Editor's Update 09/07/20:
What does a virtual assistant do? A virtual assistant is a self-employed worker who provides administrative assistance and services. Just like a standard personal assistant, a VA does all of the typical tasks of a PA but remotely, usually from a home office. Typical tasks include answering and making phone calls on the client's behalf, scheduling meetings snd appointments, managing email accounts and organising travel.
How do I hire a virtual assistant? There are many options to find a virtual assistant. Some of the best places to find a VA include:
1. In your professional network
3. Online job platforms
4. VA networking events
5. Conferences, workshops and seminars
The benefits of sharing your workload with a Virtual Assistant (VA) are well known and clear. Recouping valuable time is one of the main benefits, but like any valuable strategy, myths and misconceptions are often present.
This article aims to debunk some of the illusions and get to the real truth about partnering with a Virtual Assistant.
1. It’s expensive to hire a VA
Generally speaking, partnering with a VA is cheaper than if you were to employ a permanent office assistant. When you partner with a VA, you save associated employment costs such as superannuation, WorkCover and leave entitlements.
2. VAs work in their pyjamas
With days that often include client meetings (either online or face to face) VAs rarely spend their working day in sleepwear. Networking is also an important part of a VAs day, and as professional business owners, turning up in our pyjamas is just not part of our professionalism.
3. VAs are based overseas
Many business owners looking to partner with a VA, think that they can only found in the Asian countries. Australia’s VA Industry has been in existence for 20 years (although it may not have been recognised officially as a VA Industry then). With several VA networks operating within Australia, the awareness of homegrown admin support is becoming more prevalent. Support local and use an Aussie VA.
4. Office staff are more qualified than VAs
Of all the Virtual Assistants I know, each and everyone one of them has had years of experience in the corporate world, before embarking on their own business. Many were Executive Assistants and Personal Assistant to motivated and busy business leaders. Many VAs may also have formal qualifications, such as Diplomas etc.
5. A VA will need to be trained
Again, similar to the above point, having already had substantial years ‘on the job’ training with their existing career paths, add to this formal training (Diplomas etc) and the experience from supporting other business owners - The right VA will have the required skills already established.
6. VAs take longer to complete required work projects
An established VA has probably completed similar project with previous clients. Chances are because he/she has already completed the work before, they will more likely be quicker than you expected.
7. My privacy won’t be respected
As business owners themselves, VAs understand the importance of maintaining privacy and confidences. Your VA may ask you to sign a service agreement, confirming how they treat your information both during and after the project has been completed. If you’re still concerned, ask the VA to sign your own confidentially agreement or look for a VA with an IVAA EthicsCheck Certification.
8. VAs can only type letters and complete data entry
I’m sure you will find most VAs offer correspondence preparation and data entry as a part of their service - but the list of tasks that can be completed by a VA really is endless. From project management, social media to email and calendar management and everything in between, I think you’ll find a VA to capable to accomplish the project you need to be completed.
I hope this article has helped to eliminate some of the common myths you may have believed true for Virtual Assistants. If you have any other VA illusions, let us know and we can confirm or dispel them for you.
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