What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is an off-site office worker who offers the same skills that an on-site office worker provides. A small list of those skills are covered on our Services page.
Why hire a virtual assistant when I can just hire an on-site office assistant?
Admittedly, employees are a valuable part of your business and this value is not to be dismissed lightly. On the other hand, all the costs and time associated with hiring a full or part-time employee add up so fast that many small business owners choose not to hire an employee and end up worn out from trying to get, and keep, their business running.
Simply put, a virtual assistant can cut your expenses considerably. A VA only charges for work done; you don’t pay for breaks or lunches, for employee taxes and insurance, or for benefits packages including sick leave, overtime, or vacation. You will only pay for the time spent and the material needed for your projects.
The costs associated with office space, furniture, and equipment are nonexistent, as a VA works out of their own office and with their own equipment.
How do I communicate with My VA?
As with any other company that you do business with, you can communicate with a VA through the phone, email, or snail mail (if you like). It’s really just a simple as picking up the phone and calling. And, in my case, those whom I have provided work for will testify that I am quick to pick up the phone whenever possible. If you get an answering machine, it means that I am helping someone else and will return your call as quickly as it is possible to do so.
How do I know my virtual assistant is working if I cannot see them?
Remember what is at stake if a virtual assistant does not perform satisfactory work – their business reputation. There are many professions where the client does not see the work of the business owner. However, they can see by the final product that the job has been done.
We take pride in the services we offer and in the timely manner that they are carried out. We do offer some piece work where you would pay per document, however generally the charge is per hour.
What are the advantages of retaining a Virtual Assistant over hiring someone from a temp agency?
This is a good question. Rather than speaking about what a temp agency does or does not provide, I would prefer to speak about what a VA will provide. When retaining a virtual assistant, you will always be doing business with the same person every time. There is no need to use your time to oversee our work. We are already computer trained and can assist with specific needs such as general office, marketing, word processing, scheduling your appointments, answering your phones, and more. And it’s important to remember that we can accomplish all of this without the need to pay overtime, taxes, or insurance.
How can we exchange files?
There are several file sharing applications on the web. Many virtual assistants, including myself, use Dropbox. At the same time, there are other programs that offer file sharing like Microsoft Office and Yousendit.com, and we would be happy to use the program of your choice.
Is there a retainer fee?
Yes, I require that a retainer fee be paid in advance. There are benefits, though, of retaining a block of time. I offer discounts for hours over 10 hours a month.