I bumped into an old friend over the weekend and we spent an hour catching up. When the discussion turned to what I do, I told him that I’ve started my own business offering Virtual Office Assistance and Support Services. He wasn’t sure what that meant so I explained. His question got me thinking that if he didn’t know, then chances are that others don’t either. What does Wikipedia say about a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office. Because virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance or benefits (except in the context that those indirect expenses are included in the VAs fees). Clients also avoid the logistical problem of providing extra office space, equipment or supplies. Clients pay for 100% productive work, and can work with Virtual Assistants, individually, or in multi-VA firms to meet their exact needs. Virtual Assistants usually work for other small businesses. It is estimated that there are as few as 5,000-8,000 or as many as 25,000 virtual assistants worldwide; the profession is growing in centralized economies with “fly-in, fly-out” staffing practices.
The Pushing Paper team allows a business owner to hire for just one job such as creating a brochure for a set rate or to perhaps ‘man the phones’ while their own receptionist is sick or on vacation for example; the business owner pays only for the time or project completed, no additional payroll to worry about. Business owners can “Push the Paper” over to us, freeing up their valuable time and concentrate on growing their business!