What a Virtual Assistant is not: An employee A Consultant Telecommuter
DEFINITION OF A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT (VA) • An Independent Contractor/Business Owner • A long term relationship partner
What kinds of services does a Virtual Assistant provide? • You and your VA are only bound by imagination, needs, skills set required and desire. • Two priorities of thought you need to travel while thinking about what you want your VA to do for you. They are: Routine tasks for today &Support of goals for tomorrow
Routine Tasks for Today • Things that absolutely must be done if your business is to operate successfully and smoothly. • They are almost never things that are going to make you immediate money, but they are the things that keep you as the business owner from pursuing additional money-making opportunities.
“Back office“ tasks a VA could handle • Monitor email, handling most and forwarding to you just those which need your personal attention • Make appointments, or maintain schedules • Preparation of personal/business paperwork • Monitor & respond to inquiries • Send/receive faxes, emails, etc • Research • Plan meetings and events & coordinate reservations for attending guests • Make travel arrangements - business and personal • Writing of blog entries, marketing material, press releases • Proof reading/Copy editing • Canceling, creating, renewing subscriptions • Coordination of web design/hosting • Direct Mailings Campaigns • Buy/send gifts/cards for customers of clients • Contact list management • Transcription and Dictation • Bookkeeping • Complaint handling • Create/maintain databases
Support Goals For Tomorrow • Projects or goals you are working towards • Tasks that contribute immediately to your bottom line. • Networking or Marketing tasks that will bring people toyou & your business
Posting your articles, newsletters & blogs • Distributing press releases • Creating an online and offline media kits to submit with pitch ideas • Attend teleseminars & webinars to take notes on your behalf • Setting up, and managing your affiliate or partner programs so that all of the people referring business to you feel taken care of • Screen requests for your time based on criteria you've created, and says no to things you wouldn't want to do, and facilitate next steps about things you would want to do. • Joining online groups, participating with your company in mind, and using an email signature that includes your URL, and the info about subscribing to your newsletter or blog • Setting up your profiles & presence on various social media/networking sites, as well as giving you ideas for content to use to keep things fresh
When is it time for VA? • When you're so caught up in the day-to-day stuff, that you can't find the time or energy to focus on the things that really need your attention.
What types of business work with a Virtual Assistant? Businesses in ALL industries that want to be successful & increase their bottom line while lowering their overhead!
Why a VA instead of an employee? • When you work with a VA you get a partner (in the relationship sense, not the legal sense!) not an employee. • The VA's decision to work with you will be based on being attracted to your work and on being interested in being your partner for success, rather than because he or she is looking for "some job."
Don't have the space for someone in the office • Don't want someone in the office • Don't have or want to buy the equipment needed for someone else • Don't want the associated overhead costs & individual costs of having an employee: • Payroll • Benefits • Paying for someone else to administer payroll, benefits
Pricing • Existing Virtual Assistants range between $35 - $70 per hour. • Not the type of service you want to price shop. “You get what you pay for” • You want ability. • You want someone you can work with well. • You want great customer service. • You want your work cared for by the person you intentionally chose to handle it. • You want someone who's going to stick around. • So look for quality and value—it's an investment that will literally put money back in your pocket.
Signing a contract with a VA • There are three basic types of contracts that virtual assistants use: • Hourly--The VA is paid an hourly rate for their work performed. • Per-project agreement--The rate is determined for the length and content of the project. • Retainer--The VA has an agreement to work a predetermined number of hours throughout a specified time period – usually at a discounted rate.
Are you ready to make that decision? • Begin building the foundation • Keep the channels of communicationopen • Let go and delegate