I received an email last week from a gentleman who was enquiring what a VA could do? I made the assumption that he was looking for someone to provide him support and told him the following:
Basically we’re like a Personal Assistant, except we operate Virtually – so instead of in your office, we work in our own. Work is handled mainly via email, phone, fax, courier, web upload and download. Rates vary considerably depending on who is doing it, what their rates are, where they live (cost of living comes into it), background experience, skills, etc and what the actual job is. Basic wordprocessing would be cheaper than database maintenance for example.
We do wordprocessing, reformat documents, Powerpoint presentations, Database design and maintenance, website design and maintenance, ezine preparation, broadcast emails, transcriptions, bookkeeping – you name it, almost anything done on a computer we can do.
If you let me know what you want done I can send a message out to my team and get a few to come back to you with quotes.
I got a response back from him and was both astonished and amused:
Do not bother getting quotes as I was thinking about being a VA myself.
This email makes that seem a folly: I am a fair brain surgeon compared to administrator.
If I had 5 little tasks going for 5 people, I could turn all that into chaos in no time flat.
I laughed and emailed him back to see if I could quote him. He told me to go ahead – that he might make use of our services sometime.Â The dear man was concerned about me getting too busy with clientele and not having sufficient time for ‘me’ but I assured him that’s why I have a team of VAs – they take on all new clients these days.
His response also demonstrated the perception that perhaps anyone could become a VA because they have a computer and internet connection. His enquiry soon showed that wasn’t necessarily the case and it was good to see he recognised that – not everyone does. I believe also that the most successful VAs are also good administrators as this gentleman observed in his response back to me – creating order out of chaos and maintaining that to ensure the client can become calm and confident and concentrate on what they need to do, knowing the admin side of their business is being handled efficiently.