What is a Virtual Assistant?
To put it plainly, a Virtual Assistant provides professional administrative, technical or creative support or assistance to business owners and busy individuals but does not necessarily perform those tasks within the owner’s office. Working remotely within their own well equipped office, tasks or projects are communicated to the VA via email, phone, fax, postage mail, and courier or at times for local clients – onsite.
Thanks to the technology available to all of us, most virtual assistants are able to service clients across the country and around the world. Just like the World Wide Web, the possibilities are limitless when it comes to location. Imagine being able to “extend” your work hours by having a virtual assistant in a different time zone to you, do your work while you sleep. Save a few dollars (or Pounds, Euro etc) by hiring a VA who is based in a country whose currency is at a lower value than your own country currency. Have the comfort of running your business at home and not worry about extra “space” for an employee and so forth.
Benefits to YOU!
Of the greatest advantages to you, a Virtual Assistant charges only for the time worked (normally a per hour rate). Since a virtual assistant is an independent contractor you never have to worry about employee benefits, taxes, paperwork, insurance, extra costs on office space or supplies, no obligation on hours required to work per week, extra hands during seasonal or peak activity time, and no time is wasted on breaks or having to deal with employee personal issues.
Additionally, as a VA is a business owner themselves, they understand the importance of confidentiality, lead/turn-around time, customer relationships, marketing, finances and running a business in general!
Who uses Virtual Assistants?
In a nutshell, anyone and everyone who wants to! Overall, if you are a busy business owner who has too much on your plate and not enough time to do it all, a virtual assistant can help you tick off your to do list while you concentrate on your marketing activities, leads, sales etc. Don’t have time to run your personal errands, plan or organise that birthday party, book your holiday, call your dentist to schedule an appointment, purchase a gift, pay your bills or even purchase your groceries? A virtual assistant can help keep you organised. Some examples of people engaging a VA are:
- Speakers, consultants and coaches – VA’s can organise the booking of a venue, correspond with attendee, book travel arrangements, savvy up presentations and hand outs etc
- Small or Home businesses – maintain websites, marketing assistant support, email management, word processing, competitive research, book keeping, follow up unpaid invoices, organise business events, etc
- Solo entrepreneurs – manage voicemail, schedule appointments, ensure you’re on time for meetings, manage correspondence, book travel, create a database, follow up unpaid invoices, etc
- Medical, Law or Real-estate industries – transcription, posting up advertisement, prepare documents, input data etc
- Authors and writers – research, proof reading, transcription, typing etc
- Busy individuals – you don’t even need to have a business interest to engage in the services of a VA. A VA can ensure bills are paid on time by using the internet, online grocery shopping, organising special events, purchasing gifts online, organise cleaners to come to your home, search for babysitting services in your area, purchase tickets to events/movies/shows etc
This may vary depending on alot of factors: the services the VA offers, the VA’s experience, the VA’s expertise, the city or country they live in and so forth. Generally speaking, rates can vary between $20-$50+ per hour for general administrative work to technical expertise services. Most virtual assistant’s offer “retainer packages” which generally provide a discounted rate for on-going established clients. Terms and conditions of how often or when to pay the VA should be discussed at time of consultation.
Would you like to use this article in your publication, on your blog or in some other way? You can so long as you include this short bio with it:
Aiselade Dionisio is Founder and President of Ask Your Virtual Assistant.
Ask Your Virtual Assistant help busy businesses and individuals manage their non-core administrative tasks off-site so that they can concentrate on sales, marketing and other revenue generating activities – or just to gain back their precious time to enjoy what they love to do most. Conceived with the vision to provide a team approach to Virtual Assisting, Ask Your Virtual Assistant allows clients access to not just one Virtual Assistant, but to as many needed to achieve superior support within the client’s business.