Good Morning America Got It Wrong, Says Massachusetts Virtual Assistant

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The June 23rd Good Morning America (GMA) segment, “Hot Trend: Virtual Assistants Outsource Your Headaches” missed the real story, says Donna Caissie, President of ExtraOrdinary Assistance, and a Massachusetts Virtual Assistant (VA) since 2002. Since the 1990s, it has been widely accepted that Virtual Assistants are self-employed administrative assistants who are independent business owners, whose business is to provide a full-range of administrative expertise and support to other businesses.

The June 23rd Good Morning America (GMA) segment, “Hot Trend: Virtual Assistants Outsource Your Headaches” missed the real story, says Donna Caissie, President of ExtraOrdinary Assistance, and a Massachusetts virtual assistant (VA) since 2002.

"Although AskSunday.com, RedButler.com and ihabilis.com call themselves virtual assistants, in reality they’re virtual concierges or virtual gofers,” said Caissie. “Since the 1990s, it has been widely accepted that Virtual Assistants are self-employed administrative assistants who are independent business owners, whose business is to provide a full-range of administrative expertise and support to other businesses. These services keep a business owner on track, organized, and prepared. Rarely do reputable, self-employed Virtual Assistants sell their services task-by-task, as was profiled in the Good Morning America segment.”

"A traditional virtual assistant is highly trained, well-skilled and very experienced in all areas of administrative assistance,” adds Caissie. Many Virtual Assistants have risen through the secretarial ranks of corporate America and have backgrounds as administrative assistants, executive secretaries and office managers. Their training and experience includes software proficiency, e-commerce implementation, event management, and whatever other tasks that will help propel a business owner forward, rather than having that business owner become overwhelmed by administrative details.

“The primary trait that separates Virtual Assistants from the virtual concierges profiled in the Good Morning America broadcast is that the Virtual Assistant goes the extra mile,” reports Caissie. “Take, for example, Becky Worley’s request for AskSunday to help her find lodging for a July 4 family reunion. A traditional Virtual Assistant would have never submitted any lodging information that lacked availability on the dates requested. More importantly, a Virtual Assistant would have automatically checked that detail without being told to do so, as they act as the business owner’s right hand, and are more than capable of working independently to fulfill their responsibilities.”

An overseas virtual concierge is perfect for the business owner who doesn’t mind investing in extensive training, who isn’t frustrated with lack of language comprehension issues, who doesn’t need proactive, critical-thinking help and who can easily deal with time zone differences. However, the most successful entrepreneurs world-wide have discovered that collaborating with a traditional Virtual Assistant saves them time and money because the experience and training that a traditional Virtual Assistant brings to the relationship permits them to focus their energies on the areas of their business that only they can handle, such as sales, business planning, marketing, and following up on opportunities without worrying about how the administrative tasks are being handled.

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