reveal that something needs to be changed – that can be done at any time.

 

What questions have we been asked about the collaboration?

I mean, everyone has their own kind of work schedule, some get work done within an hour, and sometimes, with interruptions and all, it could take three hours?

UKU allows us (and you!) to measure time to a second. As soon as something comes up, the stopwatch can be paused, then resumed. Through working with our past partners, we have also found the optimal time necessary to get the job done. We make sure that the work is carried out in a well-timed manner, all the while resulting in the desired quality.

How does payment work? Do I have to pay in advance or once the job is completed?

All work is paid for after the work is finished. For one-time orders (that do not last over a month), we send an invoice after the end of the job; with regular customers we tend to set up a monthly bill, usually on the 1st, for the services provided in the previous month.

Let us set up the process and then get to work – easy as that!

 

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