Businesses must take measures to train and develop their workforce to meet future challenges.
With the exponential growth in digital technology, it’s no surprise that people with some experience in the field are worth their weight in gold. We see this demand not only for employees to fill technical positions within a company, but also for individuals who can better understand and provide guidance on how to utilize digital tools and support business processes.
What is digital business literacy?
Digital business literacy is the ability to provide and request customer-facing information; understand the best ways to do so, whether it be through e-mail, social media, websites or mobile applications; and to support these efforts with the appropriate technology.
Who can benefit from digital business literacy?
As companies continue to expand their use of technology, they will require more employees who not only have experience in these areas, but also can teach others how to achieve them as well. These employees are imperative in keeping up with the latest technological trends and how to support them. They will help create new processes by creating tools that can better assist with digital communications.
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The digital era has transformed life as we know it. Many things that were once priceless and difficult to access are now available at the click of a button. The proliferation of fast-paced technology means that we need more individuals who are up-to-date with all technologies, from SMART project boards to collaborative social software like Yammer.
The globalization of businesses has also given those who work in businesses an opportunity to leverage their skill set through various markets around the world. As more of our lives becomes digitized, the emphasis on competency in digital literacy will only grow and become even more important for companies looking to create competitive edges with their workforce.
Many employee training programs have failed to meet up with the demand for skills-based education because they have been too narrowly focused on specific skills rather than building business literacy and problem solving capabilities that will equip people for success in any career field while preparing them for a changing world.
Companies are beginning to realize that digital literacy is a key skill for future employees. Not only will this increase speed and innovation, but it will also improve employee engagement and a company’s ability to adapt to its changing environment.
Moving business operations into digital capacities
Today’s digital era has created not only enormous amounts of data, but also an opportunity to process it in real time in order to make better, faster decisions based on quantitative and qualitative feedback. The use of these technologies requires some level of digital literacy. Those who can process this information more quickly than others will have an edge over companies that aren’t keeping up with the growing need for businesses both large and small to stay competitive.
ROI on Employees
Using digital tools to gain an edge in the business world is more important than ever. By providing employees with the right digital skill sets, companies will be able to stay competitive and reduce operational costs at a greater rate than their competitors.
The best way to ensure that businesses develop these skills is through employee development and training programs that are centered on business literacy and problem solving — both valuable assets for creating an innovative workforce.
Whether you’re looking at how e-mail can be used for customer support or how new automation tools can improve your distribution of products, this may require a new way of thinking about customer service, order fulfillment or other processes. This kind of thinking is necessary to help your employees retain their jobs and develop new skills.
Employees who are able to adapt to this change will have the opportunity to look at business problems through a different lens, and can build valuable skills that will be useful throughout their careers.
Virtual Assistants, ROI, & Digital Literacy
The growing industry of virtual assistants is a good example of how businesses are beginning to recognize their need for employees who can have an impact on the bottom line. Virtual assistants are not only skilled in the use of technology, but also have knowledge and experience that comes with training and work experience. Companies looking to increase their ROI will need employees with these skills, and as more businesses expand their virtual assistance programs, the opportunity for employees to develop skills in digital literacy will continue to grow.
It’s not difficult to see how much different technologies like social media have changed our lives for the better — but we’re still learning, and that means there’s always potential for something new.
As these technologies mature, it’s important that businesses understand how to use them to gain a competitive edge. This may mean that companies will have to shift away from the more traditional business models they may be accustomed to and look for opportunities for innovation.
Virtual Assistants mean Digital Business Literacy
The good news is that there are individuals with the necessary skills and experience to help any business do this. It just takes a change in training methods and perspective on what digital literacy really is. To strategically expedite this capacity for your business, consider full-time virtual assistants at up to 70% less than the cost of adding a traditional hire.
The reason to employ virtual employees is that they can be trained to work with more sophisticated technologies than traditional employees, but without the overhead or mental commitment of having a full-time employee onboard.
That’s because virtual assistants are equipped with all the skills necessary to work at this level, thus saving your business time and money, while increasing adaptability, efficiency, and adaptability.
Virtual Assistants in Key Industries
IT Support & Logistics Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can supplement the work of IT technicians, reduce costs, increase productivity without increasing the number of employees needed to do the job. For example, virtual assistants could be brought on to support a new company platform or mobile app, and small businesses would be able to outsource this area of their business.
Legal & Regulatory Virtual Assistants
In some sectors digital assistants can function as liaison between the client company in order to ensure quick and efficient service delivery. For example, in the legal field, digital assistants can help prepare client contracts and otherwise facilitate work flows.
Medical Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can be used to provide recruiting support for businesses in a variety of sectors including health care, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. For example, medical practitioners can focus their time and energy on their patients’ health, while leaving the task of locating new hires to the virtual assistant.
E-Commerce Virtual Assistants
In addition to working with your company’s e-commerce package of choice, virtual assistants can also be trained on tools such as social media marketing, SEO/SEM, and Google Analytics. They also have experience dealing with Amazon and eBay seller platforms.
Dropshipping Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can be an asset to your dropshipping business in a variety of ways, especially because they know how to manage online stores. They can improve your sales by working on social media and making sure that products are available in stock.
Web Design & Development Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can work with your web designer to get your website up and running. They will also assist in link building, and creating user-friendly websites that meet the needs of your target audience.
Insurance Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can help you cut through the maze of paperwork and regulations that govern these industries. Virtual assistants can also be used to provide services such as customer support, marketing, and sales.
Consulting Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can be used to improve your company’s relationship with customers in a variety of ways including customer service, project management, logistics support, research and email correspondence.
Accounting Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can help with the day-to-day operations of a business or company including payroll, accounts payable/receivable, remittances, and research. For example, a virtual assistant can tackle data entry and research projects that would otherwise remain in the back burner.
Customer Service Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants will get your customers’ attention and make them feel appreciated through email communication. They will also take on your customer service calls, helping you to grow your business faster. For example, a customer support service is a necessity for those in the tech field who rely on word-of-mouth advertising.
Financial Planning Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can help financial advisors amplify their lead flow. For example, they can help financial advisors with their LinkedIn presence and can regularly maintain an automated marketing funnel to help increase their leads.
Real Estate Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can be used to organize and maintain your company’s database of properties and information about potential clients. They can also help run your property management system or assist with real estate-related research, lead management, and client communications.
HR Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can help you manage your human resources. This includes recruiting, human resources coverage, as well as any necessary software that helps with payroll management.
Virtual assistants are the right choice for any business looking to streamline their operations without sacrificing quality assurance or increasing expenditures.
Example Virtual Assistant Roles across industries include:
Writing/Editing: Virtual assistants can help with your blog and social media by creating or editing posts, delivering content, and creating newsletters. Many virtual assistants have degrees in writing or journalism and have a natural ability to create effective content.
Social Media Marketing: Virtual assistants work with your social media manager to create effective campaigns that target the needs of your virtual assistant’s target market. They also use their social media skills to perform outreach on behalf of the company and provide support for your existing social media accounts.
Marketing: Virtual assistants can help with developing a marketing plan, placing advertising on the right platforms, and writing web content for social media channels. They can also develop email marketing strategies and write content for blog postings to promote company products or services.
Business & Sales Development: Virtual assistants can help find suppliers for your business or connect you with potential clients by performing research in your local area and other areas of interest to your business.
- Customer Service
- IT Support and Logistics
- Marketing and Sales Management
- Accounting and Finance Management
- Content Writing / Blogging / Copywriting
- Graphic Design & Illustration
- Web Design & Development
- Inbound Marketing, including SEO, Social Media, Content Creation (in all languages)
- General Business Operations Support
Whether you need to hire an employee or outsource your business operations to a virtual professional, the first step is to identify what digital literacy means in your business. Then you can work on increasing your ROI through strategic development and implementation. This will also aid in reducing operational costs through: streamlining processes; leveraging technology; and implementing best practices across the organization.
The Cost of Digital Literacy: A New Perspective on ROI
The return on investment is the primary reason many businesses invest in employees’ digital skills. While there is no official ROI calculator to measure each employee’s impact on the company’s revenue stream, companies are finding that by developing a digital literacy workforce it can have a considerable impact. The question is how? Here are several ways in which an investment in digital literacy helps increase ROI:
1. Accessibility and productivity: Smartphones, tablets, and computers have revolutionized business tools-making them easier to use for both employees and executives. For more efficient productivity, employers must put in place the right policies and processes for digital literacy.
2. ROI of investment: ROI is calculated by comparing the expenses of investing in digital literacy to the benefits returned by productivity, reduced turnover or improved customer service.
3. Time saved on employee training: Companies can save money by eliminating training time by hiring a virtual assistant instead of a full-time employee with less experience than the employees they are replacing.
4. Reduction in hiring: When using a virtual assistant, businesses can target a small pool of talent for hire. Since there are fewer applicants to choose from, the cost of conducting interviews and hiring is reduced.
5. Better retention: Talent retention has become a significant concern for many companies that use part-time employees or temps to fill open positions. With virtual assistants, there is less risk that the employees hired will leave if they find working conditions unsatisfactory or unacceptable.
6. Better customer service: A trained virtual assistant can provide better customer service because they are skilled in creating user-friendly digital content and applications for users’ needs in different industries.
7. Completely flexible: Virtual assistants work from a location where they want and are completely flexible in their hours.
8. Expand your reach: Hiring a virtual assistant company allows you to expand your reach and helps you bring more customers to your business.
9. Meet today’s digital demands: Customers expect to be able to do business online, or at least be able to access a company’s social media page or website, so having an online presence is key to staying relevant.
The possibilities really are endless for this emerging web-based workforce. The emergence of online jobs has made it possible for those with busy lives to earn a nice income from home.
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ENVISIONING OF A NEW REALITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Simply put, MyOutDesk equips entrepreneurs & business owners with tools, strategies, and virtual employees — and when combined, businesses have a competitive edge and find growth while efficient systems and processes are put in place.
MyOutDesk proudly provides additional free business growth guides, books, and strategy calls.
See what we are about, and schedule a free consultation with us. We’ll take the time to learn more about your business and offer solutions to foster top talent and lower operational costs for your company.
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Did You Know? MyOutDesk’s origin story is set during the last global financial crisis of 2008. Yes, that’s right — our business started by scaling businesses with virtual assistants during a recession! Our first client in 2008 went from five to seventeen VAs with a completely revamped organizational model in short order, and he told MyOutDesk, “Our virtual professionals have shaved $250,000 off our monthly overhead.”