Whenever I’m out and about networking or speaking at workshops and the likes I usually mention the term ‘VA’ at least once and ALWAYS have people asking what a VA is.
A VA is a Virtual Assistant… and assistant who is not physically with you. I believe the term is more well known in the US but in Australia and many other countries, it’s a growing industry and many people aren’t yet aware of the term, the occupation nor how a VA can assist them.
Virtual Assistanting is becoming more and more popular as people grow aware of their existence… and thus more people are wanting to get into the profession too!
VAs usually specialise in particular areas and can help you with a huge range of tasks such as typing, transcription, bookkeeping, document preparation and presentation, writing, website design and/or maintenance, diary management, graphic design, customer management, email/telephone answering, database management, appointment setting and general office administration, along with many other duties. Phew! That’s just the beginning!
These tasks can usually be performed remotely so your VA doesn’t have to be in the same town as you… or even the same country! Many people take advantage of the time difference between countries too. For example, a client in New York will email me notes at the end of her work day – which is the start of mine here in Australia. While she sleeps, I format and edit her notes and email them back to her. She arrives at work the next day and her job is complete – waiting in her inbox.
Utilising a VA can be perfect for solo-business operators, those who travel a lot and people who work from home. You don’t need to provide office space and equipment and are only paying for the time you use.
A great site to look at for more information is A Clayton’s Secretary. You will find lots of useful information on how a VA can benefit you or your organisation along with help starting your own VA business.