What is a VA (Virtual Assistant)?

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)[1] is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office.[2][3] 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.[4] 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.[5][6]

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!


4 comments to “What is a VA (Virtual Assistant)?”

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    • Alison - April 22, 2015 at 10:53 am Reply

      Hi there,

      Thanks very much for your comment, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a message. Although I’m not sure what happened to your original comment or why only now that I see this one, I did want to respond, despite the delay.

      In regards to writing, I can only offer what I go with – write about what you know, enjoy and do best – stay true to yourself and beliefs! I know that’s nothing new and probably not what you were hoping for, but that works for me. Let me know how you get on and please send me a link – I’d love to see what you do ;_)

      Thank you,


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    • Alison - April 22, 2015 at 11:01 am Reply

      Hello there,

      Thank you very much for your comment, I appreciated you taking the time to write. I’m glad you enjoyed reading my posts, it’s a little daunting when you are starting out and being a rather quiet person, I’m not into “selfies” and posting every day something about everything or nothing! Thanks also for your encouragement, I will try to make time to continue my rather sporadic posts.

      Take care,


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