"When I was looking for an assistant, I was looking for a true business partner, someone who makes it a point to know the business, what my priorities are and who could represent  me as well as the organization in the absolute best professional light."
- John Chambers, Chairman/CEO of Cisco Systems
Optimize your Time...Maximize your Productivity...Increase your Profitability...Reduce your Overhead Costs

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much"  -- Helen Keller
Who Uses a Virtual Assistant?

*  Successful entrepreneurs
*  Home-based businesses
*  Small business owners
*  Online business owners
*  Professional Speakers
*  Authors
*  Consultants
*  Sales Executives
*  Sales Teams
*  Seminar Leaders
*  Corporate Trainers
*  Traveling Executives
*  Non-profit Organizations
*  Athletes and Entertainers
*  TV and Radio Personalities
*  Coaches
*  Marketing Professionals
*  Real Estate Agents
*  Mortgage Brokers
*  College Professors
*  Attorneys
*  Psychologists/Psychiatrists
*  Distributors
*  Sales Executives
*  Wealthy Families/Individuals

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How Do I Work with a Virtual Assistant?

* Skype (Video Phone/Chat)
* File Transfer Protocol
* Email
* Fax
* Courier Service
* Large File Web Transfer
* Telephone
* Instant Messenger
* Text Messaging
* Cassette Tapes
* Computer Disks
* Audio Files
* Mail Services (USPS, FedEx)
* Online Shared Workspaces
* Collaboration Software
* Remote Computer Access

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   What are the Advantages to Working with a Virtual Assistant?

VA's are self-employed and pay their own taxes and insurance -- you are only charged for the actual time they spend on your work.

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VA's work from their own offices and use their own equipment -- you don't have to provide office space or purchase equipment for them to use.

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VA's are available short-term or long-term, with low minimum  monthly commitments usually between 2 to 10 hours a month, depending on the service plan you select.

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VA's work at 100% productivity; you only pay for the actual time it takes for them to complete your work -- you do not pay for breaks, personal calls, chatting with co-workers, interruptions, etc.  

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VA's are highly-skilled and experienced -- you do not need to train them --other than the initial learning curve normally needed to learn your business and how you operate.

Our Trusted Partners
The Virtual Assistance Concept

"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!"

*Source: Virtual Assistant Networking Association Virtual Assistant Definition
The Largest Global Meeting Place Online for Aspiring and Successful Virtual Assistant

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If you are not familiar with Virtual Assistance, this section will introduce you to the industry and describe what a Virtual Assistant is and isn't. You will also learn the difference between a Virtual Assistant and other traditional administrative workers, and the myriad of benefits that working virtually can offer you and  your business.

What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?

Virtual Assistance is a fairly new concept, but one that is gaining more and more popularity among the small, home-based, and online business communities.  More recently, mid-size companies and large corporations are getting on board with using Virtual Assistants to fill the gaps caused by their downsizing initiatives. Many are seeking a more flexible, cost-efficient way to manage their administrative and business functions, without increasing their overhead costs, and partnering with a Virtual Assistant is proving to be the most effective alternative. 

A Virtual Assistant is a micro business owner who provides high-level administrative and business support from a distance, typically to other business owners, entrepreneurs, and busy professionals

A Virtual Assistant can handle almost any task that an on-site employee can do, but unlike an employee, a Virtual Assistant isn't just working at a "job", she is a business owner and highly-skilled professional who has a vested interest in helping you and your business succeed.

A Virtual Assistant is able to support and communicate with the client remotely from her own fully-equipped home-based office, through the use of a variety of modern technology and communication media, such as fax, Internet, email, telephone, instant messaging, text messaging, disc transfer, cassette tapes, audio files, overnight mail services, USPS, online file sharing, collaboration software, or remote computer access.

A Virtual Assistant works with the client in an on-going business relationship, which is the foundation of virtual assistance. She typically works with a small clientele to allow her to get to know and understand the client's work style, how his business works, and what his goals are. By working with the client on a continuous basis for the long term, she becomes familiar with the client's support needs, which helps her to better serve him and become a valuable resource and partner in his success. She adds value to the relationship by representing the client and his business in the best possible light to create a professional image in the eyes of the client's own clients and prospects. As a business owner herself, she has a vested interest in helping the client succeed because her success depends on the client's success and total satisfaction.

The Virtual Assistant is neither an employee nor a subordinate. She is a business owner and service provider who works for herself as an independent contractor and works closely with her clients to form an on-going, collaborative partnership. The Client-VA relationship resembles the relationship one would engage in with their Accountant, their Attorney, or their Business Coach.  The VA becomes familiar with the client's practice and attuned to his business needs, as much as any service provider would when engaged for a substantial length of time.

What a Virtual Assistant is NOT

A Virtual Assistant is not hired as an employee of the client's business, nor is she considered a Telecommuter or Freelancer. She is a self-employed business owner who works as an independent contractor, which means she is responsible for paying for her own employment and business-related taxes, insurance, benefits, and overhead expenses.

A Virtual Assistant is not paid a salary or hourly rate (of your choosing), like an on-site employee would receive, but rather she charges a professional fee for services rendered at pre-determined rates set by her, which is based on her level of experience, knowledge, skill set, and the overall value she creates for the client -- much like an Accountant, Doctor, Lawyer, Consultant, or professional Coach would charge a professional fee for their services.

A Virtual Assistant is not a decision maker for the client's business, nor is she responsible for establishing goals and strategies for the client's business.  A Virtual Assistant's purpose is to help the client lighten his workload, streamline his business processes, maximize his productivity, enhance is profitability, optimize his time, and provide solutions to help make his busy life easier. The Client-VA relationship is meant to be the foundation of an effective team that enhances the client's business and helps him create a better work/life balance.

What is the Difference Between a Virtual Assistant and a "temporary worker" or on-site Employee?

Virtual Assistants differ in work classification from temporary workers and traditional employees. Virtual Assistants are business owners and service providers who are classified as independent contractors. They are able to set their own rates, sign their own contracts, arrange their own schedule, and are responsible for paying their own employee taxes, insurance, and benefits.  Virtual Assistants typically work from a home-based office and enjoy more flexibility than employees do

Employees report and answer to a boss and work for a company for a set number of hours per day. The company pays all payroll taxes and typically provides benefits such as health care insurance, paid vacation/sick time, and a retirement plan.

Temporary workers are employees of staffing companies who place them on work assignments at the staffing company's clients' offices, which incidentally cannot be located in a private residence.  Temporary workers are paid directly by the staffing company they work at an hourly rate set by the staffing company. .

What is the Difference Between a Virtual Assistant and a Secretarial Service Provider or Freelance Administrative worker who provides administrative services from home?

A Virtual Assistant typically works with a small group of clients in on-going business relationships for an indefinite period of time, providing support in blocks of time as needed on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis.  Clients purchase blocks of her time each month on a retainer basis, which guarantees she will be available to them for the amount of hours agreed. Since her client list is small, her clients benefit because she can give teach of them personalized attention and be their "right-hand" person. She gets to know each client's  business, his customers, and his life. In doing this, a Virtual Assistant creates value for the client and gives him and his business a professional image. The more she learns about the client, his business, his clients, and his life, the more she is able to support him, and the more value she creates.

A Secretarial Service Provider typically does piece work, or project-type work for clients.  The working relationship is usually short-term, often ending when the project or task is completed. The secretarial service provider can have a long list of clients because a client might only need assistance for a one-time project, or sporadically throughout the year. There is no consistent work flow, and therefore, no partnership is created. The secretarial service provider doesn't get to know her clients, their business, their clients, or their lives as well as a Virtual Assistant does.  Since the secretarial service provider is only given project- or task-oriented work and many clients come and go quickly, there is no need or time for a partnership relationship to develop. The value created is in the services the secretarial service provides to the client to fulfill his immediate need to get the project or task done according to his deadline.

A Freelancer also assists clients with short-term piece work, or project-type work, and might even work in an ongoing relationship with some people, but she is typically not a business owner. A freelancer typically works from a home-based office, but as an independent contractor, and not as an employee or telecommuter.  A freelancer most often works on a part-time basis, may have another job, or may be in-between jobs, and just working to supplement her income.  A freelancer does not typically have a vested interest in the client's business success like a serious business owner would.  A freelancer may also have limited skills, abilities, and resources, and because they tend to come and go quickly, you will not be able to rely on them to be available to assist you for the long term, which creates less value for you and your business. Freelancers may work for a lower hourly rate than what a Virtual Assistant charges for her professional services, but at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Choosing the lower cost provider isn't always the best way to save money and could actually cost you more money in the long run.

How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Charge?

A Virtual Assistant's professional rates are reflective of the level of their skill set, experience, abilities, and value they bring to their clients' business and personal lives. Not everyone wants to pay the professional rate to work with a Virtual Assistant at first; however, when they compare their rate with the "real cost" of hiring an employee, dollar for dollar, they realize it is more cost-effective to hire a Virtual Assistant at their professional rate for an adjustable number of hours as needed, than it is to hire an on-site employee at a base salary or hourly rate for a fixed number of hours, whether you have work for her to do or not, because of the "extra costs" involved.

Statistics show that an employee actually costs 1-1/2 to 2 times their base rate of pay when you add FICA, FUTA, SUTA, Medicare, workers compensation, administrative costs, recruitment, benefits, management, payroll, office space furnishings, equipment, etc.  With a Virtual Assistant, you don't pay any of the "extra costs" -- you only pay their professional rate, prorated in per-minute increments calculated on the actual time spent, plus any work-related expenses.  That's it!

How to Get Started Working Together

The first step in the Getting Started Process is to schedule a Get Acquainted Phone Consultation. To do this, simply fill out the Get Acquainted Phone Consultation Pre-Call Form, then follow the instructions provided to schedule the phone appointment via my online appointment scheduling system. 

During the call, we will discuss your situation, and talk about how I may be able to assist you with your current administrative needs.  If we decide together that we are a good match, we will continue to the next step in the process. 
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