Today, we’re going back to basics!
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a person who provides professional administrative support to other individuals and businesses.
A VA provides remote services as and when required, and your needs will determine the type of VA that you hire. They may offer general administrative services or specialise in a specific niche area. A VA is typically engaged on either an hourly, project-specific or ongoing basis.
Types Of Virtual Assistants
Some VAs offer a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ administrative type service, who then might sub-contract another VA for completing tasks outside of their skill set. Other VAs specialise in specific industries, such as real estate or the medical and legal professions. And some VAs work in niche areas such as marketing, Social Media or bookkeeping.
The term Virtual Assistant can be quite fluid. A VA is usually an independent contractor who works from their home office, although they might also be part of a larger multi-VA agency or even part of a one-stop-shop company (usually based in a developing country).
And your Virtual Assistant might even call himself or herself a Virtual Business Professional, Virtual Administration Professional or Administrative Consultant.
How Does It Work?
Because a Virtual Assistant is an independent contractor, you are not responsible for incurring any sick pay, annual leave or superannuation. Nor do you have to provide extra office space, equipment or supplies. Electronic communication via various technologies (such as the Internet, email and phone), mean that you can access your Virtual Assistant from anywhere in the world.
Just like engaging any other contractor, the first step is to do your research. Selecting a Virtual Assistant may require getting recommendations, sourcing references and checking websites.
Finally, remember that your VA is usually a self-employed business owner. They often come with a great deal of experience, and are highly organised with the skills to facilitate delivering jobs on time. Treat them as a business partner and not as an employee!
For more information on hiring a Virtual Assistant, check out our FREE eBook here!