The tribe of Virtual Assistants is fast growing into a popular industry. The day is not far when a courteous greeting could start with an enquiry such as, “Who is your Virtual Assistant?” rather than “What is a Virtual Assistant?” Virtual Assistants are the key to allowing small business entrepreneurs to truly create a thriving. But before you jump into the fray and hire one there are questions that need to be answered before you hire a VA.
Who or What is a Virtual Assistant?
First and foremost, you must understand what the term means. The simplest meaning being, 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”.
Why would one need the services of a Virtual Assistant?
There are many answers to this question. And many of them are on a positive note. To begin with hiring a virtual assistant literally translates to hassle free service. There are no hidden costs here. The Virtual Assistant does not charge his or her clients for the services rendered. They take care of their own expenses including office space, equipment, computers and software, and all wage-related expenses. A Virtual Assistant is not an employee but a member of your team having a stake in the success of your company. If you incur losses then the VA too incurs one and if you succeed then the VA too succeeds.
Most Virtual Assistants have huge experience in the administration side and can handle a variety of tasks. Many of them work outside of traditional business hours to provide flexibility to their clients placed in different time zones. With a Virtual Assistant on your side of the team you have the luxury of an opportunity to ‘grow’ your business rather than just run it. In fact you can get back doing the things that you love doing the most while the most important tasks on your list are looked after.
How do I find a Virtual Assistant?
There are three associations that list Virtual Assistants – VA Networking (www.vanetworking.com), International Virtual Assistant Association (www.ivaa.org) and International Association of Virtual Office Assistants (www.iavoa.com). But thanks to technological advances, a Virtual Assistant doesn’t need to live where his clients are as communication is available through email, facsimile, internet and telephone.
What can a Virtual Assistant help me out with?
Virtual Assistants can assist one with everything from basic administrative functions (document preparation, correspondence preparation, transcriptions services, etc.) to specialized services such as Web site design and maintenance, bookkeeping, ghostwriting and editing services, marketing and event planning.
Now all you need to do is to hire one and sit back and relax as you can see how partnering with a Virtual Assistant truly does make good business sense.