For starters, what is a “Virtual Secretary”?
A virtual secretary is anyone who will work for a client, but from a distant place. As an illustration, you may have a small (or not so small) company in Baltimore, and your virtual secretary works for you from his or her residence in Los Angeles. Or possibly a place outside the US… possibly, in Pakistan or the Philippines.
A virtual secretary could speak with his/her employer in lots of ways: by online instant messaging, by telephone, or by email. In addition, services like Skype make it possible to communicate in actual time by typing, voice (utilizing a head set), as well as visually making use of a webcam… and without cost (except the minimal price to obtain a headset and web cam).
A virtual secretary (sometimes referred to as a virtual executive assistant or virtual assistant) may easily carry out nearly any kind of job as a person working for you in the same building, including (but not limited to):
* travel arrangements * preparing letters * data entry * order placement * email processing * manage freelancers * phone support * administrative duties * human resources * transcription * mailings * bookkeeping * procedure documentation * concierge services * event planning * research * arranging meetings for you * appointment setup * live instant message support * marketing * past due invoice follow-up * reports and spreadsheets * email management * word processing * personal assistant tasks * handling email support * managing your schedule * taking phone calls * sending letters * order processing * data processing * follow-up with customers
Whoa… that’s one long list!
Now will a virtual secretary make a cup of coffee in your place of work? Sorry… the answer is no. If you want an assistant to make coffee, you’re out of luck.
Needless to say, if brewing coffee and fetching your dry cleaning are required responsibilities you want somebody else to perform, then you could always acquire somebody close to you. But then, why wouldn’t you just hire someone in the area from the beginning? Just what is the benefit of choosing a VA anyhow?
Well, the benefits are numerous.
For one thing, she will own a computer, workspace, furnishings, workplace equipment, utilities, and communications apparatus. You won’t need to invest in those items on her behalf; neither will you need additional office space for your virtual secretary.
In addition, the virtual secretary may well be agreeable to accept a somewhat less pay, considering the fact that she will not have the expense or the fuss of travel back and forth from a normal “job.” It will save her time, costs, and aggravation! Consequently in the end, she comes out ahead, although the salary is a not as much.
Who wouldn’t be happy with such an arrangement?
But in all likelihood the greatest appeal to taking on a virtual secretary is to be able to benefit from a thing referred to as “Arbitrage.” Arbitrage, simply put, is the act of taking advantage of a price differences between two markets. As an illustration, assume you are located someplace like New York City, where the living costs is very high (compared to most other cities) but the VA lives on a farm in Colorado, where the living expense is a whole lot less. As 10 bucks where she lives and works could pay for twice the amount of products and services as ten bucks in New York (and the actual figure may be 3 or 4 times as much), your VA will, once again, be able to accept lower compensation as compared with what you would have to pay a local hire.
But suppose your virtual secretary lives offshore… say, in India, Romania, Pakistan, Russia, the Philippines, or a different place where English is a secondary, if not primary, language?
Here is where the advantages really begin to multiply! The American dollar will go a good deal farther in many other places when compared with in the US. As an example, in the Philippines $50 buys a whole month’s of food. How much does $50 buy where you are? If you’re like me, you head over to the market, purchase a couple of bags of food, hand the cashier a couple twenties and a ten, and get back some small change!
“But… ” as the Television ads are always declaring “hold on… there’s more!”
Making the most of arbitrage is merely the beginning. You’ll also be able to avoid the expense… not to even mention the headache… of payroll taxes, providing health insurance, IRS forms, worker’s comp, retirement contributions, social security taxes, as well as the plethora of legal prerequisites associated with labor compliance laws. In addition, you don’t have to use an accountant to do it!