Good question! Short answer: a VA is a Virtual Assistant – someone who can provide support to you or your business without being ‘on-site’. Many VA’s (myself included) work from home and provide a flexible support option. Longer answer? Read on…
Flexible Support Option?
Yes – a VA isn’t a member of your staff (and there are a lot of benefits to you in that – but we’ll come to that next…) they are a service provider, so you’re not taking someone on for a 35 or 40-hour week – you hire a VA for as long as you need. Maybe you only need your email inbox quickly checked each morning – so you hire a VA for an hour or two a week to take that on; you maybe need to have a spreadsheet designed and populated as a one-off – hire a VA for a day and that’s you. Perhaps you are looking for someone to cover admin 3 mornings a week for the next 2 months – a VA can absolutely help. A VA can provide support on a long or short-term basis which makes it a great solution for a small or medium size business.
What are those other benefits you mentioned?
Ah yes, well, a VA isn’t a member of staff, so you are not responsible for paying salary, tax, NI, pension contributions and so on. Paying your VA is the same as any other supplier – you’ll be invoiced for the time spent on your job (this should come with a breakdown of how time was spent) and you pay the invoice. Easy peasy! AND, because of the ‘Virtual’ part of ‘VA’ you don’t need to provide a desk, computer, phone or stationery (well, maybe some letterhead if that’s your thing!) as the VA is already set up with this equipment wherever they are based.
Ok, I love the concept, but what tasks does a VA actually DO?
Well, this is the part where I’m going to shamelessly plug what I do. That said, I’ve had a long and busy career this far, so should you be reading this and you’re looking for a skill not specifically mentioned, please just ask! There’s a very good chance I can help.
So, let’s see…
Everyone LOVES admin, right? Ah, ok maybe not. But luckily, I do! Correspondence, reports, invoice preparation, PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, data entry, plus much, much more. Please just ask.
A PA? How fancy! But actually, PA tasks such as reviewing emails and highlighting the important ones to you; setting up meetings with your clients; organising an event or booking travel can free up an amazing amount of time for you. AND, a VA is not just for the office – I can also provide PA services for individuals or families – we lead really busy lives these days, and a VA can help with all these things for your home-life, too.
Transcription has come a long way since the days of the typing pool. These days, transcription covers not only audio format but also video transcriptions – having a written record of a video conference is an easy way to share what happened with your team without asking people to watch an entire playback. I’m all set up for transcription – and, perhaps strangely, it’s something that I really enjoy…
I am an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and hold a Certificate in HR Management (nifty, eh!?). So, if your business is looking to expand, I am able to work with you to create job descriptions and role profiles, assist with advertising the role, doing the ‘sift and sort’ of the applications you receive, and I can even help with interview question creation or the interview itself. I know that a lot of people find the recruitment process onerous, and many people don’t like interviewing. I am more than happy to help – just think, instead of wading through CV’s, you can actually be doing what you do best – working with your clients.
I’m also available to help with HR questions around recruitment, performance management, discipline, organisation design, process and so on.
Everyone loves a project (no?) and I’m no exception. I’ve a lot of experience working with Project Managers to support them as they deliver project work, covering the tracking, reporting and governance for the project. I’ve even dabbled in Project Management myself, so if you have a small project that you want to hand over to someone else to run – I can be that ‘someone else’.
To many, process work is pretty dry stuff. VA to the rescue! I can help your business with all aspects of process work – mapping, reviewing, writing up and advising on improvements. It’s important that process work is done correctly, and I can help.
So, that’s a whistle-stop tour of what this particular VA does! I hope it’s given you a bit of insight into the role that a VA can play, and you may even be starting to see some ways that I could help you! As I said earlier, if you do have something in mind that I could help with, but don’t see the specific skill you’re looking for mentioned here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and have a chat – there’s a good chance I can help.
Contact me for an initial chat – 07739 472453 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time,