How to find and use a Virtual Assistant to get ahead

So last weeks post inspired me.  I loved hearing what people disliked doing in their business and how they handled it.  The #1 way to handle their "icky tasks" was to outsource them…….which lead me to this post.  It seemed to me that almost everyone was using a Virtual Assistant (VA) to help with the things they disliked as well as things that are best left to an assistant.  VA's are a great choice for more than just the "having an assistant part" – you pay them on a 1099 as contract labor, instead of a W2, so you avoid payroll taxes making your dollars go further and their employment time longer!  Win win for both parties.

Beside the tax benefits, (of course) are the benefits of having more time to concentrate on the things that only you can do in your business that bring in the money!  I reached out to my experts to find out how they use their VA's and where they found them so you can bring one on board to help you out this year. 

If you are not sure what an assistant can do for you…….make a list of all the things you do each day for a week and then put the things that ONLY you can do in one column and try to outsource the rest!

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Written by Sarah shaw

There are 27 comments

  • Kenny says:

    Great uses of virtual assistants.

    I have had a couple over the last couple of years. I have found them through online outsourcing marketplaces. For example, the top 3 I use are on this list:

    The key is to be as specific as possible, set time limits for tasks when they give updates if they haven’t completed a project and give feedback on each completed task to better align expectations between you two.

    I love VA’s so much I now teach people how to find them and walk through one task assignment with coaching clients to get them going. Now that is a win-win-win scenario!

    Big Click Syndicate LLC

  • […] about virtual assistants. I’m intrigued by this idea. I just finished reading a great blog by Sarah Shaw, of Entreprenette She always has the greatest, and timely blogs! I’ve looked into a few services online that […]

  • This is a jamming post! Thanks for all the ideas! I have taken careful notes–I am still looking for the right V.A. (Have let go of several…)
    Dr. Barnsley Brown
    President, Spirited-Solutions Professional Speaking & Coaching

  • BeverlyD says:

    Amen to all of you. I love the preciseness of tasks performed and the billing of my Virtual assistant. is the company I use and if you should use them tell them I referred you as I think I get something for the referral. CIAO! Go Pack GO!

  • I’ve enjoyed the services of a great VA for several years now (Janet Barclay of Organized Assistant, the same VA that Julie in #18 has working for her). Janet is as indispensible to the upkeep of the business side of my writing career as my cleaning lady is to the upkeep of my home. It’s hard to imagine now how I ever got along without my “Organized Assistant”s.

  • This is a really great post! I’m excited to see so many business owners taking advantage of all that we have to offer. I recently wrote a post on the benefits of partnering with a virtual assistant. Check it out:

  • As a Virtual Assistant myself, it is great to hear how our industry is helping and growing other businesses. If you don’t have a VA yet, get one! There are thousands of us out there, both in North America and abroad.

  • Nice post! This is really informative. Hiring virtual assistant is indeed a good decision. Needless to say that they are now becoming a necessity for business industry.

  • Jody says:

    What a great article! It’s nice to see the many examples of what a VA can do for entrepreneurs and small businesses. I love being a VA and can’t see myself doing anything else!

  • […] How to find and use a Virtual Assistant to get ahead – The … […]

  • I have a really dumb question: what is a virtual assistant anyway??

  • V.Prasad says:

    Hey, That was a good post, I like it. I also found some intresting posts about virtual assistant services at

  • Hey, that was a good and interesting post

  • Marnie says:

    Hey, Karen — A VA is like a personal assistant except online vs. in your own office. Because of the lack of face-to-face involvement, it becomes far more vital to specify tasks and establish good accountability systems. Having said all this, I have VAs, from around the world, and love them all! Marnie

  • Good information here =)

  • Shermaine says:

    I love this idea. Especially since I have a business and still work a 9-5. sometimes juggling both makes things slip through the cracks.

    I will definitely check into this!


  • Vanessa says:

    I just wanted to piggy back on what some of the others have said. I am a strong advocate for Virtual Assistants. I was a little hesitant at first but now I can’t imagine not having one. I used and to build my Virtual Assistant team. If you haven’t tried a VA and you’re a small business owner, I strongly encourage it. But just like with anything else, be careful because not every VA is created equally.

  • Great post Sarah. I run a Virtual Placement Agency so I’m obviously a huge believer in clients outsourcing their business support needs to a VA. However it is important to find the right VA for your business and delegate effectively in order for the relationship to work from the start.

    I find that sometimes I have to spend a little extra time convincing clients that are not yet sold on the idea of using a VA, this article should help with that.

    Thanks so much.

  • Stephanie says:

    Awesome post Sarah – As a Administrative Specialist/VA myself it is always my pleasure to help ideal busy entrepreneurs.

  • Mack says:

    Wonderful Article Indeed, It’s helped me a lot to understand the concept, I do know the company who offer a lots of services and i am using it.

  • Very Helpful Post.Good description on how to use a virtual assistant

  • Amazing article. I will be coming back for more.

  • When is the right time to outsource a virtual assistant? 

  • […] Shaw of The Entreprenette Gazette recently asked a number of business owners what their virtual assistants do for them and how they […]

  • Thanks Shaw for your valuable suggestion.

  • […] big businesses. Sarah especially loves the idea of hiring VAs. However, she advises that you only delegate the tasks you can’t […]

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