Written by Linden Vine
GROW YOUR BIZ WITH A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
The Virtual Assistant industry in Australia continues to grow. There are many, many small and medium businesses that are seeing the benefit of outsourcing their administrative tasks to a qualified Virtual Assistant.
So, what does a VA do, and why will you and your business benefit from engaging the services of an Australian Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant is an independent contractor, who works in partnership with you to manage the tasks that you don’t have the time or specific skill to do yourself. This frees up your time to work on the tasks that you are skilled at and that add value to your clients. Because VAs are business owners themselves, they understand the needs of a small business owner and are invested in their own business. They know how much time and energy you’ve spent getting your business to this point and will work with you to grow your business further
The benefit of working with a VA is that you can work with them for only the specific tasks and time you need, so you don’t have to engage a full-time staff member if you know you only need a task completed, for instance, once a month.
So, instead of engaging a full time bookkeeper, social media marketer and editor, you can instead work with three experienced VAs at the same time, all of whom will provide specialised assistance to you, freeing up your time so that you can concentrate on providing your expertise and added value to your clients.
VAs are specialists in their fields with many diverse skills. I ran a straw poll in the VA network I belong to and these are the some of the specialities that can give you back your time:
- Website design building and maintenance;
- SEO – Search Engine Optimisation for your website;
- Social media management;
- Digital strategy implementation;
- Support and training for your team members;
- Document creating, formatting and editing;
- PowerPoint creation;
- Video editing;
- Concierge services;
- Virtual reception;
- Executive assistant duties;
- Tradie support;
- Speaker/author support;
- MailChimp/Infusionsoft support;
- Policy and procedure writing and process management;
- Event management;
- Graphic design;
- CV and Resume creation;
- Recruitment support;
- Board secretariat.
If there are tasks that you need completed that I am not able to assist you with, I have at my disposal a large network of experienced VAs I can connect you with.
VAs in Australia, like me, belong to reputable networks within Australia, and become “Reference Checked VAs” via those networks. The most well-known network is Virtually Yours.
How does a VA differ from a staff member?
VAs are self-employed business owners. This means they take care of their own insurance, tax requirements and other entitlements so you don’t have to.
How do I communicate with my VA?
Your VA is at the end of the smartphone or computer! You and your VA will be in regular contact via phone, email and often task management software. Some VAs also provide onsite visits as part of their packages.
But I hear horror stories about business owners who have worked with overseas VAs – how do I make sure that this doesn’t happen?
There are a number of advantages of working with an experienced Australian VA. If you choose a reputable VA through the networks in Australia you can be assured that these VAs have been Reference Checked to provide you peace of mind. I belong to Virtually Yours and find them very professional and easy to deal with
Working with an Australian VA means you’re working with someone in or near your own time zone. So, when issues or tasks arise during business hours you can rest easy knowing your VA will be available when you need them the most.
They are also familiar with the laws, rules and regulations that apply to Australian businesses.
What should I look for in a VA?
- As mentioned before, it’s important to work with a VA who is part of a trusted network;
- Make sure your VA is aligned with your core values and mission statement;
- Make sure they draw up a contract for you to sign – it must contain terms and conditions relating to the tasks – rate of pay, how they expect to receive payment, time allocated to the tasks and the period of the contract;
- Make sure you both have realistic expectations of the task required. When you’re both on the same page, it is so much easier to work through any issues as they arise.
Working with a VA can be a highly rewarding experience for both parties – once you’ve engaged a VA with whom you “click” it has the capacity to become a long-term working relationship built on mutual respect for both of your growing businesses. Go on, why not give it a try.
Connect up with Linden:
As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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