“The Internet has revolutionized many business sectors and has single-handedly created one – virtual assistance.” (“More firms use virtual assistance” by Nick Eason, CNN.com)
For many years businesses have realized the benefits of outsourcing by contracting temporary administrative support personnel. In the last 10 years however, the expansion of the Internet and modern technology has enabled home-based business support services to evolve and provide seamless, cost-effective business solutions – without compromise to timing, accessibility or quality. Work assignments are easily communicated by email, telephone, instant messaging or fax. Your Virtual Assistant (VA) doesn’t have to be in your office, your city, or even your country!
What a VA does for Your Business
VA’s are flexible, working on an as-needed basis, often beyond traditional business days and hours if required. Virtual Assistants typically offer administrative support but some VAs offer marketing and technical support services as well. Services include e-mail management; online article promotion; data entry; Internet research; project management; lead generation; website design; desktop publishing ,online newsletter (ezine) services and shopping cart management. drivingschoolintoronto
The VA’s primary clients are small business owners and entrepreneurs who realize that they can’t “do it all” and need an alternate solution to hiring employees. A Virtual Assistant gives them the freedom and confidence to achieve their business goals by taking care of the day-to-day details, follow-up and maintenance of their business. Large corporations have realized the benefits of Virtual Assistance as well. They call on VAs to work on special projects, handle overflow and for on-going assignments. A VA increases employee productivity and ensures the business maintains its quality reputation.
VA’s are Independent Contractors, charging only for productive time – actual time worked. Clients avoid the hassles and costs of hiring employees and can reduce their overhead expenses by 50% (on average) when they hire a VA instead on an employee. Clients don’t pay for benefits; payroll taxes; recruiting costs, downtime, personal time etc. nor does the client have to provide a physical workspace, equipment or software.
Virtual Assistants typically have two service options to suit the diverse needs of clients: an hourly rate (Pay-as-U-Go) as well as monthly retainer plans with discounted retainer rates for clients who commit to a 3-month contract.
Some companies hire temporary staff through Temp Agencies. However, there are many downsides to this option. Recruiting and training costs can be high, with no flexibility on the minimum level of service to be contracted. It can also be difficult to ensure continuity of service, as you won’t always get the same temp. temp-mail
Chances are, temps aren’t a viable option for the home-based business owner. Most temporary agencies don’t offer services to home offices because those offices tend to lack space, equipment and facilities for on-site staff.
There’s an extra benefit businesses get using a Virtual Assistant rather than hiring employees or temporary personnel. VA’s are business owners who are highly qualified and experienced. Because they are entrepreneurs, they understand the needs of today’s business and go the extra mile in their work. Moreover, Virtual Assistants have a vested interest in their clients’ success. If VAs aren’t satisfying their clients, they’ll soon be out of business!