A Virtual Assistant (VA), is usually self-employed and provides professional administrative, secretarial and technical assistance to clients remotely. A Virtual Assistant usually works from a home office.
What is a Personal Assistant?
A Personal Assistant (PA), sometimes called an Executive Assistant or a Senior Secretary works closely with higher management. Responsibilities will often include; making travel arrangements, organising, events, running errands, managing appointments or calendars, making reservations, placing orders, answering/returning calls, and many other similar administrative, clerical and support duties.
What do I think?
With a boom in the amount of people setting up businesses, many people are finding it difficult to find helpful and reliable assistance. Large corporations are downsizing and shedding valuable staff and employment is at an all-time high. Many people are turning to large VA offices to hire temporary staff. But are these staff reliable and do they give you good value for money?
After being a self-employed VA for over a year, I realised that people need more than a person acting as a computer programme. They require something tangible, somebody to advise, support and maybe even to mentor them. Virtual Assistants can be an invaluable part of your business, but they have their limitations. For example; they cannot do personal or business shopping for you, they cannot do the boring banking, they cannot do paper filing, they cannot sit down with you face to face and brainstorm about how to implement business strategies.
After feeling very restricted for over a year, I decided to become a Freelance PA and VA. This allowed me to have the freedom to go out and to meet my clients. To interact with them and to become part of their team and workforce. Some of the time, I am home based and do not need to do anything out of the comfort of my office, but my clients know that if they have a meeting, I will be there to arrange travel and write the meeting minutes. I am somebody they can build a professional relationship with. They know they can rely on me and they can trust me. The big VA firms charge £11-£30 an hour. This is just to hire somebody who you do not know and maybe you will not even like. My services are more personal and cost around the same amount.
I am confident that if you compared my services, with that of a big virtual office firm, that you would rate my services as the far more superior of the two. After experiencing work as a VA and now becoming a Freelance PA, I can say that it makes for much more practical and smoother client-employee relationships.
To find out more about the services I provide, visit my website services page: www.stefaniegrant.co.uk/services
To receive a free quotation or to book a consultation please visit: www.stefaniegrant.co.uk/hire-a-pa