Title: Recession on the Horizon? Fight Back with Virtual Assistance! Word Count: 863 Summary: It seems that everywhere we turn these days there is talk of a looming recession. An article by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer, says that “The unemployment rate leaps to a two-year high, record numbers of people are forced from their homes and Wall Street nose-dives again. Such is the fallout from a housing meltdown that threatens to slingshot the country into a recession.” Keywords: recession, virtual work, telework, tele-work, work from home, team double-click, double-click, Gayle Buske, Virtual work, working, job, career, careers, freelance, work at home, small business, virtual staffing, staffing, unemployment Article Body: It seems that everywhere we turn these days there is talk of a looming recession. An article by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer, says that “The unemployment rate leaps to a two-year high, record numbers of people are forced from their homes and Wall Street nose-dives again. Such is the fallout from a housing meltdown that threatens to slingshot the country into a recession.” Yikes! What to do? Where to turn? What about virtual assistance and virtual staffing? The good news is those tools exist now, which didn’t exist in recessions past, to help businesses through recession. In the old days a recession meant certain death for a good many businesses. Today, it doesn’t have to! For years now companies have embraced hiring virtual assistants through virtual staffing agencies in order to save on payroll and bricks and mortar overhead costs. Perhaps the time has come for your company to give virtual working a go before the crunch strikes so you’re primed and your business is ready for what comes next. Even in a robust economy saving money against the bottom line is a sure way to increase your company net. What happens during a recession? Typically a company may lay workers off and cut jobs to save money on payroll and hardware costs like computers, desks, electricity, telephone bills, etc. I’ll be the last person to deny that some of these are quite necessary to survival during a recession. But even in a poor economy, companies need services. We need order takers, customer service personnel, receptionists, data entry workers, appointment setters, warm callers, and so on. So how can we fight back during recession, still get all of those necessary tasks done, and keep growing our companies? How can a virtual assistant and virtual staffing help me save my business during a recession? Just save? You’re thinking too small. How about grow too? Close your eyes and imagine a business world where you could ditch the high cost of sustaining office space; pass on the daily commute and high cost of fuel for the car; give the axe to buying a bunch of expensive office equipment for everyone and her* sister; keep the kids at home and avoid daycare costs; stop paying unemployment insurance, F.I.C.A., employee income tax, and health insurance; forget about listening to the latest boy friend woes; never deal with the employee mentality again; and have your workers thank you for the work. Utopia right? Nope, just hiring virtually. When you hire a virtual assistant through a virtual staffing agency here’s what happens: 1) When you call to discuss your needs your call is answered promptly and courteously 2) You discuss the tasks in need of completion and your business’s needs with a qualified staffing consultant who is eager to understand your business and your needs 3) Once you’ve given the go ahead the consultant searches the virtual staffing agency’s database for the best possible virtual assistant for you 4) The virtual assistant is assigned to perform your business’s task 5) You immediately begin working one-on-one with the virtual assistant 6) She reports to you daily letting you know what work she’s done and cheerfully thanks you for giving her the work 7) She only “clocks in” when she’s working on your tasks. No need to pay for time not worked just because the assistant is sitting in your office waiting for tasks 8) She’ll be on call throughout the day, all week, but not billing unless you have tasks for her to work on 9) You are invoiced from one place for all of the assistance you need – whether it’s one or twenty virtual assistants Of course the virtual assistant is an independent contractor so you won’t pay for health insurance, vacation time, sick time, F.I.C.A., office space, computers, desks, or even a lunch break. You mentioned growth. What about the growth? Quite simple. What is the number one thing most businesses are missing during a recession? Cash. Cold hard cash. If you’re saving money on office expenditures and have reduced your payroll to only the essentials, what should you have more of? Cash! And what does a greater amount of cash allow a business to do? GROW! Market more, sell more and grow! At Team Double-Click® we have 33 full and part time staff members. Those staff members in the bricks and mortar world, as employees in an office big enough to house them would cost the company nearly $1.5 million per year. Instead they cost only about $200,000. A savings of 87% per year by avoiding the big office and full-time employees! Plus our workers are happier because they work from home; enjoy greater flexibility which leads to greater loyalty, greater productivity, and less down time. As if we need any more pluses to hiring and working virtually, we make very little impact on the environment when we all work and hire virtually! *For ease of writing and reading, and since most administrative assistants are female, this article is written in the feminine. No offense is intended to males who may work in the administrative assistant industry.