by Terry Green, GVA
Does it seem as if your business is running you, instead of you running your business? Do you find yourself spending more time on those daily administrative tasks that eat-up precious time and energy, and wish instead, that you could spend it on the more important aspects of actually running your business? Have you ever dreamed of having an assistant or an administrative support person, but sadly dismissed the idea because you didn’t have the space or the resources to hire one? Just imagine how great it would be to actually be able to put all of your time and energy into focusing on those things you love to do, your passion, the reason you went into business in the first place. Well hang onto your hat, your wish has been granted! Enter the realm of Virtual Assistance.
Members of one of the fastest growing industries today, Virtual Assistants are skilled entrepreneurs expert in handling all of the day-to-day administrative tasks for a busy office. They provide the assistance you need, when you need it, so that you can get back to doing what you do best! Communicating with their clients via the internet, fax, phone, and instant messaging, VAs do your work from their remote office using the most advanced technology and software to provide seamless, transparent assistance to enhance your business and increase bottom line productivity. As self-employed entrepreneurs, Virtual Assistants have a vested interest in their client’s success. Unlike the employer/employee relationship, the relationship between the client and their VA is a partnership based on mutual trust and respect.
Gone are the days when an on-site employee was the only answer to your administrative support woes. Virtual Assistants come complete with their own offices and equipment. No longer bound by physical location, Virtual Assistants now have the ability to partner with clients around the corner, in another state, or on the other side of the world. Partnering with a VA eliminates the added expense and costs associated with hiring a permanent employee. No more salary and benefits, Social Security or payroll taxes. There is no supervision or training necessary, and no need to purchase office equipment or provide office space. No more downtime due to lunch breaks, telephone calls or personal problems. With a VA, you pay only for the time it takes to complete your work. There are no hidden costs!
In general, VAs charge anywhere between $30 – $50 per hour, based on the complexity of your particular project, the type of service performed, and the level of skill required to complete the task. While an hourly or “project rate” is usually available, clients benefit most by taking advantage of special “retainer rates.” Retainer rates are discounted rates, paid monthly in advance for a specific number of hours per month, usually in blocks of 10. Rather than working project by project at the higher hourly rate, you are assured a specific number of hours per month at the discounted retainer rate. Your VA can help you decide which plan would be best for you.
Managing your own business is sometimes difficult enough, without trying to do it all yourself. The more time you spend on the administrative tasks, the less time you have to market and grow your business. There just aren’t enough hours in the day! Stop and think about all of the things you do in the course of a day that really don’t require your level of expertise. How many of those tasks could be handed over to an assistant, freeing up your valuable time for more important things? Whatever your particular administrative need, whether it’s a word processing or desktop publishing project, transcription of your last speaking engagement, follow-up phone calls, scheduling appointments, or posting your next teleclass on the internet, a VA can help.
Just as businesses may differ in their services and the products they offer, the same is true regarding Virtual Assistants and the services they provide. Based on their individual level of skill and areas of expertise, VAs offer support to a variety of industries, including the Real Estate, Professional Speaking and Coaching industries. While someone in the Professional Speaking or Coaching industry might need an assistant to handle scheduling and registration for their upcoming teleclasses or speaking engagements, or need a second set of eyes to proof and edit articles; someone in the Insurance industry might need an assistant to schedule meetings and appointments, and follow-up on policy applications to ensure that everything is processed in a timely manner. Whether or not you need an employee manual, new marketing materials (brochures, business cards, etc.), or reservations for your next business trip, a Virtual Assistant works with each client in a way that best meet their needs, getting to know as much as they can about their client’s businesses so that they can better serve them by providing solutions and strategies to overcome administrative obstacles, or targeting opportunities for growth.
How do you determine whether or not a Virtual Assistant is right for you? Ask yourself a few questions.
- Are there a number of tasks that could be delegated to an assistant, giving you more time to market and grow your business?
- Would you be comfortable working with someone remotely, via email, fax, or instant messaging?
- Are you looking for a partner that will take a proactive stance to help you succeed in your business?
- Do you need quality administrative support, but don’t have the resources to hire a permanent employee?
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then a Virtual Assistant might be the logical solution to your administrative support needs. Give yourself the gift of time. Take control of your business before it takes control of you . . . partner with a VA, and find time you never knew you had!
Copyright © 2005 Fastype “Your Virtual Office”