Consider a Virtual Assistant

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Consider a Virtual Assistant
karl Hopson, Bangladesh, Member
By using a virtual assistant you can 'shave hours from your workweek'. But knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky, whether you're starting or growing a business or managing a large business.

Virtual assistants are contract or freelance workers who do their jobs from home and focus on administrative tasks that are similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary.
Virtual assistants are increasing. Entrepreneur can use a virtual assistant for everything from making vendor or customer service calls to sending thank you cards to clients. Itís important and tough to build trust, just as you would with permanent employee. A virtual assistant can become a team member who just happens to work remotely.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ways to use a virtual assistant to improve your business:
  • BOOKKEEPING matters can be one of the easier things to assign to a virtual assistant. Many small businesses choose to share their bookkeeping systems with their virtual assistants.
  • INTERNET RESEARCH: You can easily farm out Internet research to virtual assistants. Common requests include finding information on corporate websites, exploring new products and business contacts.
  • DATABASE MAINTENANCE: Whether it's entering new business cards picked up at a conference or updating information for existing contacts, keeping databases current is a suitable task for virtual assistants.
  • CREATING PRESENTATIONS: Making a clear PowerPoint presentation or summarizing research findings in a Word document can be a huge timesaver when prepping for meetings
  • EMAIL FILTERING: To keep you from wasting time in your email inbox, some virtual assistants will filter your most important emails and respond to the rest on your behalf.
  • SMALL PERSONAL MATTERS: Virtual assistants can be a good to handle tasks such as writing holiday cards or sending thank you notes.
  • TRAVEL: Virtual assistants are a great way for finding hotels, booking airfares and mapping out travel roads both for business.

Difference Virtual and Real Assistant
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Thanks for sharing your interesting topic.
What are in your view the PROs and CONs of having a virtual assistant compared to a real, physical management assistant?

PROs and CONs of Having a Virtual Assistant Compared to a Real, Physical Management Assistant
karl Hopson, Bangladesh, Member
There are so many PROs and CONs of having a virtual assistant compared to a real, physical management assistant. But I point out some of importent things:
1. The effectiveness of your working relationship with a VA would depend on the effectiveness of your communication. But it is easier to communicate with a real management assistant
2. Time zone differences. Assuming you can contract the services of a VA outside your time zone. You can't do this with a real management assistant
3. Your administrative staff isn't in the same office as you. But a real management assistant is normally in the same office.
4. Virtual staff comes with their own computer workstations, equipment and software: no extra office space, no extra desks, no computers and no software licenses required. But for a real management assistant, you need to arrange all those, costly.
5. A virtual assistant works from other place, then how can you be sure that s/heís working accurately. But you can know about working by communicate and also by various technology. But for a real management assistant, that is easier to check it out.
6. You can monitor your virtual assistantís work progress through time tracking tools and communication tools like instant messaging. A real management assistant can be monitored by yourself, face to face.
7. Virtual assistants are motivated to perform so that you give them a good referral or call on them for future work. Theyíre determined and dedicated. For a real management assistant, they are working look like: he need to do thatís why s/heís doing.
8. You are paying virtual assistants by the hour. But a real management assistant you normally need to pay on a monthly basic. Which is expensive.

Consider a Virtual Assistant
azael Lopez, Director, Honduras, Premium Member
(CON's) With virtual assistants it is necessary to have a a confidentiality agreement considering the information (even if it is only personal) you have to share with them.
(CON's) If a discussion is needed (no matter how short it is) time has to be invested and when doing it either by phone or computer is not easy to communicate efficiently as with a real one in front of you. Although through Skype/Whatsapp it can be very fast.
(CON's) Are the virtual assistants always available?
(PRO's) Probably you save also severance payments depending on the type of contract you signed with them.
(s) Is it really cheaper? In relation to space & hardware versus time at hand in the office when you want to have your real assistant every hour to handle so many things as book keeping, Internet research, database maintenance, small matters, mail filtering etc.. Since all are needed in a bussiness or will you contract one VA for every subject? Unless it is full time with you.

Virtual Assistant
karl Hopson, Bangladesh, Member
Your point is right. But as a professional VA, s/he knows these difficulties or problems and also the way to solve them.
** VAs working as a personal administrative. So s/he can share with VA, because of doing his or her work. So you need to share only that information that is needed to do the work.
** I don't think so, it's not hard to understand, if VA is experienced. Also it is quick understandable by video call it's like face to face. So it's not a hard thing to do.
** VA is working not for his or her own time zone. He or she is working for your time zone. So it is easy to communicate in an international work environment.
Also it is cheaper then real. After office time you can't use the real administrative but you can still use the VA for your work.
As a VA s/he needs to be always online, because s/he knows it is the best way to communicate with client, owner, entrepreneur.

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