By: Randi Cairns

Talk to the typical business owner and more often than not, one of the most common frustrations cited is the time spent on the “details” instead of the heart and soul of sustaining and growing a business. Your “job” is to move things forward, and yet it’s very easy—too easy—to get stuck in the mundane.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there were a work genie? Someone who could magically take tasks off your plate so your focus and attention could be on the important things?

Turns out these fairylike beings really do exist—well, minus the magic, but with the same wondrous results. A virtual assistant (VA) works remotely providing administrative, technical and/or creative support. What that support looks like is entirely based upon your company’s needs. Need scheduling/calendar management support? Database maintenance? Writing/editing? Help with communications/correspondence? Presentation preparation? Coordination with vendors? Research? Social media management? The options are endless. You can readily find a VA who can do any or all of these tasks and more.

And because these virtual assistants work from a home office, you’ve now recruited help without needing to provide office space, a guaranteed set of hours, or benefits. You have the advantage of on-call staffing at your disposal, and your productivity will increase.

Where can one find such efficient, dependable people with an array of skills? Powerhouse Planning of course!You can shop for a virtual assistant on sites like Upwork or Outsource, picking the individual whose skillsets best match your company’s needs. Additionally, word of mouth is an incredibly powerful screening tool. Think about whom you know and respect who is using a virtual assistant he/she is happy with. The best referrals will come from your networks.

Other outlets to search for Vas include the following:

International Virtual Assistants Association

Global Virtual Assistant Networking Organization