What is a Virtual Assistant – The Basics
So, what is a Virtual Assistant, as people often look at me quizzically, so I thought I would try to explain it a little.
I’m not ‘almost’ or ‘nearly’ there, as the Oxford dictionary describes ‘Virtual’, but an online self-employed version of the traditional PA who provides business support to SMEs and sole traders.
A Virtual Assistant or VA generally works from a home office or remotely and the services provided vary from VA to VA depending on the skill-set but are usually social-media led, administration or technological based.
How Many Clients does a VA have?
A Virtual Assistant would only hold a small number of business clients so as to ensure that the number of hours provided to each are provided professionally, with clear set boundaries and delivered on time.
What Skills does a VA require?
The skill-set that each business would use would depend on their need at any one time. The business may have a secretary in the office, but may have sickness, annual leave and/or surplus work at the time – that’s where a VA comes into play. Or indeed, you may just utilise a VA permanently and only outsource your work for the set hours you need. Skills such as audio transcription, social media management, event planning, website monitoring, document creation, presentations, mail merge etc. Which VA you decide to work with will depend on the skill-set you choose.
How Do You Keep In Touch?
How do you keep in touch? Well, technology is great these days, isn’t it? Each client has their own preferences, so it is entirely up to you. You can choose; email, telephone, Skype, a Zoom call or even face-to-face if you prefer to work with a VA in your local area – however, face-to -ace meetings will be at a higher rate for onsite help, of course.
There are other services such as proof-reading available, along with the face-to-face meetings which do demand a premium rate along with the standard rate skills mentioned above.
I hope this has made things a little more clearer and you now understand the workings of a Virtual Assistant. So in essence, you have a remote online freelancer for a VA who is technically skilled to work on your tasks that you have outsourced to allow you to focus on more cost-effective matters in hand.
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