As businesses get even more competitive and in-house staffs even more overloaded, companies are seeking support services, like those provided by virtual assistants. These cyberhelpers help with a range of project-related services-everything from handling e-mail and making reservations to desktop publishing and creating and maintaining databases.
Virtual assistants are more than cybersecretaries-they serve clients from the comfort of their own home offices, typically develop long-term relationships with clients and work as partners on projects, according to Stacy Brice, the 38-year-old president of Assist U., a virtual-assistant training program.
The beauty of the business is that it's so easy-and inexpensive-to start. All you really need is a phone, a computer with a fast modem, Internet access, a major software program, a printer and a fax machine. Virtual assistants also typically charge between $35 and $70 an hour.