A Team of "Virtual Assistants," Awaiting Your Command
BY Jason Del Rey
A weekly look at the latest products and services designed to help you run a better business.
Tired of mundane business tasks like bookkeeping, data entry, and customer service?
For home-based business owners who don't have the funding to hire in-house help, a new site enables them to hire "Virtual Assistants" in remote locations to perform specialized tasks that they do not have the time or desire to complete.
GetAVirtualAssistant.com affords business owners the opportunity to outsource specific jobs to assistants who possess the particular talent needed.
"If a business owner is wasting precious time doing tasks that are necessary but not revenue-producing, we can find the right VA to take over those time-sucking jobs," said founder Jeff Landers, a serial entrepreneur who is also an Inc.com columnist.
Pursuing an entrepreneurial career path can be a high-risk, high-reward decision.
A new category store from Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) attempts to assist entrepreneurs in cutting down the guesswork of what they need to know and the products they should have to succeed. The Amazon All Business Center provides one-stop shopping for small and midsize business owners with categories such as software, computers, office furniture, and books.
"The store is a tool that allows us to reach out to this unique group of customers, and provide them with the best prices, selection and convenience to help make their dreams of owning their own businesses a reality," Greg Hart, vice president of software at Amazon.com, said in a statement.
The business center will also include customer forums, how-to software specifically geared toward growing a business, and access to Amazon Web Services, Fulfillment by Amazon and Amazon Corporate Accounts.
Small and medium businesses that can afford to employ their own IT departments know how valuable that resource can be. But it's also important to avoid charging IT workers with duties that can be handled in other ways.
Fremont, Calif.-based Celestix Networks' new WSX appliances for its Websense Express software are geared toward handling Web filtering and Web security so small and midsize IT departments can concentrate their resources elsewhere.
The appliances enforce Internet-use polices to cut down on information theft and to reduce help-desk calls. Additionally, Web security features are updated automatically each day to keep users protected.
WSX appliances can be installed in 15 minutes or less, the company said in a statement.
JASON DEL REY was a senior reporter covering technology, branding, and company culture for Inc. magazine. Before joining Inc., his work appeared in Newsday, The (Newark) Star-Ledger, and the Staten Island Advance, and on ESPN.com. He lives in New Jersey. @DelRey