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How to Pay As You Go For Office Support Services

Dec 13, 2007
The idea of hiring a Virtual Assistant in some parts of the world, particularly in the United States, is an everyday fact. However, the concept is still relatively new in the UK but an increasing number of individuals are starting to choose this line of work as their full time career.

It is at this point, I don't doubt, that many of you will be sitting there asking yourself what a Virtual Assistant - or VA - actually is.

VAs are self-employed professional Personal Assistants, Secretaries or Administrators who have chosen to provide their services via the internet, usually from their own homes, and most charge an hourly rate which may vary depending on the type of services on offer.

They are very often people who - for any number of reasons - don't want to commit to a full time career at the moment but have valuable skills that they know could be used by a wide range of clients in a Virtual Environment.

You can call upon the services of a VA to help with basic tasks such as copy or audio typing, accounting, presentations and much more. Many offer telephone answering and message services, conference and event organisation and more involved administrative tasks. Some have associates to whom they outsource tasks such as website design, hosting, maintenance, and even search engine optimisation.

The UK Association of Virtual Assistants (UKAVA) recently estimated that between 700 and 1000 people in the UK are providing this service currently.

Anyone who is an entrepreneur or running a small business, will know how important it is to save money wherever and whenever possible and will also know the importance of keeping to tight budgets in order to have the best chance of success.

A major drain on resources these days is staff costs, especially for small to medium sized businesses. Not only are you paying a full time member of staff a wage, you also have to contribute to tax, NI, possibly a pension scheme. On top of that, you have to pay for the lunch break, the holiday period and even the sick leave.

By hiring a VA to carry out the normal day to day tasks of a secretary or PA, the employer is escaping all that additional cost normally associated with employing a full time member of staff. A VA is paid at an all-inclusive hourly rate. So the price you see is the price you pay.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant on a pay-as-you-go basis makes good business sense because

a. It's cost effective
b. It's time-efficient
c. It's flexible

With the advancements in technology these days, the Virtual Assistance industry might be worth a look for those operating a small to medium sized business.
About the Author
Helen Byrne is a UK-based Virtual Office Assistant and Owner of Virtualoso - Virtual Office Solutions Online (http://www.virtualoso.info). In order to promote the concept of Virtual Assistance to a wider audience, particularly in the UK, Helen also created http://www.PA-as-you-go.com as a simple introduction to the business.
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