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What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?

What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)? How do I work with a VA? What are the benefits of working with a VA? Great questions I’m asked on a regular basis at local networking functions or online. Let’s take a look, shall we.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

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.

Wikipedia – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_assistant 

A VA is a person who supports a client, across the board, administratively and personally without being geographically present in the client’s location.

AssistU – www.assistu.com 

Accredited Virtual Assistance (AVA) provides administrative & executive support services together with social media strategy, setup, training & management for small to medium sized businesses.

 Jackie de Boer

What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?

Virtual Assistants offer a range of services from general administrative tasks to specialized services such as website development, real estate assistant, legal assistant etc. Here at AVA, we offer general administrative office support, with a specialization in social media strategy, setup, training and management. Please see our business solutions for more information relating to Virtual Assistant Support and Social Media Services.

How Do I Work with a Virtual Assistant?

We’re called “Virtual” Assistants because we work remotely, generally in a home based office equipped with the latest technology. Clients communicate with us and transmit projects through the internet, intranet, digital voice files, email, fax, phone, Skype, overnight mail and even, on occasions, the good old US Mail.

Clients may choose to work with us on an hourly basis, per project or through a monthly retainer plan.

What Types of Businesses can a Virtual Assistant Help?

Most VA’s work with solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized business. Some will specialize in a specific industry such as real estate, law or publishing. To give you an idea of businesses we’ve assisted at AVA, I put together a sample of our clients, as you can see there’s a broad range.

Virtual_Assistant_Clients

What are the Benefits of Working with a Virtual Assistant?

Unlike an employee, a VA works with you on an as needed basis; you pay only for the time spent on your task without wasted ‘water cooler’ time, or overheads such as employee benefits, office space or equipment.

We all have those tasks we procrastinate about, don’t we. They may be an important part of your business, but you just can’t do it all, there’s not enough time, you may not have the skill or efficiency, or perhaps you dislike certain tasks.

By taking care of these tasks, a VA can give you more time in your day to:

  • Network
  • Build your core business
  • Find and develop new opportunities
  • Increase profits
  • Achieve greater work/life balance
  • Spend with family and friends

I hope this has answered the questions: What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)? How do I work with a VA? What are the benefits of working with a VA?.

If you’re interested in learning how a VA can help your particular business, please feel free to hop on over to Get In Touch  to set up a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation, to chat about your business, and whether a VA would be a good solution for your needs.

In the meantime, I’d love to know, what are the Top 3 business tasks you’d outsource?

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Jackie de Boer founded Accredited Virtual Assistance to help the busy entrepreneur, solopreneur and small business owner with business tasks they have no time, patience or skills to perform. As a Virtual Assistant (VA) Jackie takes care of administrative, executive & social media marketing strategy, setup & management for coaches, consultants, speakers, voiceover talent and business professionals remotely from her home office based in Massachusetts, USA.

{ 31 comments… add one }

  • Thinking Virtual Assistants are really becoming more and more important in our multi-tasking, busy world. Good article!

    • Jackie

      Thanks Niki, I’ve seen a steady growth in the virtual assistant industry over the last few years.

  • The internet really has opened up a world of possibilities to businesses! This is but one amazing example.

    • Jackie

      Very true Forrest, there are some great opportunities out there.

  • Great explanation of what a VA does and can do!

  • There’s so many questions about VA’s this is great.

  • Thanks Jackie! VA’s do so much, everyone needs one! I would outsource administrative tasks, bookkeeping, help with social networks, customer care, website and content management, and so much more! 🙂 Thanks for the great article!

    • Jackie

      I love this Sarah, you’re right everyone does need a VA 🙂 Thanks for your comments.

  • The hardest and most annoying thing for me at the moment is research. I need to get blogs written keep up with SM etc, while working full time, doing business after hrs, etc etc….I have a difficult time (haven’t tried real hard) finding relevant sites to link to, comment on, etc to get my name out there. I would like someone to hand that information to me so I can just get busy!

    • Jackie

      You’re one busy lady Suzanne 🙂 This is a great VA task and also a good one to use when you first start working with a VA; it will give you the opportunity to really see what they can do and also determine if they’re a good fit for your business, your working style and most importantly, your personality, thanks for commenting.

  • Definitely seems to be a position in great demand. I can see why!

  • Excellent resource Jackie! Thanks for sharing.

  • Excellent information! Answers all questions wonderfully! Thanks!

  • A Good one is hard to find! Thanks for explaining all that they can do! ..;)

    • Jackie

      You’re right Elizabeth, a good VA is hard to find 😉

  • One of the business tasks that I used to outsource was appointment setting. During that time frame, it was a HUGE time saver and a big stress reliever on my end.

    • Jackie

      Great way to use a VA Edmund.

  • I NEED a VA…not a V8…a VA! 🙂 Seriously, I do!

    • Jackie

      With all the great things you’re making happen with your business Carl, I can see you needing a VA, I might just know where you can find a good one 😉

  • Definitely website maintenance, design changes and research!

    • Jackie

      All great VA projects Christiane, thanks for your comments.

  • Thanks for explaining what VA’s do and how they help. Nice post Jackie!

  • Great post Jackie! Hope everything is going well.

    • Jackie

      Everything is going really well, thanks for asking Kerry. Hope all’s well with you 🙂

  • Maureen Malone

    Well now I have a better understanding of what a VA is & does…thank you Jackie!

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