Time. As a small business owner, it's the commodity you covet most but never seem to have enough of.
If you had more time, you could complete all the administrative chores required to operate your business.
With enough time, you could do more marketing, more networking, more planning and systemizing.
If you had just a little more, you'd be a whole lot less hurried and stressed.
But how on earth do you create more time to do all the things necessary to run smoothly, build business, and create revenue?
The obvious answer is to increase your manpower. But hiring staff is not always an easy or affordable proposition for the small business owner. Fortunately, there's an outsourcing alternative - Virtual Assistance.
Virtual Assistants provide office support on an independent contractor basis. They primarily serve small to mid-sized businesses who have smaller workloads, need only occasional help, or who don't have the budget or space for in-house office staff, much less the time to train and manage them.
A Virtual Assistant (VA) works from their own office utilizing computers and other technology to deliver their services and communicate with clients.
They provide just about any secretarial service you can think of: word processing, transcription, data-entry, database management, spreadsheet creation, proofreading – you name it.
Many VAs offer additional specialties such as bookkeeping, web design, desktop publishing, writing and legal support services.
The savings can be huge compared to the cost of an actual employee because there are no payroll taxes or benefits to pay, and no extra office space or equipment needs.
Not to mention that not all employee time is productive (think breaks, sick leave, vacations and other downtime). With Virtual Assistance, clients pay only for the time the VA spends working on their behalf.
That's 100% productive time; you can't get more efficient than that!
The Virtual Assistance profession has been around well over 10 years now, and has its own industry associations and certification programs.
Virtual Assistants operate their businesses as professional service providers. They come from a variety of business backgrounds, but the common denominator is that they are typically overachievers with extensive administrative experience and superior skill sets and training.
Virtual Assistants are not temps. They are highly-skilled entrepreneurs who love what they do and in business to provide consistently top-quality work to clients to whom they are committed.
Virtual Assistants are commonly interested in establishing long-term partnerships with their clients. As the VA learns about the owner and his or her business, supporting the client becomes more intuitive.
The ideal is to achieve a very simpatico working relationship where the VA's support not only instills more efficiency and productivity, but is key to helping the client create more time to concentrate on the roles they love most while growing their business successfully.
Although Virtual Assistants are able to serve clients from anywhere in the world, you can find a VA near you by referencing your local Chamber of Commerce directory, or searching the Internet using keywords Virtual Assistant or Virtual Assistance + your city or state.
The VA Networking Forum also provides a great Virtual Assistant Directory sorted by country and state.
© Danielle Keister, The Relief Virtual Assistance
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Danielle Keister is owner of The Relief, a successful Virtual Assistance practice that has been delivering expert, personalized office support services to the professional community since 1997. Visit her website to get her FREE report, "Ramp Up Your Billable Hours: 10 Easy Fixes You Can Make Right Now."
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