A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent contractor and not an employee. They are small business owners themselves, giving them greater understanding of where and how they can assist other businesses. A VA becomes an integral part of your business, assisting from a remote location.
VAs are not just a home-based secretary. Most VAs held senior positions in the corporate world, generally as Executive Assistants, Office Managers or similar. They are multi skilled, extremely flexible and have that ‘Can do’ attitude, after all, they have set up and are operating their own business.
A VA works from their home office using their own tools and resources. So much can be done virtually via telephone, email, instant messaging, VOIP, FTP, fax, postal, courier services and utilising the virtual office spaces that are now available. Cloud computing resources such as Dropbox, Google Docs, Evernote, Salesforce.com and BasecampHQ can assist in all aspects of business and project management. Quite often, virtual assistants never get the opportunity to ever meet their clients face-to-face.
Some great ideas how you can engaged a VA can be read in this document, 60 Ways a VA Can Support You.