For the rest of us, data entry is one of those tasks we wish we could delegate, re-assign, or otherwise eliminate from our lives. And the good news is that there are ways to do this without breaking the bank. The bad news is that it doesn’t happen unless you take the reins yourself and learn how to delegate.
Why bother? After all, aren’t you being a thrifty entrepreneur if you do your own data entry?
Well, there are a few key points:
Time management. There comes a certain point in any business where you outgrow some of the least-productive tasks and your energy is more productively spent elsewhere. In the beginning, you might have had a small amount of expensing data to enter, so you could handle it yourself. But as your business grows, your priorities shift. And you need to find a way to get data entry handled without doing it yourself.
Quality. Many people think that data entry is not a skill. This is wrong. Data entry is a skill because there are ways to optimize the practice—and there are ways to do it wrong. If you want your data entry to be as accurate as possible (and there are all sorts of reasons for making sure of that fact, including vital tax and expense reasons), you’ll want someone who’s skilled at data entry. And that might not be you.
Cost. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of a data entry keyer is $34,820, with the top 90% percentile earning $49,190. There are some good-paying data entry jobs out there. That’s true even for people doing entry level work, such as a data entry clerk. If you hire someone to handle data entry and only handle data entry, you could end up paying those kinds of wages even if they’re not spending 8 hours a day entering in data.
What does this all add up to? Having a virtual data entry assistant who may work from home by doing data entry work remotely can be great for your business.
Having an arrangement like this not only allows you to delegate the work, but it means that you’ll get a highly skilled individual who knows Microsoft Excel, for example, to do the work more efficiently. The results? Saved time, money, and effort—and a more efficient business.
In this article:
How to Achieve More with a Virtual Data Entry ExpertOnboarding Your First Virtual Data Entry AssistantHow Do You Successfully Delegate Your Data Entry?Hiring Your First Virtual Data Entry AssistantFAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) About Virtual Data Entry
How to Achieve More with a Virtual Data Entry Expert
When you hire a virtual data entry virtual assistant to help out, the first thing you should look for is a strong set of skills.
The first thing to do is to come up with a list of data entry tasks that you regularly perform, but find distracting. Or you may find that there are projects that you wish you would work on more often, but you simply don’t have the time to do so. Here are a few examples of areas that might require data entry. These tasks may include necessary items for your business, but you’ve been putting them off because of the time and effort involved.
Writing job descriptions. Let’s say that you’re expanding your business and you need to get job postings up. But you find the amount of work it requires—detailing the exact requirements—to be highly involved. It doesn’t only take research, it takes data entry skills, typing skills, and more. A virtual assistant with experience in writing job descriptions can step in and submit something for you to review.
Customer support tickets. If your business is highly involved with customer support, then you might find that excellent data entry is invaluable. Data entry services might include inputting customer support tickets into customer relationship management software, for example, or simply recording the interactions for future reference with these customers. In this way, superior data entry can also make for improvements in other areas, like customer outreach.
Administrative assistant tasks. What about smaller, everyday office tasks that require data entry? An experienced virtual data entry expert can help with that too, from handling data entry for everyday expenses to inputting items into your calendar. Once you have a virtual assistant in place, you’ll find it easy to share files with them via the cloud, at which point having the data entered as you would prefer it is much more intuitive.
Transcriptionist services. Sometimes, you might need a podcast interview or a case study interview transcribed for better writing. If that’s the case, an experienced transcriptionist can help. Data entry experts with good typing skills maybe also be able to fill in. They can also make sure that there are ways that events are time-stamped.
Social media data entry. Believe it or not, a social media presence can require a lot of data entry. Inputting links into Bit.ly, for example, and keeping track of analytics. You may not like handling that yourself. If that’s the case, then it’s a good idea to outsource many of these tasks to a data entry expert who can seamlessly integrate them with the rest of your processes.
Onboarding Your First Virtual Data Entry Assistant
Let’s say you’re new to the process. It can a bit overwhelming at first. There are candidates to choose from, different skills to highlight, and you might not even know the best way to go about it.
For starters, be confident in the fact that hiring a virtual assistant is a good decision. There’s a reason that there are so many administrative assistants in the U.S.—some 3.7 million in 2018. People who run successful offices need to know that there’s someone there who can handle a wide variety of office administrative support tasks. Chief among these? Data entry. There are simply not enough hours in the day for someone who runs a business to handle every manual data entry task themselves. Especially as a business grows.
Delegation is your way out of this cycle.
After all, delegating via outsourcing has reached an industry worth billions upon billions of dollars. There are plenty of people who have tried delegating work and found that not only was it successful, but it became a vital part of their business moving forward.
Here are some essential steps you can tackle to onboard your virtual assistant:
Create a plan first. Dwight Eisenhower once said that plans may be worthless, but the act of planning is essential. That’s a great summation of how business can work sometimes. Everything might not go according to plan, but the act of planning helps prepare you for the work ahead. Create an onboarding plan and detail the precise data entry tasks that you would like your expert to tackle.
Use your list of tasks to gauge which skills would suit your business. Once you reach the planning stage, you’re ready to look at your list of tasks and ask yourself one question: what skills match up with these tasks? For example, do you work primarily with Excel? Good. Then you know that you should use Excel as a guideline for the kinds of skills you should be looking for. The same is true for other types of software, such as customer relationship management platforms.
Create a document of all relevant information a virtual assistant will need. For example, your document should include login information for your Expensify account, if you have one. Anything that your virtual assistant might need for data entry is relevant here. Make sure to use a password service like LastPass to ensure that you have everything you need to share encrypted passwords with people who are working remotely.
How Do You Successfully Delegate Your Data Entry?
It seems simple, doesn’t it? You simply assign a task and let them go to work. But you’d be surprised. Not everyone is going to get it right the first time.
You’ll want to avoid a learning curve as much as possible. If there’s a learning curve, then it can be easy to be frustrated as a business owner. You may believe that you’re throwing money down the drain, simply because a virtual assistant hasn’t picked up everything they need to know at first.
Here are some key ways to make sure that your delegation goes smoothly:
Remember that delegation gives you a competitive advantage. Keep this in mind if you have frustrations. A study found that the majority of business owners believe that they can grow their business by more than 20% if they delegate 10% of their workload. So remember to believe in the process. See the end-game. How much more efficient will your business be once you have an efficient data entry specialist working with you?
Work through the mistakes, but maintain high standards. You’re going to be tempted to bend your standards just to make the process easier. But make sure that you focus on a high standard of data entry results. You want to set clear expectations off the bat that your data entry has to be pristine and performed in a certain way.
Allow a period of adjustment. Everyone has to adjust—even skilled, experienced data entry specialists. Allow a period for that adjustment, but don’t let that period become the new norm, either.
Hiring Your First Virtual Data Entry Assistant
With the above in mind, are you ready to hire your first virtual data entry assistant? Here’s what you need to do:
Sign up with Delegated. Get an account and you’ll be one step closer to identifying the right one for you.
Work with a customer success manager. We’ll assign a customer success manager so you aren’t alone in the process. Work with them to make sure that they know exactly what you need.
Select your virtual office manager. Match the skills you require to the tasks you have at hand, then make your selection.
Onboard. Next is the onboarding process: acquaint your new virtual assistant with the processes you need done.
Start growing your business and reducing overhead with Delegated
1. Meet your assistant
We’ll ask you some questions to match you with one our virtual assistants as well as a backup assistant.
2. Create a workflow
Our platform gives you the power to create a workflow that fits your lifestyle. You choose how to track time, communicate, and share files with your assistant.
3. Start delegating
You have access to your virtual assistant 8am-5pm your local time. Start delegating tasks and grow as you need.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) About Virtual Data Entry
Still have questions? Here are some of the answers you’ll want to know before signing up:
How do people handle data entry remotely?
These days, software and cloud storage make it a cinch to upload data to your business. It may be as simple as them having a log-in to your software, or they can do it remotely on their own software.
Why do I need virtual data entry when I can do it myself?
There comes a time when it’s far more efficient (and productive) to delegate. It’s also worth noting that in many cases, virtual data entry assistants can help you improve your efficiency with certain tasks!
Is it easy to find the right data entry assistant?
With Delegated, you’ll have a customer success manager in your corner to help you identify the right candidates. Otherwise, you might expect to work by trial and error, which isn’t always encouraging. That’s why we like to familiarize our members with the process so they don’t have such a steep learning curve.
Is my virtual data secure?
Of course! Not only will you be working with highly reputable virtual data entry assistants, but you can have all sorts of great protections on your accounts and software. You may even be able to limit certain access if you deem it necessary.