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Home Biz Notes

What does a Virtual Assistant do?

by Jean Murray on January 4th, 2009

Mary Emma asked me this (she’s still at Quilting and Patchwork and she continues to follow what we’re doing here at Home Biz Notes.)  Good question.  Here is what AssistU says about what a VA is:

VAs are micro business owners who provide administrative and possibly personal support while working in long-term collaborative relationships with only a handful of terrific clients. Using phone, fax, email, as well as other emerging technologies, VAs support their clients’ needs, across the board, without having to ever step foot inside the clients’ offices.

Whatever you expect an administrative assistant to do for you, a VA can do.  I have asked my VA (Cindy Gaffen at VirtuallyFantastic) to:

  • make and confirm reservations
  • pay with my credit card (she’s been with me for 3 years, and she’s always been completely honest)
  • prepare and distribute PR releases
  • prepare accounting information for my CPA for tax time
  • manage printing, shipping, and sale of books
  • deal with customer issues and concerns (she knows when to pass them on to me)
  • manage my shopping cart and other online tasks
  • research the best toll-free phone company and other vendors

That’s just a partial list.  She is continually learning new stuff.  I haven’t asked her to do PowerPoints, but she’s been trained in that service.  Some VA’s specialize and some are generalists.

Dawn Goldberg has a list of services she performs, on her VirtualAngel website.  They range from strategic services like website design and maintenance and writing, to administrative services, like reminder services, mailing, appointment scheduling,…

Working with a VA can be set up any way you want.  I pay Cindy a retainer each month for a specific number of hours.   If I go over the retainer hours, she bills me an additional amount; if I’m under the hours, I still pay the minimum.  We email back and forth and sometimes we talk. She’s always very prompt and she always lets me make the final decisions.

You can see that a VA is a very valuable person to have on your team, as a business owner.

Tags: home business opportunity, Virtual Assistant

POSTED IN: Business Ideas

2 opinions for What does a Virtual Assistant do?

  • Mary Emma Allen
    Jan 5, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks, Jean. This gives me a good idea what a Virtual Assistant does. It also helped to know what your VA does.

  • Jean Murray
    Jan 5, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Cindy certainly does more than I ever thought someone would do for me. It’s great and well worth the $$ to have a VA working with you!

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