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As a small business owner, you cannot always afford to hire full-time employees since that requires benefits and ongoing paychecks. One effective way to receive the help that you require on certain tasks or projects is to hire the services of a virtual assistant or VA. Virtual assistants work on an independent basis from a remote location, such as their home office. Assistants such as these have training and experience in various career areas from office administration to information technology depending on their backgrounds. We list some of the benefits for hiring a VA in the following information.


Save Money

Virtual assistants will bill you for the hours they work. The company does not pay their taxes or benefits such as sick days, vacation days or health insurance. All this saves a great deal of money for the company while it still receives valuable services to enable it to operate correctly and efficiently.


VA’s Work When Other Employees Are Not at Work

Virtual assistants have a flexible work schedule that they will adjust according to the needs of the company they are working for at the time. They can work after your other employees go home for the day or possibly begin work prior to your employees arriving to work for the day.


Fill a Temporary Need for the Company

Another benefit when you hire a VA to assist you is the fact that he or she can fill a temporary need in your company. Special projects may require additional staff for only two or three weeks at a time, for just one example of this. Hire a virtual assistant or two to provide the necessary help.


Virtual Assistants Strive to Provide Quality Service

Since their reputation and business success depends on how well they please their clients, virtual assistants strive constantly to provide only quality service. At times, these assistants may perform at a higher level than your full-time employees do for the company.


VA’s Supply Their Own Workspace, Supplies and Equipment

VAs work from their home offices or private locations away from your company, which gives you the benefit of not having to provide a workspace or equipment for them to work with On top of this, the virtual assistants provide their own equipment and supplies. Your company does not need to invest in an additional computer, pens, paper and other items to ensure the VAs can perform their tasks.


Outsourcing certain daily or special duties by hiring virtual assistants is a solid business decision today. Your company will save money in all sorts of areas while it receives the additional help it takes to bring certain tasks or projects to completion in a satisfactory manner.

As a small business owner, you cannot always afford to hire full-time employees since that requires benefits and ongoing paychecks. One effective way to receive the help that you require on certain tasks or projects is to hire the services of a virtual assistant or VA. Virtual assistants work on an independent basis from a remote location, such as their home office. Assistants such as these have training and experience in various career areas from office administration to information technology depending on their backgrounds. We list some of the benefits for hiring a VA in the following information.


Save Money

Virtual assistants will bill you for the hours they work. The company does not pay their taxes or benefits such as sick days, vacation days or health insurance. All this saves a great deal of money for the company while it still receives valuable services to enable it to operate correctly and efficiently.


VA’s Work When Other Employees Are Not at Work

Virtual assistants have a flexible work schedule that they will adjust according to the needs of the company they are working for at the time. They can work after your other employees go home for the day or possibly begin work prior to your employees arriving to work for the day.


Fill a Temporary Need for the Company

Another benefit when you hire a VA to assist you is the fact that he or she can fill a temporary need in your company. Special projects may require additional staff for only two or three weeks at a time, for just one example of this. Hire a virtual assistant or two to provide the necessary help.


Virtual Assistants Strive to Provide Quality Service

Since their reputation and business success depends on how well they please their clients, virtual assistants strive constantly to provide only quality service. At times, these assistants may perform at a higher level than your full-time employees do for the company.


VA’s Supply Their Own Workspace, Supplies and Equipment

VAs work from their home offices or private locations away from your company, which gives you the benefit of not having to provide a workspace or equipment for them to work with On top of this, the virtual assistants provide their own equipment and supplies. Your company does not need to invest in an additional computer, pens, paper and other items to ensure the VAs can perform their tasks.

Outsourcing certain daily or special duties by hiring virtual assistants is a solid business decision today. Your company will save money in all sorts of areas while it receives the additional help it takes to bring certain tasks or projects to completion in a satisfactory manner.


Source: https://greencapitalcredit.com/5-benefits-of-hiring-a-virtual-assistant/




8 Reasons Why I hired a Virtual 


Assistant


The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.




1. I Was Overwhelmed by Scheduling 

Once I started getting overwhelmed by scheduling meetings/calls and emails, I decided it was time to hire my virtual assistant. She's been a huge help and costs me $600 a month for full time work. -Eric Siu, Single Grain



2. I Was Angry at my Work

A few years ago, I felt a flash of tightness in my chest from anger as I was sitting down to do work I really didn't want to do. That was a wake-up call that I needed to delegate more tasks and focus on work that I actually enjoyed doing. The best part is that the assistant I hired was thrilled to be doing this type of work, so it was a huge win-win for both of us. -Pete Kennedy, Main Street ROI


3. I Was Bogged in Repetition

I knew I needed a VA when I found myself doing a lot of repetitive tasks on a daily basis. I've worked with a number of VA's over the years and I found the relationship most beneficial when I could outsource time consuming, yet simple, repetitive tasks. You want to avoid spending too much time explaining or reviewing projects so that you can maximize the time savings of having a VA in the first place. - Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net


4. My Personal Errands Were Killing My Productivity

It became clear when tasks from my personal life started to interfere with my ever-growing schedule. It wasn't as much of a problem before -- but after that line was crossed, it became a trade-off between getting all my work done or neglecting the personal errands. Thankfully, now I can delegate much of my personal life to my assistant, as well as some of those small business tasks that ate time. - Alec Bowers, Abraxas Solutions


5. I Was Ignoring Core Tasks

The moment you realize that lately, you haven't really worked on the "core tasks" that grow your business because of all the minutiae -- that is the final moment you need to stop and reassess your workload. Focus on the work you do best and hire other people to do the rest. Being the jack of all trades can seem like a necessity for many entrepreneurs, but it really doesn't have to be that way. Focus. - Juha Liikala, Stripped Bare Media


6. My Business Was Growing

I tried a couple of virtual assistant services when my first business was starting to pick up but didn't have the budget or the need for someone in-office. It improved my quality of life tremendously. I loved the concept so much that I tried to come up with the perfect VA and founded Uassist.ME. - Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME


7. I Realized Others Could Do It Better

When clients ask me about virtual assistants or remote staff, the first thing I get them to understand is what they as clients are good at or not good at doing. This is often quite difficult for entrepreneurs, as they've usually been doing everything in their business themselves. Once you show them that others can not only do it better, but that their business can't grow without delegation, they get a VA. - Liam Martin, Staff.com


8. My First Hour Was No Longer My Own

I've always thought that the first hour of the workday really sets the tone for those to follow. Realizing this hour had become routinely filled with marginalia was a big sign I needed to hand off some tasks in order to get the right ones back. - Sam Saxton, Salter Spiral Stair and Mylen Stairs


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/young-entrepreneur-council/8-reasons-we-hired-a-virt_b_5634021.html

Need help? Ten benefits of hiring a virtual assistant

The virtual assistant (VA) sector is one of the fastest-growing ‘work from home’ industries in the world, as the promise of flexibility drives administrative professionals to set up these home-run businesses. Here’s 10 benefits of hiring a VA to help with your marketing, administrative secretarial and web-based services.


According to a survey conducted by the Australian Chapter of the Alliance for Virtual Businesses (A4VB), the VA industry is attracting professionals keen to transition from administrative, executive assistant and corporate office manager roles. 81 percent said the freedom to control their hours and income was the reason they started these home-based businesses.


With close to 90 percent possessing extensive on-the-job experience and training, the A4VB has created a list of ten business benefits of hiring an experienced VA.


1. Cost Savings – The real cost of an employee is two to two and a half times their salary! By partnering with a VA you are not responsible for: payroll tax, workers’ compensation, superannuation, sick and holiday leave, training, equipment and office space nor the cost of hiring someone to administer these things!


2. Symbiosis – The VA has a vested interest in helping your business flourish and they too are in business so well equipped to provide the support you require.


3. Commitment – The VA works for you and is committed to you and your business – not a temp agency where constant change in support can occur.


4. Productivity – As the VA works in a home-based office, precious time (and consequently your money) is not wasted on office politics, socialising around the water cooler, mandatory breaks, and personal issues.


5. Flexibility – You pay only for the time on task – the VA works only when you require so you are not paying for idle staff to gossip, play games or browse the internet.


6. Confidentiality – The VA works alone reducing the risk of unauthorised access to computer files and confidentiality of your intellectual property is assured.


7. Technology – The VA is well versed in current trends in technology and can assist you to operate your business more effieciently with the tools and resources available.


8. Sounding Board – The VA, as your professional partner can be your sounding board for all your ideas, events, products or services.


9. Access – The VA can work after hours and on weekends offering services out of hours.


10. No risk of unfair dismissal, harassment and discrimination suits.


Source: http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/hr-and-staff/need-help-ten-benefits-of-hiring-a-virtual-assistant-02022012.html

. 10 Things to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

Using a virtual assistant can shave hours from your workweek, but knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky, whether you're starting or growing a business. Most 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. Websites that specialize in contract workers, such as odesk.com and elance.com, have thousands of listings for virtual assistants.


With the number of virtual assistants are growing, their expertise now runs the gamut, making it easier to find someone who fits your organization, says Jaleh Bisharat, vice president of marketing at oDesk.com, which is based in Redwood City, Calif. In 2012, oDesk had 25,000 postings for virtual assistant jobs, compared to about 2,500 in 2008.


Entrepreneurs can use virtual assistants for everything from making vendor or customer service calls to sending out thank you cards to prospective clients. It's important to build trust, just as you would with a permanent employee. "They become a team member who just happens to work remotely," Bisharat says. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 ways you can use a virtual assistant to improve your business.


Bookkeeping: Keeping tabs on bills and other bookkeeping matters can be one of the easiest things to assign to a virtual assistant, says Kathy Colaiacovo, marketing director for theInternational Virtual Assistants Association, a Henderson, Nev.-based trade group. Many small businesses choose to share their bookkeeping systems with their virtual assistants who can then follow up on tasks such as outstanding invoices or unpaid bills. "You will need to hand over some control [including] passwords and access to accounts," Colaiacovo says.


Online Research: You can easily farm out Internet research to virtual assistants. Common requests include finding information on corporate websites, exploring new products and vetting potential employees or business contacts, says Sue Kramer Harrawood, president of Peace of Mind Virtual Assistance, an Orland Park, Ill., firm that provides companies with virtual assistants. Be sure to send clear instructions, along with user names and passwords so assistants can get access to specialty search tools or paid websites. Tristen O'Brien, an eBay marketing expert in Westfield, Indiana, asks his assistant to help him find blog topics, as well as occasionally proofread his blog [link: www.theebayentrepreneur.com] on eBay selling. "She researches what is trending and reports back to me," O'Brien says.


Database entries: Whether it's a slew of new business cards picked up at a conference or updated information for existing contacts, keeping databases current is a suitable task for virtual assistants. Be specific about your needs and expectations, and make sure the virtual assistant has done this type of work before so there's less room for errors, Kramer Harrawood says. "Follow up is a huge thing for business owners. Sometimes clients will fax or scan business cards to us, and [virtual assistants] will plug them into the database."


Data presentations: Turning raw data into a clear PowerPoint presentation or summarizing research findings in a Word document can be a huge timesaver when prepping for meetings, says Rich Pearson, chief marketing officer at eLance.com, a jobs website for freelancers in Mountain View, Calif., who uses a virtual assistant himself. The data "comes back in a format I can share," he says.


Managing email: 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, Colaiacovo says. Such email management is easy to do remotely, but you need to provide guidance on how to pick out key emails and ask the assistant to copy you before sending out any responses to reduce the risk of errors. 


Social tasks: Virtual assistants can be a good bet to handle tasks such as writing holiday cards or sending thank you notes, says Bisharat, who notes that social chores have become a very common assignment. Such tasks can become "all consuming" for business executives, she says, "but a good virtual assistant can take care of all of it." 


Travel Research: Virtual assistants are a great resource for finding hotels, booking airfares and mapping out trip itineraries both for business and pleasure, Pearson says. The assistants can take advantage of the growing number of travel research tools and review sites on the Web. They can also deal with the hassle of navigating time zones when booking or researching international travel options by phone.


Scheduling: Because many scheduling tools are available online, virtual assistants are managing the calendars of many clients, says Kramer Harrawood. Tasks include dealing with meeting invitations from others, scheduling appointments with clients and helping to plan events. "It's about being comfortable and letting go of that calendar" to a non-staff person working remotely, Kramer Harrawood says.


Chasing business: Prioritizing potential business opportunities can be challenging, but virtual assistants can help with the process. When deciding what to sell on eBay, for example, O'Brien asks his virtual assistant to look around for products that can be profitable to resell. "I give them quite a few websites to visit, and they take it from there," he says. "They look for clearance items and other types of products."


Industry knowledge prep: With limited time to keep up with industry news, some small businesses have turned to virtual assistants to keep tabs on the most important happenings. Many executives then use the industry information to update their Twitter feed or bring up interesting developments in conversation with customers and prospects. This helps "executives appear to have timely news," Pearson says.


Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225318

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