For this week’s Guest Post Friday, Musings takes a slightly different, yet great, perspective on the world of construction business and welcomes a good friend, Tina Marie Hilton (@tmariehilton on Twitter). Tina provides virtual assistance services to legal professionals and business creatives through her company Clerical Advantage. She’s proud to be part of the faculty at Solo Practice University, teaching solo attorneys how to successfully work with virtual assistants. You can also find her as contributing editor at Home Office Warrior in the Virtual Assistant section, at Blog for Profit, providing tips, hints and information on having a successful business blog and helping Baby Boomers reminisce and connect at My Boomer Community, the official blog for the North Carolina based Baby Boomer News magazine.
The current economic conditions have had an effect on the majority of businesses in some way, shape or form. But perhaps one of the hardest hit industries has been construction. According to a recent article on CNN.com, initial construction of homes in the U.S. rose far less than expected in September 2009. That means that more and more companies are looking to cut costs in order to survive this economic downturn.
For many, that might mean cutting back on administrative help and going the ‘do it yourself’ route. On the surface, it seems to make sense, it means fewer paychecks you have to cut and how hard is it really?
You may be surprised.
Many business owners assume that the clerical aspects of their businesses are easy. It is shocking for them to realize the amount of time these ‘simple’ tasks actually take. When you add fumbling around with unfamiliar software to the mix, it can eat up extremely large chunks of time. Trying to juggle those administrative tasks with running your business gets overwhelming fast. Not to mention that it can end up costing you money if certain tasks are going undone and deadlines or due dates are being missed.
That’s what makes teaming up with a virtual assistant a wise choice for construction companies looking to cut costs, yet still perform at the level customers have come to expect.
A virtual assistant (or VA for short) can be hired for specific tasks or for a set number of hours per month to handle just about any administrative help your construction company might have need of. Yes, even if it’s only 2 hours a month. You pay only for the time spent on your tasks, no taxes or benefits. The cost savings can be substantial.
One can find a virtual assistant to do just about any task or project you may be in need of.
Need someone to do payroll? There’s a VA for that. How about someone to handle phones, e-mail or correspondence? There’s a VA for that. Need help with your website or a blog? Yup, there’s a VA for that too.
In fact, there are virtual assistants that have extensive experience in the construction industry and can handle industry related tasks like:
· Materials and services pricing and inventory analysis
· Statute and regulation research
· Document preparation including, but not limited to, bid proposals and lien claims
· Subcontractor background checks
· Project planning/time management support
Our current economy requires that construction companies think outside the normal business box. Cutting costs doesn’t mean you have to cut corners. By integrating new technologies and service options like a virtual assistant you can give your company the edge it needs to not only survive but grow in a down economy.