I’ve been publishing a weekly series of client case studies – clients who have utilised the professional services of members of my team, some for a short time, some for a much longer period of time.
I hope that this will provide readers the opportunity to:
- Determine services of their own they can provide if they are a VA, or
- Services that VAs can provide you, if you’re a prospective client.
These clients have come from a variety of fields and there are still many we haven’t covered. The reality is if the work can be done on a computer then in over 90% of cases we can do the work from our own computers and there isn’t a need for us to be onsite, on the client premises.
Sometimes it’s hard for clients to envisage how this will work but it really isn’t that hard once you get your head around it. Even new VAs have to understand the concept too.
If the work can be mailed, emailed, couriered, posted, picked up, dropped off, phone through, faxed, or even downloaded from a website, then chances are the VA can carry out your needs. There are occasional needs for face-to-face contact but it isn’t as often as clients might think.
I know that some ring me thinking they need to come see me, or me to them, to find out what they want done or to actually see what needs to be done, and often once the meeting has occurred I find that we could have simply discussed it on the phone or via email. Perhaps it’s the need to actually ‘see’ the person they are going to work with to gain some confidence in the process. Often it’s the ‘voice of confidence’ of the VA on the phone that helps convince the client that work can be capably done without visual contact of that person.
I like to tell people that Virtual Assistants are like Personal Assistants, only virtual. A personal assistant or executive assistant, particularly in Australia, is someone who provides admin and secretarial support. A virtual assistant does the same – the majority of the work is computer based and as long as there is an internet connection then the work can be received and delivered.
Today VAs are much more than virtual PAs as they can provide all sorts of other office based support, but the principle is the same. The point is, they are skilled in the services they provide and can get your admin needs completed in much quicker time that you would be able to in most cases, thereby freeing you up to do what you do best.
Kathie is the owner of VA Directory and is former past President of the Australian VA Association. She founded the Virtual Assistant industry in Australia in the mid 90s, having already been operating a home-based secretarial service. Today the VA industry covers a multitude of office-based services for clients worldwide.