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Small Business Digest



A Virtual Administrative Assistant May Serve a Small Business Very Well

Not every company needs a full-time assistant.  In fact, many small-business owners don’t need, or don't have the budget to support, a full-time administrative assistant to oversee day-to-day office tasks. But with the help of a virtual assistant, many owners can get those much-needed daily responsibilities accomplished.

Virtual assistants (VAs) provide remote administrative, technical and creative business-support services to entrepreneurs and small businesses. In honor of the VAs who work in the U.S. and internationally, May 16-21 will mark the inaugural International Virtual Assistants Week and also the sixth annual Online International Virtual Assistants Convention.

The combined weeklong celebration and convention is designed to highlight the talents of VAs and increase the awareness of these independent contractors across numerous industries.

“Too many business owners are still unaware of or haven’t embraced the concept of hiring professional, experienced virtual office-support providers,” says Sharon Williams, owner of The 24 Hour Secretary, a 20-year-old virtual-assistant business.

The celebration and convention showcases “the advantages of hiring VAs, such as reducing expenses, smart use of technology, and pay-for-services on an as-needed or retainer basis,” Williams adds.

Spearheaded by the Alliance for Virtual Businesses (A4VB) — a VA member organization whose mission is to increase awareness of the industry, providing industry resources, training, and networking opportunities — and other internationally-based virtual-assistant groups, organizers hope the week will connect workers in the virtual-assistant industry to new and potential small-business owners.

Williams, who is founder of the OIVAC, says virtual assistants are “experienced office managers or executive assistants” who enjoy juggling multiple tasks and working with a variety of clients.

During the International Virtual Assistants Week, VAs will host a local VA meet and greet or networking event on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, May 16-18, and then join in the Online International Virtual Assistant Convention Thursday through Saturday, May 19-21.

Along with providing the “missing touch and feel” that occurs during face-to-face networking, Williams says, the event is also planned to educate business owners in local communities about virtual assistants and increase awareness and promote individual VA businesses.

For more information about the celebratory week or the annual convention, visit the following Web sites: and


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