Virtual Assistants Have Arrived in Canada!

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An outline of what Virtual Assistants are and what Canadian organizations have been created to support this "cutting-edge" profession in Canada.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:     Tana Woodward

Phone:            (250) 970-0015

Email:     tana@virtualofficeservices.ca

Website:     http://www.virtualofficeservices.ca

Virtual Assistants Have Arrived in Canada!

PRINCE GEORGE, BC - Virtual assistants have arrived in Canada. And what are Virtual Assistants? Virtual Assistants (aka VA’s) are the ideal solution for business owners who are overwhelmed with administrative tasks and the high costs associated with running a successful business.

VA’s are independent business people who work from their own home offices, using their own computer equipment, fax machines, scanners, printers. Therefore, their clients save the expense of purchasing computers, office space, furniture and training. There are no employee benefits, vacation pay or coffee breaks to pay for; VA’s charge only for the time it takes to complete a project.

Virtual Assistants are different from a “store-front” typing service because they prefer to “partner” with other professionals in the business community, i.e. home-based business, small business, and independent professionals. They take the time to learn about their clients’ businesses, offer suggestions based on their own experiences and strive to build a solid, friendly working relationship with their clients to become an integral part of their client’s business. As Tana Woodward of Tana Woodward & Associates (http://www.virtualofficeservices.ca) says, “I love learning, organizing and taking on new challenges and it is extremely rewarding when my experience can benefit someone else in growing their own business.” A successful Virtual Assistant is constantly learning, upgrading their skills and researching in anticipation of their clients’ needs.

VA’s are service-oriented professionals with extensive knowledge of the latest computer software, and years of experience in a variety of office environments, who have chosen self-employment. Their services range from word processing, data entry, spreadsheets and transcription to more diverse services such as event planning, travel arrangements and research. Other VA’s prefer to specialize in the areas of website design, desktop publishing and bookkeeping. Virtual Assistants are willing to take on a number of tasks specific to their clients’ needs. VA’s are entrepreneurs themselves and this ensures that they provide top-quality services because if their client’s business prospers as a result of their services, then the Virtual Assistant’s business succeeds as well.

Although Virtual Assistants are a relatively new to Canada, estimates suggest there are as many as 500 virtual assistants practicing in this country.

One of the challenges for this new “cutting-edge” profession is creating awareness within the business community about the benefits of working with Virtual Assistants. Two organizations have recently been created to support the Canadian Virtual Assistant profession. Canadian VA Network founder, Michelle Jamison (http://www.canadianva.net) says “the Canadian Virtual Assistant Network (CVAN) is dedicated to bringing further awareness to the profession of Virtual Assisting in Canada and around the world. Our Network community is made up of virtual assistants across Canada who have common goals and is about creating a supportive community, sharing knowledge and resources, and demonstrating professionalism at all times.”

Similarly, the goal of the CVA Success Group (http://www.cvasuccess.com) is to “support fellow Canadian Virtual Assistants with meetings, workshops, and events Canada-wide to be held in each province where VA's are located.”….. “It is the goal of CVA Success to provide Virtual Assistants, based in Canada, a place to hang out... chat with others...learn from others... and work together to make the industry and all VA's the next best thing to cell phones.”

Both these organizations provide resources, teleclasses, mentoring and supportive environments for Virtual Assistants. Additionally, each website has a directory of member VA’s, a useful tool for potential clients seeking a Virtual Assistant with particular skills.

And who is the right VA? When someone decides they’d like to work with a VA, they can search these directories, call several of the Virtual Assistants listed, outline their expectations and exchange ideas to find the VA that fits their personality and work ethic. Not all Virtual Assistants are created equally and it may take speaking with several to find the one with whom you can build a successful working relationship. It is important that the Virtual Assistant projects a professional image, produces quality work and more importantly, that the VA and client work well together.

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