In general, a Virtual Assistant (VA) is someone who performs administrative tasks away from the office of their clients. A VA is the modern day version of the executive assistant or personal assistant.

A VA is usually not an employee, which comes in very handy for many home business owners. If you live (own or rent) in a place where the business or city codes say you can't have an employee in your home - you CAN hire a VA! No employee benefits to deal with either!

Each VA works a little differently. It is important for you to identify the skill-set you are looking for and know how many hours you're initially looking to contract for before you start the interview process. Below is a list of things to consider when hiring a VA.

1. It is more likely a VA will not live near their clients; although some do live in the same city or state.

2. A VA will work with you when you need extra help but don't know for how long you'll need that help. Note: it is usual for a VA to charge a "rush" fee for jobs you want "yesterday".

3. They might be the missing link in your business and your eyes or ears on the Internet.

4. A VA can act as a sounding board for your ideas or plans.

5. They will coordinate your work, work orders, and/or work flow.

6. A VA is an independent contractor, consultant, and a business owner, too.

7. A VA may charge for time on a task, or by the hour, week or month. In general, they charge you extra for phone calls they make and for supplies, stamps etc.

8. They have a written agreement with you.

9. Some VA's work individually and others may be part of a larger group of VA's.

10. VA's specialize in certain areas or they may generalize. They could be current or former CPA's, web designers, coaches, executive assistants, personal assistants, etc.

Are you interested in learning more about VA's? Or are you a VA looking for resources? Enjoy this list of resources

Author's Bio: 

(c) 2008 Maria Marsala, founder of Elevating Your Business, a business managment company that focuses on helping financial and service industry independent professionals and small business owners get more. More money, more client, more quality free time. Claim your copy of MORE Business at