Virtual Assistants – so how does all that work?
What can you outsource to virtual assistants ?
Which would you prefer – spending more time practicing law or cluttering up your working day performing essential but time consuming administrative tasks?
Investing in a virtual assistant can help you reduce your personal workload in one of the most cost-effective ways possible. They can do all the things that prevent you from fee earning (that have to be done) and, in many instances, they have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can help you get the most out of the way in which your practice is managed.
What is a VA?
A virtual assistant can deal with a variety of office tasks that can be actioned via an internet link. This can range from managing your diary to invoicing clients and all points in between.
What can a VA do for you?
So let’s look at some tasks that are easy to outsource to a VA:Invoice clients
- Pay your bills
- Bank reconciliations with your cloud accounting software
- Keep track of your accounts payable and receivables
- Renew your bar association dues
- Remind you when it’s time to pay bills (if you want to pay your own bills)
- manage your phone calls
- provide transcription and typing services
- Book your travel arrangements.
In addition to these a VA can field your telephone calls and emails for you. The latter is one of the most common areas where a VA can assist. E-mails can be sorted, prioritised to enable you to work more effectively and answer the more important / time critical ones first. They can also handle basic emails directly such as setting up appointments and providing guidance on the services you provide. managing you calendar is also another key area – and it can take the hassle out of the traditional email ping-pong when it comes to scheduling a meeting and booking venues for events or meetings.
Often the last thing to be attended to by lawyers is marketing and business development. In this field VAs can assist you with your online marketing: social media and blogging, regular client newsletters and promotional emails. That is always assuming you have a well established website and bulk emailing platform – take note here: automated online marketing is a specialist area and initial set up should be completed by an experienced professional.
What are the savings?
It may take a leap of faith for you to go down the VA route but it’s worth taking a look at how the numbers add up. To achieve this, the equation is really quite simple:Take your hourly rate,
multiply it by the number of potential billable hours you lose by working on admin, marketing, basic telephone calls etc. etc. Take the cost of hiring a VA to handle those tasks for you.
Subtract 3 from 2.
No need for slide rules or calculators! And, if you are still in doubt, test drive the service for a few months to check the quality of the service you are receiving against both the cost and the amount of time you are saving.
Don’t forget also: even if you can’t fill all your potential billable hours, hiring a VA could be a route towards less pressurised working and a better lifestyle.