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What is a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant (typically abbreviated to VA) is generally self-employed and provides administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely 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 VA’s 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 small businesses, but can also support busy executives.

Virtual Assistance is assistance that is provided by phone, fax, e-mail, or even instant message.  Virtual assistance is provided by a Virtual Assistant, independent entrepreneurs who work remotely and use technology to deliver services to clients globally. Most work from their home offices and receive their project instructions by phone, fax, e-mail or even instant message. Although many Virtual Assistants offer secretarial services, as more people with diverse backgrounds and skills enter the ranks, virtual assistants who specialise in such areas as marketing, graphic and Web design, IT support or even translations are becoming more common.

Virtual Assistants consists of individuals as well as companies who work remotely, providing a wide range of products and services both to businesses as well as Individuals. The virtual industry has changed substantially as it attracts others new to the field.

Virtual Assistants come from a variety of business backgrounds, but most have several years’ experience earned in the “real” (non-virtual) business world.

Virtual Assistants are sometimes called an online administrative assistant, online personal assistant or online sales assistant. A virtual webmaster assistant, virtual marketing assistant and virtual content writing assistant are specific professionals that are usually experienced employees from corporate environment that started to set up their own virtual offices.

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