1. What is Virtual Assistance (VA)?
Virtual Assistant is someone who specializes in the expertise of ongoing (monthly) administrative support to clients she (or he) works with on a one-on-one, collaborative relationship without having to ever step foot inside the clients’ offices. What makes a person a VA isn’t that the services can be performed at a distance, but rather that the services that are being performed are administrative in scale and scope, and are provided with the desire to support the client across the board, not with just one definite function, they do often provide other services and project work in addition to their administrative support.
2. What are the benefits of using a Virtual Assistant?
The best thing about contracting with a virtual assistant is that you get direct support of a highly skilled individual, but only when you need the services. Try comparing the costs of hiring a full time employee as opposed to contracting with a virtual assistant. Using a virtual assistant cuts down on your overhead as well as any employee benefits etc. There is no wasted downtime; you pay only for the time we spend working on your project or tasks.
3. What is NOT a Virtual Consultant?
A VA is not a secretarial service provider, they are skilled administrative consultants. A secretarial service is a business that focuses on occasional tasks, which is the opposite of administrative support. A VA, by contrast, are in the business of providing ongoing administrative support in personal, direct one-to-one relationships with their clients for as long as the two parties are in agreement. While they provide actual support and can also provide administrative advice and guidance to clients, they do not manage any client's business. It is always the responsibility of clients to manage their own businesses, and they alone are responsible for their business's success or failure.
4. Administrative support is a niche, specialty, expertise and profession in and of itself.
. It therefore deserves to have its own organization to represent the interests of just those folks who specialize in skilled administrative support.
5. Why the Term "Virtual Assistant?"
Because it describes us Solopreneurs who are specifically and primarily in the specialized business of administrative support. Plus, as a business owner, you are not anyone's assistant. As an administrative support specialist, you are an expert in your own right, and you deserve a more respectable title that more clearly conveys your expertise and how you help clients.
The Virtual Assistant term only confuses people. It creates misconceptions that make establishing a business-to-business relationship much more difficult than need be and causes a whole host of misunderstandings and misalignment of expectations. The word "assistant" itself inherently puts one in a submissive role in the eyes of clients. The only context they know for "assistant" is that of employee, and because of its ambiguity, it has become the waste dump term of anyone doing anything and everything and, thus, has come to communicate nothing clearly at all. As a "Virtual Assistant" you are taken more seriously and receives more professional respect immediately and Clients understand what your specialty is and see you as a peer and expert.
6. Who would work with a Virtual Assistant?
A: VAs work with all types of people. Authors, Small business owners, Consultants, Coaches, Executives, Professionals, Entrepreneurs — anyone who wants to live a more balanced life with more free time to do the things she/he wants to do!
7. Isn’t it more expensive than hiring an employee?
No. The cost savings is two-fold.
When you hire an employee, over and above the salary, you have a lot of things to oversee such as; tax benefits, equipment, pension funds to name a few and you have to share space well. It’s expensive and can be demanding.
Depending on the type of service you want from your VA, you might go with an hourly rate package- giving them only the amount of work you actually have during any week or month as a once off, or you might have them on a Monthly retainer package — buying a certain amount of time each month for a pre-set rate over a period of time.
8. It sounds wonderful to not have to share my office, but if I wanted an assistant, why would I hire one who is potentially hundreds of miles away?
Well, part of the benefit of having a VA is that you haven’t hired anyone. When you work with a VA you get a partner not an employee. People work with VA’s because they: Don’t have the space for someone in the office Don’t want someone in the office Don’t have the equipment needed for someone else to use Don’t want to buy the equipment.
9. How quickly will my project or tasks be completed?
We are committed to delivering on deadline. Turnaround time can depend on the complexity and urgency of the project or tasks at hand. If your project is time sensitive, the deadline will be agreed upon before the work begins.
10. Do you offer a free consultation?
We offer a free 1 hr consultation to all prospective clients so we can understand your requirement first, and then take the project.
11. In terms of client confidentiality, is My Virtual Assistant happy to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
Client confidentiality is absolutely vital in any organisation and this forms part of our Service Agreement. It protects you and us and is a benefit for all parties. We run our services with the highest level of confidentiality.