What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a highly-trained independent entrepreneur who provides a myriad of business support services virtually via phone, fax and internet based technology to support and meet the growing needs of businesses worldwide. Partnering with a VA reduces stress, protects cash flow, eliminates administrative hassles, and enables business people to find the success they originally set out to achieve.
A Growing Trend
Virtual assistants are a rapidly growing trend, driven by a few key factors: the desire of employees to maintain more control over their work styles, demand from businesses to lower costs and improve efficiencies, and the availability of technology that enables both sides to connect.
A virtual employee saves the company considerable costs: no need for office space, no payroll tax or benefits, and no equipment to maintain. And the job can be tailored to the exact needs of the boss. If a business only needs a few hours of administrative work each week that's what they pay for - saving the cost of a full time employee.
As a virtual assistant, you're doing much the same as an office-based admin: handling correspondence, travel arrangements, maintaining the calendar, billing/accounting, research, translation, transcription, paralegal, concierge services and more. You do this as an independent contractor or freelancer. Unlike an office employee, you set your hours, decide the services you want to provide, and choose your clients. Virtual assistants can reasonably charge between $20 and $40 an hour depending on the nature of the work, as well as level of expertise and the clients' needs and budget.