What do virtual executive assistants do in practice?

Posted by Archie on 02/11/17 12:58

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The world of remote assistance can seem like a minefield. With a myriad of similar-sounding titles such as virtual PA, business concierge, part-time administration support and online secretary service often covering the same job description, it can be difficult to pinpoint what a remote assistant actually does. Especially if you are new to the remote assistance game. 

As such, this blog aims to clear up some of the ambiguity by highlighting how our Fyxers work in practice. In particular, it will look at the four principal areas of work they perform for our clients: administrative, personal, professional and executive-level.

Administrative work

‘Admin’ is synonymous with the assistant concept. It is the mundane tasks that have to get done, but do not have to be done by an executive. Those unproductive tasks that regularly take up a chunk of an executive’s time should be immediately transferred over to an assistant. In practice, our Fyxers:

  • Handle clients’ accounts. Recording bills, sending out invoices and organising payments is an arduous, but vital, task that Fyxers undertake for almost all of their clients.
  • Keep databases up-to-date. Fyxers organise folders and update documents, such as a key stakeholder grid, to ensure an executive's data accurately reflects reality.
  • Provide everyday service. Admin can mount up at periods of high demand, like Christmas or approaching the end of the fiscal year. Fyxers can provide their service without interruption during these times, such as working every day over the Christmas period.
  • Streamline client processes. Every Fyxer is a clerical specialist, having honed and adapted their working processes over time. As such, they are not only taking these tasks off their clients’ plates, but dealing with them more efficiently too.
  • Respond immediately. Whether via phone, email, Skype, WhatsApp, online screen sharing or video conferencing, Fyxers can respond to admin needs instantaneously.

Personal work

Aside from clerical tasks, the other traditional role of an assistant is that of a personal helper. For example, Fyxers:

  • Provide gatekeeper services. Fyxers are in sync with their executive’s priorities and can therefore accurately control access to executives whose time is highly sought after.
  • Take control of emails. Fyxers prove that ‘Inbox (0)’ is not a myth, whilst also filtering emails in terms of importance so that an executive can be proactive instead of reactive.
  • Become the point of contact. As with managing a client’s inbox, Fyxers also become the first port of call for phone contact, screening calls for significance. For example, handling telemarketers themselves, but patching through client calls.
  • Manage diaries. From avoiding clashes to booking in meetings, Fyxers manage the calendar of almost every client. Some even work for global executives, organising between time zones and providing the link between the executive’s various international offices.
  • Organise business travel. Fyxers book hotels and train tickets, while also ensuring travel expenses are logged and submitted.
  • Manage social media pages. Fyxers tweet and post on clients’ behalf so they can become a respected online influencer.
  • Simplify information. Fyxers ensure that information is at its most accessible, by transcribing meetings, translating emails or even typing up handwritten meeting notes into a word document.

Personal work, however, is not solely contained to an executive’s working life. Fyxers have also been known to:

  • Send out cards. By keeping an eye on on a client’s calendar, Fyxers remember to send cards to family members and clients on holidays and anniversaries.
  • Research restaurants. Whether it’s booking a table for an anniversary dinner or a Saturday night treat to the theatre.
  • Ensure clients hit their fitness goals. Fyxers will make sure that their executive has enough spare time in their working week to take exercise and reach their fitness goals.
  • Act as a travel agent. Fyxers search travel sites for family holidays and help to plan the trip by booking flights and accommodation, while also sorting out car rental and giving tips on the itinerary.
  • Find reputable services. Whether its kids, dogs or the kitchen, Fyxers will analyse reviews and recommend trusted baby-sitters, dog walkers and handymen. 

Professional work

As executive assistants, Fyxers are highly-skilled professionals and have more than just admin and personal work in their locker. Fyxers also:

  • Proofread documents. Reviewing documents with a fresh perspective before they are sent out.
  • Put together presentations. From undertaking the research and fetching data to choosing the template and making the notes, Fyxers can prepare all slides in advance of an executive giving a presentation.
  • Lead on content marketing. From researching to writing to formatting, Fyxers are adept at writing business-related articles and blog posts.
  • Provide market research. Fyxers compile reports and provide analysis on a client’s competitors and their wider industry, allowing them to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Act as external employees. Fyxers can take on high-value projects that executives do not want to give to others in their company for reasons of workload or preserving company culture.
  • Digital marketing. For example, Fyxers can provide tips and tricks to improve a client’s SEO and help them cast a wider net.

Executive-level work

Executive-level virtual assistants are no longer the sole preserve of FTSE 100 or Dow Jones CEOs; technology has made it an affordable commodity for all. From sole operators to multinationals and every business in between, executives are realising the limitless depth of an executive remote assistant’s ability. Fyxers, for example, can:

  • Manage projects. Trained in project management, Fyxers can act as an executive’s right-hand by managing teams of personnel, ensuring deadlines are met and guaranteeing the final outcome is completed to a high standard.
  • Devise promotional campaigns. Fyxers use their communications experience to coordinate social media and PR campaigns, broadcasting a positive message of a client’s company and increasing their traction.
  • Take charge in an executive’s absence. Whether through illness or holiday, Fyxers can ensure that every required action is completed and advanced when an executive is away, so there is no slowing down of output.
  • Provide training. When a Fyxer learns a new skill or finishes a new course, they give a training session to every other Fyxer. Fyxers can do the same for a client’s company. For example, by providing sessions on social media management.
  • Be reverse mentors. Instead of having to guide your assistant, Fyxers will also be able to guide you. This could be giving advice on how an executive could be more efficient in their day-to-day or relaying techniques to improve their work/life balance.
  • Provide tech support. From website design to maintenance and development, Fyxers can take control of a task that many executives do not have the necessary skills, or time, to do themselves.

Endless possibilities

The aforementioned list is, of course, a mere flavour of how Fyxers work in practice. The truth of the matter is that every executive is different and so is their needs. Therefore, each Fyxer provides bespoke assistance, adapting to the circumstances at hand.

They are trusted allies that although won’t make you coffee, will help free-up your valuable time and change your life.

 

Topics: Virtual Assistants, Executive Assistants, PA, Personal Assistant, Remote Working, remote assistant, FYXER