Business

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!

Luxury natural wearable art accessories Scarves, cover ups/ kimonos Blank art gift cards Photo prints
Vendor Contact: Julie Gardner of Obscura arts LLC | Phone: 3107353198 | Email: info@obscuradesigns.net

Today we're mostly a cashless society relying on plastic cards and smart phones for payment. The old bi-fold wallet is no more. Introducing pranga's minimalist RFID blocking wallet which can store up to 12 cards & cash. Made in Canada from FSC certified Walnut. Harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, socially beneficial, environmentally conscious, & economically viable. Our wallet weighs 1.6oz, measuring 3 3/8" x 2 1/8" x 3/8". The thin profile comfortably fits into any pocket.
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Welcome to PIPER TATE. Our luxurious body butter is handmade in small batches with plant-based and naturally derived ingredients, combined with a botanically lush blend of Italian Bergamot and pink grapefruit essential oils. Our product, free of harsh chemicals, sulfates and parabens, uses nourishing ingredients such as jojoba oil, aloe vera, shea and mango butters. We believe your daily moisturizing ritual should not only hydrate your skin but also nurture your soul.
Vendor Contact: Valerie Rice of Piper Tate | Phone: 650.279.0417 | Email: vj_rice@yahoo.com

Hey Girl Decor™ is a modern decor and design company, specializing in accent decor pieces such as chandeliers and hanging decor. We believe in everyday decor that can be used for parties, weddings or home! 
Vendor Contact: Nicole M Ketchum of Hey Girl Decor | Phone: 4015941972 | Email: nicole@heygirldecor.com

Teluna is a textile brand and design studio offering stationery and home goods for those looking to bring connection and comfort into their lives. Every design starts with an original painting layered with hand lettering or illustrations. Designs are then digitally printed in the U.S. with environmentally-friendly inks onto heavy card stock or 100% natural heavy cotton. Price range: $5-$42 Wholesale Catalog: https://issuu.com/telunalife/docs/telunawholesalecatalog2020c
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Our new to market STIFF Mother Trucker cream reduces pain fast, has 12 all-natural pain-relieving ingredients to help relieve pain with our on contact cooling sensation & penetration, lasts for hrs because of our unique combination of natural herbs & ingredients that go deep & help to increase blood flow. Plus it's non-staining, non-greasy, fast-absorbing, & travel friendly. We are cruelty-free, vegan, sulfate, paraben, dye-free, & made in the USA LineSheet https://tinyurl.com/y226m2d9
Vendor Contact: Hope Zvara of STIFF Mother Trucker | Phone: 2626270218 | Email: hope@stiffmothertrucker.com

Elegant Home Decor by Elzonya offers luxury handmade table accessories with epoxy resin trays, coasters and candle holders. We also offer unique table runners and napkins to add elegance to your everyday living or special occasion. Retail prices range from $45 - $130.
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My HappyWare line is whimsical, colorful and fun. Pieces (including serving platters and plates) can be added in matching colors or a mixture of multiple colors. They are microwave, dishwasher and food safe. Wholesale prices range from $18 to $65
Vendor Contact: Jennifer Joyce of Jennifer Joyce Ceramic Arts | Phone: 310-493-8776 | Email: jenniferjoyce@gmail.com

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Hello, Our coffee is 100% chemical-free, non-GMO, shade-grown, fairly traded, and single origin. It’s the healthiest coffee on the planet.We 3rd party test for Mycotoxins, Acrylimides, heavy metals, and Pesticides. We use small family-based farms from Nicaragua.
Vendor Contact: Charles Livingston of Lifeboost Coffee | Phone: 8004791596 | Email: Lifeboostinfo@gmail.com

Designed with a classic flair, Cassiano Designs Jewelry is designed for women who love classic fashion.  Customers from all over the world love this luxury line, offered at affordable price points.   The Cassiano Designs brand is respected and successful because the designs are always timeless, quality and classic.  You’ll find designs made with.925 Sterling silver, Gold fill and Gold vermeil.  
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Undated 12-month planner for all your self-care needs! Includes: -Self-care intentions for the year -Monthly designated themes -Weekly & monthly calendar outlook -Goals & intentions setting map -Weekly goals & prompts -Inspirational quotes and cues to pep you up and keep you focused -Planner contains 244 pages
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Shivani’s Kitchen makes it easy for you to experience the bold, authentic flavors of India. Two tempting Collections: 6 authentic spice blends, no gluten or salt; 4 authentic ready to use sauces, no gluten, no salt, no preservatives, vegan and vegetarian options. Made using fresh ingredients from local Canadian farmers. Sauce line: dreamy butter chicken, spicy tikka and sweet and savor curry. Every dish you create celebrates the flavors of India! (Female owned business)
Vendor Contact: Lana Larder of Shivani's Kitchen | Phone: 9024950419 | Email: lana@shivaniskitchen.ca

Menen Pictures Shop offers apparel, accessories and home decor, designed with original fine-art floral pictures, for the lady with a unique style. Based in New York City. Download our wholesale line sheet here: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0027/3131/1161/files/Wholesale_Line_Sheet_3.pdf?v=1605722468 Please contact Menen at info@menenpictures.shop
Vendor Contact: Menen Hailu of Menen Pictures Shop | Phone: 347-744-0629 | Email: info@menenpictures.shop

Kushies GoPillow was invented, patented, and licensed to Kushies Baby by a mom. Kushies GoPillow is a: ▪Wearable cradle pillow ▪Breastfeeding pillow with built-in cover ▪Pillow and swaddling wrap ▪Toddler pillow with an attached travel blanket ▪Travel pillow Video: https://youtu.be/AIcX3Xo1iKY Three Kushies GoPillow styles are available: Kushies GoPillow Lite, Kushies GoPillow, and Kushies Bamboo GoPillow.
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La La Leia Designs was born out of the creative mind of Jeannette Ernst. Each earring is unique to the pair and are made out of polymer clay, in Texas. They are lightweight and hypoallergenic. These pieces make a statement when worn.
Vendor Contact: Jeannette Ernst of La La Leia Designs | Phone: 3616493151 | Email: lalaleiajewelry@gmail.com

The Mina & Vine 'Smart Scarf' provides style & versatility at any stage of life. First of its kind, it's the only to use magnetic fasteners for easy closure, breathable and sustainable fabrics & can be styled 10+ ways. Perfect for any woman on the go, this scarf is nursing friendly, an easy throw on for a Zoom call & also doubles as a baby blanket or carrier/carseat cover. Mina & Vine believes in supporting all women by contributing $1 to the Helping Mamas Organization for every scarf sold.
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We are a luxury mutli-way apparel and accessories company, providing style for every season. Our company value is built around inspiring our customers to express their own individuality. Simply stated, every item in our line is created with the intention of providing the customer with more than one look whether they are headed to the beach, or hanging out on the ski slopes!
Vendor Contact: Sharice Barnes of DELYX LTD | Phone: 8135326868 | Email: info@delyxltd.com

Cool Me Scarf allows women of a certain age look beautiful and feel cool when hot flashes strike. Cool Me Scarf uses simple thermodynamic science to draw heat out of skin with a conducting gel pack that can be used again and again. The scarf itself is made of lyocell, a silky smooth, eco-friendly, hypoallergenic fabric. Easy to use - no wetting or freezing. Soothing cool day or night. Casual enough to wear with jeans, sexy enough to have been selected for the Oscars. Machine wash/dry.
Vendor Contact: Li Hayes of Hugg Company LLC | Phone: 2033142441 | Email: info@coolmescarf.com

Tipsy Chic’s is a DBA of our parent company IL Bere, LLC. Tipsy Chic’s’ is a Women Owned Business that’s brand encompasses a variety of gift items. “Fun Products that make Fantastic Gifts”. Our variety of gifts are unique, fun and whimsical and our customers love them. Our products are an original, captivating and cost-effective way to not only promote your brand, service, company, or event, but to generate revenue.
Vendor Contact: Chrissy Olsen of IL BERE, LLC | Phone: 3604489771 | Email: chrissy@ilberellc.com

DeMure Jewelry is a high-end fashion jewelry company based off pure love & passion for jewelry. DeMure Jewelry sets out to provide high-end fashion jewelry to the customer that can be worn every day and easily transition from day to night. At DeMure Jewelry, we love making bold yet, DeMure statements with our jewelry. We enjoy putting a twist on trendy pieces with the art of stacking & layering which we believes is a combination that's keeps things lively and constantly inspiring.
Vendor Contact: Teaire Lenard of DeMure Jewelry | Phone: 304-431-3943 | Email: Demurejewelrybrand@gmail.com

Slow Roasted Nuts, Handmade, Gluten Free, 4 oz resealable bags: Cinnamon Roasted Almonds, Cinnamon Roasted Cashew, Cinnamon Roasted Pecans, Cinnamon Roasted Mixed Nuts, Chile and Limon Almonds (sugar free)
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Vendor Contact: Charlene Viehmeyer of Scents4Living | Phone: 8282467563 | Email: info@scents4living.com

Cyty Pretty Lyfe and Ambitious Bold Beauty are, in part, about good vibes, doing your best with what you have, "living your best life" (as Oprah would say), and "going with the flow". Regality and comfort combined. From high fashion to comfort-wear, CPL & ABB strive to bring you styles and items to help you live joyously! Price range: $25 - $90
Vendor Contact: Nancy Greene of CytyPrettyLyfe, AmbitiousBoldBeauty | Phone: (443) 961-4735‬ | Email: nangr2016@gmail.com

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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: http://www.essistme.com/?outsourcing

    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!

    Kenny
    Big Click Syndicate LLC
    http://www.KennyJahng.com

  • […] 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
    http://www.spirited-solutions.com

  • BeverlyD says:

    Amen to all of you. I love the preciseness of tasks performed and the billing of my Virtual assistant. http://www.TeamDoubleClick.com 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: http://www.capitolbizsupport.com/5Reasons

  • 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 http://adaywithvirtualassistan-flex-m.blogspot.com

  • 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!

    Thanks!

  • 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 http://www.thevirtualassistantschool.com and http://www.georgiavirtualassistants.com 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.
    http://www.mimfinfotech.com

  • 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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