Virtual Secretary

No time? No problem! Why Mini-Outsourcing is the Perfect Solution for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Alike.

Whether freelancer, small business owner or entrepreneur, everyone faces the same general challenges whilst managing growing pains, finding time for expanding one’s business and of course juggling a bit of every task from accounting to answering phones.

The founders of Office24.co.uk, a virtual secretarial service, found themselves in this same predicament as they were busy starting other enterprises. Between expanding current businesses and maintaining their current tasks, they were stretched thin. They thought about hiring more staff to help with basic tasks such as answering the phone, mailing brochures and sending emails – but there weren’t enough tasks to justify hiring someone on a part-time basis.

That’s when they came up with a brilliant idea for their best (and current) business: a virtual secretarial service.

Multiple Persons Covering One Position

Unlike traditional secretarial services – or even the virtual personal assistants which have become so popular in recent years – the idea behind Office24.co.uk was different. Rather than having one person sitting at a phone all day (whether in England or India made no difference – the person still had idle time on his or her hands), the founders of Office24.co.uk decided that multiple companies could be serviced by just a few secretaries. Many other entrepreneurs and small business owners were in the same situation as they were: in need of just part-time or occasional help.

By using a very advanced software system which took hundreds of hours to programme and code, the idea came to fruition and thus, Office24.co.uk was borne: when a caller rings a business, any business, the call is redirected to the virtual secretaries at Office24.co.uk. A screen pops up with the business name, how to answer the call (“XYZ Services, how may I help you?”) and other important information at a glance such as VIP callers, a list of current clients and even times of the day when calls can be forwarded to the business owner (or her employees, respectively).

In this way, callers being redirected to Office24’s secretaries have no idea that they are speaking with someone who isn’t in the building. Calls can even be answered 24/7 and on holidays. At the same time, the business can minimise its fixed costs by paying just a fraction of what a full-time secretary would cost – at a savings of roughly nine hundred pounds per month!

Further Benefits of a Virtual Secretary

Of course, the idea took off quite rapidly. Not only was a virtual secretary a much more cost-efficient solution, but further difficulties of hiring staff rather than a service could also be avoided: no more sudden absences due to illness, no stress during holidays or holiday absences and of course, a service can be started or dropped almost immediately, without taking exuberant amounts of time to process applications, hold interviews or give notice of leave.

The most important benefit of a virtual personal assistant, however, is most likely the fact that someone can always answer the phone. Today’s market has become increasingly more competitive due to the high amount of information available – in directories, search engine results, customer review sites and other means. It’s an unfortunate fact that many callers won’t leave a message on an answering machine; they’ll just look up the next available business and move on.

A missed call could be a missed contract.

A friendly voice on the phone ensures that callers won’t be scared off by an answering machine or from waiting through twenty rings. What is more, being thrilled about your uncompromising availability and friendly service, they might even spread the word about you and recommend you to their friends!

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