Pat Matson / Your Executive Virtual Assistant

I think it’s a good idea to look first at “What is an Assistant?”

An Assistant is an individual who takes care of your administrative tasks or your personal tasks. She has carried lots of different titles across the years: personal assistant, concierge, Gal Friday, or secretary. In corporate America, the title was changed to Administrative Assistant or Clerical Assistant. This title indicated that clerical, administrative, or secretarial tasks would be the responsibility of this individual, and frequently, some personal errands would be included in the task list. A strictly personal assistant would handle “personal” tasks for someone: organizing their dinner parties, picking up the dry cleaning, taking the children to and from school. In other words, tasks of a personal nature only, but not mainly administrative duties.

And then the internet came along. The concept of doing things virtually – over the internet – was married to the concept of utilizing an assistant. Today, a virtual assistant business is managed by a sole proprietor or entrepreneur (VA) so that it runs virtually over the internet, and they work on the administrative tasks for other sole proprietors. This virtual administrative assistant can also do personal tasks if that is in their agreement.

One of the key training companies, and my Alma Mater, is Assist U and here’s how they define Virtual Assistance:

Virtual Assistance is a fairly new administrative profession. The professionals are called Virtual Assistants, or VAs. 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. It’s a fabulous way of working, and opens new doors for administrative professionals!!

This virtual model works well because entrepreneurs frequently don’t have enough work to keep a virtual admin busy full time; they don’t have room in their home office for an admin to work; they don’t want to purchase the equipment for an admin to use; they don’t want the expense of payroll taxes or benefits for an employee.

One of the main advantages of contracting for Virtual Assistance is the long term nature of the relationship. If you’ve ever hired a temp, you know that training (and  then re-training the next temp) gets old rather quickly. When you contract with a VA, the learning curve is eliminated after the initial occurrence, because a VA as well as the client is encouraged to establish a collaborative relationship which lasts long into the future. That relationship is about “do you feel an affinity – a “click” – with this person?  No??  Not the right VA, or not the right client, for you.

When you feel good about the individual with whom you are working, you learn what skills they have, how they arrive at decisions, that you can trust them implicitly, and this collaboration sets you, the client, free to do the part of your business you enjoy the best. You no longer have to plead with your spouse to get the paperwork done, nor do you have to do it yourself into the night. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that there is someone out there (your VA) who cares as much about your business as you do, and who’s willing to support you as you implement your Big Dreams.

If  you want to establish your own virtual assistant business, I recommend you begin at the best VA training available:  Assist U.  If you want to find a virtual assistant because you don’t feel that “click” with me, Assist U can help with that as well.  But if you think I am the right virtual administrative assistant for you, please Contact Me.