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What is a Virtual Assistant?

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As a small business owner, you are constantly juggling tasks for your business. Sometimes there are administrative tasks (working IN your business) that are easy for you to do, but you know you should really be doing something else (working ON your business).  Maybe you just don’t have the skills or time to figure out how to do a task.  There is a solution – a virtual assistant – also known as a VA.

A Virtual Assistant is a person who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely from a home office.

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That being said, there are many different types of Virtual Assistants, and they usually have a specialty.  It could be administrative – from answering phones to bookkeeping. It could be social media – posting to your social media sites to e-newsletters. It could be marketing – creating graphics to managing your website.  There are even some VAs who have a niche, and they work only within a particular industry. There are also full-time Virtual Assistants who will only have you as a client.

A VA is great for those business owners who know they need help, but aren’t quite ready to hire an employee or to be responsible for payroll taxes or employee benefits.  As an independent contractor, a VA is responsible for all of the employment taxes, and can be used for a single project or just when you need them.   A Virtual Assistant also provides their own equipment and software.

Remember, a Virtual Assistant is NOT an employee, so don’t expect a resume. Do expect them to be knowledgeable and give examples of what they have done for clients.

Virtual Assistants are found throughout the world, and are usually in business for themselves just like you.  Do you mind if they aren’t in the same time zone?  Is the VA a solopreneur or part of a team?

Not sure where to start? Start by reviewing your daily tasks and decide which ones you can delegate, then outsource a couple of small tasks.  That way, you can make sure you and the VA get along professionally and work well together.

Every Virtual Assistant is different – different in their pay structure, different in how they work, different in the quality of their work.  So, before outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant, make sure that expectations are understood on both ends.

Using a Virtual Assistant is a great way to grow your business.  How? You get your time back to work ON your business instead of IN your business.

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Ronalyn Wentz studied and received her Associates in Executive Secretarial Science from S.U.N.Y Alfred and Associates in Business Management from Northern Virginia Community College. She brings almost 30 years of administrative experience and over 10 years of marketing experience to the company, Clark Virtual Business Solutions.

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