What is a Virtual Assistant and How Can S/He Help Your Business?

Virtual AssistantDo you realize that there is actually an upside to the current economic downturn?

Quite simply, it is an abundance of very qualified knowledge workers who have been recently laid off from companies around the world who are looking for work. The reality is today, that many businesses are not in a position to hire them, but could very much use their help. Quite a few of these experienced workers are moving to a new form of independent work as a Virtual Assistant.

In many smaller offices and businesses today – often with reduced business income and margins, we often don’t have the luxury of having enough employees to get everything done in the best way. And with the wide variety of tasks to be done, often with fewer people, help is badly needed. Two ways to fill these needs: hire temporary help from a local agency, or hire people to help you… virtually: People who work in their home, on their computers, on their time, and are responsible for their benefits.

You hire, or contract, the Virtual Assistant, V.A., through the internet, indeed, you may never actually meet them in person. They can work anywhere: around the corner or around the world. Though you have the world’s work force at your fingertips, I always recommend hiring virtual assistants and freelancers within you own country to get people most familiar with the language and vernacular: In the US, hire in the US, in Germany, hire in Germany, etc. There are many advantages to a Virtual Assistant, low cost being the most visible.

Why Hire a Virtual Assistant?

The main reason is to get more done – at less cost! A Virtual assistant allows you to “pass along” the mundane tasks that eat away at your time. Your VA can handle items that are a real chore, or maybe even beyond your normal knowledge. They may even pick up more detailed aspects of your business while you go out of town or on vacation. Virtual Assistants come from many different skill areas:

  • Responding to emails
  • Travel arrangements
  • Sending and receiving faxes
  • Researching and reporting
  • Business writing, proposals, letters, etc.
  • Transcribing meeting notes or audio recordings
  • Create blog posts
  • Email auto-responders
  • Revise PLR content
  • Web site SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Create PowerPoint presentations
  • Create web site updates
  • Maintain Social Network presences
  • Create informative videos and post them to YouTube or you web site
  • And MUCH, MUCH more!

The magic of Virtual Assistants is like the magic of freelancers (see my related article) when the work goes away, so do they, so they you don’t have to keep them busy – and paid – when you don’t have enough work even for yourself.

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