All your questions... answered

What is a Virtual Assistant and what does a Virtual Assistant do?

We’ve put these questions together because they get frequently asked, and one generally follows the other.

This is our definition of a Virtual Assistant, although it can vary:

A Virtual Assistant is an office administration professional that works from the comfort of their own home office or a leased office space or anywhere they want to be! They are generally sole traders, carrying their own ABN and working the hours of their choosing.

What does a Virtual Assistant do? 

Well, there are endless ways this can be answered, but in short, a Virtual Assistant does the majority of things that a personal assistant or office administrator does, but they’re never in your office. Answering telephones, replying to emails, invoicing your clients… anything you can do online, your Virtual Assistant can help you with.

What can a Virtual Assistant do for me?

Advancing technology means that you don’t need to hire an administration professional to sit in your office. Below is a tiny list of tasks that our VAs regularly carry out for our clients:

  • Taking incoming calls and scheduling bookings;
  • Updating the content of your websites;
  • Updating your social media accounts and replying to your customers;
  • Replying to your client’s inquiries via email;
  • Debt collection and accounts receivable tasks;
  • Data entry;
  • Calendar management;
  • Booking travel;
  • Writing board reports;
  • and much, much more!

Why should I go with you?

If you’re weighing up the pros and cons, we’d suggest giving both a trial run. You can then decide based on results, not on words. We often speak to clients who’ve not had much success with overseas VA’s, and want someone that they know they can rely on, that speaks our language and understands business in Australia – and that’s important!

What hours do you work?

Our VA’s work to their own timetable and we can discuss your needs with them to find the right fit. Most VA’s work normal 9 to 5 business hours, others work around school drop off and pick ups and others work whenever you need them!

What tools do you use to get your job done?

We love living in this era of technology! There are so many tools available to us online to make working remotely easy for everyone. We love Dropbox for file sharing, we use Google Apps for our email, calendar and contacts, we use Skype for communicating – just to name a few. Of course, you may recommend new technologies that you use in your business and we are more than happy to use these also.

How do we share files?

With the use of Dropbox you can share the files that you want to share with us, so that we work in real-time on the same documents. There is no need to send files via email and there will be no chance of duplicate documents. It works just like a normal server, just in the cloud. We also use Google Drive if that’s your preference. It’s up to you!

Will you sign a confidentiality agreement?

Yes – this is part of our Service Agreement. It protects you and us and is a benefit for all parties.

How can I hand over my email inbox to you?

If you want us to manage your email inbox, it’s easy. We simply set up a copy of your email account on our desktop and manage it from there. Or, if you’re already in the cloud ie. Gmail, we can simply log on intermittently throughout the day and service you that way.

How do you access my contacts, calendar and email account?

A lot of our clients are already in the cloud and use services such as Google Apps or iCloud for their email, contacts and calendar. If you aren’t setup in the cloud and would like to be, we can certainly offer this service for you. Or, we can recommend someone that can help.

How often do you invoice me?

If you purchase a pre-paid package or are a retainer client, we request that the money reaches our account before we commence work with you. Retainer clients have different guidelines than pre-paid package clients, but you still need to be financially viable with us for us to keep working.

What are your payment terms?

We have a strict 7 day payment term. If payment is not received within the 7 days, you may incur late fees.

What are my payment options?

Payment options vary from VA to VA, but generally speaking:

  • Direct deposit into the FoxyVA bank account is usually the best way…

All the details you need will be on your invoice.

Website Checklist - Your questions answered

Do they use a solid and manageable platform such as WordPress?
A solid platform with a dedicated and passionate community equates to huge growth opportunities, a relationship with Google and means you can easily manage yourself, giving you complete control and saving you money!

Is the website mobile friendly (responsive)?
With 75% of consumers on mobile and tablet platforms it’s essential that your website is fully responsive across all platforms. As an added incentive Google, adds an extra boost to responsive websites.

Do other companies provide free backups, support and security?
Your website HAS to be backed up daily and protected from brute force attacks and malware. Often, ongoing support is required just so you have peace of mind as your business flourishes.

Is the website hosted locally in Australia? Having a local and secure host gives you complete peace of mind, speed and local support you can rely on.

Does the company provide search engine optimisation and are they Google AdWord certified ?
Having a website is one thing, getting it to work is another. Search Engine Optimisation or SEO will ensure you are found by potential and existing clients each and everytime they do a search for products or services they require. There is no point having a website if you cannot be found!

Can you gather a database from email sign-up boxes?
Building a database ensures you get to build a loyal base of cliental who you can send email marketing or newsletters with offers, promotions or a thank you!

Is the shopping cart part of the WordPress package?
If you need a shopping cart WordPress has a plethora of add-ons such as Woo Commerce so your customers can buy directly from your website securely. This is easily added on at anytime meaning it’s more affordable and you don’t have to have a new website built should you decide to sell products or services later on.

Do you get a Project Proposal and custom design service?
Having a clear and concise Project Proposal allows both parties to be fully transparent on design elements, requirements and the customer’s needs. Being able to sign something ensures a better long term result and commitment from a web company.

Can you create a login or membership portal?
Membership and subscription based services are becoming increasingly popular and a good way of generating residual income.

Can you integrate social media into the website?
Social media is very important and elements need to be connected to your website to ensure synergy, easy access to sharing and Likes and building a loyal community. Google also has a small reward for those who incorporate this correctly. Always a bonus!

Do you receive an automated updating system?
Updates, both large and small, can happen frequently to existing online software. Therefore to keep your website safe an automated system will keep things updated, secure and your website in good nick while you sleep.

Should you wish to add anything on as you grow, is there room for this?
With a strong platform there is infinite potential to easily add on extras either by yourself or with some supported help. A good option for growth down the track.

Google Analytics and search console installed and configured for you?
Monitoring visitors is essential to targeting the correct audience and customers. A must have for that extra Google boost aswell.

Do you have full website and Cpanel access?
Having full control of your business means you need ownership. While you may not know what to do with Cpanel or the back-end of the website having complete access will provide ownership and an exit strategy should you need one.

About FoxyVA

You have enough work to do growing your business without having to try and do all of the necessary tasks which keep your business running, such as administration, social media and marketing. Your business is growing, and there’s not enough time in the day, but you can’t justify hiring staff, or you don’t have the office space. That’s why there’s a trend of business owners who are outsourcing to virtual assistants who are usually highly skilled professionals who can support you off-site or remotely.