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Written by Clearissa Coward
From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center/Customized Virtual Business Solutions:  

CC_CVBS_logo_2Not sure if you need or how to use the services of a Virtual Assistant (VA)? Hopefully, my weekly tips will help you or give you new ideas as to how to use the services of a professional VA.

Usually, I use this forum to provide you with tips from me suggesting the benefits of using the resources and skills of a VA to help run your business. I have tried to help you envision all of the things you “should” do when it comes to hiring a VA as well as some things you should not do. This week, however; we will take a look at how a solopreneur has successfully included a VA into the fabric of his business and the benefits of that relationship.

I stopped by Michael Hyatt’s site and I was intrigued with his article discussing his experience using the skills and services of a VA. Michael, like a lot of solopreneurs thought he could run his business without an assistant. Solo, if you will. Michael says after trying to handle all of the administrative duties himself, he decided to hire a local, in-house assistant, but then considered the following:

  • Cost
  • Where would he put him/her since he works out of his home?
  • Would he have to supply his assistant with a computer or a cell phone?
  • Did he want to pay payroll taxes and keep up with the paperwork?

After considering the cost, Michael decided to try another avenue and began the process of interviewing VAs. After several interviews, Michael’s decided to give one of the VA a try. His assessment of the association with and interpretation of the pros of using a VA are below.

“I was immediately impressed with her. She has worked for me since August, and I couldn’t be happier. People I interact with, assume that we are working out of the same office. She has her own michaelhyatt.com email address. I routinely get compliments on her responsiveness and efficiency.

Here’s what she does:

  • She screens my email.She checks my main email accounts, handles what she can, and “redirects” the messages that require my personal attention to my private account. She has reduced my email load by 90 percent.
  • She books my travel.She handles all the details, including airline reservations, hotels, car rental, etc. She sets up a trip in TripIt, so I have everything I need in one place.
  • She makes calls on my behalf.She makes appointments (both personal and professional), confirms my appointments, checks my voice mail, and follows up as needed.
  • She manages my calendar.Almost nothing gets on my calendar unless it passes through her first. We have agreed together that I will only accept appointments on two afternoons a week, and she works to stay within those boundaries.
  • She handles other projects as needed.I continue to turn over more and more to her. For example, she recently screened all the people who had applied to be a community leader on my site. She and my manager, Joy, ended up picking the final ten I appointed.

Basically, Tricia can do anything that doesn’t require her physical presence.

I started using her for five hours a week and quickly went to fifteen. I found that I was so much more productive that it was well-worth the additional investment.”

Tricia has now become such a partner in my business that I no longer even think of her as virtual. She’s just one of my teammates—and a very valuable one at that.”

So, there you have it. This week it isn’t me explaining the positives of hiring a VA for your business. This week a real VA client provides a testimony of the benefits a VA can bring to a solepreneur. If you would like to read Michael’s entire article, you can find it here.

If you think hiring a VA for your business would work for you, contact me at www.clearissacoward.com or clearissap#gmail.com.

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