30 Tasks to Outsource to a General Virtual Assistant to Save Time and Money

A general virtual assistant, also known as GVA basically does the same work as a Personal Assistant, Secretary and Office Administrator all in one, only difference is they deliver work online. The trend these days is to hire offshore GVAs in developing countries as the labour cost is lower yet you can still get access to quality staff and graduates.

When offshoring the role of GVA, you can either hire home-based virtual assistants or office-based virtual general assistants. Both options have their pros and cons and your eventual choice would really depend on the stage of your business and your end goal.

The role of virtual general assistants as the name implies is not a specialist role so ensure that you align your expectations accordingly. Don’t expect your GVA to suddenly transform into a content writer, SEO specialist, video and/or audio editor, web developer, designer, telemarketer, sales specialist, accountant and the like all in one. Unfortunately no such super human exists.

However, the good news is that there are a myriad of tasks that you can outsource to your virtual assistant staff to give you more freedom and save you lots of money in your business.

Below are 30 tasks that you can outsource to a general virtual assistant to save you time and money:

1.   Online Chat Management (respond to enquiries from your online chat feature on your website) 

2.   Answer support tickets (via online software such as Zendesk)

3.   Email Management/Filtering
(so you can keep your sanity with an organized inbox)

4.   Follow up with clients (send happy anniversary emails, thank you emails, happy birthday emails etc.)

5.   Calendar Management

6.   Manage and/or Filter Responses to Recruitment Advertisements (based on your criteria)

7.   Set up Autoresponders (eg. on enewsletter platforms like Mailchimp, Aweber)

8.   Set-up Social Media Accounts (Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube)

9.   Manage and update Social Media Accounts

10. Book appointments with clients

11. Liaise between you and other internal/external contacts

12. Light Receptionist Duties (answer occasional calls)

13. Research (gather important content on certain topics for blog posts, newsletters or others)

14. Data Mine (gather potential leads from online sources such as yellow pages, association websites and so on based on criteria you provided and compile potential leads on an excel spreadsheet)

15. Database Management (eg. update email or contact lists on your CRM)

16. File Management (organize files using Livedrive, Dropbox)

17. Handle personal errands (hotel and/or flight bookings, purchase online gifts for loved ones / family members)

18. Record minutes of meetings

19. Create basic reports (reports on weekly tasks, sales etc.)

20. Prepare Slideshows (Powerpoint Presentations)

21. Share Slideshows on online platforms such as Slideshare

22. Transcribe (transcribe voicemail, video or audio, podcasts etc.)

23. Manage your Blog (Basic WordPress)

24. Publish posts on your Blog (content you provided)

25. Filter and reply to comments on your blog
 (according to criteria you provided)

26. Blog comments (to create more links to your website)

27. Participate in discussion forums or message (to increase your brand awareness and promote your site)

28. Upload products to your ecommerce website (basic level, no coding)

29. Organize product pricing (on excel spreadsheet with price markup formulas you provided)

30. Follow up outstanding invoices or unpaid bills


When outsourcing the above tasks to a GVA, you will need to train your virtual assistant staff according to your business policies, systems and processes including how to use certain tools and software that they might not have used before. Assumptions are the mother of all muck-ups so ensure you provide comprehensive training. You should have training manuals in place for effective training of your virtual assistant staff. It normally takes about 8-12 weeks for a virtual assistant to get familiarized with your business. Be patient and you’ll reap the benefits of having a VGA.


If you have outsourced to a GVA in a developing country, how was your experience? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below.

How To Get The Best Out Of Your Virtual Staff

Running a business can be very challenging and requires a lot of know-how.  Business owners and entrepreneurs are often busy with paperwork and general admin tasks, unable to do the work they love, and more importantly they don’t have the time to concentrate on more relevant aspects of the company because of the numerous details of running a business.

One excellent way of addressing this concern is through outsourcing or hiring a virtual assistant.  Getting the work of a virtual assistant significantly helps entrepreneurs maximize their time and improve their business.  Some of the tasks that a virtual assistant can typically do is accounting, search engine optimization, bookkeeping, web design, customer service, technical support, marketing tasks, just to name a few.   The process of hiring a virtual assistant can be completed very quickly unlike the traditional recruitment process.

Once you have recruited your virtual assistant, the challenge is then to manage your virtual staff in order to achieve your business goals.

Here are some helpful tips to make your virtual staff a valuable part of your business:

               Setting Expectations

               Establish accountability.  You need to set expectations clearly about the results you want in measurable terms.  Specific goals should also be established.  Another important factor is also to set work values and ethics which should be practiced at all times.

               Delegate Tasks

               When delegating tasks to your virtual assistant, you need to clearly outline or list the task that needs to be completed.  It is also very important to include the details of each of the task and communicate the results that you want.

               Monitor and get regular updates

               Ask your virtual assistant regular updates regarding the tasks.  This is necessary so you can see exactly what’s being done and you can effectively communicate areas that need improvement.   This way, you can determine if your staff is productive and actually getting the job done.  Getting regular updates eliminates any  worries that someone may not be putting in their time and effort.

               Good communication

               Clear and frequent communication with your virtual staff builds good working relationship.  Communication can either be through phone, email, video or audio chat. An effective communication system plays a vital role in building a relationship with your staff, and ultimately, establishing trust and mutual respect.

Employing a virtual staff is a great asset and can benefit any enterprise if managed correctly.  With the aid of technology and effective work practices, it will be a win-win situation for both the virtual staff and the company.