Skip to: main navigation | main content | sitemap | accessibility page

 
 

What is a Virtual Assistant? What can a Virtual Assistant do for my business?

What is a Virtual Assistant?

Virtual Assistants or “VAs” have been helping us for a lot longer than the sweet – but slightly annoying – digital version on your smartphone.  Since the earliest days of the global Internet companies and individuals in the ever entrepreneurial developing economies have been looking for us to “outsource” to Virtual Assistants in cheaper labour markets.  

Since 2005 or so the term Virtual Assistant has gained popularity within the English speaking world, with people that would once have been described themselves as “freelance” or “contractors” or even “consultants” now choosing to use the term Virtual Assistant.

Virtual Assistants often have specialist skills that can benefit your company.  VIrtual Assistants will expect you to work within their timeframes, so don’t expect full time support from one person.

In the early days of Virtual Assistants, often working in different time zones, the low headline fees looked very attractive, however do consider the possible risks outlined below.

Using a Virtual Assistant – Traps and Tripwires

I suggest reading “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” a novel by Maria Semple before putting your business in the hands of a VA you have never met.  If you want to develop a trusting relationship with a Virtual Assistant it is worth getting checks made, as you would with an employee.

Before recruiting a VA from abroad – what are you going to do about the time differences? How are you going to give a VA half way around the world impactful feedback if you aren’t talking one-to-one very often!  I had a client a few years ago who spent many nights wide awake at 3am so he could talk to web developers in India.  After many months with little sleep, he ditched the project and recruited a UK-based technology partner.  Don’t say you haven’t been warned!  Cheap, quality, fast …. choose any two.

How much are fees likely to be for a UK-based Virtual Assistant?  Probably £25 – £60 an hour, depending on what specific skills you’re looking for.

At TelePA we offer some Virtual Assistant services, and if we don’t have the specific skillsets you are looking for we can probably point you in the right direction.  If you’re not sure whether you need a Virtual Assistant or a Virtual PA and would like to know more about what a Virtual PA does, click here.

For links to other definitions return to our home page

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save