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LO : The Rise of the Virtual Assistant

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The Rise of the Virtual Assistant

Many small business owners and start-ups struggle to grow their business because they try to do too much. As business owners you seem to need superhero-like qualities to stay on top of your game, but it can be impossible to do everything - no matter how amazing you are. Outsourcing and working with a Virtual Assistant (VA) can allow you to leverage your time, become more productive, get organised and let you focus on your core business.

In broad terms, Virtual Assistants consist of either individuals or companies who work remotely as independent professionals, and use technology to deliver a wide range of products and services to clients. They've been around as a service for quite a while, but have only recently found a broad title for their services.

Not simply an administrative assistant!

Over the past 6 years or so the Virtual Industry has evolved from the traditional roles of PAs and administrative assistants to more specialised virtual roles that are usually experienced employees from a corporate environment that have set up their own virtual offices. These specialists include virtual project managers, virtual marketing assistants, virtual content writing assistants and virtual web content owners, to name but a few.

It is impossible to say how large or small the virtual industry is, however it is estimated that there are somewhere between 5,000 and 25,000 virtual assistants worldwide. So there is very likely to be a virtual specialist to suit your needs!

With technology and internet speed reducing the barrier to working remotely individuals and small business owners are outsourcing work and building their teams that include one or more virtual assistants.  Small web agencies have employed the 'bodyshopping' model of building virtual teams for quite a while, and this is now translating into more traditional office environments too.

Your aim as a business owner or entrepreneur is to not work in the business, but on it!

No matter what industry or how big or small your empire is, VA's can give back your freedom so that you can do more of what you love to do, and spend less time on those tasks you 'have' to do. Think of a Virtual Assistant as a partner, someone who wants to see you succeed as much as you do and provides the support to help make that happen.

Here are five key benefits a Virtual Assistant could bring to you business:

Time

A virtual assistant can save you so much time by taking on the tasks that you never liked doing or just don't have the time to. This means that you have more time to concentrate on the more important, revenue-generating aspects of your business, and probably what got you doing what you do well in the first place.

The Cost Factor

Employing a full time staff member is costly, time consuming and can put a lot of extra work and pressure on you and your business. Virtual Assistants work virtually for you, meaning we work remotely from home offices and collaborative coworking office environments, which means expenses such as computer hardware and software and office overheads don't apply. You only pay the VA for the hours actually worked for you, and even better you don't need to cover payroll taxes, super, or any other tax (apart from GST if applicable).

Take the stress out of your day

A VA will take the hassle and stress out of your day by providing those tailored services that meet your needs for a successful business. A VA can take control of your emails, appointments, manage projects, employees and clients. This leaves you free to concentrate on what you love to do, what you do best and what is important to your businesses success.

Balance your work and home life


It's what we all drive towards - a perfect balance between work and home life but sadly the reality isn't always that. A VA can take control of aspects of your business, putting their skills, expertise and years of experience into use and freeing you up to finish work on time and still have a life.

VAs might just know more than you do

As business owners themselves, VAs are very savvy at keeping up with the latest trends and technologies, and at developing streamlining processes and simply just know how to get things done more efficiently - because that's their job.

Finally, from our experience, to work well with a Virtual Assistant you need to make sure you set out clear guidelines from the start of what role the VA will take in your business.  It also greatly helps if you're confident utilising technology, are comfortable delegating, and have good, timely communication.

Posted at 13:29

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