Today I have a guest blog from this lovely lady who is a VA in the NE of England and also happens to be one of my favourite people, here she tells us in her own special way the true definition of a VA.
If you look up the definition of a Virtual Assistant on Wikipedia you will find this this: “A virtual assistant is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office”. Well that's fair enough, and technically accurate, but to be perfectly honest it misses out the true definitions: “Lifesaver”, “Godsend” and “Miracle Worker” all spring to mind!
What a Virtual Assistant can really offer you is time. Time to focus on doing the things you want to do. All those things that you thought you'd be able to do when you set up you own business. You can take time off to pick the kids up from school, you can actually finish on time rather than working into the early hours, and most of all you can focus on the things that generate income and build your business. Do you want to spend hours every day reading non-essential emails, or cleaning up your database? These time consuming activities need to be done, but surely your time would be best spend meeting clients face to face, completing their projects on time and building your company's reputation, right?
They can also provide an immediate service, depending on their schedule, meaning if you have a project that's running tight to a deadline and you need some help at short notice, your VA can step in and give you the assistance you need to complete on time. See what I mean about lifesaver? Imagine trying to advertise, interview and hire a member of staff to help you out in such a short space of time. Impossible! A VA really can be your saving grace when the pressure is on and you have more work than time.
The best thing about hiring a VA is they don't have to sit in your office to carry out these tasks. You can email the work that needs to be completed, give instruction over the phone or, if you still party like its 1999, you can even fax the work over! You only pay them for the work they do, not for the work they do plus time they spend on your computer at your desk using your electricity browsing the internet on your time. You hire them for a set number of hours, with a fee agreed up front so you stay completely in control of your budget, and once the project is complete that's it! Done! All your work is complete, you've saved a fortune in overheads associated with taking on a new staff member and you've managed to make it home in time for putting your kids/wife/dog to bed.
Want to know another secret about VA's? They know people. They've built up professional relationships and can use these to save you money. Need a new website? Your Virtual Assistant knows this talented agency that can give you a great deal. Need some leaflets printed out? Your Virtual assistant has a fantastic contact who can shave big bucks off your current supplier's prices. VA's are great networkers, and if they can get you a good deal they will.
In short VA's save you money while making your life a whole lot easier.
If you run your own business and are finding yourself buried under a pile of administrative work so deep you can no longer find your phone, never mind use it to keep in touch with your clients, maybe it's time you thought about the benefits of hiring a short term, low cost solution to your worries.
Li is a Gateshead based Virtual Assistant providing low cost and flexible secretarial, administrative, events and research services to small businesses. For more information about how Li can help your business why not stop in to her webspace at www.lisherryva.co.uk