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FAQ

We receive a fairly significant number of inquiries each week asking about The VA Firm and the Virtual Assistant Services we offer. As a result, we’ve put together this Frequently Asked Questions page to help answer some of those questions and address a few of the concerns we often hear from prospective clients.

Don’t see your question and answer in the FAQ’s? No problem! Feel free to call our office at 818-579-2024 any time, 24/7 or contact us through…you guessed it, our Contact Us page. We’ll be happy to address any questions or concerns you might have.

Remember, a consultation with us is always 100% free, with no obligation at all. So your call is absolutely RISK-FREE!

One thing to keep in mind: we’re a small team; we’re NOT a Virtual Assistant agency that hires other VA’s. Because we respect your privacy and the integrity of our work, we never shop your tasks to third-parties. In short, that means when you call our office at 818-579-7377 either Erin or Richard will pick up.

However, please remember that if we’re on the phone with a client, or performing a task that doesn’t allow us to take calls, then you may get our answering service or voicemail. If that occurs, please don’t hesitate to leave a message and we’ll call you back just as quickly as we can—usually the same day.

As always, thank you for your time; we know it’s valuable, and we appreciate you considering The VA Firm for all of your Virtual Assistant needs.

Why should I hire Erin or Richard and The VA Firm to be my Virtual Assistants?

Simply put, we’re professionals. Erin and Richard have been completing the very same types of tasks and projects listed on our website for a combined total of 25-plus years. That means we have the knowledge and expertise you need to make sure the job gets done right the first time, every time.

Browse our website. Compare the quality of it to those of other, less experienced independent VA’s. Then, take a look at our rates; you’ll discover they’re very reasonable and highly-competitive.

Still not convinced? Why not consider a trial run with us…we offer a money-back guarantee, making the process 100% risk-free for you! Most importantly, we’ll do everything we can to make you happy. Because we want to build long-term relationships with our clients, and we believe the only way to do that is to go above and beyond in everything we do!

Will you sign a Confidentiality or Non-Disclosure Agreement?

Absolutely! In fact, we actually include one with our Virtual Assistant Service Agreement, but we’re more than happy to sign yours as well. Your privacy, security, and peace-of-mind is important to us! At The VA Firm, we never share or discuss your business or personal information and data with anyone, for any reason.

What does a Virtual Assistant (VA) do?

Generally speaking, a Virtual Assistant is a freelance or contract assistant who performs a variety of tasks, usually administrative in nature. At The VA Firm, Erin Bower and Richard Starr specialize in a variety of remote services, from administrative support and business tasks to Advanced Services including ecommerce and technology support. Please visit our Standard or Advanced Services home pages to learn more about how The VA Firm can you help you, starting TODAY!  In addition to our Standard and Advanced Services, we also offer Writing and Editing Services for authors and screenwriters!

Why do I need to hire a Virtual Assistant?

This is a complex answer, so we’ve tried to break it down into what we feel are the most important reasons why you should hire a professional Virtual Assistant:

1. Time is money! It’s far easier to work with an experienced VA than it is to advertise, interview, and try to find the right full or part-time person you would want—or can afford—to put on salaried staff.

2. Employee Savings. Don’t forget: a salaried employee costs more than their salary. With a full or part-time employee, you also have to worry about taxes, training, benefits, reliability, the fact that few employees actually work 8 hours a day, the reality that you may have to fire them, OSHA compliance, paying for vacation and sick time, and much, much more.

3. Compatibility. With a Virtual Assistant, you don’t have to worry about finding someone with a compatible personality that you can work with day in and day out. A professional VA wants to build up a long-term business relationship, so they’re going to go the extra mile to make sure you’re happy each and every time they work with you!

4. Experience. A professional VA will have the experience to provide the services you need right away. Training is, more often than not, minimal, IF it is required at all! A top-quality Virtual Assistant should be able to jump right in and start working immediately, making your life easier—not harder.

5. Cost-Effectiveness. Hiring a VA is far less costly than hiring a full-time staff member or even a temporary worker. As a busy executive or small business owner, you probably know how expensive it is to hire someone, even if they’re only part-time. With a Virtual Assistant, you don’t pay a full-time salary or benefits. It’s like having an expert on-call only when you need them, saving you substantial time and money!

6. Stress-Relief. Speaking of which, there is no better time to hire a Virtual Assistant than when you’re overwhelmed or just need some extra help. A professional Virtual Assistant can help you with a wide variety of tasks that can get you out from under projects or other chores, and make it easier for you to clear your schedule. That means fewer hassles, less work, and more time for yourself!

7. Payment Flexibility. You don’t always pay the same amount for the tasks you need. That’s not only budget-friendly, it’s just good business. After all, you shouldn’t be paying the same rate for data entry or simple web research that you would for WordPress® website development or marketing copywriting! Need a quote for your specific tasks? If you’re looking for an hourly Virtual Assistant, give us a call at 818-579-2024 or Contact Us today. When you get in touch, we’ll most likely be able to provide you with an immediate quote for our services based upon your special requirements.

What payment methods do you accept, and what are your terms?

For your convenience, we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover via PayPal. If you’re opposed to PayPal, and some people are, we also accept Square. Your choice. We apologize, but we do not accept Cashier’s Checks, Personal Checks, or Corporate/Business Checks. We also cannot accept standard (First-Class) mail delivery, as our scheduling is carefully arranged in advance in order to accommodate work from new and existing clients. Thank you for your understanding.

Are you based in the United States?

Erin and Richard, your professional Virtual Assistants and co-founders of The VA Firm, are based in the United States—specifically, Los Angeles, California. We do not outsource our client tasks or projects, especially overseas. We believe in employing American workers. All tasks and projects are completed by Erin and Richard and our in-house team of expert specialists, all of whom work exclusively for The VA Firm.

Do you only work by the hour?

Actually, no.  We believe in offering our clients a variety of options when it comes to accommodating their budget. Our rates are highly-competitive, and are can be charged hourly, by the project, or as a retainer, depending upon the type and category of the services we’re providing to you.

What are your hours of operation?

We tend to be workaholics of a sort, so we’re generally available 24/7, with the exception of Friday afternoons and Saturdays. Having said that, we can, and often do, work during those times. However, Saturdays may require a day’s advance notice in order for us to be available for your task or project. If you have any questions or concerns about our scheduling, please call our office at 818-579-2024 or Contact Us by email for more information.

Will you work out of my home or office?

Unfortunately, that is not what Virtual Assistants do, pretty much by definition. In-person assistants are generally referred to as “Executive Assistants”, “Personal Assistants”, or “Secretaries.” At The VA Firm, we work remotely, utilizing the Internet and other technology to provide you with a full suite of world-class support services.

I’m a VA. Can I work for you?

Unfortunately, we do not hire outside Virtual Assistants, and The VA Firm does not outsource work. All tasks are performed by us and our internal team of hand-picked specialists. There are a number of firms that hire Virtual Assistants—we know, because we work for some of them! We recommend that you sign up with a firm who can help you find work in your particular area of expertise.

What kinds of tasks do you do?

At The VA Firm, your personal Virtual Assistants, Erin and Richard, have a vast amount of experience in a variety of different fields. Please visit our Services page for an overview of how we can help you and your business.

Can you answer my telephones?

Absolutely! In fact, we’re telephone experts! In the past, both Erin and Richard have worked extensively with call centers. In fact, Richard was formerly SanDisk’s Lead Support Agent covering all of New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore! He also helped train their China team, which provides support in both the Mandarin and Cantonese languages. Both Erin and Richard have worked in high-volume inbound calling environments as well as small, intimate, customer service-centric situations where a much more personal touch is required.

If you need a dedicated line to forward your calls to, we can help with that, too. We can have a dedicated inbound line set up for you in 45 minutes or less, once we’ve completed your Virtual Assistant Agreement paperwork and arranged for payment.

I need to share some large files for you, or I don’t feel safe emailing my valuable documents. How do you share files?

We have been using Dropbox for many years to share files internally and with our clients in the Cloud. We can also use Google Drive if you prefer.

What if I need to fire off a quick Instant Message to you during the day? How do you handle those?

We’re experienced in a variety of web-based Instant Messaging tools, but our “go-to” solution on a daily basis is Skype. If you use CRM software with Instant Messaging capability, we’ve worked with those, too. It doesn’t matter if you need to communicate with us, or if you need us to message your customers; either way, we can handle it!

You list marketing and copywriting among the services you offer. What is your experience as a copywriter?

Richard, co-founder of The VA Firm, has been a top generalist copywriter, marketing strategist, marketing consultant, and business owner for more than 25 years. During that time, he has worked on countless marketing and other creative projects for clients across the United States and around the world. You can read more about his extensive experience by visiting his Team Member page.

I need a graphic designer, too. Can you help?

Absolutely! Erin and Richard are not graphic designers, but they are experienced art directors and employ two graphic designers on The VA Firm’s permanent creative team. We can help with virtually any of your graphic design needs, from websites and landing pages to print brochures, branding and identity, and much, much more!

I need a new website created, or I need someone to help with the administration of my existing site. Can you help?

Yes, we can! Th VA Firm website was built in WordPress®, the world’s most popular self-hosted CMS platform. In fact, we’ve been developing and administering WordPress® websites for years as part of our Advanced Services packages. During that time, we’ve become experts at dealing with the most common problems and issues experienced by our clients who have WordPress® websites.

Don’t need a new website or need help with an existing site? No problem. We can help with your existing site, from back-end maintenance to front-end design changes, ecommerce management using WooCommerce®, and a whole lot more! Have more questions? Give us a call at 818-579-7377 or visit our Contact Us page.