Build a Client Database with a VA!

Big businesses have fancy CRM systems and other tools to build a database, but for most small businesses, they must create a database manually.

Using a simple spreadsheet can be valuable in helping you have a constant supply of leads to call. Not only that, it can help you filter leads according to specific attributes and characteristics. That way, you can personalise your message to each target audience.

The reality is though that most business owners don’t have the time to allocate to database building. They have more important matters to attend to such as seeing clients.

Have you considered hiring a Virtual Assistant to help build your database? Here’s how!

Information gathering

Decide what information you want to put in your spreadsheet. Don’t just tell your VA to create a database without specifying what you need. You can also create a template with pre-populated headings so that your VA knows exactly what to input.

Once you know what you want, create a list of resources for your VA. These are websites, blogs and other sources for her to peruse and gather data.

Data capturing

Data capturing can seem like an easy task, but a simple error can diminish your database’s usefulness. For example, making a mistake with an email address means you can’t contact the lead, which in turn means wasted time and lost sales.

Remember, garbage in is garbage out, so it’s important to reinforce that your VA must pay attention to detail when inputting information. What you can do is add a separate column in your spreadsheet titled “source” so that she can copy and paste her source links.


After your VA has created the database, make a copy of it for sorting purposes. Don’t use the original database so you can always fall back on it if something goes wrong with the copy.

Here’s how to sort the data:

  • Highlight all the data
  • Find your program’s “sort” button
  • Sort by row, heading, value or any other parameter
  • Select “ascending” or “descending” order

Saving, sharing and storing

It’s important to save, share and store your document securely. We advise storing it on a cloud-based platform. This will also help for version control – you won’t get confused with different versions of the document as the cloud merges all changes automatically.

Keep the original spreadsheet on the cloud as well as on your pc as a backup option.

For extra security, safeguard your document with password protection.

The Virtual Assistants Association of South Africa (VAASA) is a non-profit Association, founded in 2016 for the benefit of all virtual/remote administrative professionals in South Africa as well as businesses and professional people who recognise and utilise Virtual Assistants. Whether you are a Virtual Assistant or looking for a VA, we can help.