A virtual assistant (VA) is an administrative personal assistant who provides support services to other businesses from a remote location.
The term originated in the 1990s as the ability to work virtually due to technology improvements, such as high-speed Internet, document sharing, and other advancements, made working remotely a reality.
Virtual assistants are especially in demand by entrepreneurs and online businesses that need help but don't want to bring on staff in their location. However, many small and mid-size businesses use virtual support, especially for specific tasks such as social media management.
As a business owner, there comes a time in which it's impossible to do everything, at least well enough to be efficient and effective. Hiring a virtual assistant frees up your time so you can focus on the work that will make money. Plus, many virtual assistants are better than you at some tasks. It's always faster and less expensive in the long run to hire out duties you're not skilled at.