Introducing Virtual Assistants

I look forward to getting to know the other authors and regular readers of this blog. And thank you Stefan for the recent introduction.

What is a Virtual Assistant, or VA? A VA works as an independent contractor in their own business, providing administrative, secretarial or other computer based support. Some work full-time and some part-time. Because they work independently and have varying skill levels, experience and different backgrounds, rates for their services will vary considerably.

Thought to consider: The speed and experience of one VA may mean they charge higher than another VA who has a slower speed and less experience in their particular specialties. This could mean that the total sum of a job or project completed by the two separately may end up around the same price – even though one charges lower because they take longer to complete it.

Advantages of working with a Virtual Assistant (VA)

  • They're self-employed, therefore responsible for their own taxes, superannuation, insurances, etc
  • They have their own equipment and work in their own office so you don't have to have the space or equipment available to them
  • Available for short-term or long-term work, i.e. your personal assistant whenever you need them
  • You pay $$ per hour for the work they do, not for their lunchbreaks, tea breaks, sick leave, etc
  • Already experienced – you don't need to train them, other than explain how you normally operate

Tips for working with a Virtual Assistant (VA)

  • Be clear about your expectations at the beginning of your project to avoid misunderstandings
  • Understand that the VA is not someone you are going to see every day and is not an employee but instead a business owner who will view your business with a different perspective – they should be seen as a business partner
  • VAs do not need to be micromanaged – you're paying for someone who doesn't require a lot of supervision and who has experience on their side
  • VAs are not sales people so do not expect them to generate sales for you. They are there to assist with the administrative aspects of your business so you can work on generating more income doing what you do best.

The major thing to understand is that a Virtual Assistant is really a partner for your business and not an employee. They can advise you on the best way to do things – and then do it for you.

Whilst established VAs already have systems in place, many new clients and new VAs won't. Winweb helps bridge that gap for both entities, providing online access to a number of shared facilities, and if the bookkeeping aspect is used, makes it ideal for the clients accountant to also become involved in the operations of the business being supported. KMT

Tags: Accountants, Bookkeeping, Business Development, Business Infrastructure, Business Mentoring, Business Start Up, Entrepreneur, Exporting, Home Business, Homesourcing, IT, Micro Business, On-demand, Outsourcing, Selfemployed, Small Business, smb, sme, sme-blog, SOHO, Very Small Business, Virtual Assistants, VSB

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