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We get asked a lot about Virtual Assistant. What it is for a start. Its not a widely used term in Australia yet. What services we offer, how useful are we at value adding to a business and a bunch of similar questions. Here we try and answer questions we have actually been asked. Do feel free to ask more


Tell me about Perfect Notes Virtual Assistant?

Virtual Assistant is a concept that is rapidly taking off around the world. A VA is someone you hire on line to do something you have not the time or do not wish to bother doing yourself. These tasks are those that can be completed over the net. They can vary from data entry to polishing up and proof reading documents, to image editing, updating a web site or ghost writing a blog. Perfect Notes is a small company whose staff have rather a lot of varied IT skills and has moved into this growing area fairly much at the ground floor in Melbourne.

How many clients do you currently have?

We only have a few clients at the moment, it's a fairly new concept in Melbourne and we are having trouble getting the marketing right. As David states in his blog it is difficult to know what keywords are applicable. But we do have a growing clientele, mostly via word of mouth. And we are working on making the number grow.

We hope to wind up with hundreds, we have people with useful skill sets waiting in the wings to be needed.

What sort of work do you do for these clients?

We do invoicing, book keeping, web site maintenance and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), proofreading and editing. We did some customized mail outs before the election for a particular lobby group. We additionally do web site development, mostly of shopping portals, but strictly speaking they do not fall under the heading of VA. We are currently running 2 Google AdWords campaigns for clients, both running successfully. Finding our own one slightly more difficult actually, VA and AdWords are not such a good fit.

What other sorts of work can you do?

Well we CAN do rather a lot of things. We have skills in video production, image editing, sound editing, writing research papers, writing essays, business writing, blogs, (yes we know our own blog is slightly on the casual side but we do know how to write professionally), graphic design, and rather a lot more things than that.

The easy way to find out if we have or can obtain a specific skill is to ask us.

But I can really do everything myself, why would I get you to do these tasks for me?

Because in the main doing these things is not what makes you money. They are jobs that have to be done, but they are not part of your core business. It's your core business that makes you money and that is the stuff you should be spending your time concentrating on. Farming this work off to others and paying them less per hour to do it than you can make with your core business is far more sensible. And that is what we do.

How much do you charge?

It varies. Of course it does. It varies according to how difficult it is... how tedious it is and how much of it there is. It varies according to how many hours work you pay for too and how urgent it is. And of course it's up for negotiation. But it will be less than you should be making with your core business per hour. And we will do an honest hour's work for the hour you pay us for.

Why should I trust people I have not met?

You probably shouldn't. But it's easily sorted anyway... Meet us... we will meet you for a coffee anytime in Melbourne. If you are still not totally comfortable, send us just a little bit of work at first - this seems totally reasonable to us. If you are not in or fairly close to Melbourne, it becomes more difficult - unless you're in Bendigo or between Bendigo and Melbourne. At the moment, all of our clients are in Melbourne, but we should still meet clients out of these areas once in a while if at all possible. We do however have video skype. And soon we will rewrite that software so that it projects us as unbelievably gorgeous, well groomed and dressed all the time. :-)

How big a business do you see Virtual Assistants becoming?

Huge. Huger than huge. Gigantic. Immense. Rather large. Every 1, 2 or 3 person business that has tasks that can be outsourced to a VA and that finds itself stretched to cover the core business, (the exact positon a small business aspires to be in), is going to have a VA they send work to on occasion. That is going to happen right up until the point at which the company has dedicated non core business staff to address this work. That is a lot of business. We are hoping to be big in VA in Victoria. We are going to do well. Mostly because we will make the effort to meet all of our customers on a regular basis if this is at all possible - and to contact them regularly if it is not possible to meet in person.

How important are your customers to you?

They are the only reason we are in business. Our customers matter. They are as vital to us as we are to them.

I have another question... can you answer it on this page?

Sure.  Send it to us at our email address.


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