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A virtual assistant network is a professional association for independent support service contractors. It typically provides assistance such as networking, job leads, and other aid and resources relevant to this kind of independent contractor. There are both fee-based and free versions of these networks.
Some networks have requirements for membership, such as residency in a certain area or a certain amount of previous support experience. Most members of a virtual assistant network will have at least a few years of support experience. While there are general virtual assistants, many specialize in a particular area, such as project management, bookkeeping, or phone answering services.
A virtual assistant network can be useful for both employers and independent contractors. Virtual assistants who are members typically have access to forums, job boards, and online or in-person networking. Businesses in search of assistance have a centralized location where they can find a variety of specialists.
Many businesses will look for support contractors on a virtual assistant network because of the requirements many of these groups have for membership. In addition to previous work experience in the field, this can include previous experience as an independent contractor, a proven regular work schedule and an existing client base. These qualifications can increase the confidence of hiring businesses.
In addition to a virtual assistant network, independent support contractors can find job leads via classified ads, job boards and project bidding websites. There are also several stand-alone forums which can provide some of the networking benefits of a more official organization, in addition to advice and support. These resources may be a good option for individuals who are new to the field, as they do not require experience and are often free.
Many business owners will hire virtual assistants in order to cut employment costs. Using a virtual assistant network can further reduce the cost of searching for contractors. While the hourly rate for a contractor is higher, there are typically significant savings overall. This is because the hiring business only needs to pay for the hours worked, rather than a part or full-time salary. They also do not have responsibility for benefits, equipment, and work space.
Virtual assistants are independent contractors who provide support services either from home or their own office space. They typically perform regular work with a series of clients on an as-needed basis. In some instances they can also be paid by project. While the industry grew out of a need for administrative assistant services, it has now also expanded into other technical and creative specialties.