Who is a Virtual Assistant (VA)? A Virtual Assistant is an entrepreneur and/or small business owner who assists other entrepreneurs and small business owners with everything on their plate.

What is a Virtual Assistant?   Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA) description of a Virtual Assistant is the following: “A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a highly trained independent entrepreneur who provides a myriad of business support services virtually via phone, fax and internet-based technology to support and meet the growing needs of businesses worldwide.

Partnering with a VA reduces stress, protects cash flow, eliminates administrative hassles, and enables business people to find the success they originally set out to achieve.

A VA is your right hand person helping you to succeed in your business. The irony is you may never meet your VA as odds are they live nowhere near you!”

What can a VA do for me to ease my workload?  Business owners’ workload consists of administrative tasks, attracting new business, converting leads, and servicing current clients.  A VA can take care of the administrative portion, as well as assist you in the remaining areas.

Why should I work with a Virtual Assistant?  If you are an entrepreneur and/or small business owner and you find yourself spending more time working in the business rather than working on the business, you should retain a Virtual Assistant.  He or she can assist you with your daily, time-consuming tasks.  These tasks are generally administrative in nature and require attention; however, they divert your focus away from working on your business.  Working on your business requires just as much concentration and is necessary if you want to grow your company.

When should I retain a virtual assistant?  When you find yourself spending more time working in the business rather than working on the business, it is time to retain a VA.

Where can I find a VA?  There are several virtual assistant forums, which have directories listing their members and how to contact them; for example, Virtual Assistant Networking Association and International Virtual Assistants Association.

Where does a VA work?  Virtual assistants complete their clients’ tasks from their own offices.  It is not necessary for our clients to provide equipment, space, or supplies.

How do I tell her what to do? How do I train her to handle my affairs?  Technology has created the ability for us to virtually communicate.  Communication can take place via telephone, teleconferencing, Instant Messaging (IM), e-mail, SKYPE, PDAs, and the list goes on.  In addition, VAs don’t require training; just an explanation of how to handle your tasks.

How do we exchange my projects?  One option is GoogleDocs, which is an online office suite.  You and your VA both have access to documents created with GoogleDocs.  A VA creates the document and at that point, it can be saved to your computer or remain online.  Another option is you can submit your project to your VA as an e-mail attachment, and he or she returns the completed document to you via e-mail attachment.  There is also the option of a VA accessing your computer to complete certain tasks.  GoToMyPc and LogMeIn are programs that provide a VA the capability of gaining access to your computer.