What Is A Virtual Assistant?

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Picture of laptop computer.What is a VA?

What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)? Who uses VAs?  Why should you use one?

A Virtual Assistant is an independent contractor providing freelance business services.  Different VA’s offer different services, ranging from accounting to word processing, from event management to website design.  Whatever the particular service offered, the VA’s goal when working with a client is to be a part of the team, helping the client to keep their customers happy.  My own expertise – based on years of office jobs and computer work – includes standard office services, graphic design, social media services, photo editing, video editing, and computer help.

A VA usually works out of his or her own office, and may work locally or virtually (via the Internet, email, and phone).  I usually work out of my own in-home office near Digby, Nova Scotia, where I have the software and equipment I need to do my work.  I do also work on location with local clients, depending on the job.  I can work virtually with clients anywhere in Canada.  (One of my longest-standing clients – 15 years! – is based in Red Deer, Alberta).

What are the benefits of Using a Virtual Assistant?

A VA Cares About Your Particular Business.  When you call in a VA, you aren’t just one of an anonymous crowd hiring an anonymous “worker”.  As a VA, I work in a close relationship with a small number of clients.  I need to get to know you and your business, customers, and goals, in order to be a member of your team.  The happier you are with my work, the better off I am!

A VA Provides You With Expertise.  As a small-business owner, you want to focus your skills and time on the core of your business – but you find yourself doing everything from cleaning the office to doing your own advertising.  Like most VA’s, I am an experienced and qualified person in my area, having been in the secretarial and computer fields for over 30 years.  You receive the benefit of those years of experience so you can focus on what you do best.

Working With A VA Is Convenient.  I usually work out of my own home-based office, so your equipment and space don’t get tied up.  Besides my special skills, I can often provide the benefits of equipment and software that you don’t have.  For local clients, I am also available to work on-site at your location when that best suits your needs.

Working With A VA Is Economical.  As an independent entrepreneur, I take care of my own expenses and benefits.  You pay only for the actual work and materials – not for benefits, sick time, MERCs (Mandatory Employment-Related Costs – EI, CPP, WorkSafe, vacation pay), or even time spent finding “make-work” because business is slow at a particular time of year.

Image illustrating graphic design services.A VA Can Do Jobs You Don’t Want To Do or Don’t Know How To Do.  With a my VA services you can get your business set up on social media sites without having to go through their learning curve – get a YouTube video to advertise your business without having to learn how to use video editing software – get your photos edited for special online uses without having to learn how to use photo editing software..  With a VA at your command, running your own business doesn’t have to mean doing all the work yourself.

A VA Can Free Up Your Time.  Do you stay late after work to get things finished?  Do you find yourself wasting time (and getting frustrated) because your computer skills aren’t as advanced as you’d like?  A VA is an extra set of hands – experienced hands with specific skills – that you can call on when you need the help, saving you both time and frustration.

Who uses VA’s?

All kinds of people work with VA’s.  My own clients have included:

  • Appraisers
  • Artists
  • Authors
  • Bookkeepers
  • Churches and church organizations
  • Music Composers and Performing Musicians
  • Editors
  • Financial advisors
  • Home business owners
  • Retirees
  • Work-At-Home Moms (WAHMs)

(Find out what my clients have to say about me on my “Client Reviews” page.)

You can find out more about Virtual Assistants by visiting any of a number of VA group websites, such as the International Virtual Assistants Association or the Canadian Association of Virtual Assistants (of which I am a member).

If you’d like to find out more about how my VA services can benefit you and your business, please contact me!

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