What Is A Virtual Assistant?
And what do they do?
Posted on: 02/09/2013 By: Jacqui Frost
These are two very common questions that are probably not asked as often as they should be. People assume they know the answer, completely misunderstand or just don't want to appear stupid by asking ...
are you absolutely sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors?
A Virtual Assistant (also known as a VA or VPA) can do pretty much any type of admin or secretarial work that would often be done in-house by an administrator, secretary or PA. They can do regular pieces of work for you or they can be called upon ad hoc whenever things are building up.
One of the things we're called upon to do the most is typing and correspondence. We will type up your documents, spellcheck and proofread them for errors. You'll be glad to know that we certainly know the difference between "they're", "there" and "their". We also know when to use "your" and when to use "you're".
We also understand the principles of punctuation, and know that any punctuation should be followed by a space. This may seem simplistic or old fashioned, but it does make it easier for the reader. A good layout is also important. We are taught from a very early age to read from left to right, but did you know that when you scan a document your eyes will zigzag across the page from left to right to left to right. This makes it really important that your paragraphs and bullet points are laid out correctly.
Here at The Office Genie we have a team of Virtual Assistants and this brings with it a number of benefits. We can each focus on our area of expertise. For example, not every one of us is an audio typist. But one of the greatest benefits is that one of our colleagues can proof our work.
How many times have you sent something out, only to spot two or three mistakes when you look at it later (or worse have them pointed out by the recipient!)? It seems that our brains see what they expect to see, so once you know what it should say, spotting that it doesn't actually say it is nearly impossible!
Although you know it's good practice to have someone else read it before you send it out you don't always have someone on hand to check it. Using a Genie to do your typing, or even just your proofing, will eradicate those errors that might just cost you some important business because the client thinks you're sloppy.
I'm sure that, like me, you've read marketing letters or brochures only to be put off by the glaringly obvious spelling mistakes or grammatical errors? They seem to hit you in the face and you immediately begin to have second thoughts about the "attention to detail" that you were being promised. After all, if they don't care about what they do for themselves, will they care about what they are doing for you?
Making sure your literature and correspondence represents you well is about more than the message or the graphics. It needs to be easy to read, and spelling mistakes or grammatical errors can be a big stumbling block.
So let the Genies help you to get it right! Call us on +44 (0) 1604 529170, click here to ping over an email or visit our website to find out more about us.
Until next time ...
THE OFFICE GENIE
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!