Outsourcing your Business Processes to a Virtual Assistant: What You Really Need to Know

The truth about finding and working with virtual assistants with No Bullshit Over the years I’ve seen a lot of information published about outsourcing your business processes to virtual assistants and other virtual professionals.  Some of the information is good. A lot of the information isn’t. There are a lot of reasons why so much … Read more

How to Train Your Virtual Assistant?

Over the weekend I stumbled across a video on YouTube entitled “How to Train Your Virtual Assistant” posted by a virtual assistant service company.   Just the title alone set all kinds of alarm bells off in my head.   I’ve mentioned before that although you may need to give direction and communicate clearly, there should be … Read more

Why You Should Re-think That Low-Cost Virtual Assistant

I’ve had a lot of small business people who need help with their business tell me that my rates were too high.  Heck, I’ve even had a person or two tell me I was crazy to charge that much when anyone can go to one of the freelance websites and find an army of virtual … Read more

Why You Shouldn’t Hire Your Virtual Assistant on Guru.com

I recently read an article by Ryan Lee called “The REALITY of Outsourcing and Virtual Assistants”.   He makes a great point about waiting until your business is ready for a virtual assistant rather than simply getting one because some ‘guru’ tells you to in their book(s). But he also included a few items that I felt the need to comment on, both on his post and now here in this post.

The first thing that concerned me was all the talk of hiring a virtual assistant. While technically I suppose using the word to describe finding a virtual assistant is correct usage, I feel it can cause incorrect expectations in the client/virtual assistant relationship.  Why?  Many business people ‘hire’ with the expectation that the virtual assistant is an employee rather than an independent contractor.  I’ve written here before about the differences between an employee and independent contractor and how important it is to not blur the lines.  And sadly many virtual assistants aren’t very good at pointing out where that line is or at reminding clients why that line exists.  I feel part of my service is to make sure that my clients don’t have to worry about the IRS accusing them of being my employer.  And although I’m sure I’ve lost a few potential clients because of it, part of my introduction packet explains my business policies to remind them that they are collaborating with another business professional, not employing me as part of their own business.

Read moreWhy You Shouldn’t Hire Your Virtual Assistant on Guru.com

Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant?

Starting your own virtual assistant business requires more than just a desire to make money working from home.  Ask yourself the following questions and answer honestly.

Too many individuals look at becoming a VA as a way to make easy money from home, but the truth is, running your own business is anything but easy.  Your honest answers to these questions will give you a clearer idea of what it takes to become and succeed as a virtual assistant.

Read moreDo You Have What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant?

7 Things Every Virtual Assistant Should Know

I love being a virtual assistant. I love educating others about virtual assistance. And I love helping new virtual assistants get started.  With that said, I also believe that if you’re thinking about becoming a virtual assistant there are some things that you shouldn’t need to be taught.

The whole concept of a virtual assistant is that clients are hiring someone who is technology savvy. After all, we rely on said technology to do our jobs right? Yet more and more I’m being contacted by new VA’s asking for help with things that I feel they should already know or at least be aware of.

1.      You should know how to do a comprehensive search with a search engine.

2.      You should be aware of Word templates[1] and how to use them.  This is office administration 101.

Read more7 Things Every Virtual Assistant Should Know

Social Media Time Savers for Virtual Assistants

If  you follow me on Twitter you’ll have noticed that for the past week or so I’ve sent out a tweet that looks like the one below every day:

twitter-tweet

The virtual-assistants Daily is a compilation of tweets, links, RT’s and information shared on Twitter by the other virtual assistants I follow there.  I started it because some days are just so busy that I don’t get much time to check Twitter, but I really hate missing all the great information. 

Read moreSocial Media Time Savers for Virtual Assistants

The Contractor Test; Do You Pass?

Virtual Assistants provide business to business services. They own and maintain their own businesses. So would you be surprised to find out that many of them are providing services in such a way that the IRS would actually classify them as ‘remote employees’ and as such their clients are in danger of owing taxes for them? Not only might you be surprised, I believe a large number of virtual assistants would be shocked to realize they fall in that group as well.

The IRS uses three main areas in which they look at control and independence in order to determine if you’re a contractor or an employee.  Those three areas are:

  • Behavioral
  • Financial
  • Type of Relationship

Each area is examined for certain factors which I’ll explain below.

Read moreThe Contractor Test; Do You Pass?

Virtual Assistant Rates- You Want to Charge What?

Don’t let the title mislead you, this post is for both those of you that are interested in using a virtual assistant as well as virtual assistants themselves ( and those that want to be one). I love hanging around the virtual assistant forums. It’s become just one of the ways that I try to … Read more