What is Virtual Assistance?

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Virtual Assistance is the delivery of secretarial and administrative support services by an experienced professional working from their own premises. They work independently via the Internet, utilising the most up to date technologies to provide immediate professional support to busy people and businesses.

Communication and correspondence is completed virtually – by email, instant messaging, phone, fax or mail. It really is remarkably easy!

What can a Virtual Assistance provider do?

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A Virtual Assistance provider can perform any task that:

  • Can be clearly defined
  • Does not need to be undertaken at your own premises
  • Is within the proven skill-set of the provider
  • You have the confidence to “delegate” to someone else

As long as you can make contact with your Virtual Assistance provider, then they can do almost anything you require.

From general administration and office duties to more specialised services tailored to your business, it is just a matter of finding the right combination to suit your needs.

Who should use Virtual Assistance?

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Anyone! Particularly anyone who wants a professional, skilled and cost effective alternative to having a traditional on-site employee. Entrepreneurs and business owners who use Virtual Assistance are one step ahead of the competition and have the time to grow their business and achieve their full potential.

What are the benefits of Virtual Assistance?

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Using Virtual Assistance is one of the smartest decisions you can make in order to free yourself up to focus on your core business activities or spend more time with your family and friends.

One of the major benefits for busy business executives is that you will be “free” to concentrate on revenue generating activities and growing your business.

Some other benefits are:

  • Availability – We will be here when you need us
  • Commitment – We will be committed to you and / or your business
  • Confidential – Your personal information and any intellectual property can be fully protected via a confidentiality agreement executed by both parties
  • Continuity –
    • By working with the same person they will be familiar with the way you and your business operates
    • We are able to work without supervision once briefed on your requirements
  • Cost Effective –
    • You don’t have to pay for Workcover, superannuation, leave, equipment or office space
    • No need to interview and train staff or utilise costly employment agencies
    • It is likely that we have skills that are not readily available internally.  Learning new skills is expensive and time consuming – outsourcing to i-Assist can save both time and money for your business
  • Flexibility – You only pay for the work delivered
  • Highly experienced – Leaving you more time to concentrate on what is important to you
  • Satisfaction – It’s all about YOU – We strive for 100% Customer Satisfaction
  • Productivity – As we work from our own office, precious time (and consequently your money) is not wasted
  • Punctual – Your deadlines are our priority!
  • Location – Is not an issue.  Work is completed remotely, so if you are travelling for work or based anywhere in the world, Virtual Assistance is always readily available.
  • Time Efficient – Overseas clients or those travelling the globe have the benefit of work being done while they sleep!
  • Proactive – We use our initiative, when and as required
  • Improve – Your work / life balance

How do I choose a Virtual Assistance provider for my business?

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As with any business decision, research is very important. Make a list of the areas where you need assistance and any specific requirements you may have for the relationship. After you have identified a few Virtual Assistance providers that you feel could deliver the services you require, request a phone interview. This will give you the opportunity to get to know the service provider, and it also gives everyone a chance to talk about the specific tasks to determine if there is a good fit.

A great way to further explore a relationship with a Virtual Assistance provider is to engage them for a small project. This will give you a good feel for the responsiveness and communication skills, the quality of their work and processes, without a long term commitment.

The “virtual” element worries me a little. How does the process work?

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i-Assist has a standard business process we adhere to when working with any of our clients. The method of contact depends on what suits you.

Modern technology provides i-Assist with many modes with which to work with clients, including phone, e-mail, instant messenger (Skype), fax, remote access and a project management portal site.

We have daily Skype “chats” with one client and another where we have regular phone conversations, and yet another where the majority of our communication is via email.

The most important thing to remember is that the i-Assist team will agree an appropriate communication protocol and frequency with you at the beginning of the engagement.

It will be extremely rare if you have to contact i-Assist to find out the status of your work … as they recognise that pro-active communication is critical to your peace of mind and continued confidence in them.

I can do most things myself, so why should I partner with i-Assist?

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True … but maybe you are seeking:

  • More time to working “on” your business not “in” the business
  • To increase focus on growing your business by eliminating some of the “distractions”
  • A better work-life balance
  • To achieve a higher quality outcome
  • To have a task completed in a defined timeframe

If you are an entrepreneur, have you calculated what working on time “eating” tasks actually costs you and your business?

Let’s look at a “real world” example.

Jack is a professional marketing consultant and charges his clients $120/hour. As a solo-entrepreneur he does it all. Recently, Jack has become overwhelmed with the increasing administrative workload of his consulting business. He has recognised the bottleneck that has been created and has decided to delegate five administrative tasks to i-Assist.

In doing so, Jack has freed up 8 hours per week to work “on” his business instead of “in” it. He was able to take on another client that he otherwise would not have had time to service effectively. Those additional hours translated into a $500 per week (or $25,000 per annum) additional profit for Jack’s consulting business.

Having gained confidence in the service provided by i-Assist, Jack is now extending the partnership with i-Assist so that his business can move to the next level.

Why would i-Assist care about my business?

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i-Assist has a vested interest in your success.

If we perform the work you delegate to us to your satisfaction and, as a result, your business becomes more successful, then our partnership will thrive for the long term which will deliver mutual benefits to both parties.

By learning more about how each of us operate, we can jointly identify other tasks that you may wish to delegate to i-Assist.

If your business succeeds … then so does i-Assist. Everybody wins!

Pro-active Intelligent Support

“Often when delegating a task to others they perform only to instruction. It is so refreshing to have i-Assist not only do the job as asked but improve upon it. Now that’s what I call pro-active intelligent support!”

Carolyne Burns
Managing Director, Expr3ss! Pty Ltd

What if I need expertise that i-Assist doesn’t have?

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If our i-Assist team does not have direct experience in the area you require, they have a great research capability which enables them to quickly develop solutions for their clients.

However, they will always be honest about their capability and will never place you (or themselves) at risk.

Do I need to have a Post Office Box?

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No. If this is needed as part of the service, then you can use the i-Assist mailbox at no additional charge. However, if you require i-Assist to arrange mail re-direction and manage the “Change of Address” process then the time spent on these activities will, naturally, form part of the service fee.

How do I find out what mail is received and what action needs to be taken?

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If part of the agreed service arrangement calls for some or all of your mail to be sent to the i-Assist mailbox, then we will:

  • Regularly collect your mail from our secure Post Office box (provided as part of service)
  • Open all mail and assess the action required
  • Prepare a regular “Mail Run” email summarising all items received and suggested actions to be taken
  • Scan selected documents for your review and direction and attach these to the email
  • Interact with you on urgent / sensitive matters immediately they are identified
  • Mail / courier original documents / items as instructed