What to Expect from a Virtual Assistant (And What Not to Expect)

27 Sep

There are a lot of unclear expectations surrounding virtual assistants, even though they’ve been a large part of the workforce for quite some time now. A surprising number of business owners just aren’t sure how to handle them. Is she a secretary? Is she a part of the work force? Will she be around for a long time? These are questions that pop up over and over again, so here’s some clarification about what it is that a virtual assistant actually does.

For starters it helps to begin with a clear definition of a virtual assistant (VA): A VA is someone who is hired by a company on a contract basis that provides administrative and clerical support while working from an outside office. So, yes, virtual assistants can perform the same duties as secretaries, but that isn’t all they’re capable of. There are a huge number of benefits to hiring a virtual assistant for your office team, and many of them involve time and money saved.

Virtual assistants step onto the virtual job site with a wide range of skills and abilities, making training essentially obsolete. Since they’re able to do so many things though, it’s extremely important to understand just what you can expect your VA to do and what you can’t.

Virtual assistants are independent business owners, possibly just like yourself. They can assist you with any administrative tasks that need to be taken care of, and most importantly they’re people who you can rely on. They can provide advice and knowledge in business facets that aren’t the main purpose of your own company, and thus can offer valuable insight and a second opinion on business matters. The best thing about virtual assistants is that they’re interested in the growth and success of your company, just like you are. For them, when you’re successful, they are successful by default, since they are employed by your company. As your relationship with your VA grows over a long term contract, you might find that you’re constantly bouncing ideas off of them or even asking for their input on crucial business matters. This leads us into what you shouldn’t expect from a VA.

To start with, virtual assistants are not decision makers when it comes to your company. That responsibility lies with you and you alone. It’s perfectly alright to ask their opinion or get some feedback on one of your business models, but you shouldn’t ask them to make the final call on anything. Additionally, remember that although your VA may have a lot of knowledge in business matters, that doesn’t necessarily make them an expert at your particular business. You may ask them for assistance in a specific business matter in which they won’t be able to help you. Just keep in mind that they aren’t around to be the company’s CEO. Working with a virtual assistant is a great way to save time and money, as long as their expected role is clear.

Scarlet Evans is an efficient virtual assisant blogger. She has a team of virtual assistant specialists who help her run her site as well as manage the many blogs that she contributes to. If you’re interested in Scarlet’s virtual persoanl assistant initiatives or you would like to find out more on virtual personal assistants, vist her website.


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