4 Reasons Why You Should Hire Virtual Assistants from an Agency

4 Reasons Why You Should Hire Virtual Assistants from an Agency

Are you thinking about hiring virtual assistants? There are 2 sources for finding virtual assistants: freelance sites or agencies. You can find qualified virtual assistants from either source. Keep in mind that virtual assistants who work in an agency were also or may still currently be freelancers.

If you are undecided, here are 4 reasons why going with virtual assistants from an agency may be your best option.

Hired and Tested – Agencies have amassed a wealth of talented virtual assistants over the years. They have a data base of virtual assistants that have been assigned to various clients from a diverse range of industries.

So not only do you get well- experienced virtual assistants with the expertise to do a great job but you also have candidates who have been hired, tested and proven.

Some of these agencies have a ranking or rating system available for their virtual assistants. If not, the agency can connect you with a previous client who can give you a first account review of the Virtual Assistant.

Wider Variety of Skills – An agency has a complement of virtual assistants who have highly diversified skill sets. You can find a Virtual Assistant with the basic administrative skills or those who have more technical competencies.

If your business needs virtual assistants to fill in various roles, going through an agency is the most expedient and efficient option. An agency will save you time and resources in finding the ideal virtual assistants to fit your needs.

Greater Flexibility – If the arrangement with your Virtual Assistant does not work out, you can easily terminate the engagement with the agency. In turn, the agency can provide you a ready replacement without additional costs.

Thus, by contracting the services of an agency to find a Virtual Assistant, you will not lose time. If you hired a freelancer and the arrangement similarly did not work out, you will have to go through the entire process of posting, qualifying, testing, selecting and training.

Greater Value Proposition – As you have read, going through an agency gives you many advantages. The usual criticism levied against an agency is that the services are expensive. The critics say freelancers are more affordable and can do a good job as well.

There is no question that there are excellent freelancer Virtual Assistants who may very well be better or more talented than virtual assistants sourced from an agency. But there are two questions that begs to be asked:

  • “Where can you find them?”
  • “How long will it take to qualify a Virtual Assistant as excellent?”

The virtual assistants from an agency already have a track record which you can readily verify. If you need to shore up talent to accommodate your expansion program, an agency can give you immediate recommendations. Finally, you can have them replaced without losing time and money.

If an agency does charge more, these differences can easily be justified and validated by a having greater value proposition.

The truth is you will only be able to confirm the excellence of your Virtual Assistant through time. The longer you work with the Virtual Assistant the more you will be able to assess his or her overall value to your business. And as with other advantages, time is on the side of virtual assistants from an agency. They have proven their value through extended tenure.

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Top 3 Jobs for Medical Virtual Assistants

The scope of work for Virtual Assistants continues to evolve as the demand for their services grow over the years.  Virtual work force is not new in the medical field. Medical transcriptionists have been providing assistance to doctors for many years now and the success of this venture led to other possibilities in the remote workforce.

Recently, the virtual doors have opened to nurses, pharmacists and radiologists as well.  Is it really possible for hospital confined jobs to be outsourced?  Given the nature of these jobs, some perceived this to be unviable.  

However, some dared to break the norm and many medical institutions are now open to the set up called Telehealth.  This is a system that enables the provision of virtual medical and health services via information and telecommunication technologies.  

Telehealth was conceptualized to help address the needs of patients who are in the rural areas and hospitals which are under staffed.  This remote setup allows patients to have access to medical practitioners without having to travel all the way to the hospital.   

On the other hand, medical practitioners now have the option to work onsite or remotely.  Thanks to modern day technology, healthcare services can be given and received virtually.  

Here are the top three jobs for medical virtual assistants that are currently in demand.

Virtual Nurse – Also known as Telephone Triage Nurse, assist patients over the phone by responding to their queries and assessing what kind of treatment they need.  

They will then refer patients to specialists and schedule appointments as per request. Virtual nurses can also help patients manage symptoms since they have access to their e-file on medical history.  

One must be a registered nurse with years of hospital care experience to qualify for this job.  A specialization will help increase your rate.  Estimated annual income is $65,000.

Virtual Radiologist– Also known as Tele Radiologists, they are tasked to read or interpret the medical images like CTs, X-Rays, Mammograms and MRIs that are sent by physicians or medical institutions.

This job can be really fast paced and hectic since the turnaround time for critical cases is really quick.  There are many hospitals now who outsource this job to companies or individuals who specialize in virtual radiology.  

One has to be licensed and have years of experience in hospital radiology to qualify for this job.  

Specializations in neuroradiology, musculoskeletal, mammography and Nuclear cardiology will increase your rate.  Estimated annual income ranges from $100,000 to $200,000.  

Virtual Pharmacist– The adoption of Telepharmacy in countries like USA, Canada and Australia stemmed from the shortage of pharmacists in rural regions.  

Now, people in remote locations can have access to pharmaceutical care 24/7.  This system helps prevent errors in medication.  A virtual pharmacist is tasked to review and verify prescriptions and advise patients on medications via video conference.  

He or she will also coordinate with the pharmacy to facilitate delivery or release of medications. One must be a licensed pharmacist with at least three years of hospital or retail pharmacy to qualify for the job.  The estimated annual income is $112,000.

Even the health industry has capitalized on technology to make medical services faster and more efficient. Going the virtual route will not only save money and resources. Most importantly, medical virtual assistants can save more lives.

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5 Things to Outsource to a Virtual Legal

If you are a lawyer who is taking a leap from corporate law to private practice, it would be a sound move to hire a virtual legal assistant to help you establish and grow your new venture. Are these people as efficient as in house staff?

They certainly are because Legal assistants are trained to handle tasks involved in running a legal office.  They are very capable of accomplishing things you assign to them even if they work apart from you.

Leaving the corporate world to start your own firm entails financial risks since your income won’t be coming in on a fixed cycle.  Many small business owners turn to outsourcing to save on cost without compromising work efficiency.  

It will enable you to save on operational costs by cutting down the number of people you put on a steady payroll and paying skilled Virtual Assistants on an hourly or per legal case basis instead.  

What are the tasks you can delegate to your virtual legal assistant?  Here is a list to guide you.

Administrative Tasks  Email management, scheduling appointments and meetings, Customer Relationship Management, invoicing, bookkeeping and digital filing are repetitive tasks that can be delegated or turn over to a virtual legal assistant.  

Take this workload off your shoulders so you can focus on growing your clientele for your private practice and meeting your clients’ demands.

Legal Research.  You do not need to hire a 9 to 5 employee to conduct research for you.  Virtual Legal Assistants are capable of doing extensive research so you can entrust this task to them.  Legal researchis tedious so it would be better to outsource it in order to save time and money.

Legal Transcription. You will be able to have a faster turnaround for your legal transcripts of interviews, depositions, hearings and pleadings when you hire a Virtual Legal Transcriptionist.  

You just have to send your digital audio and video file to your Virtual Assistant and let him/her do the rest.  They have undergone training for this job so you need worry about the quality of work that will be delivered to you.   

It is very practical to outsource this work because you will only get charged on a per line or per minute basis.

Website Maintenance. Creation and maintenance of your company’s website are better delegated to a tech savvy Virtual Assistant.  It is important to keep your website content and format updated to ensure better engagement with potential clients.  

Passive Income Source Management.  You may want to consider creating a passive revenue source like selling e-books or online tutorials to boost your income.

Share your legal knowledge to people who want to learn online. Enlist the help of a Virtual Assistant to write and edit your e-books or create your online tutorial curriculum.  

It may take a while getting used to the virtual work set up.  Once you have established a strong connection with your Virtual Assistants, you will be able to work seamlessly with them.  Having them onboard will certainly help you run your private practice as you envisioned.

Does Your Virtual Assistant Have These 8 Essential Soft Skills?

Does Your Virtual Assistant Have These 8 Essential Soft Skills?

Companies or small business owners look for certain traits in people they hire because they are aware that not everyone is cut out to become Virtual Assistants.  During the interview, they are always on the lookout for someone who possesses the right combination of soft and hard skills.

What are soft skills?  These are traits that enable you to effectively relate to other people and respond to any given situation.  The importance of having soft skills is often overlooked because people tend to emphasize their technical competencies or hard skills during interview.

Although the latter is essential to work execution, one cannot thrive or survive in the virtual business world without the right work attitude.

Here is a list of soft skills you need to be able to succeed in the Virtual Assistant business.

 

  • Willingness to be a team player. Although you work remotely and in isolation, business owners expect you to work with the other Virtual Assistants on board the team.  

 

Your excellent technical skills will not matter to them if you are not capable of collaborating with the rest of the group.  

 

  • Flexibility.  A Virtual Assistant must be capable of establishing rapport with people from different parts of the world.  One must be adept in creating a strong connection with clients or team members.  

 

This skill is necessary to break cultural, racial and language barriers.  If you cannot step out of your shell, it will be difficult for you to fit in the remote workers’ world.

 

  • Openness to constructive criticisms and suggestions.  You cannot be stubborn in this business.  Being corrected doesn’t mean that you are inept at your job.

 

Have an open mindset and always leave room for improvement so your relationship with your client will have the potential to go a long way. Many opportunities will pass you by if you choose to look the other way.  

 

  • Ability to spot and solve problems quickly.  You must be quick to respond to the red flags in the workflow.  It’s similar to having a built in sensor.  Something that lights up when things are not going on as planned.  
  • Effective communication skills.  A Virtual assistant must be a good listener and capable of articulating his/her ideas into spoken and written words.    

 

It’s not enough that you have a good set of ears; you must be able to understand information given to you quickly so you can carry out tasks accurately.  

 

  • Patience.  The virtual set up can be very challenging.  Having to work for and with people who are not within arm’s reach can cause delays and conflicts. Clients and team members can test your patience and you must be able to resolve matters without losing your cool.
  • Persistence.  If you want to be a sought after Virtual Assistant, you need to continuously upgrade your hard skills and never limit your desire to learn new things.  
  • Perseverance. This is the ability to stay focused regardless of the difficulties, conflicts and disappointments you encounter along the way.  When you have made the decision to become a Virtual Assistant, it is necessary to have a “never give up” attitude in order to succeed.  

 

The best fit virtual assistants for your business are not just those with exceptional technical and fundamental skills. You should place a greater value on the intangibles that make your Virtual Assistant a valuable asset to your organization.

Virtual Assistant’s Essential Tool Kit for 2017

Virtual Assistant’s Essential Tool Kit for 2017

Every Virtual Assistant must have the right combination of online tools in order to work efficiently.  Working without the right tools is like driving a car on low fuel.

Since this business is technology driven, it is only apt to say that tools make the virtual world go round.  It provides synchronized solutions to people who work together apart.  

Time is of the essence in the virtual business world because there are always deadlines to meet.  Online tools can help remote workers complete their tasks on time without compromising quality of work.  

The right combination of software or Apps will also enable a virtual assistant to work with clients and others seamlessly. What should you have in your toolkit in 2017?  Here is a list for your consideration: 

Data storage and sharing tools. These tools allow you to safely share your files with your client or team members.  You to stay on sync with the rest of the team until project completion.  

 

Online Meeting Tools.  You need these to be able to facilitate online meetings with clients and team members.  Good news is that there are free online tools at your disposal.  Choose the one that is simple to use but packs a punch.  

 

 

 

Email Management Software.  Many Virtual Assistants are tasked to manage the emails of their clients.  These tools will help you get the job done right.

 

 

Scheduling tools. These tools help you synchronize your schedule with people you work for and with, across the globe. You will be able to plan and set meetings, deadlines and appointments efficiently.

 

 

Social Media Marketing Tools.  Social Media marketing is the driving force of the virtual business world.  These tools will help you make your client gain more popularity in different social media avenues such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogs.  

 

 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools.  These tools will help you organize your clients’ customer data, manage leads and keep track of their interactions or engagement with customers as well.

 

Project management is also integrated in these tools so you can monitor the progress of each project that your client undertakes.

 

Accounting Software Tool.  You need software that will enable you to prepare and send invoices to your clients with ease.  

 

Since there are some projects that you get paid on an hourly basis, you will also need to track your billable hours.  Every Virtual Assistant needs this tool in place to be able to manage cash flow better.

Keep in mind that you have to choose tools that match the skills that you offer.  The most popular software may not sit well with you and this will affect your performance or workflow.  

Go for the ones that you can master with ease and do not fill your toolkit with unnecessary software. Do not be overwhelmed with the current advances in Information Technology.  Strive to learn new skills and you will be able to use these tools like a Pro in no time.

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How can you say whether your medicines are real or fake?

In many countries, especially the underdeveloped countries, buying medicines don’t require a doctor’s prescription. So, there is a high risk of buying fake medicines. The availability of medicines online is also a reason for the increase in the number of fake medicines. These fake medicines can be real, but have passed their expiry date. Due to lack of proper law, the pharmacists may still sell them over the counter. The fake medicines may also be a copy of the real medicine having no curing properties. Here are some tips to know whether your medicine is real or fake.

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• If the amount of medicine is too little in the pill you are taking then the medicine won’t work. For example, if the medicine was meant to get rid of a headache, then you won’t be relieved from your pain even after taking the medicine.
• If the pill has too much dose of medicine, then you might have serious side effects.
• Fake pills may not contain any medicine. They could have sugar or chalk instead.
• Fake pills may contain something different other than those mentioned on the label. Taking this kind of pill can be dangerous.
• Familiar medicine in a different package.
• The color, shape, size or taste of the medicine is different.
• The words on the label or package are misspelled.

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To avoid buying fake medicines, you must always buy them from renowned drugstores or hospitals. Fake medicines can be very dangerous for your health. So, you must be very careful when buying medicines.

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5 ways to save money on medical expense

With time the medical expenses are accelerating. Many of us are finding it difficult to cope up with the accelerating medical costs. With some advice and change in our lifestyle, we can reduce our medical costs significantly. Here are five ways you can save money on your medical expenses.

Visit doctor regularly

It is wiser to prevent a disease than treating it. So, it is very important that you do a regular checkup of your body. If you are perfectly alright, then also you need to do at least an annual checkup of your whole body to make sure that you are in good health. You must follow the doctor’s instructions and do all the tests he or she recommends. Preventive services like going to a doctor are much cheaper than the actual medical cost when you suffer from a disease.

Educate yourself about common symptoms of diseases

If you are familiar with your body, you will know when there might be a problem. You must take measures before the problem becomes too severe. For example, if you know the symptoms of breast cancer, you can do monthly self-test on their breasts to find out if the look and feel of it are all right. Similarly, men can do testicular self-test.

Don’t go to an emergency medical service unless needed

Emergency services are expensive. So, use these services wisely. For example, for cold symptoms take soup and some over-the-counter medicine. If you don’t get well, visit a family doctor instead of going to an emergency.

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Take good care of your body

You should always have a healthy diet that is full of nutrient-rich food. You should do regular exercise to keep your body fit. By having a healthy lifestyle, you will be able to save a lot of money on your medical bills.

Practice good hygiene and safety measures

You must develop healthy habits at home, like washing hands before a meal, cutting nails regularly, etc. These will keep diseases away. You should be careful and protect yourself from injuries. When you are riding a bike, make sure you have your helmet on your head. When you are participating in sports, make sure that you wear your protective gears to prevent yourself from injuries.

Follow these suggestions, and you will find the medical expense of you and your family is decreasing every month. Maintaining a healthy life is the best way to live.

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How can you deal with Zika virus?

Zika virus has spread across the globe recently. The World Health Organization has declared it as a public health emergency globally. It’s something new, and everyone is curious to learn more about it. Babies who ar born with Zika virus have underdeveloped brains. Some countries have advised women in the affected countries to postpone their plan of having a baby.

Symptoms of Zika virus

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This infection starts with a headache. Slowly, you will see rashes developing. The infected patient will have red eyes and high fever. The rashes are red in color and appear to be raised. They feel itchy. Some people may have pain in the knees, ankles, and wrists. They may also experience pain in their muscle and behind the eyes. Many Zika virus patients don’t show any symptoms at all.

Treating Zika virus

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There is no treatment for Zika virus. You need to drink lots of water every day and take rest. For pain relief, you can take medication like Tylenol. You can take the following precautions to avoid having Zika virus.

• If a pregnant woman has symptoms of Zika virus or if she lives or has traveled to a country where there is an outbreak of Zika virus, she needs to test her blood immediately. It is best to test during the first and second trimester of pregnancy. Even if the woman doesn’t have any symptoms of Zika virus, it is advised to take the blood test.
• Men who live in a Zika zones or have traveled to a country with Zika outbreak must use protection during sexual intercourse, especially with a pregnant woman. This increases the chance of passing the virus to the unborn child. If a man has been infected with Zika virus, he must not try for a baby for at least six months.

Zika virus is a huge threat to the society. It has increased the chance of babies being born with an underdeveloped brain.