When I tell people what I do for a living, I’m usually met with a blank stare before the questions begin. Here are some of the most common:
‘What’s a Virtual Assistant?’
This is usually the first question I’m asked, which is a fair question – I hadn’t heard of a Virtual Assistant before a few years ago and I’ve worked in an administrative capacity for 20 years!
A Virtual Assistant (to be referred to as a ‘VA’ going forward) is, at the very simplest of descriptions, a Secretary that works remotely. Or, to be more precise, a highly organised individual with a huge and ever-increasing range of skills. A VA’s use these skills to assist SME’s, freelancers, entrepreneurs and busy individuals for a few hours a day/week/month or just as a one off to ensure businesses are operating at their full potential. As a VA, I can do all this from anywhere in the world, as long as I have my laptop, phone and an internet connection.
‘What does a VA do?’
Everything a Secretary or Personal Assistant does such as:
- Diary management
- Email management
- Contact clients
- Take calls
- Audio typing / Copy typing
- Document production
- Client records management
- Travel management
- Events management
- Expenses management
- Raising and chasing invoices
- Managing social media posts to promote business
- Shopping for clients, children and loves ones
As well as the above listed, most VA’s have also evolved with the times and now manage client websites by producing and uploading content and marketing them on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
‘Is there anything you don’t do?’
Unless we’ve met face to face for a meeting, you’ll have to make your own tea/coffee. Sorry about that.
‘Is it safe, passing all that information back and forth?’
Because VA’s work remotely, we tend to be very tech savvy and are always on the lookout for the most efficient way to remotely and securely support our clients. I utilise and share a variety of organisational tools such as LastPass so that my clients don’t ever have to handover passwords to their accounts such as Quickbooks, Xero, Kashflow and other financial recording systems. I use Asana to track my tasks and projects, WordPress to build websites and Canva and Hootsuite to build and distribute social media.
‘Do, you get a salary like normal?’
Not quite. A client will usually give you a budget of how many hours they can afford or would like to use or they purchase a retainer of a set amount of hours. I use a system to time me for any work that I do and let the client know if we’re getting close to using the booked time. They can then decide whether they want more time added or to hold off until we start a fresh retainer the following month.
‘Is your hourly rate standard for VA’s?’
It is, especially for those with a lot of experience. Don’t forget though, we come with no agency finding fees and don’t cost the client overheads that come with hiring an employee. There’s no pension, NI contributions, holiday or sick pay to be covered and we don’t need to be provided with a desk and equipment. We have to cover all of those things ourselves, along with the costs of running a business such as PI Insurance.
We live in a modern age. We’re busy with careers, families and hobbies. We want to enjoy the life that we’ve built ourselves so we outsource the tasks that we don’t want to do. Cleaning, ironing, car washing, gardening; get someone else to do it! Why should admin be any different?
If you’re fed up of being tied to the desk to keep on top of everything, please get in contact for a free no obligation chat to see if I can alleviate the burden and get you back to growing your business and spending time doing what you love.