You’re probably aware a virtual assistant can help you with things like calendar management and taking phone calls. But you may not have realized that a VA can also do all sorts of research for you. The meticulous nature of a VA is perfect for helping with research projects you don’t have time for (or don’t want to do!). See how VA research can help you streamline both your daily operations and expenses.
1. Finding Doctors and Service Providers
Finding a new doctor if you move or change insurance companies can be a major headache. Your VA can look for the best option for a new doctor by using your insurance’s company’s website, Yelp, or social media platforms for reviews of prospective doctors. You can even have your VA call to see if the office is accepting new patients and make an appointment for you.
VA research is also super helpful for finding service providers for all the unexpected headaches in life. Replacing your broken water heater, getting your car fixed, or getting your carpets cleaned can all be made simpler with help from a VA.
2. Travel Planning and Cost Saving
VA research can also take the hassle out of planning a trip. Your VA can look for the best deals and travel options out there and compare flights, trains, hotels, and rental cars. Their work can go beyond just checking a few websites, though; your VA can plan your trip from start to finish.
Your VA will keep in mind your travel preferences when trying to find the best deal out there. Not a morning person or hate flying through a certain airport? Your VA will find a flight that’s not at 6:00 a.m. or connects through an undesirable airport, and they’ll book you a rental vehicle or car service to get you to your final destination.
Want reservations to the trendiest restaurant on your travels? Don’t even know what restaurant that would be? Your VA has you completely covered (and can even tell what looks the most delicious).
One of Don’t Panic Mgmt’s VAs recently conducted travel research for a client attending a destination wedding in Paris. The client wanted to take a train from Paris to a small town in the French countryside. The VA looked for the best options, presented them to the client, and booked two tickets for him.
VA research can also help you find a quality hotel for the best price. Your VA will check hotels’ websites, but also sites such as Expedia or Travelocity. You may be able to score a better deal on these sites if you’re booking at the last minute.
Your VA can also call the hotel to request preferences such as a certain floor or a window view. If you are a member of the hotel’s rewards program, your VA can see if there are any upgrades available. Another great aspect VA research is handling canceled flights, assigning airline reward miles to someone else (as one of our VAs just did), or just a change of plans.
3. Yes, VAs Can Help Plan Leisure Activities
VA research is especially helpful when you are traveling to a new area, whether it’s for work or fun. One of our VAs, for example, just helped a client plan a trip to Nashville that included finding everything from the best spots for dinner and grocery shopping to interesting tourist attractions and music venues.
Another of our clients had a fantastic family trip to a Disney park, and within one hour of checking into the hotel, their Shipt delivery (complete with toddler-approved healthy snacks) arrived, nipping any hangry concerns in the bud and fast-tracking going to visit with Mickey.
4. Business and Event Planning
Your VA can assist you in researching a variety of business activities. Many of the DPM VAs assist clients with planning annual conferences or other company events, including finding locations and team-building activities. One of our VAs found creative team-building activities like bringing puppies to the office and going to a pasta-making class.
You can also assign routine tasks to your VA like competitor or client research. One of our VAs assists a client with new business research by finding brands in a targeted location that bring in a certain annual revenue per year. Another VA conducts daily searches for a public relations client. He looks for client and competitor mentions so that the client knows what kind of traffic they are getting.
Sending gifts to clients is yet another task your VA can tackle for you. The holidays are a perfect time to outsource your gift shopping to a VA. Several of our clients utilize a VA to research ideas for what to send their customers.
A VA can also help with tasks you may not have even considered as part of your business planning. A photographer can utilize a VA, for example, to search for new clients on Google and social media platforms to get a sense of their personality and taste. And this is just one of the many tasks a VA could do for someone in the photography business.
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Sofia is a 4th year student studying kinesiology at Texas Woman’s University. While she has experience working with school organizations, planning and marketing for events, and leading a research team, she also works as a math tutor and has a passion for teaching. Outside of work and school, Sofia enjoys arts and crafts such as sewing or painting.
Work superpower: Empathy
Favorite cheese: Brie or Havarti
Go-to karaoke song: "Love Galore" - SZA
Beverage of choice: Lemonade
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