In a nutshell: a Virtual Office or Operations Manager is pretty much an outsourced version of a traditional Office Manager with some elements of the traditional Virtual Assistant role.
If you’re a business owner, I’m guessing that you’ve been wearing ALL of the hats since you started – so you’re the employee, the CEO, the marketing manager, the chief tea-maker, the sales executive, and so on… but once you finally decide that you would rather not do it all on your own, the never-ending to-do list that comes with expanding your team can seem overwhelming.
I totally get it.
But where do you start when it comes to looking at options for the kind of person who would be best to turn to for helping you manage your growing business?
A lot of the time it’s suggested that this person should be a Virtual Assistant, which can be a great starting point for most solo entrepreneurs; however, some businesses will need more support at a strategic level, which is where a Virtual Operations Manager can jump on board to save the day.
To decide which of these might be the right option for you, let’s first take a closer look at the stereotypical definition of a Virtual Assistant and what do they do.
What’s a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant is a remote team worker who is employed on a contracted or freelance basis. As small business owners themselves, they work with several clients at any time, providing them with a vast range of administrative services on an hourly basis.
There are many Virtual Assistants that specialise in specific areas – such as websites or using a particular software platform. Many more will work with dedicated niche areas, and this impacts on the type of service they can provide.
Let’s start with a breakdown of some of the more common tasks a general Virtual Assistant can provide:
Tasks such as filing, data entry, competitor research, managing your to-do list, preparing travel itineraries, tickets, and hotels, as well as handling your expense and travel claims.
Social media management
This can include anything from engagement, content creation and scheduling, right through to analysing reports and implementing ad campaigns.
Event organisation and management
A Virtual Assistant can liaise with attendees and suppliers, take notes at meetings, research suitable venues and follow up with attendees after the event.
Email and calendar management
Tasks such as ensuring your appointments and meetings are scheduled, updating your contacts, filtering and replying to emails, and tidying your inbox are commonly outsourced to a Virtual Assistant.
Digital marketing tasks
Content creation, website management, email and sales funnel set up and management, blog post ideas, keyword research and editing videos are all Virtual Assistant-friendly tasks.
Customer relationship management
Tasks like sales and call management, dealing with queries and competitor research can be handed over to a Virtual Assistant to help you with your customer relationship and retention requirements.
Virtual Assistants aren’t limited to helping you with your business life – they’re great for personal tasks too. Tasks such as organising the family holiday, gift sourcing and purchasing, as well as calendar management for the family, ensuring that you’re all where you need to be (with time to spare).
What about the Virtual Operations Manager?
Well, not only will a Virtual Operations Manager help you with ‘doing’ some (not all) of the above on a specialist level, they can also support your business strategically with the ‘planning’, ‘people’ and ‘processes’ (and with saving the ‘pennies’ – love a bit of alliteration!)
By way of an analogy: if a Virtual Operations Manager is the equivalent of an office coordinator/manager, then a Virtual Assistant would be comparable to an office assistant.
As you can see above, the act of hiring either a Virtual Assistant or a Virtual Operations Manager can be a huge asset to your business depending on the level of support that you need. Not only will they help you and your business to get more organised, they will also free up your time and your to-do list so that you can focus on what you do best.
And the next time you want to expand your team, you can outsource that process to your Virtual Operations Manager!