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What is a virtual assistant?

What exactly IS a virtual assistant? 

To put it simply, a virtual assistant is somebody who completes tasks for you remotely.

Think of them as your side kick, executive assistant, personal assistant, accounts person or office assistant that carries out all the tasks required in their role, without being physically based in your office. They’re your go-to person to free up your time by taking things off your to-do list.

They might work from home as a contractor, or they might be working from home but be employed by a virtual assistant company. You also find VAs who work from co-working spaces, and even outside of New Zealand.

You might be their only client, meaning they only work for you, anywhere from part-time/casual all the way through to full time. The more likely scenario is that they work with multiple clients, and they spread their work out and manage all those clients and their tasks within their working week.

The types of tasks a VA can complete are:

  • Inbox management

  • Diary management and scheduling

  • Travel arrangements

  • Data entry

  • Formatting documents and proof-reading

  • Graphic Design

  • Web design

  • Bookkeeping

  • Blog post writing

  • Podcast editing and management

  • Streamlining and automating jobs/tasks

  • Social media and digital marketing

The list is endless!

The main benefit of delegating these low-level tasks to a virtual assistant is that it frees up your time to work on the more important, revenue-generating tasks in your business.

A virtual assistant will record the time they take to complete their tasks (using a time-tracking software like Harvest), and then invoice you for that number of hours, usually monthly.

The price of a virtual assistant can vary greatly, from as little as $5USD per hour all the way through to $150NZD per hour. We cover the topic of pricing and the implications that will have on you here.

To get started with a virtual assistant, you’ll have to approach either a virtual assistant company or a freelance VA, and talk to them about the sort of tasks that you need completed.

Finding the right VA for you and your needs is important, and we cover ways to ensure that you get this right here. The VA or VA company that you’re talking to will let you know what kind of tasks they will be able to take off your to-do list and what their processes are for getting the work done and communicating with you.

From there, you'll keep in touch with your VA regularly, to delegate tasks to them (learn more about that here), and to be updated on their progress completing those tasks.

Long term, there can definitely be benefits to hiring a virtual assistant over a permanent employee, but it really depends on your specific needs. We take a deep dive into virtual assistants v employees here.

Now you know what a virtual assistant is, and what they can do to help you and your business. Interested in talking to us about your specific needs? Book a no-obligation call with us here.



 

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