Business Support Services to the Rescue
by Pat Criscito, CPRW

The scene is a familiar one. Karen, a secretary in a busy New York City office, is working on a statistical report when her boss comes back from a meeting and gives her 20 handwritten pages of a proposal to type. He apologizes for his delay in getting it to her but explains that it must go out to the client tomorrow morning if it is to be considered for a major contract. He tells her to get help if she needs it. It is now 3 p.m. Karen’s current project is also a priority, and she can’t stay overtime because she has a date for dinner and the theatre. No one else in the office can help; calling a temporary agency is out of the question at this hour.

Fortunately, Karen has another source of support. She thumbs through her Rolodex, then dials a number in Colorado. Minutes later, she faxes the handwritten pages to her contact, then resumes her regular work. When Karen arrives in the office the next morning, she views the e-mail waiting for her on her computer, selects the one named “proposal”, download its, and prints it out. By 9:30, the document is ready for her boss’ signature and is on its way to the client shortly afterward. Karen’s boss commends her for her efficiency and resourcefulness.

Karen called upon a secretarial service with flexible hours, knowing they had the staff to work 24-hours a day, if necessary, allowing plenty of time to type the proposal. When it was completed, the operator simply transmitted the document file via e-mail to Karen’s computer where it could be retrieved and finalized.

The same scenario has been repeated by business support services all over the country, utilizing not just data transfer technology but also couriers and next day air shipping. Even time zones can be exploited—five o’clock in New York means three extra hours of work in California.

Normally, a business support service is not a replacement for your secretary, only an invaluable assistant, providing overflow assistance when company staff doesn’t have the time or the resources to finish the job on time. Secretarial services are especially useful for special projects that would require hiring additional but temporary personnel. By hiring independent contractors, you gain the expertise of seasoned professionals you didn’t have to train with state-of-the-art equipment you didn’t have to buy. Think of the savings! There is no need for:

Employment agencies
Employee taxes
Unemployment insurance
Employee benefit packages
Paperwork for all of the above
Coffee breaks and other lost time
Paid vacations and sick leave
Valuable office space
Computers, laser printers, etc.
Desks and other furniture
Telephones and fax machines
Office supplies and reference books

In the case of start-up businesses, salesmen, or executives who travel a great deal, a central point of contact without the expense of a full-time office staff is ideal. In those cases, an outside business support service may be all they need.

With our increasingly global economy, the number of international businesses has skyrocketed. And with it has come a need for translations and multilingual word processing, as well as office personnel who are skilled in cross-cultural communications. When there is only an occasional need for such services or more work than a company’s trained staff can handle, hiring an outside business support service with these special international skills is economical.

ProType is known internationally for its dedication to quality. We offer outstanding and professional assistance that meets your needs, including all of the services mentioned in this article. Our company provides writing, typesetting, editing, and proofreading services for authors all over the world. More than one-third of our 1,500 active clients are based outside of the United States. We also perform the initial keying of the law books for the Shepard’s division of McGraw-Hill in Colorado Springs, which means typing as many as 10,000 pages per month. ProType has the staff and expertise to provide you with exceptional service at a reasonable price. No matter where in the world you find yourself, think of ProType for anything from a simple letter to a finished book.

Pat Criscito, a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with more than 35 years of experience, is the president and founder of ProType/ProWrite, Ltd. (an international business support service offering writing, editing, typesetting, and personal branding services since 1980). She is the author of Barron’s How to Write Better Resumes and Cover Letters, Guide to Distance Learning, Résumés that Pop!, Interview Answers in a Flash, and e-Résumés. Pat makes regular television, radio, bookstore, university, and speaking appearances across the United States (including Harvard, Yale, Tulane, SMU, Thunderbird, Colorado College, and others).

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