November 22, 2014

5 More Things Your Administrative Assistant is Better At

In April, I wrote about things that an administrative professional can beat you at. People enjoyed the post, but urged me to keep going with even more items. So here are five more!

thanking assistant

1. Dealing With People. Around the office, you’re known as “The Grump.” And you’ll admit it: You hate dealing with people. That’s why you’ve hired a bright and smiling face to guard your door and protect you from the world. She’s known to make a sale just by smiling–something you certainly can’t do!

2. Keeping You on Task. It seems like it’s impossible for you to show up to meetings on time or meet deadlines. That’s why you should hire someone better organized than you to keep you in line. Roar like a lion as you may, you’re meek and obedient when your assistant forces you to focus.

3. Starting on Reports. If you have to update reports each week, most of it can be done or started by an assistant. Face it: It’s your least favorite thing to do, and you’d rather be working on something more fun, so why not let someone better at this chore take it on?

4. Serving as the Go-To Person. If you’re out of the office or busy, your employees may find it hard to catch you when they need you. Your assistant can be the person to answer questions and approve expenses on your behalf.

5. Research. Researching can be tedious, and you’ve got other things to focus on. But your assistant knows how to get the information he needs quickly and efficiently, so hand it over to him.

If you don’t yet have someone helping you with all this, it’s time to hire a professional. Even if you can’t afford a full-time assistant, investigate part-time employees or virtual assistants who can work from their location to help you stay organized.

The more you hand over to your administrative assistant, the more you need to recognize her skills and talent. Make sure to thank her and reward her every day, not just on Administrative Professionals Day!

13 Comments ▼

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.

13 Reactions

  1. Hah, I hope that someone with an assistant isn’t always a grump. How does someone get a position that high in the company without people skills?

  2. @Robert–It’s just meant to be tongue in cheek!

  3. Assistants are also extremely valuable when it comes to maintaining your social media channels!

  4. Hi Susan,

    You are so right about all these 5 points mentioned. You may be really good at leading and being in charge, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you would be perfect at organizing and researching. There are things that people would be better at mainly because they would be solely responsible for that particular tasks where as you would have thousands of other things to take care of. Great points, thanks for sharing! It’s a good reminder of how important it is to hire assistants.

    Riya Sam

  5. Great read, Susan! Thanks for also mentioning that virtual assistants can help those who aren’t yet ready for the administrative employee. I love being a virtual assistant and helping small businesses get off the ground :)

  6. Susan,

    I would be great to have an assistant! Have you done research on the business trend with “virtual” assistants and outsourcing the administrative tasks?

  7. @Isabelle–I forgot that one! But yes, absolutely!

    @Riya–It was a hard lesson for me to learn to delegate, but I’m so much happier now.

    @Hilary–You’re the voice we need! Did I miss anything in this list (I’m sure I did).

    @Martin–Virtual Assistants are extremely popular, especially for those of us who work from home. I’ve got one, and @Hilary here is one!

  8. Thanks Susan! Actually, a lot of my clients either don’t enjoy or aren’t skilled in the tech stuff (newsletters, web updates, etc.) and are thrilled when they can delegate those tasks.

  9. Great read, Susan – and I’m with Hilary – with a Virtual Assistant, you get a far different relationship – or really, a partnership. The VA has a vested interest in helping you be more successful and organized. If not, you would no longer need us! ;)

  10. Thanks Susan. Having a person who understands your weekly priorities and doesn’t get caught up in minutiae is helpful regardless of the role that person has in the business.

  11. I agree with you on considering a Virtual Assistant, especially for small business owners. A Virtual Assistant can work remotely from anywhere in the nation, and can take care of tasks that business owners don’t have time to do, or as mentioned above, simply don’t want to do. Hiring a Virtual Assistant via a virtual services company is safer, since the background check is already taken care of, and a VA with perfectly matching skills to your requirements can be placed with your company. Thank you for sharing.

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