Virtual Assistants are entrepreneurs they are highly skilled in their profession and are able to have an enormous impact on the productivity of those they work with. They were traditionally known as secretaries, administrative assistants, executive assistants or bookkeepers. But with today’s technology the world is a much smaller place, and where more professionals are working from their homes or in satellite offices, the former assistant has become virtual and thanks to the Internet, worldwide. In today’s business world, a virtual assistant can assist you with Web design, accounting, press release, real estate, resumes, SEO, grant writing, networking, etc, etc. The list is endless.
A Virtual Assistant can be a long term collaborative partner with a business, a provisional solution to staffing or the per diem solution. They are the original outsourcers — they are called upon to tackle assignments in our field of expertise. They are not temps or employees; they are, however, business owners and professionals.
Virtual Assistant works independently away from a traditional office setting; almost every task that can be accomplished in the traditional office can be completed virtually. They work from their own office, and provide home, small and large business, executives, entrepreneurs, solo-preneurs, and busy individual the back office or administrative support that they need.
It’s a Virtual Assistant responsibility to know the latest office and administrative technology, solutions and systems to resolve any administrative support issues and needs. The tools to complete this job are: a phone, a fax and a computer.
When hiring a Virtual Assistant, make sure they are a full time VA. If they are part time and you need to speak with them during the day and they are not available, there is nothing you can do. REMEMBER THEY OWN THEIR BUSINESS AND SET THEIR HOURS.
Also make sure that the VA has been set up as a business entity in the state where their office is located.
VA pricing for their services varies; pricing starts from $25.00 to $75.00 or more, depending on the services that’s require. Some set their pricing per hour or a set number of hours for a set price with a charge for additional hours used.
Most Virtual Assistant owned their company’s so customer satisfaction is paramount. Every assignment should be performed per the customer specifications.
Some Virtual Assistant may have their customers contact them via e-mail, airmail or phone with any questions and/or details of services they require.
Confidentiality is vital to our business. No work should be disclosed.
In my VA practice, I sign a Non Disclosure Agreement with every customer. At the conclusion of the assignment, customers files will be copied to a floppy disk or a CD, and the original files will be deleted from our computers and its mail to them. On the other hand, my Retainer and Seasonal customer files are kept on my office computer for easy access. I do ask my customers for the usage of mentioning the work which is done in my Professional Portfolio. Occasional customer names, address and pone numbers are kept in our data base.
Microsoft Encarta Dictionary definition of a Virtual Assistant is, “long distant assistant — somebody who uses a computer and phone links to work from a distance as a personal assistant to somebody else”.
A Virtual Assistant can work from another state or another country, we’re worldwide.
Phyllis L Jackson