A virtual assistant is a person who provides support services to a business from a remote location. They are a full-time member of your team, working for you, usually hired and managed by a BPO or remote teams provider, similar to Nova Team Solutions. ( Sherwin-link to another blog explaining what a BPO is). They work in the BPO office, in an overseas location. The BPO provides all the utilities they need, including an office, internet, HR and medical services.
Administrative tasks are most common for virtual assistants, but they may also assist with any other elements required by the business.
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is simply an assistant who works remotely. As technological advancements in the 1990s brought reliable internet to more homes, businesses realized they didn’t have to bring an employee into the office to get work done, and this led to the first virtual assistants.
Virtual assistants are especially in demand by entrepreneurs and online businesses that need help but don’t want to spend the money on an office space for staff. However, many small and mid-size businesses use virtual support, especially for specific tasks, such as social media management.
Theoretically, a virtual assistant can do anything that another support staff might do. There are limitations, but technology is increasingly offering ways to work around those limitations.
Virtual support duties are not limited to clerical work. They may provide assistance with marketing, web design, bookkeeping, debt collection, legal services and many others. Some virtual assistants specialize in a specific skill set, and they only perform duties related to those skills. Other virtual assistants specialize in an industry, such as a virtual assistant whose niche is bookkeeping.
How Does a Virtual Assistant Work?
As mentioned, you usually go through a “BPO” or Business Processing Outsourcing provider, such as Nova Team Solutions ( Sherwin, clickable link to website please). These companies do all the hiring, HR and on-boarding of your new team member. They work full-time for you, but they are employed by the BPO, who looks after the employment contracts, medical insurance and on-boarding of your new team member. They then work full-time, during your normal business hours, in the office of the BPO, in their particular country. The Philippines is only 2 hours behind Australia, so it’s perfect for getting a V.A who can then work the usual 9-5 hours.
How to Hire a Virtual Assistant
As a business owner, there may come a time at which it’s impossible to do everything by yourself. And if you’re still able to do everything yourself, you may lose the ability to do it all as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant frees up your time so you can focus on the work that will make money and grow your business. Plus, many virtual assistants are better than you at certain tasks. It’s always more efficient and less expensive in the long run to hire out duties you’re not skilled at.
The first step in hiring a virtual assistant is to make a list of the tasks you want to outsource. Make a complete list that prioritizes the activities you want to delegate. For example, if you find it overly time-consuming and tedious to manage your email’s inbox, put that at the top of your list. Or, maybe tech issues are taking too much time, so you can outsource website management.
The next step is determining which BPO or Outsourcing partner to use. Nova Team Solutions is an example of one that services Australian clients. Simply hand over your requirements, an outline of how many assistants you will need and what you want them to do, Nova will do the rest. Nova Team Solutions will advertise and hire the assistants, do all the payroll, HR and on-boarding. You will normally be given a Client Manager to handle the whole process. It’s as easy as making a call to Nova to begin the process.