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Hiring a Virtual Assistant

How to get help when you don't want employees in your home office

This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Start Up.

Q: I started my homebased business six months ago. I don't want an employee in my home, but I already have too much administrative work to handle. How do virtual assistants work? What should I look for in a virtual assistant, and where can I find one?

A: Virtual assistants (VAs) work from their own premises and provide personal and office support services, such as general administrative tasks; making customer contacts; writing reports; editing documents; sending out marketing materials; handling thank-you notes, gifts and follow-up letters; setting up and maintaining databases; handling billing and bookkeeping; and updating Web sites.

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