What is a Virtual Assistant?

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What in the world is a VA?

When I first started researching how to earn a living from home, I came across this term VA a lot. I didn’t even know what the letters meant. When I looked at it closer, I discovered VA stands for Virtual Assistant. My very next question was, “What in the world is a virtual assistant?”

Fast forward a few years down the road, and I’ve discovered that the term virtual assistant is pretty broad and varied. Essentially a virtual assistant is any person working from their home, over the internet, providing administrative support services to both online and brick-and-mortar business owners. 

The support services a virtual assistant chooses to provide can vary widely, with many offering general services in the way an office secretary or office manager might provide as an employee. Others niche down their services to offer specific business support services such as bookkeeping, social media management, graphic design, website building, blog management, and the list goes on and on. Still, others take on the role of an OBM, which is an Online Business Manager. If you look at an OBM in terms of a traditional business model, they might be the equivalent of maybe, let’s say, a project manager. They organize and put the systems in place to get the work done and, many times, find the right people to do the job. 

In reality, you can ask ten different people to describe what a virtual assistant is, and you will get ten other answers. The term virtual assistant is so broad that even those providing the services aren’t sure what to call themselves. You might see what I chose, office professional, administrative support specialists, or digital marketer, or social media manager, bookkeeper, digital nomad, and so on. 

Virtual assistance is a lifestyle business. A virtual assistant can build their business to fit around their life. That is more appealing than trying to make a life around the traditional 9-5  job.

The reasons people choose the virtual assistant lifestyle also come in a million different personal ways. I have many reasons for taking the plunge into the virtual assistant space. But I will outline the top three. 

  • I wanted the freedom and flexibility to be available to my family when necessary without worrying about loss of pay or an annoyed employer.
  • I live in a small community with limited opportunities for making a decent wage, and I wanted the ability to contribute more to our family income.
  • Finally, I live in a small community. I wanted to develop a business that would help our local businesses thrive and be top of mind in our community while creating a presence in the world community.

There is no cut and dried description of a virtual assistant. The industry is not a one size fits all, and the possibilities are endless. Think about how your business might benefit from a virtual assistant and then connect with one and see how they can help. Better yet, connect with me. I aim to help you keep your business on target.

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