by Charlotte L. Hanna CMO/Director of PMR/CMBS Global
Virtual Assistants (VAs) are broadly defined as independent entrepreneurs providing professional administrative, secretarial and clerical, creative, managerial, technical, business office and/or personal support services. CMBS Global Virtual Assistants provide clients "at-the-office productivity" supplied by qualified staff, without the overhead of a physical building or costly equipment, while adhering to a strict code of integrity, honesty and due diligence.
Most VAs offer support for other online entrepreneurs via a variety of skills in technology, software and programs that keep the day-to-day operations of an online business running smoothly – otherwise known as Back Office Services. Some also provide Online Business Management, attending to administrative tasks for the business owner. Virtual Assistant companies may also include creative services such as graphic design, content writing, proofing and editing, web design and development and SEO…all major contributions to setting up, growing and maintaining a successful online business.
The average cost of hiring a Virtual Assistant can vary. Some charge by the hour – some by the month – but on average you can expect to pay between $10 and $25 per hour for the experienced assistance of a Solopreneur (or individual VA) and $20 to $75 per hour for the help of a team of professionals. * Hint: Retainers are commonly preferred by VAs. Many small business owners gravitate toward monthly retainers that protect them from being locked into any potentially unsatisfactory, long-term contracts.
Don't be fooled by pricing. The Virtual Assistant who can provide you a portfolio of credible work, qualified testimonials and a track-record of on time performance and delivery is not likely to be the least expensive to work with, however, the claims of savings by those with less experience, poor communication skills and other limited abilities, are sure to cost you far more in the long run.
Remember that the Virtual Assistant you choose will not only work closely with you, but there may be need for them to work directly with your clients and customers. Be sure that they represent you with the level of honesty, integrity and professionalism you practice – or you may risk putting your entire association in jeopardy.
There are many reasons to hire Virtual Assistants, whether an individual or team, but if you are looking to begin or expand your online efforts, the investment can more than pay for itself in the time you save. Stress is never a welcome problem. VAs can provide a welcome solution to the stress that accompanies the efforts of trying to maintain and grow an online business without the right level of support and skills.
Virtual Assistants can be the answer to your marketing dilemmas, your lack of knowledge and understanding when it comes to technology, your need for better implementation of Social Media skills, your desire for better organization and more. If you are looking for solutions that can relieve your stress, increase your productivity and be readily available – at your fingertips in a matter of minutes – you are looking for a professional, skilled, trusted Virtual Assistant or VA Team – and chances are – they are looking for you, too.