Understanding the Virtual Assistant Concept

The Virtual Assistant career has been recognized since the 1990’s and is rapidly growing in popularity, yet there are few statistics and very limited information available for those seeking answers to the simple question, “What is a Virtual Assistant?”.  The short answer is this: a virtual assistant typically does the same type of tasks performed by an administrative or office assistant, but they are independent contractors and they perform these tasks from a location outside the office.  Yes!  It really is that simple.  Of course, the “typical tasks” performed can vary dramatically between assistants based on their areas of expertise, knowledge, and skill level.

It’s also important to understand that Virtual Assistants sell their time. Even when services are bundled as packages the prices are based on the scope of work and the estimated time of completion. VAs accept client projects based on available staff hours. Projects are estimates based on the scope of work and the skill required to complete the tasks scheduled within the project.

Virtual Assistant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A virtual assistant is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office.

  • Because virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance or benefits.
    • Clients also avoid the logistical problem of providing extra office space, equipment or supplies.
    • Clients can customize their remote receptionist service to meet their exact needs.
    • Calls can be screened, announced and seamlessly connected to clients or their employees anywhere.
  • Virtual Assistants usually work for other small businesses, brokers and consultancy groups.
  • Common modes of communication and data delivery include the Internet, e-mail and phone conferences, online workspaces, and fax machine.
  • Professionals in this business work on a contractual basis and a long-lasting cooperation are standard.

Typically 5 years of administrative experience in an office is expected at such positions as executive assistant, office manager/supervisor, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, legal secretary, real estate assistant, information technology, et cetera.

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