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Understanding the Virtual Assistant Concept

The Virtual Assistant career has been recognized since the 1990’s and is rapidly growing in popularity, yet there are few statistics and very limited information available for those seeking answers to the simple question, “What is a Virtual Assistant?”.  The short answer is this: a virtual assistant typically does the same type of tasks performed by an administrative or office assistant, but they are independent contractors and they perform these tasks from a location outside the office.  Yes!  It really is that simple.  Of course, the “typical tasks” performed can vary dramatically between assistants based on their areas of expertise, knowledge, and skill level.

It’s also important to understand that Virtual Assistants sell their time.  Even when services are bundled as packages the prices are based on the scope of work and the estimated time of completion.  VAs accept client projects based on available staff hours.  Projects are estimates based on the scope of work and the skill required to complete the tasks scheduled within the project.

Virtual Assistant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A virtual assistant is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office.

  • Because virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance or benefits
    • Clients also avoid the logistical problem of providing extra office space, equipment or supplies
    • Clients can customize their remote receptionist service to meet their exact needs
      • Calls can be screened, announced and seamlessly connected to clients or their employees anywhere
  • Virtual Assistants usually work for other small businesses, brokers and consultancy groups
  • Common modes of communication and data delivery include the Internet, e-mail and phone conferences, online work spaces, and fax machine.
  • Professionals in this business work on a contractual basis and a long-lasting cooperation is standard.
  • Typically 5 years of administrative experience in an office is expected at such positions as executive assistant, office manager/supervisor, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, legal secretary, real estate assistant, information technology, et cetera.
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Laura Pence Atencio

As Founder and CEO of Social Savvy Geek, LLC., Laura Pence Atencio is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and business owners meet and exceed their goals. She is committed to providing the most engaging and effective strategies in online marketing by combining traditional business networking and marketing fundamentals and best practices with current and engaging online marketing methods and tactics. Laura has worked with some of the top names in Internet Marketing and has consulted with entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits in the US and abroad. She is the author of the popular article, 10 Tips to Build Your Twitter List Now, which has been published both online and in print in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. A lifetime student herself, Laura has achieved certification as a Computer Administrative Specialist at Beta Tech and has studied Art Education, History, Art History, and Criminal Justice at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is fascinated by learning, sharing and growing, not just in business, but in life. She participates in US Masters Swimming and has ranked in the top 25 nationally in her age group in both the 50 and 100-yard backstroke. She served in the VA Army National Guard as a Combat Engineer in the 229th Engineer Battalion. She never meets strangers, only friends not yet made– an attitude that serves her extremely well in the networking world, both online and off. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her husband, 3-year-old daughter, and German Shephard.

  • Jamie says:

    Because virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance or benefits; that’s great! Thanks for sharing the benefits.

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