Virtual Assistants are the key to allowing small business owners to truly create a thriving. Before deciding to work with a Virtual Assistant there are six questions that need to be answered.
First and foremost, you must understand what the term means. Simply put, a Virtual Assistant is a business owner who offers administrative support, virtually. The International Virtual Assistant Association defines a Virtual Assistant as “an independent entrepreneur providing administrative, creative and/or technical services. Utilizing advanced technological modes of communication and data delivery, a professional Virtual Assistant assists clients in his/her area of expertise from his/her own office on a contractual basis.”
There are many advantages! First, there are no hidden costs. The Virtual Assistant takes care of his or her own expenses including office space, equipment, computers and software, and all wage-related expenses. A Virtual Assistant is not like other employees; instead, he/she becomes a member of your team and has a stake in the success of your company. If you don’t succeed they won’t succeed.
Most Virtual Assistants have many years of administrative experience and can handle a variety of tasks. Many VAs work outside of traditional business hours to provide flexibility. With a Virtual Assistant on your team, you have an opportunity to grow your business rather than just maintain it. You can get back to the things you love doing; while the tasks on your ‘TO DO’ list are looked after.
Virtual Assistants can assist you with everything from basic administrative functions (document preparation, correspondence preparation, transcriptions services, etc.) to specialized services such as Website design and maintenance, bookkeeping, ghostwriting and editing services, marketing, and event planning. Each Virtual Assistant has his or her own skill set and services. Many have established connections with other Virtual Assistants and will contract out specialized work or direct you to another Assistant.
The most popular methods in communication are email and telephone; however, facsimile, courier, and postal services are often used. Many who have worked with Virtual Assistants have set up post office boxes that are accessed by the Assistant to ensure all client correspondence is handled directly by the Assistant.
Is there anything a Virtual Assistant can’t do for me?
A Virtual Assistant can perform any task that an in-house assistant can …except make your morning coffee.
At a time when internet access and download speeds are at their greatest, Virtual Assistants operate in a virtual forum and can carry out all traditional support functions saving your business time and money.
Client communication is usually conducted over the telephone or by fax or email. Documents and data are delivered through secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP), via the internet or through traditional means. Virtual Assistants are known to multi-task and are highly adaptable to suit your business needs. So why hire one? The simple answer to that is, because “A Virtual Assistant is just a mouse click away!”
Unlimited global market. Virtual Assistants fulfill secretarial and transcription roles online and can do so from any remote location. There is no need to have a Virtual Assistant physically in your office, crucially freeing up business space for you in your office. Businesses can hire Virtual Assistants from a wide range of locations and countries. This gives you a tremendous choice of skilled personnel and huge cost savings and advantages.
Frees up your time. Virtual Assistants are highly trained, highly productive personnel who are used to large volumes of output and offer quick turnaround times. They are ideally suited to pressures of deadlines and operate at a time when your business requires it, with a view to freeing up your time to increase your productivity.
VAs are Cost effective. Virtual Assistants offer an independent service to your business as and when necessary. They are not employees, you only pay for what you want, when you need it. This is a highly cost-effective option for your business, reducing the need to employ staff or pay full-time wages or taxes.
Reduce your overheads. Virtual Assistants work from home or from their own office. Virtual Assistants do not take up office space and your business can enjoy cost savings and reductions in electricity and utility bills employees accrue. You do not need to purchase additional equipment for their use, Virtual Assistants operate from fully equipped offices, using the most up to date technology. No need to incur additional postage or courier costs to outsource your work to them – telephone, fax and internet based technology provides an immediate solution.
Minimize employee obligations. A Virtual Assistant is an independent contractor, they are not engaged in a contract of employment. A Virtual Assistant is not a company employee, there are no ancillary employee taxes or benefits to be paid, providing a cost saving to your business. As Virtual Assistants are self-employed business owners they are responsible for their own taxation liabilities.
They Provide Critical cover. By engaging a Virtual Assistant, your business has the ability to outsource important work during peak periods or to meet pressurized deadlines when the need arises. Crucially a Virtual Assistant can be engaged to provide effective support and cover for staff absenteeism. A Virtual Assistant is a reliable and viable alternative to using recruitment agencies for temporary in-house staff.
Customized business service. A Virtual Assistant can fulfill the role your business requires whether it is a short time or long continuous period of engagement, either on a regular or ad hoc basis. This degree of flexibility is essential in an ever-changing business world. So whether it is a once-off digital transcription or ongoing administrative tasks, a Virtual Assistant is the most efficient solution for your business.
The diversity of Talent. Virtual Assistants come from a panoply of disciplines across the professional, business, academic, technical and support sectors. Your business can choose a Virtual Assistant according to the skill set that the task requires, whether it is highly specialized or generic. Virtual Assistants are creative thinkers and excellent problem solvers.
Outsourcing equals productive output. A dedicated Virtual Assistant is 100 percent committed to your business project. They are self-employed personnel and so are aware of the exigencies of performing tasks to deadlines. Engaging the service of a Virtual Assistant ensures that each hour of labour provided is of optimum productivity and effort.
Efficient use of time. Effective use of time management means your business can be served by a Virtual Assistant operating in a different time zone to meet your business needs. As your business day ends, a Virtual Assistant’s day can begin and this flexible time solution results in greater business efficiency and turnaround.
These are just some of the key reasons to engage a Virtual Assistant. The role of the Virtual Assistant is ever changing and ever expanding and is and will continue to play an important function in the emergence of a modern online business world.
So many companies are hiring Virtual Assistants. Your virtual assistant will be handling all your assignments by email or phone, so be sure to interview your assistant to make sure you truly understand what it is you expect to be done for your and for what price. Here’s a synopsis of how VAs work and what you should look for in your business association.
A Virtual Assistant is an off-site business associate offering small businesses the opportunity to outsource some of the everyday mundane work that takes them time and effort. In addition, this work costs many companies money both in staffing costs and time expended.
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is generally located in a remote location – anywhere in the world – and works for his/her clients on a day-to-day basis taking care of any work they assign to her.
VAs are normally known for their cost-effective and good quality. The affordability of their work makes it all worthwhile to their clients. Not only are they cost-effective, but they are also known to be quite knowledgeable about much of the work they are asked to do.
A Virtual Assistant often knows a little about lots of various topics through previous research done for similar titles. In any case, Virtual Assistants are generally specialists in the art of online investigation, probing and in-depth searching for anything their clients wish to know about or have documented.
Virtual Assistants are not tempting – they are self-employed entrepreneurs who can handle almost all of your marketing and secretarial needs. A perfect way to keep your office overhead under control.
An ongoing association with a Virtual Assistant provides you with someone who has a working knowledge and understanding of your company and its goals. It’s the most cost-effective way to maintain valuable assistance while watching your expenses stay at a minimum.
They are as concerned with your business success as you are – as their success depends on you. You can expect a high level of commitment as most follow strict work guidelines and ethics promising you the best in service and protecting your interests at all times. Confidentiality is assured.