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Virtual Assistant
By Barbara Speer



Imagine having a professional administrative assistant to handle all the tasks that keep you from doing what you love and do best. A dream? No, a dream come true – your very own Virtual Assistant (VA).

One of the biggest challenges of being the owner of a small business or being an entrepreneur is having the reliable administrative/secretarial support needed to free up your time for growing your business and doing your marketing. On the other hand, small businesses that are achieving success may not yet be able to justify the expenses of an in-house employee. For the home-based business, there is also the problem of "where would I put an assistant?" Thanks to the advances of Internet and computer technology, a business can now have the services of a professional administrative assistant who never steps foot in your office but is as near as your computer and telephone. It's your Virtual Assistant.

Probably the number one question I'm asked is "So, does a VA send me everything by e-mail? While much communication and delivery of documents are handled by e-mail, the Internet provides additional solutions.

Fast, easy, and secure websites such as GoToMyPC, LogMeIn, and others enable your assistant to access files, programs, and e-mail on your computer from her home computer, in real time. You do not have to change or open ports, configure IP addresses or deploy any hardware or software, and you can use your existing Internet connection. A small business that already has an intranet – an in-house only server – in place for its employees needs only add the assistant to its intranet just as you would an in-house employee. Another technology that makes it easy for the VA to work on files safely over the Internet is your website. By putting files such as a database on a password-protected page of your website, the VA can perform updates and reports readily available to you in real time. There are also several industry-specific web sites such as SalesForce that a business can subscribe to that enable the assistant and authorized employees to access, update, and share vital tools and information from remote computers.

What specific tasks can a VA handle for you? The list is only limited by your imagination, however, it includes: creating and implementing procedures, data base management, research, client service, calendar management, correspondence, presentation creation, analyzing data, event coordination, problem solving, and much more.

The Virtual Assistant is your partner in navigating the demands of business in today's technological world.



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About the Author

Barbara Speer, Barbara Speer, Virtual Assistant
Turlock, CA 95382
209-667-1413

If you would like to re-print this article, please contact the author.
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