Virtual office assistants provide administrative help from their own home.

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You've escaped the cubicle or corner office to start your own business, and it's going great -- you're focused on what you've always wanted to do, you have plenty of work and new clients are knocking at your door. It's great . . . except for one thing.

When you escaped, you didn't bring your administrative assistant with you. Now you're doing her work as well as your own. At midnight, you're scheduling flights and meetings, typing proposals and filling in spreadsheets. In addition to cutting into your sleep, these administrative tasks are tying up your time and keeping you from the work that'll keep you in business.

Or perhaps you're a successful office assistant who's tired of balancing the commute and office day with your family's needs. You'd like to have more control over your schedule --  to be there when the kids get home from school. Maybe you want to live on the beach or in the mountains. Possibly you're trying to find a way to work from a new location after your husband's job transfer. Or, you'd simply like more variety in the work you do.

Whether you're the overworked entrepreneur or the office worker longing for more control over your time, the solution may be a virtual office assistant. By taking on vital administrative tasks, these off-site workers can give an entrepreneur time to focus on doing the work he does best and bringing in new business. And becoming a virtual assistant lets a worker exchange the 9-to-5 grind for a virtual office, a home-based business with much more flexibility and variety.

But what does a virtual office assistant actually do? How much can you expect to be paid, and where can you get training and then clients? Keep reading to find out, starting with more about a virtual assistant's responsibilities.