November 1, 2014

5 Things an Administrative Assistant is Better at Than You

I know, I know, as a small business owner, you rock at everything you do: make sales, balance the books, prepare the coffee…well, maybe not so much. Tomorrow is Administrative Professionals Day, and in honor of that day, we want to make you feel good by telling you all the things an administrative assistant can do better than you.

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1. Keeping Your Calendar Organized: Let’s face it: You’ve missed more than your fair share of meetings because you wrote them down on a bit of paper and then promptly lost it. Administrative professionals know all the latest, cool tech ways to keep you on schedule using your computer, phone and telepathy.

2. Managing Your Travel Plans. If you travel for work, chances are you eat up a lot of time trying to find the cheapest flight that doesn’t have eight layovers. Again, leave it to the pros. They make travel arrangements more often, so they know how to do it faster than – ooh, did you see that? No? Your travel plans are already made.

3. Removing the Pile of Papers on Your Desk. The last time you saw over that pile was, well, how long ago did you buy the desk? You keep putting off dealing with the papers, but simply asking your assistant for help can clear it off and make room for an assortment of desk toys and stuffed animals.

4. Managing Others. You know how you’re supposed to be checking in to make sure your staff has turned in their TPS reports, but you just never get around to it? Delegate it to your administrative assistant, and you never have to think about it again. Unless a red Swingline stapler goes missing…

5. Setting Up Conference Calls. Those fancy phone systems make you crazy. You’d rather send smoke signals than deal with entering your code (“That’s what I put in! It’s right! Why won’t you let me in??”), so why not hand it off to someone who knows what she’s doing?

The list goes on and on, but we don’t want to insult you too much by mentioning your ineptness at dealing with the copier, coffee maker … you get the idea. At any rate, the backbone of a good business is its administrative assistant. Whether you have a gatekeeper posted outside of your office to protect you from shiny-haired copier salesmen or your assistant is virtual, he or she is an invaluable asset to both you as a professional and to your company as a whole.

Take today to thank your assistant for all the hard work, and ask him or her to send him or herself a gift … from you.

P.S. There are also 5 more things your administrative assistant is better at than you.

12 Comments ▼
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Susan Payton - Awards Communication Mgr.


Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.

12 Reactions

  1. I would say that scheduling meetings for multiple people should be there!
    Sal

  2. If you’re in San Diego, I highly recommend My Personal Assistant run by Valerie Currier of Scripps Ranch. She’s affordable, responsible and amazingly clear-headed. Can really see the forest for the trees. Her website is http://www.mypascrippsranch.com

  3. p.s. After a long struggle with my own ego, I love having assistants. Happy admin assistants day!

  4. @salidatious–Another good add!

    @Suzanne–I am in SD (did you know that??). The great thing is that a VA can be anywhere. Mine is in MD!

  5. Only five?…

  6. For those of you who are not quite sure what a Virtual Assistant is, simply put “your online administrative assistant.” Happy Administrative Professionals’ Day to all of my Virtual Assistant colleagues.

  7. Since I formalized the VA profession in 1997, I’ve been telling people that while I’ve seen *many* an admin who can do her boss’s job, I’ve *rarely* seen a boss who can do the admin’s job ;)

    Truly, Susan… great job with this. I’d just add that a truly great admin (virtual or other) should be a one-stop shop for anyone she supports. No, she won’t be able to do it all, but she really should be able to get it all done, and you should be able to relax into letting her do just that. In that way, you focus on what you genuinely need to focus on. If you do it any other way, you’re wasting time and money. :)

  8. I am looking for a good assistant to help me with a few things. I am in San Diego too. Susan, do you know of anyone you can recommend? I have contacted Valerie Currier too. I am a little concerned about trust issues, hence the request for recommendations.

  9. @Vaani–
    Sorry, I don’t know anyone locally. Have you considered a virtual assistant?

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