Since the start of the recession, with redundancies and cost cutting, many people have found new careers as freelancers or small business owners, often working from home or out of Starbucks (I kid you not!), with the birth of this relatively new concept of working also came along the Virtual Assistant.
Virtual Assistants are ideal for small business owners that work from home who require support, maybe it’s because they don’t have the time to carry out day to day administrative tasks, or simply because they don’t have the knowledge or skills to carry it out themselves.
Virtual Assistants work from their own home office, taking up no space in yours. You pay only for the time they take to carry out your specific tasks. You can agree a fixed price for completion of projects, or a monthly retainer for a set amount of hours. You hire them only for the projects you need completing, whether this being one off or ongoing.
Work is sent to your chosen Virtual Assistant via email, over the telephone, post (cd etc) fax or via a shared online storage system.
So what tasks can you ask your Virtual Assistant to do?
Well, my answer is how long is a piece of string?
The best question to ask is, What would I like my Virtual Assistant to do?”. Think about the tasks that are forever sitting on your to-do list, or tasks that you dread doing, and delegate!
Have you always got lots of emails sitting in your inbox and never know what to do with them? Give access to your Virtual Assistant and ask her (or him) to organise them into folders, pull together a list of actions from the emails you have received. Your Virtual Assistant can keep your to do list up to date, make sure the tasks are being carried out, effectively being your project manager, ensuring your business runs seamlessly without you having to spend endless non-billable hours on emails and correspondence.
Are you spending too much time typing up letters, writing and sending invoices, tracking expenses or chasing late payments? Again just more examples of the tasks you could be sending to your Virtual Assistant to carry out.
How do you pay for the services and how can I be sure of the time spent on my business?
All Virtual Assistants charge differently at different rates, I charge depending on the project, and always bill to the minute, this means you literally only pay for the actual time I spend on your work. I use www.myhours.com to accurately track the time is takes me to complete tasks, and this is executed to an excel spreadsheet and is accompanied with your invoice that I issue on the last day of each month. No hidden costs, no salary, no sickpay, no fuss!
See my other blog post to see a full list of the things your VA could do in an hour(or less):