Just what is a Virtual Assistant anyway?
A Virtual Assistant (or VA) is a small business owner who provides administrative services without being physically present in her clients' offices. I own my own equipment, pay my own taxes, and work as an independent contractor to the clients that I choose to work with.
How does a Virtual Assistant differ from a secretarial service?
The Virtual Assistant relationship is based on a long-term, collaborative relationship with the client. As a VA, I will learn about your business so that I can "speak in your voice" and be proactive on your behalf. I work closely with my clients so that I can help you meet your personal and professional goals. A secretarial service may only work with a client once on a project (sometimes called piecework) and the relationship ends.
Will a Virtual Assistant perform piecework?
One-time projects are generally known as piecework. While I prefer to work with my clients on a long-term basis, I may be available to work on a one-time project for you. Please contact me and we can discuss your needs.
How does it work?
The advances in today's technology in phones, faxes, email and the Internet allow people to work together while being in different parts of the country. I talk with my clients on a regular basis as well as being in contact through email. As your Virtual Assistant, I can also access your server through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This access allows me to use an email account with your company's address as well as having access to your contacts, forms, etc.
Many offices today use emails to an extent that one employee emails another employee in the office next to him. Why not use this technology to work with someone in another location?
What types of professionals work with a Virtual Assistant?
Some of the professionals who work with Virtual Office Assistants are: coaches, authors, speakers, realtors, sales representatives, financial planners, attorneys and other small business owners and entrepreneurs who want it all but know that they can't do it on their own.
How much does this cost?
There are two ways to work with a Virtual Assistant. The first is to Pay As You Go (PAYG), which means just that. You pay for the amount of time that a virtual office assistant does work for you. The second is Retainer. The retainer rate is lower, but is paid in advance for a set amount of hours per month. If the total hours in the retainer are not used, the time is not carried forward into the next month. Should the hours go beyond the retainer, the lower hourly rate is charged. In my practice, I am currently accepting retainer clients only.
Getting You from "To Do" - "To Done"
Susan Schmidt - Virtual Assistant