what is a virtual assistant

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant (VA) is an independent worker who assists with administrative, phone calls, business development, social media, marketing or other tasks.  By taking on recurring tasks and administrative work, they free up time for small business owners, entrepreneurs and managers.

The virtual assistant works remotely, often from a home office.  Virtual assistants nowadays are located in any part of the world.

VAs have become incredibly popular with small businesses over the past decade because they are a flexible workforce.  A virtual assistant can be part-time or full-time, depending on your requirements. Need 45 hours a week? No problem. Need 90 hours? What about 180?  VAs are available.

Virtual assistants may be paid an hourly rate. Or they can get paid a fixed fee per week or month.

Often you can get a better deal and deeper benefit by hiring a full-time virtual assistant, for several reasons:

  • Prices can be surprisingly affordable, especially for offshore workers.
  • It’s easier to integrate a full-time assistant into regular workflows and get deeper benefit from the arrangement.
  • A full-time VA will be better positioned to learn any special software apps you require, develop cordial relationships with co-workers and customers, and grow with you as the business grows.
  • With a full time VA you have not only the ability for them to manage administraative tasks, but also phone calls and answering website live chat.

Some virtual assistants work as independent freelancers. Others are part of a company or agency where you hire the company to provide a flexible workforce.  When you work with a virtual assistant company, you deal with a manager who will discuss your needs and find the best fit.

 Why You Need It?

Many small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have often contemplated whether or not they should be hiring additional help. If you’re an owner of an SME starting out or even expanding, the need to be on top of tasks like administration is a common problem. Realising that you need help is just the start – however, taking the decision to hire help is a little more difficult, especially if you’re running a tight ship. In all honesty, having money to spend on extra staff is not always easy to come by. Do you look at hiring someone in-house or perhaps a Virtual Assistant? What solution would be the most cost-effective for you, both short term and long term?

We’ve put together a few reasons for hiring a Virtual Assistant. It should really be the first hire of an SME. It can tremendously compliment your daily operations, improve your time management and improve your work-life balance.  Here’s why:

Reduced Workload

Owning a business, many of your important tasks can be neglected due to a busy schedule. In such circumstances, having a Virtual Assistant will always come in handy as they can help you with many tasks such as:

  • Market Research
  • Receptionist managing inbound phone calls
  • Email Management
  • Scheduling
  • Bookkeeping
  • Social Media Management
  • General Administrative Tasks
  • Human Resources (HR) Tasks
  • And so much more …

The majority of Virtual Assistants are professionals skilled in multiple areas.  This can really help lighten the workload for you, freeing you up to boost your productivity.