What is a Virtual Assistant and do I need one?

A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent contractor who helps take care of the administrative and technical side of your business or personal life. A VA assists you or your business on a contractual basis from a remote location.

Almost anyone can benefit from a VA!

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What are the benefits of a VA?

Contemporary VA can eliminate time spent hiring and managing another employee, boost customer satisfaction, increase your productivity, and elevate your professional image.

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When is it time to hire a Virtual Assistant?

You need a Virtual Assistant when the time you spend on administrative demands begins affecting your bottom line.

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Why should I delegate? I already have time to do what needs to be done.

Some business owners delegate because they are extremely busy and need to spread the workload. But it sounds like you might find delegating beneficial because you'll be able to spend the newfound time on other aspects of your business. For example, you might have time in your day to do the administrative tasks, but is it the best use of your time? You might actually earn higher revenue if you delegate that work and spent the time performing more billable work.

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What kind of work can my virtual assistant do?

Our VA's are skilled in a variety of business-related tasks. Much of the work you do in your business can be delegated to a well-trained assistant. Some examples of common tasks include:
  • Administrative tasks such as uploading content to websites; proofreading material that you've written; managing forms and documents; managing your email, chat, and telephone communication channels; paying bills; following up on projects with other contractors; research; light desktop publishing, etc.
  • Marketing tasks such as blogging; article writing and distribution; writing and distribution; social media management; social bookmarking; account creation and management at forums, social networking sites, etc.
  • Customer service tasks such as monitoring and responding to email, chat, and telephone calls; following up with clients who have ordered; tracking purchases via tracking numbers; order fulfillment; basic problem solving and troubleshooting, etc.
  • Sales tasks such as basic lead generation; prospect qualification; customer and competitor research; objection handling; order fulfillment; follow-up; cross-selling, etc.
  • Management tasks such as project management; calendar and scheduling management; email management; customer relationship management; delegation management, etc.

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How well trained are your virtual assistants?

Our VA's go through an intense selection process before they can join our organization. Many of them have been successful business professionals and/or are college-educated.

Once they start working with us, they go through a 90-day apprenticeship period in which an experienced VA works with the apprentice on projects to make sure that they are capable of performing at the level of quality expected. Only after successfully passing our apprenticeship program do they become VA's.

But it doesn't stop there. Our VA's are expected to continue with training (such as HTML or basic sales training) and they are expected to keep up-to-date with relevant business experience (such as maintaining an account on Twitter).

Virtual Assistants can even train to advance further in our organization by qualifying to become "Dedicated Virtual Assistants" (DVA's).

We are confident that your VA will be skilled to know how to do most of the tasks you ask them to. But if they do not know, they will diligently learn and can draw from a large base of skill sets within CVA to assist them.

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Why would I want a VA if it costs more than someone onsite?

When you're comparing plans, you may wonder what value you'll receive for a price range of $26.00/hour to $40/hour. After all, isn't it cheaper to hire someone to just work at your office?

This isn't a true "apples-to-apples" comparison, though. That's because you're only factoring in the wage you pay your onsite assistant. You need to also consider the cost of office equipment, overhead, any benefits or perks you provide, and then there is the additional costs of your time during the hiring, training, reviewing (and, sometimes, even firing) process.

These are expenses that you don't have to pay for with ContemporaryVA. When you add up these costs, that "cheaper" onsite assistant is actually quite a bit more expensive.

At ContemporaryVA, we provide VA's who are hired, trained, regularly reviewed, they have their own equipment, and they don't cost you a dime in overhead.

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Is hiring a VA really "cost effective"?

Because VA's work on an "as needed" basis, a VA can save you money. Clients only pay for the work completed, while not incurring expenses such as benefits, equipment, or supplies.

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How would I be billed?

ContemporaryVA offers several plans for client use, each plan defines the service offered and billing terms. We will work with you to determine which plan is best for you, in terms of budget and need.

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How do we work "virtually"?

Thanks to the internet, working virtually has never been easier. We use a project management system that allows you to create projects and/or upload files. Depending on the level of service you've chosen, you can talk to your project manager through email or to your virtual assistant through email, chat, telephone, or Skype.

Some of our clients have created accounts or shared username/password access to sites they use for various tasks. (For example, a business owner might create an account in WordPress for his or her VA to post blogs).

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How do you track the time spent on my project?

ContemporaryVA uses a computer-based, time tracking software, so that every task is tracked to the minute. You only pay for the time used.

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What are your rates? Do you charge by the hour?

We have hourly rates, project rates and retainer rates - whatever suits your needs best. Our prices are among the most reasonable in the industry.

Our rates depend on a variety of factors. We base our rates on the number of staff we need for your project, the required staff skill level, the length of time, the complexity of the task, and any advanced materials we need to complete your project.

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I am not located in the US. Can you still help me?

Yes, we can! We provide services worldwide. Our clients are in dozens of countries around the world.

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How do I know that my business and customer details will be safe?

Confidentiality is an important part of our business. We offer all clients a legally binding NDA (non-disclosure agreement). We take all security and privacy issues very seriously and stringently insist on the utmost professionalism from our staff at all times. ContemporaryVA provides confidential information to staff on a need-to-know basis. In addition to this, all VA's are required to individually sign NDA's.

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What is the time-frame involved for start-up?

Once we have your details we immediately begin to organize your support. This will ensure the smoothest possible transition from your company to our support services.

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How do I coach my employees to understand what they can offload?

ContemporaryVA will help you define which tasks can be better handled by a VA. This will increase your bottom line and help your business grow. Once you are comfortable working with a virtual assistant you may begin to address other areas that can also be offloaded to increase your efficiency.

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