You would have to live under a rock to not hear about the latest craze that is spanning the globe – virtual assistants. With the economic outlook diminishing, and more and more companies working with fewer employees, businesses are flocking to find the right virtual assistant for their team. The need is simple: Someone that can do the work virtually, professionally, and with the utmost of confidentiality. Fortunately, virtual assistants meet all those needs and more.
Virtual assistants, like their clientele, are highly skilled professionals working as independent contractors from their home offices. They use leading edge technology to communicate work assignments via the internet, e-mail or data transfer. Traditional methods such as regular mail and overnight shipping are also used. While most virtual assistants (VA) will never meet their clients, it is not unusual to find a VA providing pickup and delivery service in their local area. Many have found success in a combination of the two, local and virtual clients. And what is even more impressive, is that most VAs now realize the amazing power of the Internet and their client base spans globally.
The ultimate goal of virtual assistants is to partner with their clients. By partnering, the VA learns all they can about their clients’ business to become a trusted and valued member of the team– an extension of their organization. At the same time, the VA only charges for time on tasks so it ultimately saves the client in overhead expenses while affording them the necessary time to take care of more business.
A perfect example of a client-VA partnership is a sole proprietor in Nigeria; let’s say a consultant, who charges ₦100,000 per session for his consulting services. The consultant is spending time each week preparing presentations and teleseminars, rummaging through paperwork, marketing his business, keeping up with the social networks, generating mailings and sorting through the tons of email he gets on a weekly basis. Since the consultant is doing this work himself he is paying ₦50,000 an hour for these services when, in reality, it would benefit him to partner with a VA at a rate of ₦5,000 to ₦20,000 per session (depending on specialty and work) and save tons of money a year. Plus, he could be generating more revenue because he would have more time available for doing what he does best– consulting. See how it works? As evidenced in this example, clients can’t afford NOT to have a virtual assistant on their team.
In addition to the financial rewards for the client, the following list reinforces other areas clients benefit when working with a virtual assistant.
Personalized attention – The virtual assistant works one-on-one with clients and often knows their clients’ business better than they do. That personalized attention allows clients to keep things under control and more organized and often relieves the pressure of having to do it all and remember it all. How great would it feel to just say to your VA, please handle this for me and know that it was done?
Exceptional service – Virtual Assistants are a proud bunch and take great pride in the Virtual Assistant Industry. One of the ways that VAs protect the integrity of this industry is to always offer exceptional services. Virtual Assistants want their clients to tell others about them and how having a VA on their team is one of the best business investments they have ever made. Therefore, most virtual assistants go above and beyond what is expected of them to make sure the work is done accurately, professionally, and successfully.
Experience in the latest technology – A virtual assistant knows that there’s always an easier and better way to do things and are constantly looking for those ways. Most continue to update their skills and network extensively with others to learn the latest and greatest tools out there.
A colleague to brainstorm ideas with – Have you ever had this great idea, but just couldn’t bring it to fruition because you couldn’t get it all together? Not anymore. Virtual assistants are there to brainstorm and work with you to help you bring those visions to reality.
No benefits/no equipment/no office space – That’s a given. It’s obvious that clients won’t be paying for their virtual assistants’ office space or equipment. But in today’s economy, think how truly important that is. By not having to pay for someone’s electric and office use, that saves money. Money clients can spend in growing their businesses.
Specific knowledge of your niche – This is perhaps one of the greatest benefits that a virtual assistant can offer – specific knowledge of a clients’ particular niche. Virtual assistants specialize in different areas, fine tuning their skills always striving to be the best in that niche. Therefore, when you partner with a virtual assistant that specializes in the area of your business, you have someone who knows the lingo and knows the ins and outs and what works and what doesn’t. It’s a win/win for all.
What types of services can a virtual assistant perform? Sit back and be amazed. Virtual assistants can assist with tasks as simple as transcribing everyday correspondence to as detailed as implementing an entire marketing campaign. Virtual assistant services include the following: publicity and marketing, article and press release writing and distribution, social network management, legal, medical and general transcription, bookkeeping, web design, administrative tasks, IT and so much more.
As virtual assistants become a commonplace in the workforce as the computer in everyone’s office is now, there’s never been a better time to analyze what your business needs are and how the right virtual assistant will meet those needs. Stop by at patoskey.com for complete information on what a virtual assistant is and how you can find that virtual assistant to add to your team. Also, if you feel a career in the Virtual Assistant Industry is right for you, email me at pk[@]patoskey.com for our free business informational package. Today’s the day to start running your business better. The start begins with one simple step – Hire a virtual assistant.
Patrick Onyeka is an expert in virtual business management. A prolific speaker, author, and consultant. He is currently the CEO of Patoskey Virtual Business Solutions.