Virtual Assisting

What does a Virtual Assistant do exactly?

The virtual assisting industry is taking business by storm, but the services offered from one VA to the next vary significantly. Some VA’s specialize in a certain niche while others cover general administrative needs. 

When I tell people what I do as a VA, often times they still have questions on what it is that I really do. The services list for me is a long one, as I provide a multitude of administrative and business related services with a niche in business development, management, and social media. I do however provide basic administrative functions in addition to the niche services. 

Common VA services are as follows:

Transcription, Reminder Calls and Cards, Database Management, Meeting and Event Planning, Newsletters, Mailing Services, Bookkeeping, Competitive Research, Concierge Services, Gift Buying, Travel Arrangements, Contact Management, Desktop Publishing, Digital Imaging, Editing/Proofreading, Contract Negotiations, File Conversion, Bill Paying, Collections, Graphic Design, Word Processing, Database and Spreadsheet Creation & Management, Resume Writing, Internet Administration, Online Marketing, Internet Research, Interpreting, Translation, Organizational Services, Photocopying, Presentations, Public Relations, Realtor Support, Social Media Management, Systems Management, Tech Support, Webinar Creation & Management, Transaction Coordinator, Purchasing, Web Design/Development/Maintenance, Content Writing, Marketing, Advertising and Brochure Creation, Business Development, Sales, Cold Calling, Appointment Setting, Paralegal Services, Investigations and Research, Answering Phones, Blogging, Lead Followup, Surveys, Policy and Procedure Creation. The list goes on and on and on.  

Virtual assistants are highly skilled professionals, with most of us having obtained our experiences on the job, many times through several employers and industries over a life long career. We remain up to date on the latest business programs and technology to ensure that we are as productive as possible and that we provide our clients with the solutions they need most. 

Most people believe that they need an in-house assistant to handle their day to day needs, but most of the time just the opposite is true. VA’s can handle all of  your business needs from afar. With our business knowledge and the technology available today, we can do everything but take out the trash and lock the door, however we can happily make arrangements for those things to be done as well.

Often times prospective clients explain to me that they only need someone part time, or they feel they need someone full time but they struggle in creating enough work for a full time person. They simply believe they need a full time person to man the phones just in case it rings. A VA is the solution!

For instance, I created my VA firm based on the needs of the small to mid size business, as I had experienced these issues first hand as a business owner and manager. It was hard to find qualified people who had all the skills needed, but who could work for the pay being offered, without benefits and that would be available at the drop of a hat when needed or that could work a varied schedule.

Temp help was not an attractive choice because I would never end up with the same person and I would need to constantly retrain each temp, so it was very inefficient. I couldn’t always afford to hire someone, and other times it wasn’t fair to the employee to not be able to guarantee a certain amount of work each week, and then other weeks it was difficult to just have them sit there and twiddle their fingers because I had nothing for them to do. But most of the time, more often than not, I just couldn’t find people with the right skills. So we just went without. 

Fortunately, that is where the joy of working with a VA comes in. You always get the same great service from the same great person. You know the skill set and the qualifications of that person and that they are qualified to complete the work you need. You never have to retrain anyone and you don’t have to pay any benefits, taxes, worker’s compensation, insurance, or vacation pay. Your VA is an Independent Contractor and you simply pay as you go and call when you need help. Whether it’s five hours this week or 20 hours next week or one hour the week after, your VA is there and ready to serve your needs no matter what. The relationship that you’ll create with your VA will be much like other business partners, like your accountant, your business advisor, attorney, insurance agent and more. 

In my local area, I provide free local pickup and delivery of projects if my clients need it. I also make an offer to visit their offices as needed for an additional fee, if they feel that I really need to be there in person. Because we are virtual, we can work and coordinate with clients virtually all over the world. There is no limit to what a VA can offer you. 

Again each VA has unique skill sets, so when seeking a VA for your needs, try to find one that best suits your needs. The VA industry is tightly knit and many of us work together. If your VA doesn’t offer a service you need, she/he more than likely has a VA colleague that can assist you.  

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself working with several VA’s once you get the hang of using us. You might use one for handling all of your human resources, one for accounting, one for social media management, and another for marketing and business development.

It’s by far more beneficial and cost effective to have these professionals on call and part of your team, rather than to hire one of each when you may not be utilizing them to the fullest. I often times find that small businesses try to put one person into a multitude of positions to try and save money. They may have a receptionist, but she/he might be filing the role of receptionist, bookkeeper, janitor, social media manager, website developer, human resources, and sales & marketing. Pretty soon none of the tasks are being completed correctly or on time, and further more, the person may not have the proper skills to provide you with the return on investment that your business deserves.

To find a VA for your needs here are some great places to look:

LinkedIn

LeapFrog

IVAA

VAnetworking

Here’s to your success!

Miss Executive, Tina Holtz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s