According to Wikipedia a Virtual Assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office.
A virtual assistant is an employee you can hire by the hour, day, month, project or any combination of these to provide you expertise and assistance when you need it. This kind of contractor is the best solution for an entrepreneur – as you can get the help you need it, when you need it and for how long you need it.
What kind of work does a Professional Virtual Assistant provide?
That all depends on their area of expertise- the spectrum of skills runs from bookkeeping , research, data entry, social media support, graphic design, client support, e-book development, travel booking, blogging and newsletter production, speaker booking, to email management.
What are the benefits of a hiring a Virtual Assistant?
There are no extra costs typically related to hiring a new employee such as recruitment costs, employment insurance, health insurance, WSIB costs, vacation pay, office set up costs such as computers and desk, training costs, team dynamics, sick days, benefits and the list goes on.
A lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs can’t afford to hire full time help. A VA offers you the chance to bring in assistance based on your budget – contract more time as your budget allows.
By starting with small contracts to start you are reducing your risk – If things don’t work out – you haven’t invested a lot of time, money, or employee development.
Where do I start in hiring a Virtual Assistant?
The place to begin is to determine what your needs are. Think about the tasks that are not getting done, where are you spending too much time, or what projects need specialised skills that would compliment your own.
Once you have a list of tasks, and projects that you could use help with, then it is matter of researching to find a VA. Some sites I recommend where you can advertise for a VA include Odesk.com, elance.com and Craigslist. Once you have found a list of possible VA’s, take your time to interview them, check out their website and examples of their work if applicable.
A profession virtual assistant is a great way to enlarge your team with the right people at the right time for the right price. You cant afford to not take the plunge and hire a Virtual Assistant!