Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Virtual Assistant - Affordable Help

To start with, just what IS a "Virtual Assistant"?

A virtual assistant is anyone who works for a customer, but from a far off place. For illustration, you could run a small (or not so small) company in Pittsburgh, and your virtual assistant works from his or her residential home in San Francisco. Or maybe someplace offshore ... for instance, in Pakistan or India.

A virtual assistant will communicate with his/her employer by countless different means: by telephone, email, or instant messaging online. In addition, services such as Skype make it possible to communicate in actual time by typing, speech (by means of a pair of headphones), as well as visually utilizing a webcam... and without cost (with the exception of the small cost to purchase a pair of headphones and webcam).

A virtual assistant (often known as a virtual executive assistant or virtual secretary) can complete almost any kind of activity as someone working for you in the room next to you, such as:

making travel arrangements, event planning, preparing letters, data entry, personal assistant chores, order processing, email management, marketing, research, mailing, placing orders for you, telephone support, data processing, past due invoice follow-up, concierge services, sending letters, administrative duties, manage freelancers, human resources, bookkeeping, word processing, handling reports, customer follow-up, email processing, taking telephone calls, handling support by email, transcription tasks, setting up meetings, procedure documentation, appointment setup, Instant Message support, schedule management

Wow... now that's one extensive list!

But how about brewing coffee or fetching your laundry? Sorry... no. If you really want somebody to brew coffee for you, you're out of luck (LOL).

However, if brewing coffee and getting your laundry will be needed activities you want to have somebody else to perform, then you would be better to retain somebody nearby. But why wouldn't you simply hire somebody in your neighborhood right off the bat? Just what is the merit of choosing a Virtual assistant at any rate?

Well, there are several.

For one thing, she will have a computer, worktable, furniture, workplace items, utilities, and communications devices. You'll not need to acquire those things, neither will you need extra office space for your virtual assistant.

Additionally, the VA may well be happy to settle for a bit lower pay, when you consider that she will not have the expense or the inconvenience of travel to and from a common "job." It will save her time, expense, and trouble! Thus at the end of the day, she comes out ahead, regardless of whether the compensation is a not as much.

Who would not be delighted with such a setup?

But probably the number one appeal to using the services of a virtual assistant is so that you can reap the benefits of something known as "Arbitrage." Arbitrage, simply put, is the act of taking advantage of price differences between two markets. For instance, assume you live somewhere like New York City, where the cost of living is quite high (when compared to most other places) and your VA resides in a town in Kansas, where the living costs is a lot less. As 10 bucks where she lives and works could pay for twice as much products and services as ten dollars in New York (and the actual figure may be 3 or 4 times as much), your VA will, again, be willing to accept less pay compared to what you might have to pay a local hire.

But what happens if the virtual assistant is working from somewhere outside the US... say, in the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Romania, or any other place where the people are fluent in English?

This is when the gains really happen! The US dollar will go considerably farther in quite a few other nations compared to in the US. By way of example, in the Philippines fifty dollars will buy a month's worth of food. How far does $50 go in your town? If you're like me, you head over to the market, purchase 2 bags of groceries, hand the cashier 2 twenties and a ten, and get back a handful of change!

"But... " as you're always hearing on TV "wait... there's more!"

Enjoying arbitrage is merely your first step. You'll also be able to avoid the cost... not to even mention the hassle... of payroll taxes, tons of IRS forms, providing health insurance, worker's comp, social security taxes, retirement contributions, as well as the plethora of legal requirements associated with work compliance laws. Hey, you don't even have to hire and pay an accountant to do all that stuff!

Are you beginning to understand the advantages?

If you run a business, and are ensnared in the "Catch 22" of desperately requiring help, but you're not able to afford it... a virtual assistant could be the solution to your problems!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WELCOME to the Virtual Assistant Hub!

Hi World!

Welcome to the

Virtual Assistant Hub!

This is a brand new blog, and I'm
really excited about this new
"Virtual Assistant" hub!

On this blog I will be posting articles about all matters related to virtual assistants, including:

  • Just what IS a virtual assistant (or "VA")?

  • Why you should utilize a virtual assistant?

  • The advantages of hiring and using a virtual assistant

  • Where and how to find a virtual assistant

  • How to evaluate virtual assistants

  • How to train a virtual assistant

  • Pitfalls to avoid when hiring and/or using a virtual assistant

  • How to make the most of virtual assistant services

And lots, lots more!

I strongly believe that THE key to running a successful business is to LEVERAGE your time by outsourcing the bulk of your every-day routine work ... that is, the "running" of your business ... in order to free up your valuable and all-too-limited time to focus on the "GROWING" of your business!

If you own or operate a business, if you are considering doing so (whether in the near or distant future) then you're sure to find some useful information here!

Please check back often, read my posts and leave your comments (no spam please!)

To all those kindred spirits out there who believe in and possess the entrepreneurial spirit ...

All my best wishes for your success!

Jim Eastman