As a perceived stay-at-home mom, I am often asked what I do for a living. My response is very honest and enthusiastic as I say ‘I am a Virtual Assistant!’. And every time this scenario happens, I expect them to exclaim the wonders of a VA, how magnificent a role it is for the future of business, and how great virtual assistants are. But no. Instead, I am hit with a blank stare, followed by a confused ‘Sorry, you’re a what?’. So, I take a deep breath, compose myself and explain my profession, and they reply ‘Oh wow, I have never heard of that before’ followed by awkward silence and most certainly a change of subject. I can just imagine what they are actually thinking: ‘What a lowly job’; ‘She must be picking at straws’; ‘She should probably dedicate more time to her kids’; ‘Who would ever need or use THAT?’.
The South African market, as clued up on technology as they think they are, are NOT clued up when it comes to how the virtual world a) works and b) can benefit them.
The virtual assistant is not only a benefit to the elite or to the high-rollers. No! This thinking is too narrow.
- A virtual assistant can help the busy mom who doesn’t have time to fill out her tax return, or can’t sit at her computer for long enough to gather quotes for the best priced girl’s hockey stick.
- A virtual assistant can assist the socialite to book their car in for a service, or book a girls weekend away.
- A virtual assistant can benefit the busy and overworked individual who doesn’t have the time, the means or the skills to produce a simple spreadsheet, and capture data.
- A virtual assistant can benefit the small business owner who doesn’t have the time or the expertise to fulfil the monthly recurring ‘chores’ that make their business run smoothly; or create those beautiful images for their Facebook pages; or know two hoots about how to improve their SEO ranking; or write out a report; or manage their email; or write a blog post.
I know what you're thinking: 'These tasks are so inconsequential and menial, I can do them myself!' But are you? Outsourcing these things may cost you R400 a month, but will save you hours in your day and the emotional turmoil you put yourself through in doing these tasks yourself. You need inconsequential and menial tasks taken off your hands.
But don’t get the wrong idea…virtual assistants are PROFESSIONALS too! They are skilled and educated, and are able to perform a lot more than just the menial task.
It is time for the South African market to move your thinking away from your primitive concepts of what an assistant does and can do; lift up your eyes and see the future that is the virtual assistant. The virtual assistant is an asset. If you are a South African business owner, it is imperative that you explore the use and the purpose of a virtual assistant. It will change your life. It will change your business.