Misconceptions About Virtual Assistants

January 4, 2008

In the business world, we have been conditioned as to the role of administrative assistants. Before the existence of virtual assistants (VAs), administrative assistance was generally performed at “the office.” With the advent of virtual assistants, services are performed from the virtual assistants’ offices. However, the previous type of working relationship or the role of traditional administrative assistants still exists in the minds of some business owners and/or employers when dealing with virtual assistants.

Virtual assistants are independent entrepreneurs rather than employees. VAs do not report to an employer; they work with a client. VAs don’t have interviews with potential employers; they have meetings with potential clients. If a Virtual Assistant (VA) has to directly report to someone or has to go through an interview process, then the VA is no longer a Virtual Assistant, but is an employee candidate. If this is the case, then the employer will have to pay employee-related fees. If an employer hires an employee at $20.00 per hour, the average cost will be $76,960 a year. If the services of a Virtual Assistant are retained at $35.00 per hour, the average cost will be $36,400 per year, a difference of $40,560. Please visit http://www.rjswordprocessing.com/vacost.html to see a Full-Time Employee versus Virtual Assistant Cost Comparison chart.

There are still some business owners and/or employers who are accustomed to the traditional methods. They have to get used to the concept that virtual assistants are business owners, as well as entrepreneurs. They are not employees.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
Your Business Success Is Our Success
http://rjswordprocessing.com
866-651-3073

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Affordable Marketing Strategies

December 19, 2007

There are a few affordable marketing strategies available for small business owners with limited marketing budget. Blogging is becoming one of the most efficient, effective marketing strategies. There is a post at Home Office Warrior titled “Five Reasons to Start a Blog.” The originator of the blog is Small Business Computing. One of the reasons stated for blogging is: “A blog is an inexpensive form of public relations and marketing.”

Another marketing strategy is submitting ads to free online services; for example, Craigslist.org and PennysaverUSA.com. Sending e-mail campaigns is also an affordable marketing strategy. When visitors visit your website, there should be some way of capturing their e-mail addresses. These addresses are then used for sending campaigns, which could be monthly newsletters and promotions, to your clients and/or potential clients.

In addition to writing blogs, writing articles and submitting them to article banks doesn’t cost anything but your time. These are a few marketing strategies, which are affordable; however, they can be time-consuming. If you don’t have the time, outsource these tasks to a virtual assistant.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
Your Business Success Is Our Success
http://rjswordprocessing.com
866-651-3073


Virtual Assistant Services

December 11, 2007

Due to the economy, I have decided to reduce my fees by $5.00 per hour on all of my virtual assistant services. In order to continue to provide my clients with value-added services, I feel reducing my rates at this time is necessary.

If you are a small business owner, this is the perfect time to take advantage of my services. Don’t handle all of those administrative tasks by yourself. As a small business owner myself, I am aware of how time-consuming those tasks can be. Call me today toll free at 866-651-3073 to discuss how I can best assist you.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
Your Business Success Is Our Success
http://www.rjswordprocessing.com
866-651-3073


Many Uses Of A Virtual Assistant

November 16, 2007

Virtual Assistants were once thought of as someone who provided virtual administrative assistance. Majority of Virtual Assistants (VAs) were employed as administrative assistants or in some type of administrative support position before leaving the corporate world; therefore, they were capable of offering quality virtual assistant services. Today, the number of single-person business owners is booming, and they need assistance in more areas than just administrative. According to Small Business Trends, single-person businesses account for 78% of all U.S. businesses. These statistics are based on a U.S. Census 2005 report.

When small business owners outsource time-consuming tasks, they have more time to develop and grow their businesses, as well as have more personal time. Tina Hilton is writing a four-part series post on Home Office Warrior’s blog, http://homeofficewarrior.com/2007/11/07/the-top-100-ways-a-home-office-warrior-can-utilize-a-virtual-assistant, about the various tasks that VAs are able to perform, and the many uses of a VA. Part two is located at http://homeofficewarrior.com/2007/11/12/the-top-100-ways-a-home-office-warrior-can-utilize-a-virtual-assistant-part-two. Virtual Assistant Networking Association also has a series of top 10 reasons to use a virtual assistant. The top 10 series can be found at http://www.vanetworking.com/VA-top-ten.

The percentage of single-person businesses is growing, and they need assistance with several tasks, in addition to administrative support. These small business owners are discovering the many uses of a Virtual Assistant.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
Your Business Success Is Our Success
http://www.rjswordprocessing.com
866-651-3073


Solo Attorneys and Virtual Assistants

October 31, 2007

Some attorneys are leaving large law firms and starting solo practices. Their reasons include more control of their work, better client relations, and being able to spend more time with their families. However, when they leave large law firms, they also leave behind administrative assistance. Some of these attorneys have discovered virtual assistants and the much needed services they provide.

It is a perfect time for attorneys to start their own solo practices because of technology. Technology makes it possible for solo attorneys to have administrative assistance, and Virtual Assistants provide administrative assistance using technology. Technology has changed how businesses communicate and operate. Ten years ago, the only choices were snail mail, fax machines, and telephones. Now, a solo attorney choice includes Skype, e-mail, digital computer camera (webcam), teleconference or virtual meetings, video e-mails, Instant Messaging (IM), GoToMeeting, and GoToMyPC. Skype is software that allows you to use the Internet, headset or speakers, and a microphone to place phones calls around the world. With e-mail software, documents can be sent between recipients as e-mail attachments, including digitally recorded dictations. Webcam and the Internet are used to perform teleconferences or virtual meetings between two or several people. Webcam is also used for creating videos for video e-mails. IM is real-time conversation between two or more people using typed text and the Internet. Yahoo and MSN provide the software for instant messaging capabilities. A solo attorney has the ability to schedule and attend online meetings with GoToMeeting software and the Internet. Using GoToMyPC, a solo attorney is able to access his or her PC from anywhere with a web browser or wireless device. In addition, if the attorney has a virtual administrative assistant who needs to access his or her desktop to perform certain administrative tasks, the assistant would be able to with GoToMyPC software.

While taking back their lives, attorneys can now have administrative support when they leave large law firms. Technology and virtual assistant services allow solo attorneys, as well as other small business owners to have the necessary administrative assistance without having to accommodate administrative assistants.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
Your Business Success Is Our Success
http://www.rjswordprocessing.com
866-651-3073


Virtual Assistant Services for Small Advertising Agencies

October 5, 2007

If you are an owner of a small ad agency, you should consider establishing a business relationship with a Virtual Assistant (VA), especially if you have a small budget. Owners of advertising agencies and owners of virtual assistant businesses are similar; therefore, a Virtual Assistant understands and can anticipate your business needs. We both submit bids. An agency and a VA both respond to RFPs from potential clients. An agency’s and a Virtual Assistant’s services are billed hourly and generally are temporary. When a projected is completed, the job is over. We both work ourselves right out of a job. Ad agencies and VA businesses generally are small. According to U. S. Department of Labor, 68% of advertising agencies and public relations firms employ 1-4 employees. Majority of Virtual Assistant businesses are sole proprietorship.

We understand how time-consuming the daily mundane tasks can be. Generally these tasks are administrative in nature and can be delegated or outsourced to a Virtual Assistant. Examples of these tasks include bookkeeping, updating your website, setting appointments, placing phone calls, following up on e-mails, typing business documents, correspondences, etc. The time you save can be used to gain new clients and/or retain your current clients. A relationship between an agency and a Virtual Assistant has several advantages. When working with a Virtual Assistant, you only pay for the actual time used. Why pay someone for down time. There would be no need to pay a full-time salary or benefits. If the agency is limited on space, there would be no need to expand to accommodate an administrative assistant. A Virtual Assistant works from his or her office.

Being that advertising and Virtual Assistant industries are similar in many ways, we could establish a viable business relationship.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
Your Business Success Is Our Success
http://www.rjswordprocessing.com
866-651-3073


Marketing Tool for Virtual Assistants

September 11, 2007

I recently discovered a valuable marketing tool for virtual assistants (VAs), which is participating in the forums of your target market. When you post your comments, your signature block can include your company’s name. However, in some forums the posts only have the person’s username as a signature, but your profile that you create on that forum is available if anyone wants to learn more about you and your company. If appropriate, your posts can be about the benefits of using virtual assistants or about the VA industry. Although more and more industries are become aware of the Virtual Assistant industry, many still do not know about us.

In addition to the possibility of promoting your business, you may learn some useful information. For example, I have a marketing degree with an emphasis in advertising; therefore, I chose advertising agencies as one of my target markets. Generally, they are a small business. According to U. S. Department of Labor, 68% of advertising agencies and public relations firms employ 1-4 employees. Participating in the forums of ad agencies, sales, and marketing has given me a refresher course in marketing in addition to learning new marketing techniques.

As a Virtual Assistant, participating in your target market’s forum(s) can be a valuable marketing tool for you, as well as provide valuable information. It doesn’t cost you anything but time.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
http://www.rjswordprocessing.com
Your Business Success is Our Success