Getting Behind in Your Work? You Need a Virtual Assistant!

If you don't know what a Virtual Assistant (or VA) is, don't worry. I only came across the term myself about a year ago. It seemed like a high-tech occupation that I would know little about until I stumbled across some information and found out that I was a Virtual Assistant! Not only that, I realized that small businesses were missing out on the opportunity to improve their efficiency by neglecting the vast talent so easily available online.

What Is A Virtual Assistant?

The term Virtual Assistant started in the mid 90's. Virtual Assistants are really the same as telecommuters, usually performing administrative tasks for businesses and working out of their own homes instead of the office they provide services for.

Using a Virtual Assistant can be a low budget alternative to hiring full or part-time staff. Fees are variable and often range from $15 -100/hr depending on the work or specialty. For small businesses, even one-man (or woman) businesses, a VA can dramatically ease your work load at a very reasonable cost.

Virtual Assistants provide needed skills such as proofreading, bookkeeping, website design, writing, data management and more. Some specialists work with the real estate or medical fields. Others handle the day-to-day tasks or help you with certain projects ? all on an as-you-need basis.

How Do I Choose A Virtual Assistant?

There are several associations such as the IVAA (International Virtual Assistants Association) which provide the names of screened Virtual Assistants. Another way to find a good Virtual Assistant is by word-of-mouth. As with any freelance job, it is wise to establish if the worker is efficient and responsible as you cannot always follow up in person.

All Virtual Assistants should have a privacy policy if not a member of an association. This shows that they understand that your business information is confidential and will take steps to ensure your privacy.

Finding a Virtual Assistant that you feel comfortable with can lead to a relationship that gives you the freedom to pass assignments over without the need to re-educate them about your business. A personal virtual assistant will learn your business through projects, and apply that knowledge to all of your assignments.

I have had great joy in learning how being a Virtual Assistant can benefit small businesses in handling their tasks. It is a rewarding experience to meet new individuals, be exposed to various business that are being run online, and to develop relationships with clients all over the world that can count on me. Consider what hiring a Virtual Assistant for your business could do for you!

Shannon Emmanuel is a freelance author and Virtual Assistant, check out her available services at:

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