What is a Virtual Assistant? – Heather Mac VA
So, what is a Virtual Assistant or VA? We’re not talking about the artificial intelligence type like Alexa or Siri! A Virtual Assistant is a self-employed person providing support to businesses remotely and can work for several clients at one time. Virtual Assistants support a wide range of clients with general tasks or are specialists in their niche. Specialist industry could be related to – health, legal, arts, education, healthcare, manufacturing, HR, events, finance. Alternatively, a specific type of support is provided – general admin, traditional PA, digital/social media marketing, techie, bookkeeping, graphics, automation/sales funnels, etc.

Who can use a VA?

Anyone can use a Virtual Assistant!  Entrepreneurs starting a new venture, small business owners, corporate organisations, and even busy PAs who want to pass over chunks of work to free up their time.  No desk, office space or equipment is required to employ the services of a Virtual Assistant.  Usually, VA’s work from a home office or other location, and there is no requirement for meeting in person however if based nearby there is the opportunity to meet face to face on occasion.  The growth of cloud-based software makes for smooth collaboration between client and VA, with paperwork becoming a thing of the past.  Wonderful for a clear desk!

Virtual Assistants can be solopreneurs, working alone with trusted Vas who can step in to support when required.  Others work on a team of a larger scale operation.  Virtual Assistants have experience with a wide range of software, and often provide suggestions to improve your processes and systems.  As well as being an independent sounding board, we have access to a global community of like-minded Virtual Assistants, so can reach out to a variety of skill sets when required. 

Examples of what can be outsourced to a VA?

  • Email filtering and management
  • Calendar management
  • Booking appointments
  • Sending reminder emails and thank you notes
  • File management
  • Create and update database or CRM system
  • Create reports on variety of tasks
  • Document creation
  • Audio transcription
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Website updates and publishing blogs
  • Manage social media accounts
  • File management
  • Travel research

Virtual Assistants are business owners too

With an understanding of operations, marketing, sales and delivery, we understand the need to be a reputable, profitable business and be on top of our game. We share your desire in working hard to enable your business to grow and succeed.

Prior to working with a Virtual Assistant, what is known as a Discovery Call is held. Lasting around 30 minutes, the call is done either by phone or video call. It’s a great gauge of personality and fit for a good working relationship. Ideally, you’ll know what you are looking for, however if you’re unsure the Virtual Assistant will guide you through making suggestions when they understand more about your setup and goals. If you’re anxious about handing over responsibility to a VA, and it is hard letting go, start with small tasks to build your confidence. Having a VA as a cheerleader on your team is an asset, an asset you’ll wonder how you managed without!

The number of Virtual Assistants in the industry is growing, and there is plenty work for all. Predominately female, it’s currently an unregulated industry, and like anything you get what you pay for, so choose wisely. Be sure your VA has cover in place to be a professional service, as well as being a good fit for you and your business. Most VA’s will have a website you can check services and rates, review testimonials, allowing you to build a picture of their style and experience.  

There are many benefits to working with an experienced and skilled Virtual Assistant. By delegating admin tasks that eat up your time, you instantly have more hours in your working week. You only pay for the number of hours you require. With no office space or equipment to provide you gain the flexibility and freedom your VA has. You also have the added bonus of no tax or NI contributions to pay, no holiday or sickness pay, and no pension contributions.

Contact me to arrange a free Discovery call. I would love the opportunity to discuss how I could support your business. I comply with the Virtual Assistant Best Practice as set out by the Society of Virtual Assistants.