TORONTO-Ecommerce Bytes had a good run down on using a virtual assistant to build your business. The article echoes some truths about virtual assistants that I’ve been pounding for a long time.

A virtual assistant is a person who works remotely to help you with various administrative tasks. A virtual assistant typically works from a virtual office, which means you don’t have to accommodate them with bricks-and-mortar office space. And with virtual office technologies they are never more than a click away for a Skype call or a web conference.

Virtual assistants can handle tasks from answering phones to setting appointments to creating calendars and more. Some virtual assistants even specialize in social media, web development or public relations. Indeed, there’s a virtual assistant for just about everything under the sun these days.

Virtual assistants market themselves online, and it can be difficult to tell if the virtual assistant is truly reputable or will only embarrass you with clients. I worked one of virtual assistants that almost caused me to lose a client because her behavior was so inappropriate. But I’ve also worked with a number of virtual assistants that have added real value to my company.

When you work with a virtual assistant company, you may pay a small percentage more than you would if you hired an independent agent, but long-term it’s often better for your business because you don’t if the independent virtual assistant gets sick your work doesn’t get done. When you use a virtual assistant company, the firm has back ups in place to help you keep the ball rolling.

Barbara Weltman, the author of the article I read titled, “Using a Virtual Assistant to Build Your Business” suggested managing the work arrangement with your virtual assistant in three steps: (1) What works needs to be done? (2) By what time? (3) Will there be regular phone chats to review upcoming work or discuss problems?

By working with a reputable virtual assistant provider like Davinci Virtual Office Solutions, you can ge these questions squared away quickly and get on with building your business.