Are you thinking about hiring administrative support for your business?
Maybe you’re going through a growth spurt, and your calendar and inbox are getting the better of you…?
But, what does an executive assistant do…?
You might think of them as a receptionist who answers phones and meets and greets clients, but the role of a qualified executive assistant goes much deeper.
In fact, an effective executive assistant doesn’t necessarily have to work in your office full time.
Here’s what you can expect…
5 tasks you can – and should – delegate to an executive assistant
Your executive assistant will take care of clerical duties, of course.
Here are some of the most common roles and responsibilities you can expect to delegate to beyond phone calls and filing.
As your business grows, this is a crucial role for your executive assistant.
In the early going, you wanted to keep your door open – literally and figuratively – to any and all opportunities.
But now, you need to manage your time and accessibility so that you’re not distracted by constant interruptions or people who think they need you when one of your team members could take care of an inquiry.
What does an executive assistant do as your gatekeeper? She learns to triage meeting requests, emails, and phone calls – she’ll know your calendar inside out and can help keep you from being pulled away from your agenda.
Part of functioning as an effective gatekeeper is managing an executive’s calendar.
They’ll be on the lookout for conflicts, changes, and cancellations…and they’ll be tasked with notifying your team when there are changes that affect them, as well.
Are you trying to carve out time for professional development, a hobby, or family time? Your executive assistant will be able to help you find the time and guard it.
This role can take many shapes.
Perhaps your inbox is piling up with unread messages, or they’re a jumble of different projects…it’s impossible to organize your thoughts with a mix of subjects and senders staring you down.
Or, you’re conducting a direct mail campaign and need to get correspondence out in a timely fashion to an extensive mailing list…and then track and filter the responses.
Your executive assistant can triage and organize your inbox – filtering out the junk mail, organizing the messages, setting inbox preferences so messages are “filed” in the right place as soon as they arrive. There may even be inquiries that he or she can answer on your behalf.
And, they can create systems for sending out and collecting responses to mail campaigns so you can see the effectiveness at a glance.
Have you ever tried to be two places at once?
Impossible, right? But as your business expands, you’ll probably find times when the opportunities for networking, attending seminars, or professional association meetings overlap.
In these cases, your executive assistant can attend as your proxy. So your company gets the benefit of exposure in two places at once. And since they have a deep understanding of your company’s mission, vision, and values, and insight into the inner workings of your office, they’ll represent you well.
You are a visionary…
You want to attend or host a trade event to share your vision with peers and potential customers.
Or, you want to conduct in-house training seminars, team-building exercises…even a special event at Christmas time.
Give your executive assistant your vision, then let them run with it.
Chances are they know the best venues and vendors…it’s their job. So let them negotiate contracts, set menus, work with third-party event managers.
Then get back to the business of envisioning your next move…
Your executive assistant is an extension of you
It can be challenging for entrepreneurs to let go of the reins. However, you don’t have to apologize for wanting to stay in control…after all, it’s the business you built.
But if you find an executive assistant willing to act as an extension of you, the opportunities for your business to grow will multiply exponentially.
It’s natural for you to be comfortable in the trenches…but is that the best use of your abilities as a visionary? Probably not. You should be flying at 20,000 feet.
They can act as your gatekeeper, your calendar master, your proxy, and your planner.
Not quite ready to bring on someone full-time? We offer project management and executive assistant services that can be tailored to suit your needs and budget.
Want to learn more? Contact us and find out what a great executive assistant can do for you and your company.