student-849826_1280Although today, in the year 2015 with all the technology and interconnections we have all over the world through online communications, I still get a baffled look whenever I tell my friends I work from home as a virtual assistant. Their first response is, “What is a virtual assistant?” or “What is it you do again?” or “What does that mean?”

I explain that I help small business owners or busy individuals manage their day-to-day tasks such as client correspondence through email or phone, manage calendars, book meeting rooms, manage online blogs and social media, etc., etcetera.

They also thought I’m an employee of that business owner! NO! We’re not employees!  As “virtual” assistants, we can help any business owner or busy individuals from anywhere. We don’t need to be in their office or even live in the same city or state. We can work with and communicate with clients through phone, and email; everything is done online! We collaborate together with documents, projects, share calendars, all through the Internet.

In the United States, virtual assistants are independent contractors and business owners themselves. This means, they don’t receive any employee benefits and also file their own taxes with the IRS. For example, it’s like hiring a private tutor or a plumber who is a sole proprietor, operating their own business.  You hire them to get the job done. When it’s completed, you can pay them and end the relationship.  You get the idea. Right?

Each virtual assistant has their own unique skills, expertise and experience in various industry fields. Some will have specialties, such as a virtual Medical Assistant, virtual Paralegal, virtual generalist in Business Administration, virtual Social Media Specialist, Internet Marketing Specialist, SEO Managers and more.

So, next time you need a hand with your projects, call on a virtual assistant. Then when you’re done with your project, you can simply stop working with your VA, and end your relationship, or continue to work with that person on a monthly retainer.  It’s up to you! They’re usually available “on-call” or “as-needed” basis.

Just a short note- VAs can get very busy and may not take on new clients.  So if you find the assistant of your dreams, you might want to keep them busy and on a retainer.  You can even let them know if you want to have a long-term agreement/relationship to keep them onboard.

Any questions, please drop me a line.

Read more here: Who, What, Where and How to Work with Virtual Assistants

What’s a Virtual Assistant?