Over the past ten years Virtual Assistants have become a very prominent part of business. There are an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 Virtual Assistants globally at the present time. They provide an “as needed” service without businesses having to provide the same benefits as a full time employee – no holiday leave, no sick pay, no maternity leave. In addition, there are no overheads associated with contracting a Virtual Assistant – they work from their own home meaning you don’t have to provide a desk or a computer.
Each Virtual Assistant will have his or her specific area of expertise normally gained from their previous full time experience working in that area. This means your Virtual Assistant knows what to do, understands the terminology and can get to work with very little explanation from the Client. Specific skills areas range from clerical and bookkeeping duties, management of social media, handling travel arrangements, appointment scheduling, writing blogs or articles, handling phone calls and emails when you are out of town, creating websites, data entry or research work and everything else in between and they will cover every area of commerce and industry.
Communication between the Virtual Assistant and their Client is normally done via email, Skype or Google Voice call, online work spaces and mobile phone. Normally they need to have access to online calendars and any necessary planning documents remotely using facilities such as Google Docs or Dropbox.
As each Virtual Assistant is running their own business, confidentiality and integrity are high on their list of priorities – without these a Client would not trust contracting them.
There are numerous benefits to the Client in hiring a Virtual Assistant, the main one being the flexibility of hiring someone to complete specific tasks that need to be done. Depending on the Virtual Assistant, some can be hired by the task or project as opposed to hiring by the hour.
Some Virtual Assistants will work on a retainer guaranteeing an Individual or Company a specific number of hours each week in which to perform the work needed. Virtual Assistants are also not ‘emotionally’ involved in the work they are doing; therefore they tend to complete the work faster and more accurately as they have little to no distractions.
Most Virtual Assistants move from working as an employee to working as a contractor because they are self-motivated, organised, efficient and are able to multi task. They enjoy helping others sort their businesses out and can possibly complete tasks quicker.
Do you think a Virtual Assistant would help you grow your business or give you back time?