What Is a Virtual Assistant and Why Do You Need One?

by Mar 14, 2016Business, Start Virtual Assistant Business, Tips, Virtual Assistant, virtual assistant0 comments

According to Wikipedia:

A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office.

In other words, a virtual assistant is just that – an assistant who works virtually. That means they can be working out of a home office, from a hotel room, in a coffee shop – literally anywhere that has WIFI, a VA can work from. She /or He can provide services like email management, customer support/help desk, web design, transcription, graphic work, calendar management, data entry and more.

The great thing about a Virtual Assistant is that they are independent contractors so you don’t have to pay for office space for her, employee taxes and all those other things that come with having a ‘real’ in-office assistant.

Here are some other expenses you do not need to worry about when working with a VA: hardware (they buy their own computer, printer, and anything else they need), health insurance, vacation days, sick days, and no wasted time in the office. You can see that there are some pretty big benefits to outsourcing virtually. But what sorts of tasks can you entrust to someone who isn’t in the next office?

What a Virtual Assistant Can Do for Your Business

There are a lot of different things a VA can do for you and your business. But before we look at some sample tasks you can hand over, you need to realize the importance of hiring a VA. The main thing to think about is that with their help, you’ll be able to stop spending so much time on projects that are time consuming and zap your energy, and instead focus on those things you enjoy doing. You’ll probably even find that once you hand over those tasks you don’t like and which you found so time consuming, your VA will probably not spend as much time as you did on them!

Here are some of the basic things a VA can do for you:

  • Customer support
  • Email management
  • Press release submission
  • Schedule Calls / Appointments
  • Maintain database of clients / contacts
  • Send invoices
  • Email marketing – setting up/sending mailings for you through software like AWeber
  • Content management
  • Social media management
  • Internet research
  • Travel planning (reserving flights, booking hotels, etc)
  • Blog commenting

This is just a small list of some basic tasks a VA can do for you in you. Of course there are things that require more skill that you can also hand over to a VA, such as:

  • Web design
  • Graphic design
  • Website updates
  • Technical support
  • Shopping cart maintenance (like aMember, 1ShoppingCart, etc)
  • Kindle publishing
  • Set up and manage webinars
  • Writing sales copy
  • Project management
  • Bookkeeping
  • SEO
  • Audio/Video help (editing, creating, etc)
  • PowerPoint
  • Transcription

Again, this is just a small list of some of the tasks that require more of a skill set, but that can also be handed off to a trusted VA. This list is definitely not exhaustive and there are a lot of other jobs that can be outsourced as well.

By now, you should have a great starting point for brainstorming some of the ways that a Virtual Assistant can help you build and grow a successful business. Probably one of the easiest ways to get started with outsourcing to a VA is by making a list of the top three things you know need to get done in your business, but that you don’t like doing. You know that list of tasks that you never seem to find time to do? Those are the perfect projects to get started with!

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