VA? VA! What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant refers to an independent service provider who provides administrative, secretarial, technical, clerical, or other specialised services to businesses externally. Usually, such entrepreneur operates as an Online Virtual Assistant making maximum use of online communication channels to deliver the services.
Mostly, the services of a virtual assistant are hired by small and medium sized companies, including professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, management consultants, stock brokers and other small businesses. Such businesses prefer to operate with low overheads in order to survive in a competitive environment. Therefore, instead of hiring full-time services of an employee, they are happy to outsource such services at a cheaper cost as and when required.
But also medium sized companies can profit not only from the low overheads related to time and money spent filling and training a certain position, the cost of computers and other office technology, office space, lunch hours, sick and vacation pay, and numerous wasted, non-productive hours on the clock.
Generally, a virtual assistant specialises in a particular area that could be marketing, advertising, finance, accountancy, secretarial, proofreading, translation services, research, creative writing, and practically anything that a personal assistant would do at his job.
These additional skill sets of a Virtual Assistant can add to the competitive edge of any business. Be it for a short-time project or an ongoing one with a clearly outlined set of tasks.