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Would you use a Virtual Assistant?

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Hello,

I'm after a little bit of feedback please if that's ok?

Having recently been made redundant I find myself looking for a new job and have considered becoming self employed as a Virtual Assistant.

 

Can I ask the following questions please:

1. Would you use a Virtual Assistant?

2. What kind of work would you want a Virtual Assistant to do?

3. What do you think would be a competitive rate of pay?

 

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

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There are quite a few people offering this service. I'm sure there have been other threads on this in the last year of you search.

 

I will be moving offices when I employ a third person but I can already use virtual office service including ad hoc admin work at the same place. I struggled to find an office where they offered a good virtual office service and ad hoc services ie virtual assistant. I hope this makes sense to you.

 

I didn't want to hire a virtual assistant as I only needed someone to answer my landline should it ring while I'm out. Its rare this happens as my customers know to call my mobile. I can put it on call forwarding but I can't answer it if I'm in a meeting. I find most virtual assistants price them selves out of the work I needed doing. To me they are aimed at PA level rather than just taking the occasional phone call. It would be cheaper for me to employ someone part time but I was worried about them being bored without enough to do.

 

Hopefully you will get more helpful feedback from others.

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Hello Chez2

 

Many thanks first of all for taking the time to reply.

 

Before I made a posting I did a search of SF to check for postings in relation to Virtual Assistants and quite a lot of it was a little dated so I wanted to get some more up to date information.

From the information I have sourced so far I have found that quite a lot of the places that rent office space to small businesses offer admin support as part of their rental agreement but equally from conversations I've had it has been hard to get a service that is tailored made to your needs at a competitive price. Your comment was a really good example regarding taking adhoc telephone calls.

Thanks for your comments they were really useful.

 

 

There are quite a few people offering this service. I'm sure there have been other threads on this in the last year of you search.

 

I will be moving offices when I employ a third person but I can already use virtual office service including ad hoc admin work at the same place. I struggled to find an office where they offered a good virtual office service and ad hoc services ie virtual assistant. I hope this makes sense to you.

 

I didn't want to hire a virtual assistant as I only needed someone to answer my landline should it ring while I'm out. Its rare this happens as my customers know to call my mobile. I can put it on call forwarding but I can't answer it if I'm in a meeting. I find most virtual assistants price them selves out of the work I needed doing. To me they are aimed at PA level rather than just taking the occasional phone call. It would be cheaper for me to employ someone part time but I was worried about them being bored without enough to do.

 

Hopefully you will get more helpful feedback from others.

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Thats odd, it must depend on geographic area. I wanted an office within a short distance of the M1, A1, A57 or M18 around the Sheffield, Rotherham or Worksop area. I needed a nice looking office, meeting rooms and on site car parking. I found ad hoc office services very limited. Most would do basic photo copying but not much else. Some would only take in letters as virtual offices but strictly no parcels. It was only something I would need on a rare occasion and nothing of value.

 

The office I have chosen in Worksop were willing to work with me. Some wanted me to call in for my messages or send them via email. Mine has offered to phone me on my mobile for a fee.

 

I have been approached by a few people offering virtual assistant at £25 per hour. In my experience there seems to be more of a shortage of people to be virtual message takers/phone answering service rather than experienced secretarial services. Some virtual offices did say they would answer phones but I tested them and I wasn't pleased with how long it took to answer some calls or lines regularly busy and couldn't get through.

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I cant comment on the geographical area as at the moment the info I have is very limited, perhaps it might be good to start recording that level of information too.

I have previously worked in an office where reception staff took calls, greeted callers to the office and directed them appropriately, offered admin services such as typing, filing, photocopying etc but as I said before this was as part of a rental agreement in a multi-user office building.

 

Judging by your comments regarding an affordable messaging taking service that might be somewhere to start regarding services offered?

 

Thanks once again.

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I'm looking for this now.

 

What kind of work are you willing to do as a virtual office assistant?

What kind of work are you qualified/experience to do?

How much would you want to earn per hour?

There are lots of people offering this either remotely or in serviced offices, why should I use you instead of them? whats your USP?

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I use a Virtual Receptionist, paid per call from Answer.co.uk. Messages are emailed.

 

They provide a London number so you need to get a virtual Sheffield number if you want to look local.

 

And have a Virtual Address that handles all my physical mail and parcels, letters are scanned, and I can ask the original to be forwarded if I wish. It's from ScanMyPost. The downside is the address is in Truro so I get raised eyebrows sometimes :-)

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Hello David

 

Firstly, many thanks for taking the time out to reply to my posting.

 

Initially I am only in the research stages of whether this is an area of work I want to go into but your questions have posed me with quite few questions of my own that I need to address.

However, in answer to the questions you raised I think I had generalised my expected work as in what would have been expected of me into categories i.e. work I would do in a normal office environment so things like answering calls, taking messages forwarding them on. Answering and dealing with email or website enquiries, general typing. data entry, dealing with post etc. The 20 years plus experience I have in administration, office practice, customer service in relation to customer satisfaction, retention and quality assurance would certainly, I believe, qualify me in those roles. There's also PA element to the role ie admin support, hr related queries, travel arrangements, diary management etc. I suppose in relation to any other areas of the role it would be dependant on what was asked of me, for example I don't know if I would be adverse to picking up someone's dry cleaning or maybe walking their dog but then does that start to change the role into something of a Girl Friday sort of role? There's also the event management side of the role, something which again I have quite a varied history of experience in.

 

Your third question, at the moment this is something I have not decided on as I need to look at the competition to see what they are charging based on what services are available. As I said in my first message this is something that I am looking into and so I am still very much in the research phase.

 

And finally, as to my USP, certainly something I would have to think about as I would image that a lot of people are going to come out with the same kind of answer so I would need to look at what REALLY DOES stand my infront of the others.

 

However after reading this if you are still looking for some admin support maybe you might want to pm me !!

 

 

I'm looking for this now.

 

What kind of work are you willing to do as a virtual office assistant?

What kind of work are you qualified/experience to do?

How much would you want to earn per hour?

There are lots of people offering this either remotely or in serviced offices, why should I use you instead of them? whats your USP?

 

---------- Post added 23-10-2013 at 11:10 ----------

 

Hello Ismangal

 

Thank you for taking the time out to reply to my message.

 

I have taken a look at both of the services that you use and it has definitely given me food for thought so again many thanks.

Edited by maidofhonour
none

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I use a Virtual Receptionist, paid per call from Answer.co.uk. Messages are emailed.

 

They provide a London number so you need to get a virtual Sheffield number if you want to look local.

 

And have a Virtual Address that handles all my physical mail and parcels, letters are scanned, and I can ask the original to be forwarded if I wish. It's from ScanMyPost. The downside is the address is in Truro so I get raised eyebrows sometimes :-)

 

Thats why I wanted a local address and phone number for my virtual office. I was going to divert my own landline but its only for new customers so I'm using their phone number at the office. It costs me £20 per month plus £1 per phone call to my mobile (I could be abroad). I haven't used any extra secretarial services yet but they seem reasonably priced.

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That would basically depend of what type of business you have. If you are a retailer, might as well hire one with amazon, ecommerce expertise. If you are on the marketing side, a good seo guy would be perfect.

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Maidofhonour, this post seems quite old now. How are you getting along? It's a really interesting post.

 

I know that following redundancy, many people go to freelance / self employed etc, but stay in the same industry that they were in before. They are likely to have specialist knowledge and experience, also contacts, making it an easier progression than starting from new.

 

Good luck with it anyway

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