How To Give Yourself A Raise In Your Business


The following list describes how businesses are utilizing Arup Virtual Assistant.  This informational list will give new clients ideas on how they can benefit from the services of a Virtual Assistant. Clients currently using a Virtual Assistant may develop new ideas or thoughts on how to expand their services.

All documents created by or used by a Virtual Assistant can be quickly transmitted via email attachment, FTP, and Fax.  Overnight delivery, priority mail, or regular postal services are always an option.

The Key Benefits of using Virtual Assistants are:   

  • Having no employee related expenses 
  • Paying for time on task only, not for employee downtime 
  • Having an assistant well trained in a variety of areas 
  • Having an assistant with expertise in areas that are not the focus of your business 
  • Being a perfect fit for new business owners, whether small or large 

Uses for a Virtual Assistant:

1. Bookkeeping  

Pay your bills  

You mail or fax them to our virtual assistant who then sets up a checking account with payment authorization or online bill payment services.  Your virtual assistant prepares and processes the payments and enters them into accounting software (QuickBooks) and keeps the business owner appraised of the banking balance before and after the bills are processed.

Track your accounts payable and receivable   

As bills are paid, your virtual assistant enters the transactions into accounting software (QuickBooks), reconciles bank statements, enters credit card transactions, prepares invoices, makes and/or enters deposits, and prepares end of month reports.  Accounts can be set-up via on-line banking and all banking transactions can be downloaded into QuickBooks weekly, bimonthly, or monthly.

Invoice your clients  

You simply send an email to your virtual assistant with the number of hours to be billed to each client. The virtual assistant prepares and mails the invoice which can be emailed directly through QuickBooks.

Handle past-due accounts receivable 

Your virtual assistant mails past-due notices and follows up via telephone to collect on past-due invoices.

Renew association annual dues   

Your Virtual Assistant prepares the invoices, mails them according to schedule, receives payments, and deposits them into the association’s account.  All transactions are recorded in accounting software and sent to the association.

Reconcile bank accounts monthly even though you pay your own bills   

You mail the virtual assistant a copy of your check register and bank statements; the virtual assistant enters data into the accounting software and reconciles the account.  The accounting software report is sent back to you via email attachment, or the virtual assistant uses a system such as Team Viewer to dial directly into your computer.

Send reminders to pay bills in a timely manner even though you pay them yourself  

Your virtual assistant reminds you by email or telephone when due dates arrive.

Set-up all employees on payroll within you accounting software   

The virtual assistant can assist you, a new business owner, in setting up new employees on your payroll software as well as completing the quarterly state and federal taxes. The virtual assistant can also set-up all employees on direct deposit into their checking account.

E-mail QuickBooks company files and other accounting software to the client on a daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis

This depends on whether the client is hands-on within the software or if the virtual assistant is maintaining the books as a full-charge bookkeeper.


2. Personnel & Human Resources 

Hire an employee  

Your Virtual Assistant writes a help-wanted advertisement, places the ad, receives and reviews the resumes,conducts the initial phone interview, narrows the selection to three individuals, and schedules an interview with you.  Once the selections have been confirmed by the client, the virtual assistant can proceed with final reference checks for the client.

Review hundreds of resumes for an ad posted   

Giving the virtual assistant some key specifications to look for, the virtual assistant reviews the resumes, types a short biography on each, and sorts the resumes based upon the criteria given by the clients.

Process employment applications  

Scan applications and send to your virtual assistant, who verifies past employment, calls the references, and reports the findings to you.

Contact a new employee  

When a new hire is due to arrive, the virtual assistant prepares and sends a welcome package.

Remind you to provide annual performances reviews for your employees 

The virtual assistant tracks the dates, sends you a reminder, and assists in processing the summary review.

Verify payroll requirements   

The virtual assistant verifies that all payroll requirements have been met, appropriate taxes have been paid, and forms have been filed.  As in Bookkeeping above, the virtual assistant processes all payrolls for you including the processing of state and federal forms.

Conduct a practice interview 

For individuals seeking employment, a virtual assistant specializing in personnel management services can offer many suggestions to ensure a positive, successful interview.


3. Database Management & Data Processing 

Set up a database from business cards you gather

You fax the virtual assistant copies of business cards you gathered at a presentation or during the course of the month.  The virtual assistant enters the information into a contact database and uses mail merge to produce a follow-up letter. Then either scans you signature, uses a signature font to sign your name, or mails the follow-up letters to you to sign, and finally sends out the letters.

Enter new prospect leads into a contact database

Email new leads to the virtual assistant who will enter them into your contact database and use a personalized mail merge to send an introductory letter.  The virtual assistant monitors the marketing follow-up program, sending a pre-determined marketing piece every two weeks.  Each week the data is sent to you via email so you have a record of the transactions.  The prospect responds directly to you.

Record new policy owner information

An insurance agent faxes policy information to the virtual assistant who enters it into a database and sends it back to the agent via email attachment.  The virtual assistant then prepares and mails a standard confirmation letter to the policy owner, tracking the annual expiration date of the policy and, on the due date, sends a reminder email to you.

Verify your prospect list

You want to send a direct mailing and need to verify your prospects, some of which may have missing data. You send your prospect list to the virtual assistant via email attachment.  The virtual assistant telephones each name, verifies spelling, title and address, obtains missing information, makes corrections, and returns the list to you via email attachment.

Change database software

The virtual assistant converts the data and walks you through installing and learning how to use the new software.

Create custom database applications

Database applications are essential to run any business. No matter how complicated your needs are, a virtual assistant with knowledge of database applications can tailor your database to specific needs by designing the proper entering and reporting tools to be as close as possible to your current paper forms.  With the right database application, your business will be more efficient and productive.

4. Research

Assist client in selling business success tools and seminars  

The virtual assistant researches a target industry, prepares a list of companies, calls to identify a contact individual, then prepares and mails introductory material.  After a specified time, the virtual assistant calls to verify information has been received and to schedule a sales call.

Book hotel conference room for a seminar  

The virtual assistant contacts several hotels in the area to find space-availability for the date, size, and specifics of the seminar, obtaining written quotes from the hotels that can accommodate the request, compiling a comparison, and reporting the findings to you.

Duplicate CD’s  

The virtual assistant calls several vendors and obtains written quotes.  Upon approval, the virtual assistant sends the original CD to the vendor, designs and prints labels, receives the completed order, attaches the labels, and sends the package to you.

Research competition

The virtual assistant does a search online, determines who they are and what they are doing, and compiles a list of the appropriate websites for you to look at.

Work with your advertising plan  

The virtual assistant contacts possible advertising resources from a variety of sources including the internet, magazines, periodicals, and newspapers and acquires all necessary information including pricing, publishing dates, publishing deadlines, and payment policies. This information is compiled into a report for you to review.

Buy office equipment

Email the virtual assistant with the request. The virtual assistant calls several vendors, obtains pricing information, and emails the information back to the client.

Purchase software to do mail merge in email

The virtual assistant researches the internet and inquires among business networking groups about such software.  When the software is identified, the virtual contacts the vendor to verify mail merge capability, the price, and availability.  The virtual assistant then reports the findings to the clients.

5. Market Support

Help you implement a marketing plan

Your virtual assistant submit ads by deadline, tracks expiration dates, coordinates payment, and handles correspondence with advertising vendors, continually updating the advertising report and /or advertising budget report for your review.

Send a variety of sales brochures  

You (or the virtual assistant) mail postcards using the virtual assistants contact info and the return address and fax number. The virtual assistant mails the appropriate brochure upon receipt of request, updating your database with name, address, date, and type of brochure requested.

Monitor customer satisfaction

The virtual assistant creates a customer feedback questionnaire, mails it to customers, receives the completed questionnaire, summarizes the responses, and issues you a report.

Assist in implements an advertising plan  

The virtual assistant monitors the plan, submits ads by deadlines, tracks expirations dates, coordinates payment, handles correspondence with advertising vendors, and continually updates the advertising report and/or advertising budget report for the client.

6. Real Estate Assistance

Prepare a pre-listing/pre-sale package

You have a motivated seller and want to emphasize that you are organized, professional, and committed to their needs.  The virtual assistant prepares a package including your resume of past sales; client testimonials; advice about pricing, selling time and staging; and other important questions to think about.  You send the virtual assistant the seller’s contact info, and the virtual assistant prints and sends the package.  This can give you an advantage for listing appointments and decreasing the length of appointments.

Keep in touch with clients

You spend too much time scheduling showings and reporting to clients, with many phone calls back and forth.  The virtual assistant helps you keep in touch with clients and updates your schedule for you using a calendar you can both access online with the touch of a button.

Design flyers for your newest listing

You email the virtual assistant room descriptions and photos. Skilled in programs such as Publisher and Real Estate Assistant, the virtual assistant enhances the photos and writes the text to romance the listing.  The virtual assistant then emails the flyer to your list of buyers and interested agents.

Maintain your MLS

You send the virtual assistant any changes you make such as new listings, changes to current listings, and price reductions. The virtual assistant enters them into the MLS and emails your potential clients about the updates.

Assist clients in finding your website

The virtual assistant knowledgeable about search-engine optimization gets you well positioned within search engines and makes updates on a regular basis, checking regularly for broken links. These actions keep clients coming back.

Arrange panoramic visual tours

You need an edge over other real estate professionals who don’t yet provide virtual tours of their properties. The virtual assistant can arrange panoramic visual tours of your homes for sale or creates a dynamic web commercial using your still photos.

Create a presentation

You’d like to show and attractive listing presentation to your potential clients. The virtual assistant skilled in using multimedia software creates a presentation that you can show from your computer and creates a CD you can leave with your clients.

Create thank-you cards

You want to thank those who have referred you clients and make sure your name stays at the top of their minds.  The virtual assistant creates attractive thank you notes and birthday cards and sends them out on your behalf.  The virtual assistant also helps you choose and send custom closing gifts.

Function as a transaction coordination manager  

You and your staff will see immediate savings in the time and effort needed to manage the myriad details of each transaction. Online Transaction Management allows each party to the transaction including buyers, sellers, lenders, title companies, and attorneys to view, and in some cases add to, all relevant details in a secure environment using their web browsers.  This keeps everyone on the same page, maintains the transaction schedule, and keeps the number of mistakes and miscommunications to a minimum.  Popular transaction platforms include Settlement Room Guru net, Transaction Point, and many others.

7. Word Processing

Type notes from meetings you attend

You mail or fax the notes to the virtual assistant, who types them and mails, faxes, or emails them back.  The virtual assistant can join the meeting via conference call or go to meeting-online capabilities and take the minutes of the meeting in real time; type them during the meeting; and later format, proof, and email them to you as an attachment.

Send a series of letters  

You fax handwritten drafts or dictate over the phone to the virtual assistant, who types the letters, faxes or emails them to you for approval, prints them on your stationery, and mails them.

Type a manual

You mail a compilation of old documents with handwritten corrections to the virtual assistant, who consolidates them, types them up, and emails to you.

Format and edit reports

A client is preparing a report and needs the draft copy to be formatted.  He sends the document via email attachment to the virtual assistant, who then edits and formats the document and returns the finished report via email attachment.

Prepare a PowerPoint presentation

A client is preparing a seminar and needs a Power Point presentation.  Sketches of diagrams and charts are faxed to the virtual assistant, who then prepares the power point slides and sends the document to the client via email attachment.

8. Mail & Email Services

Teach you about your email software program

The virtual assistant walks you through how to set this up and teaches you how to use it.

Manage your mail

You travel frequently, usually returning to a stack of mail, sometimes missing important correspondence.  You have your mail forwarded to post office box near the virtual assistant, who retrieves and reviews the mail, faxes or overnights to your hotel urgent items, responds to routine matters, and forwards items to your office that can wait for your return.  To save on postage costs, some items may be scanned and delivered via email attachment.

Fulfill services

You need to fill requests for books, tapes or other materials.  As orders come in, you email or fax the virtual assistant with the information, or the virtual assistant collects the information from your website, and then prepares packages and mails.

Help manage email volume

You can’t keep up with your volume of email and are missing important messages.  The virtual assistant sets up a general email account for you, such as info@hellosmarter.com, then retrieves the email, sorts it, responds to routine requests, and forwards items of importance to you at your personal email account.

Manage email when you are away

You are going on vacation and don’t want to miss important messages. The virtual assistant downloads your email, or you forward your email to the virtual assistant.  The virtual assistant notifies individuals that you’re out of the office and contacts you with urgent messages.

Create an auto-responder to your website

You want a way to respond automatically to standard requests to your website.  The virtual assistant creates and auto-responder and monitors and establishes a database of who is requesting and how many are requesting information.

Link you internationally

An international company is preparing a mailing to prospects in the USA (or other country). By using a virtual assistant in that country, all mail can be delivered with domestic postage.

9. Secretarial and Telephone Services

Confirm weekly sales appointments  

You fax your list to the virtual assistant, who calls the appointments, notes who are confirmed and who must be rescheduled, and faxes the list back to you.

Find directions

You need directions to a prospect’s office.  The virtual assistant calls, gets directions, and emails them to you.

Fill out paperwork

You have routine paperwork to be filled out on a daily basis (e.g., sales-call re-caps). You call the virtual assistant with the information, who then fills out the form and fax them to you.

Organize your paperwork

You have stacks of random paper documents on your desk that you can’t figure out how to organize. You mail them in a big envelope to the virtual assistant, who breaks them down into labelled manila folders, creates a master list, and sends them back for you to place in your file cabinet, category list in front.

Back up your computer data

You want to make sure you have a backup of your computer or a special file.  You mail or email the information to the virtual assistant for safekeeping.  In the event of a disaster, your files are located off premises.

Coordinate your travels

You travel frequently.  The virtual assistant coordinates your air travel, car rental and hotel reservations.

Manage your phone calls

You’re going on vacation or are frequently out of the office, but you need to stay in touch with important business calls and do not want leave the phone unattended. When you’re unable to check your voice mail on a regular basis, you use a call-forwarding feature to transfer calls to the virtual assistant, or record on your voice mail that callers with urgent messages may contact your assistant. The virtual assistant answers calls, responds to routine requests, and contacts you with urgent messages.  You could check your voice mail yourself and answer some calls personally while assigning others to the virtual assistant or obtain a separate phone line in the virtual assistant’s office so that a person will answer with your company’s name.

10.  Web Site & Related Internet Services

Design, build, and maintain a website

You need a web presence but can’t justify spending thousands of dollars to use a high-end web design company.  A virtual assistant who is skilled in HTML software can design, build, and maintain a professional website for you and save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

Make website changes

You need changes on your website.  The virtual assistant edits or uploads new information to your website, whether the site was created by the virtual assistant or by someone else.

Promote your website  

The virtual assistant performs keyword research; optimizes your web site pages for search engine traffic; and submits the URL, key words, and description to various online directories.

Improve your website traffic with related links

The virtual assistant contacts similar websites and requests mutual link exchange.

Monitor your website

You don’t have time to monitor your website for errors or broken links.  The virtual assistant periodically reviews the website and verifies links.

Monitor web site traffic  

The virtual assistant monitors traffic reports and makes recommendations for adjustments to improve traffic.

Research bounced email addresses

You send out an email mailing list/newsletter/Ezine and some bounce, due to incorrect subscription requests or other email failures.  You forward related messages to the virtual assistant, who correctly processes the requests to subscribe, unsubscribe, or delete bounced messages.  The virtual assistant manages the email database, adding subscriptions, deleting those wanting to unsubscribe, and posting announcements to the list.

Help increase the number of subscribers to your electronic newsletter or Ezine

The virtual assistant lists the newsletter/ezine with a variety of online directories, contacts other subject-related list owners to inquire about mutual cross-promotion, and follows up to make sure the lists are accurate.

Promote your company online

The virtual assistant writes articles on your behalf or submits articles written by you to electronic newsletters.

Operate a manual email mailing list for newsletter/ezine  

The virtual assistant manages the email database by adding subscriptions, deleting those wanting to unsubscribe, deleting failed email addresses, and posting announcements to the list.

Locate a hard to find items

Using the internet, the virtual assistant can perform a search to try to locate the items.

11.  Desktop Publishing

Create business cards or tri-fold brochures

The virtual assistant designs and prints them for you using pre-designed paper stock, clip art, or your own logo, either in conjunction with a printing service or by printing them for you in small amounts on an as-needed basis so that you can update their content whenever appropriate.

Create and prepare business materials

You need a price list, product list, or schedule prepared.  The virtual assistant designs, types, and prepares flyers, calendars, and lists using a color printer and clip art or your own design.

Prepare certificates

Participants completing a seminar, getting an award, or becoming a member of your organization need recognition.  You fax a list to the virtual assistant, who designs and prints certificates, including seals and ribbons.  The virtual assistant sends the completed certificates to you to issue or mails them directly to each participant.

Publish a quarterly newsletter or ezine  

You provide the content and the mailing list to the virtual assistant or the virtual assistant helps with articles. The virtual assistant prepares the newsletter/ezine, prepares labels, and mails your publication.

Make membership certificates for a non-profit organization  

A virtual assistant can design and prepare certificates perhaps using pre-designed paper stock or color printer.

Prepare award certificates

A client is preparing an awards ceremony for the annual company meeting and needs award certificates.  A virtual assistant can design and prepare certificates perhaps using client-provided art and/or ribbons.

12.  Web Site & Related Internet Services

Procure purchases and supplies

The virtual assistant sets up an online account on your behalf with your suppliers and works with you or your accountant to setup lines of credit with vendors and monitors keeping the credit information current and accurate.

Order supplies as needed

On a pre-specified basis the virtual assistant emails you a list of office supplies that you use on a regular basis.  You check off what is needed and email or fax back to the virtual assistant, who re-orders the supplies and has them delivered directly to you.

Purchase equipment

You need to purchase new software, office equipment, or a specialized product.  The virtual assistant researches makes, models, and versions, using both the internet and business networking groups.  The virtual assistant calls several vendors, obtains pricing information, ascertains that the product meets your requirements, and reports the findings to you.  The virtual assistant then purchases the item on your behalf. If the item requires on–site setup, the virtual assistant makes those arrangements as well as confirming with dates, times, and travel information.

Set up lines of credit

A virtual assistant working in bookkeeping or accounting capacity can set-up lines of credit with vendors and monitor to keep the credit information current and accurate.


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