Even the keenest of entrepreneurs won’t be skilled in all the processes that go into running their online business. This is where Virtual Assistants shine because they are experienced in many of these crucial roles.
Need to write compelling copy that will move audiences?
Looking for eye-catching graphics for your Instagram posts?
Thinking of upgrading your website and using search engine optimization to draw in more customers?
Dealing with countless customer comments, orders or inquiries?
Hire an expert to stay on top of everything and get you quality results. The advantages of hiring Virtual Assistants is that smart business owners can delegate these to them, confident in their abilities to fulfill these roles. Should the company scale up operations, they can consider tapping the combined skills of a whole Virtual Team composed of specialist VAs who can even deliver the goods.
For online businesses, the time is ripe to scale up operations. E-commerce is booming and opportunities abound! Check out the data: According to the Department of Commerce, e-commerce continued growing unimpeded in 2020, increasing by 32% during that year. It represents 14% of total retail spending in the nation. So for those considering starting an online business, or scaling up their existing one, now’s the time!
However, as their enterprises grow to meet increasing customer demand and match the bigger players, small business owners may have trouble scaling up operations by themselves. At this point, business owners need a helping hand, which Virtual Assistants can provide by managing key aspects of the workplace, freeing them up to lead their startups and handle more important affairs like strategic planning.
Fundamentals of Starting and Running an Online Business
First, let’s start by outlining how online businesses can succeed. According to marketing whiz Allen Moon over at Entrepreneur, there is a proven sequence of steps to achieve success when starting a business online. These include:
- Finding a need and fulfilling it.
- Writing a copy that sells this product or service.
- Designing and building a convenient website.
- Using search engines to draw traffic to this site.
- Establishing a reputation as an expert.
- Following up with customers and subscribers.
- And increasing income through back-end sales and upselling.
Each phase requires skills and expertise that individual business owners might not possess themselves. This is where Virtual Assistants come in. So let’s go into detail about how a VA can help fulfill each of the steps needed for successful online businesses.
Building Brand Identity
Authenticity is the new currency, and by cultivating this businesses can build their brand identity. This is how they can make their offerings stand out from their competitors’ products and services, adding an intangible extra touch. Brand identity is also crucial in outdoing those larger and more impersonal corporations.
Brand identity doesn’t just emerge instantly, however. It takes time to cultivate a reputation as a trusted brand, to make audiences familiarized with what your business offers and what makes it stick out from the rest, and even establish the personal style of the business owner themselves.
Yes, even the business owner will be part of the brand identity. Entrepreneurs must ask themselves who they are, what they stand for, and what they hope to achieve with their endeavors – both business-wise and personal. These can inform the company’s branding and give it a personal touch.
Think of Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, their personal flair proved crucial in making their companies click with audiences and customers. Jobs’ showmanship, Musk’s unrestrained tech-bro ambition and eccentricity. For small to medium businesses, think about those neighborhood establishments run by pillars of the community. Those Mom and Pops stores everyone is familiar with. The individuals behind the businesses became part of their brands.
A Virtual Assistant or team of VAs can help with this by making compelling copies and graphics with a recurring theme or message. This will become synonymous with the brand, emphasizing its story. These will be part of a broader content marketing plan that uses storytelling to build a dedicated following.
Managing Social Media
The aforementioned compelling content can then be broadcast across social media to draw in more viewers. Each medium has its own specific requirements. So the content will have to be tailored for the channel it is on.
For startup owners with limited time on their hands to scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok and other mediums. Virtual Assistants can handle this and grow engagement with your brands’ followers. They can generate new content, reply to posts and comments, and through these interactions get your online business more customers. Authentic, human interactions on social media, and not just canned responses or robotic scripts, is crucial for growing an online following. Audiences want to interact, to have their questions answered, to joke around. They will appreciate a brand that engages with them on this level. So get those likes and subscribers!
Designing User-Friendly Websites
All the compelling content and social media buzz in the world won’t mean jack if customers go to the site and find it barely working and unusable. It is vital for an online business to have a streamlined and functional website. With this, transactions will go smoothly and visitors will have great customer experiences. This encourages them to visit again and give the business more sales.
Websites also have to be optimized for search engines. The higher a business’ site ranks on search engines like Google, the more traffic it will get. Raising local SEO ranking can be really beneficial for small businesses. This applies even more so for online businesses that rely solely on transactions through the internet, without using any physical location.
To improve SEO, Virtual Assistants have to tweak the way sites are arranged and indexed, the content in their pages and the keywords they use. These steps will help get higher rankings from the algorithms used by Google and other search engines.
Additionally, to increase customer reach and also reduce company liability, these websites can also be designed with Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant features. As a matter of fact, Virtual BizNest’s VAs have been adding these features to our client websites, with great results.
Responding to Customer Inquiries and Feedback
Customer service is a Virtual Assistant forte. Now you have drawn your customers in with your engaging social media campaign and slick new website. They’re contacting your online business and making orders, or sending inquiries and even complaints. Alone and unassisted, a business owner will have to sift through hundreds of messages in their inboxes or DMs – taking forever and leaving a few unanswered. But a VA can promptly answer these and keep customers hooked, much like social media engagement.
Managing Orders, Inventory and Finances
Keeping things organized and balancing dozens of spreadsheets is one of the more unglamorous aspects of running a business – online or otherwise. It can also be a source of many headaches for startup owners. Especially those who would rather be thinking about the Big Picture. Thankfully, this is another field that Virtual Assistants are pros at. Business owners can stop wasting their precious time by delegating these tedious tasks to their VA, who are probably better than them at balancing the books anyway.
Giving You Time for Strategic Planning
Small business owners are often naturally inclined to stay on top of each and every detail of their enterprise. Particularly when they were the ones to build it from the ground up. But as the online business scales up, they can’t be everywhere at once. Trying to do this will end up becoming counterproductive, costing the business more and even impeding the workforce from doing their jobs well. It becomes micromanaging, which business owners have to avoid. Instead, they should focus on strategic thinking.
With Virtual Assistants holding the fort, and providing more capacity than business owners can muster on their own, the company can then shift to growing its operations. Scalability is one of the crucial yet understated benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant or larger Virtual Team.
Virtual Assistants are highly effective in building and growing online businesses. Many startup owners have been leveraging VAs and Virtual Teams. This trend has resulted in drastic improvements in the way they run their company. Virtual BizNest has no shortage of happy clients sending glowing testimonials about our VA services. With VAs, business owners can pivot and focus on what they are truly good at and lead their companies to new heights. At the same time, their time is freed up, giving them a chance to improve their work-life balance, engage in self-care, spend more time with their family, or just get some much deserved R&R.