Answers to frequently asked questions about Virtual Assistants
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent business owner who provides services from their own office or home, using technology to access the required tools and to communicate with you.
As a Personal Assistant / Secretary / Administrator, VA’s can either be used on an ongoing basis or even for single tasks by communication via telephone, email, fax, skype or post. Virtual Assistants are the perfect solution for the busy entrepreneur, small business owner, telecommuter or student.
One of the main attractions of using a VA is the cost benefits. A VA offers businesses the best range of office solutions at a fraction of the cost of a temp or employee. VAs don’t need employee benefits, superannuation, holidays, sick pay, overtime, bonuses, training, office down time, office space, coffee breaks or lunch breaks. Another major attraction is that it doesn’t matter where your VA resides, as all communication is handled virtually!
Who can use a Virtual Assistant?
We can be thought of as “off-site contractors”. This means that based in Melbourne, Australia, we are able to provide admin/PA/social media and secretarial services to anyone virtually – no matter where you reside. Whether you are a consultant in need of a fresh set of eyes to format and proof read your document, a solo business owner lost in the world of social media and how to create amazing content, or a small business needing a new website or someone to monitor an existing one, we can assist from a distance. There are no restrictions on who can use a Virtual Assistant.
Does a contract or agreement need to be signed?
There are no long term locked in contracts and this is what makes hiring a Virtual Assistant so attractive. Ongoing clients and contracted clients are issued with an agreement on the confirmation of each project. The Service Agreement must be signed before services are commenced. The Service Agreement states the type of services rendered, the prices and anything else discussed. The Service Agreement includes a confidentiality clause which remains in place even after the work or project is completed.
Why should I use a Virtual Assistant instead of a temporary employee?
When you hire a Virtual Assistant, you only pay for the time and services you require. Whereas, with a temp, not only do you have to pay the agency, but you also have to pay for the temp regardless of whether or not they are fully occupied.
Unlike temporary employees, Virtual Assistants take the time to learn your business and form a working partnership. VAs have a vested interest in your company’s success: when you succeed, so does your VA. Every time you hire a temp, you will almost certainly get a different person. The time and money spent training this new person can be saved by hiring a VA. Furthermore, when you hire a Virtual Assistant, you don’t need to worry about extra space, furniture, equipment, overtime, superannuation, coffee breaks, sick leave, holidays, bonuses, training or insurance cover as you would for temporary staff.
What are the benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant?
- No additional office space or equipment needed
- Save on advertising, interviewing and hiring of new staff
- Save on training and development of staff
- Access to a highly skilled professional
- Save time and money
- No employment requirements such as holiday pay, sick pay, workers compensation, insurance, lunch and coffee breaks, overtime, uniforms, superannuation, training, benefits, payroll issues or office space
- Exploit time differences – i.e. if you are based in the US, an Australian-based VA can work on your projects while you sleep
- VAs can be available outside of normal office hours, for urgent and last minute jobs
- Only pay for the time spent on your specific project. You don’t have to pay for a full day of work if your project only requires two hours
- Working relationship is tailored to fit your needs
- You don’t need to be in your office all the time, or near your phone
- You don’t need to learn new software or programs – leave that to your VA
- There are no lock in contracts!
When should I hire a VA?
- You need extra business support when your workload increases.
- You need occasional cover for employees on holiday or sick leave.
- You don’t want the cost, commitment or paperwork involved in using an employee.
- You have periodic or seasonal projects that you don’t wish to delegate to a stream of temps.
- You spend more time on administrative chores than on revenue generating projects.
- You require only a few hours of support per day, week or month.
- You need administrative support for your business that is not tied to traditional office hours.
- You travel and need a contact person who can represent your business in a professional manner.
How do I communicate with a Virtual Assistant?
Communicating with Virtual Assistants is flexible and easy. Work is exchanged via email, fax, phone, mail or courier. If you have an event you want arranged, simply email or phone through the specifications and your VA will do the rest. Do you have a tape that needs transcribed? Just send it via mail or courier and your VA will email or fax the document to you. Virtual Assistants are highly skilled and experienced professionals and can hit the ground running on your projects.
At Go Virtual Today, we understand how important confidentiality is to our clients. We are strongly committed to protecting your privacy and will endeavor to provide a secure and confidential environment for any and all information provided by you. Any confidentiality agreement you require signed by us, we will be more than happy to do so. We will not disclose information to any other party, unless required by law or with your full consent.
Do you charge for a minimum number of hours?
No. You can use us for one hour a week, or 20. It all depends on your work load and what you need done!
Do you work weekends or after hours?
Both after hours and weekend requirements can be accommodated, depending on current workload.
How will I, as the client, know the hours that have been worked via virtual means?
Each invoice is submitted with a detailed list of how much time is allocated to each task/project.