What is a Virtual Assistant?
- A Virtual Assistant is a self-employed executive support professional.
Working from their own offices, Virtual Assistants utilize advanced technology
and the internet to provide administrative support to small business owners,
executives, and other independent professionals.
What are the advantages of using a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual Assistants can support their clients on an "as needed" basis,
for less than the cost of hiring a permanent or temporary employee.
Whether it's an hour a week, a day a month, or a full time two
week or more project, you only pay for the time your Virtual Assistant
spends assisting you.
Since Virtual Assistants are self-employed contractors you do not need
to pay any employee related costs.
Your Virtual Assistant has a fully equipped, technologically up to date
office from which she can take care of all your administrative needs.
You do not need to provide office space or equipment for your Virtual Assistant.
Since Virtual Assistants depend on satisfying their client's needs, you can be
assured of high quality work.
Why would I use a Virtual Assistant?
There are a few things that you don't get when you hire a Virtual Assistant:
You don't get charged for vacation time
You won't have to pay social security or employee taxes
You don't have to supply office space or equipment
You won't be charged for personal phone calls or time spent socializing with peers
So what do you get?
You do get access to high quality business support services
You do get an administrative professional who has a vested
interest in the success of your business
You do get more time to do what you do best, while leaving
the admin to someone who does it better
What do you mean - a Virtual Assistant has a vested
interest in the success of my business?
A Virtual Assistant is a business owner who depends on work from other businesses.
The more successful you are, the more you will realize the benefits of outsourcing.
If a VA’s client’s businesses start to decline, she will find her workflow diminishes.
You can be assured therefore that a VA really does have a vested interest in your success.
Repeat work and referrals are the life blood of a Virtual Assistance practice,
it is simply not in a Virtual Assistant’s interest to give poor service.
How much will it cost me?
Rates vary according to the differing skill sets, but generally you can expect to pay
between $30 and $75 per hour.
Some with specialist skills, such as web design, or paralegals may charge more.
Some VAs offer retainer packages at reduced rates for clients needing a set
number of regular hours per month.
How many hours must I sign up for?
You are not obliged to sign up for any number of hours.
Often clients will hire a Virtual Assistant for one or two projects just as a “try out”.
Once you are satisfied with the service, and have a better understanding of the volume
of work you are interested in outsourcing, you might want to take advantage of the reduced
rate retainer packages that many offer. Or if you prefer you can just stick with the pay
as you go arrangement.
Will it work for me?
Virtual Assistance is seen by a large number of professions as a vital ingredient to the
success and growth of their businesses. However it is not for everyone.
To partner successfully with a Virtual Assistant you need to:
Be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things
Be confident using email and/or instant messaging
Recognize a Virtual Assistant is a partner not an employee
Be prepared to delegate with minimum supervision
Be available to answer questions (especially in the early days)