So what the hell does a Virtual Assistant Do?

vasuperheroI decided to write this post following some marketing that I undertook a while ago and the resulting conversations that I had with business owners provided a unique and shocking discovery for me!

I spent some time doing some marketing calls to local businesses asking them if they would mind assisting me in raising my profile locally in my area. Whilst I conduct business in many countries, keeping things local is very close to my heart. But what I hadn’t anticipated was the responses I received, nothing rude or abusive, in fact every person I contact was very interested and receptive to finding out more.

So what was my shock horror discovery? Out of approximately 50 calls that I made …. ONLY 2 people had actually heard or knew what a Virtual Assistant was!!?? I mean, come on, talk about a bolt from the blue ;-)

I decided there and then that I would write a blog post, explaining my own view of what a Virtual Assistant is – so here it is – I hope you find it useful …..

Let’s start with a more formal definition, here’s Wikipedia’s take on what a Virtual Assistant is:

A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant)[1] is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office.[2][3] Because virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance or benefits (except in the context that those indirect expenses are included in the VAs fees). Clients also avoid the logistical problem of providing extra office space, equipment or supplies. Clients pay for 100% productive work, and can work with Virtual Assistants, individually, or in multi-VA firms to meet their exact needs.

So that’s the very business-like way of describing what a Virtual Assistant is. Here’s my own personal view – A Virtual Assistant is ANYONE who provides assistance online. A Virtual Assistant can be many things, some may disagree with my view but to my mind a Virtual Assistant is anyone who provides assistance online whether they are a travel writer, a business coach offering online courses a design and marketing consultant – it doesn’t necessarily have to be administrative based. A Virtual Assistant doesn’t have to mean secretarial or administrative at all – there is a very wide spectrum for the term Virtual Assistant.

No matter which way you look at it – if you are helping someone you are assisting, if you are doing this online then you are doing this virtually therefore that is virtual assistance ;-)

At Coffee Not Included we provide a whole host of services to support more traditional and also online businesses. From the secretarial based administrative tasks, back office support, to graphic design, website design and development as well as online bookkeeping – these tasks can all be completed online, honestly I can show you how. I define my niche as being anything that involves developing and supporting businesses online by providing support and solutions.

Virtual Assistance is an industry that is still fairly new and has probably only really established itself in the last 5 years or so but it is growing rapidly, day in, day out and personally I’m starting to notice that larger more established corporations are waking up to the world of Virtual Assistance and seeing it’s benefits and strengths in their future business plans.

Hope this helps! Do let me know your own views in the comments below …