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virtual assistant

Getting the Help You Need Virtually

virtual assistant

Getting the Help You Need Virtually

Defining a Virtual Assistant

Tammy

Keeping up with all of the routines can be difficult for those who work hard in their company or personal life.  There are fifty million things to accomplish in one day with too little time and too few people to help.  If you want to begin saving time, you can invest in a virtual assistant who will take some extra things off your plate.

The best way to evaluate whether you need a virtual assistant (VA) or not is to see what you are doing all day.  If you are spending time on administrative correspondence and not your vision, then a virtual assistant might be the right answer.

When you need an extra helping hand, look to a virtual assistant.  Most VAs offer a variety of services, from administrative to technical to creative, and will advertise themselves in their area of expertise.  For example, some assistants will focus on designing websites for you and maintaining the website or database after completion.

One of the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant is the cost savings.  They will work for you from their own home office; they are not employees, so you do not need to pay employee tax or benefits. Partnering with a VA allows you to pay for the work you need and not for idle time.  Simply put, if there is no work, you don't pay them.

Finding A Virtual Assistant

Finding the right virtual assistant means looking into the most well-known areas for virtual assistants.  There are many resources available, all of which can help get you to the right person.  For example, VANetworking, the VA industry's market leader since 2003,  thoroughly vets their VA's and the businesses looking to hire and will help you find the best Virtual Assistant for your business needs.

Pricing a Virtual Assistant

As a business owner, you know the important questions to ask before you get involved in anything.  One of the common questions you have probably grown familiar with asking is, "how much will this cost me?" Knowing how much each service will cost with a virtual assistant can help you define what work you want and need to complete and what isn't essential to get done.

Pricing systems vary among VAs. Some will charge by the hour or on retainers, and others might have standard pricing for projects or packages such as website maintenance or social media management.

For most basic services from a virtual assistant, you can expect to pay an average of $30 to $45 per hour.  However, if the services are more advanced, such as event planning, you can expect to pay more.

Long-Term or Short-Term

You can hire a VA for long-term management projects, such as social media management, or short-term projects, such as planning an upcoming event or building a website.

Short-term projects usually focus on a specific function or task; however, they can also be on-going, such as performing maintenance, which requires regular updating.  For example, bookkeeping is typically a short-term project because it only needs to be maintained once every quarter.  Most short-term projects will be considered a per-project agreement between you and the assistant.

No matter what type of extra help you need, you can find a virtual assistant who will see your vision and help you to reach your goal.  You can easily find a virtual assistant who will do what is in your company's best interest.

Making it Clear: Giving Your Virtual Assistant the Information They Need

When a company hires an employee, the first two weeks are usually set aside for onboarding and training.  This training period allows the new hire to become familiar with the job and understand all their position details.  However, this may not be the case when hiring a virtual assistant.  A VA will bring a vast wealth of experience to the table, especially if they are specialized in certain areas, and do not require training.

The first few times that you work with a virtual assistant, you should expect that the communication will be partly about the expected work to be performed, software applications, and, if needed, training.  It will be vital that you let the assistant know what your business is all about, including its vision, details of what the company does, and how things are currently run.

Whether it is a project or long-term maintenance, it is important to provide the needed information.

Make sure that you have an idea of what you want from the virtual assistant.  For example, if you want them to answer the phones for you, be clear how you want the VA to answer it, such as including your business name.

Training, if needed, is usually quick. Virtual Assistants work for several people, and most know the routine of the first few days.  Additionally, most VAs will have a list of questions to ask their clients during the onboarding process.

Establishing the Virtual Assistant Working Relationship

The idea of hiring a virtual assistant is a newer concept to most.  The inception of virtual assistants was only thirty years ago and has recently become more popular with the Covid-19 pandemic.  There are new rules required for how to work with those that aren't in the office.  If you have signed a contract with a virtual assistant, you will want to make sure that you have a checklist for keeping the relationship healthy.

The challenge of working with a virtual assistant is communication.  You won't see them in the office every day, and there won't be the ability to easily walk across the room to see how things are going.  Not only this, but most virtual assistants will be working for several clients, depending on the workload given to them.

If you hire a VA, you still want to keep in touch and ensure a clear communication line.   An occasional e-mail or telephone call to see how things are going can help keep things clear. Communication and supporting a comfortable working relationship are essential to ensuring that all work is smoothly executed.

No matter what the project, a virtual assistant is there to help. Hiring a Virtual Assistant will save you both time and money.  A VA can take care of the mundane to the complicated tasks, as well as maintenance care, freeing you up so you can focus on your business.

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