From © Stacey Baillie
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual Assistants, also known as VAs, have been around for more than ten years and in this day and age, utilize the technology era. They are highly qualified, experienced business owners who basically do the same work as a typical Secretary, Personal Assistant and Office Administrator combined. Many Virtual Assistants are College or University educated in business and office administration with work experience in an office setting. Some Virtual Assistants have even added Virtual Assistant Certification to their list of credentials.
So what’s the difference between a regular Secretary, Personal Assistant, Office Administrator and a Virtual Assistant? The main difference is that a Virtual Assistant is just that, Virtual! A Virtual Assistant completes your projects or tasks at his or her home office, using his or her own equipment, and carries out the work through email, fax, telephone and postal service. Therefore, the location of your Virtual Assistant is not important.
What Services Can Virtual Assistants Provide?
The type of services that a Virtual Assistant offers varies. Services include general administration services, database and web site development, graphic design, sales support, presentation preparation, telephone answering, bill payments, travel arrangements, bookkeeping, desktop publishing, computer training, medical/legal transcription – the list is endless! Not all Virtual Assistants offer all of these services. However, by being part of Virtual Assistant networks, your Virtual Assistant can guarantee client satisfaction by a qualified Virtual Assistant. If your Virtual Assistant cannot complete your task, she will find a Virtual Assistant who can.
What Are the Advantages to Hiring a Virtual Assistant?
The benefits of outsourcing to a qualified Virtual Assistant are plentiful. Virtual Assistants only charge for actual time worked. Virtual Assistants use their own equipment so there is no wear and tear on your office equipment or a need for special equipment. By outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant rather than hiring an in-office assistant, you will never need to pay employment insurance, vacation pay, sick pay, or contribute to retirement plans and workers’ compensation.
There is no cost for training new or existing employees; Virtual Assistants are already qualified. There is no need for extra office space; Virtual Assistants do everything from their home office. There’s no need to worry about in-office employees requesting time off; Virtual Assistants are available when you need them. Like you, Virtual Assistants are entrepreneurs and understand the needs of businesses today, ensuring the success of their clients. Virtual Assistant’s value each and every client; it is because of these clients that Virtual Assistants can ensure the success of their own businesses.
How else can outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant save you money? Often Virtual Assistants offer special discounts to new clients and to existing clients they offer free service hours in return for referrals. Many Virtual Assistants even offer monthly retainer plans that not only ensure their availability but also save you money. Virtual Assistants are experienced individuals with the ability to catch mistakes made in-office, not only saving your business money but also protecting your business reputation.
And for those in-office employees that you cannot go without, a Virtual Assistant can take a little of the never-ending workload or less-important projects off their shoulders to ensure you, as a successful business, maintain your quality reputation and increase employee productivity. So the question really should be, why not outsource to a Virtual Assistant?
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