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why a Virtual Assistant makes an invaluable external sounding board

Why do businesses pay for consultants and experts to come in and train or advise? It is because they have unique skills and an outside perspective. This serves to enhance a business and help leaders find ways to solve problems and grow. Virtual Assistants don’t train, however we do make an effective external sounding board for many reasons.

As expert Virtual Assistants based in North Yorkshire, our flexible approach to working with companies of all sizes has enabled many to benefit from an external sounding board and non-biased advice.

Using a Virtual Assistant as an external sounding board clarifies your thinking

As Virtual Assistants, we recognise the vast amount of information managers have to take in, process and send out. We manage diaries, book meetings, deal with workflows and complete a whole host of industry-specific administrative tasks. VAs know how busy leaders are and as business owners ourselves, we appreciate how difficult it can be to step outside of the business to look inward. The everyday pressures of work tend to take up all thinking space.

Talking through ideas with an external party that knows the business yet is not as caught up in it, can be great to clarify thinking. A new perspective is always useful. While as VAs we aren’t coaches or counsellors we have certainly been able to help business owners make positive changes through talking things out.

Our flexible approach to work means that we are on hand to help with whatever tasks are required. We often find ourselves reading through meeting minutes, attending meetings or discussing the business with leaders to help them make a clear and unbiased decision.

We work in the business but have nothing to do with office politics

We are professional Virtual Assistants, used to working within businesses whilst maintaining a certain distance. This enables us to be objective about what a business needs but also means that we don’t get caught up in office politics. While we are friendly and professional with everyone, we are an outside party. This distance can be invaluable when it comes to identifying issues or being able to see problems.

A Business Owl Virtual Assistant guarantees confidentiality

Whilst having someone unbiased to bounce ideas off is incredibly useful, the chosen person must be able to maintain confidentiality at all times.

Working for so many years in the legal sector, confidentiality has always been an integral part of the work I do. This transfers to all work across any sector and by all members of the team. A business owner must be able to trust their VA completely. Business Owl clients are confident in the professionalism they receive and have no concerns about privacy. It is because of this trust and mutual respect that businesses can utilise our skills as external sounding boards, knowing we are unbiased and that nothing discussed goes any further.

Who will say anything if the leader is the problem?

Playing devil’s advocate here, what if a problem the company faces is less to do with staff or equipment or external forces. What if the problem lies within the leadership team? Often ideas or ways of working filter down from the top of the organisational chart and therefore if something isn’t working, the change needs to happen at that level. It is not always easy to recognise where problems lie or where tweaks are needed.

Staff are often reluctant to offer feedback if the leader is a problem. Without these insights, though, nothing changes. Using a Virtual Assistant to ask for frank and unbiased insights into what isn’t working is often an effective way for managers and owners to hear what matters and what needs to be done.

In summary

Our clients often tell us that they are grateful for our ability to act as an external sounding board. They come away from these interactions focussed, clear on what they want to happen next, how and when. It is important when you choose a Virtual Assistant to work within your business that you choose someone professional, confidential and who is flexible, therefore happy to help with ad hoc tasks such as taking the time to talk through any aspect of the business or business decisions.

The Business Owl team excels at offering expert VA support to a very high standard and prides itself on giving businesses what they need to grow.

Are you ready?

This article was written by Jen Workman, VA and Founder of Business Owl. We are expert Virtual Assistants based in North Yorkshire. We support the legal sector, small businesses and entrepreneurs nationally. To discuss how we can provide bespoke support for you and your business, please contact us for a complimentary chat on 07970 955535 or at jen@businessowl.co.uk.