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So What exactly is a VA and how can one help me?

Searching for a virtual assistant can become a daunting task…What is a VA? Who are these people and how can a VA help me are only the beginning of the list of questions coming into your mind.

What is a VA?

Wikipedia defines a Virtual Assistant as…

...an independent contractor providing administrative, technical, or sometimes creative assistance to clients--usually to other independent entrepreneurs and solo and small business practices, such as that of a lawyer or realtor. Virtual assistants work from their own office (hence "virtual"), thus making it a fairly popular (and growing) profession. It is estimated that there are about 40,000-50,000 virtual assistants worldwide. Common modes of communication and data delivery include the Internet, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and fax machine. Although the occupation gives a degree of independence, work is on a contractual basis, and a long-lasting cooperation is standard. Typically 5 years of administrative experience in an office is expected at such positions as executive assistant, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, legal secretary, real estate assistant, office manager, etc.

Who are these people?

Virtual Assistants are business owners and entrepreneurs just like you! We establish our business to fulfill a passion…To help you achieve your business goals. VA's are more than just general administrative task doers. We are your business partner determined to assist you and help your business grow.

How can a VA help me?

A Virtual Assistant will help you by handling the tasks that take away time from your busy schedule. A VA can provide exceptional customer service through responding to web site inquiries and handle your appointment calendar, schedule speaking engagements, make travel arrangement... The list of exactly what a VA can do for you and your business is endless. The time that you save by delegating such tasks is priceless to you and your business.

Ali R. Rodriquez, Passionista for Life, looks for a Virtual Assistant to help her by being:

"Someone that can read my mind! :) ~ Okay, okay. Someone that works with coaches and knows how to set up business systems, list building techniques and setting up strategic allliances. Knowing how to be an internet marketer to the coach, is a must."

How do I find the "right" VA for me?

There are several attributes that you should look for in a Virtual Assistant, of those experience and commitment to service should be paramount. The VA you interview should be able to give you references and substantiated experience in their particular expertise. You should be comfortable speaking with your VA (typically over the phone and be able to build a long lasting relationship. Your VA should also have the confidence to ask questions, become a valued member of your team and be ready to work together with you to grow your business.

Maria Gamb of No More Sabotage looks towards team building:

"I look for someone who is willing to be part of a team, has a can-do attitude, a sense of humor and has solid experience. They must be able to plow through tasks, take initiative when necessary and know when to stop and get direction. That's about 12!"

Building a team is crucial to running a successful business. It's a tough road to hoe going it alone. Team building and the experience ability to work together while being in remote, unattached locations should be a key attribute for you to look at when you search for a VA.

Dr. Cindy Brown, author of The Cinderella System said this about her search for a VA:

"a willingness to do what I ask combined with courage to ask questions if he/she is unclear about task and to get it done as quickly as possible with excellence. Ok that's 3 I know. Is this too much to ask?"

No - that's not too much to ask! When you begin your search for a Virtual Assistant you should be able to do so with the confidence that anyone you speak to is well trained and experienced in the tasks that they are promoting. You should feel confident that your VA is going to clarify all tasks and do them promptly and efficiently.


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