The virtual assistance field is a very good option for people with an administrative background who want to find a way to work from home. More and more people are starting their own businesses from home and need help with administrative, marketing, accounting, and other business related tasks.
It is difficult to define what a virtual assistant is and what they do, as there are so many variations. A virtual assistant typically handles basic administrative functions, such as answering email and website updates, or they may take care of highly specialized tasks such as handling their clients’ publicity plans.
If you are interested in becoming a virtual assistant, you will need some basic home office equipment. A home computer with a high-speed internet connection is essential. Some clients will communicate with you solely through email, but some may choose to contact you via phone.
You may use your home number for this, but if you find that you are taking on a lot of work involving the phone, you may want to get a dedicated phone line, just for your business.
As a virtual assistant, you will need good word processing software. Most businesses use Microsoft Office, so you may want to invest in Word if it isn’t already installed on your computer. You may also need to use a spreadsheet program such as Excel or database software such as Access. If you cannot afford those programs, Open Office and Google Docs are good alternatives.
Depending on the services you offer, you may also need specialised software, such as a web editor or a graphics program. If you are working with a client who asks you to take on new tasks, they may supply you with the software needed to complete those tasks. However, if you are advertising the service before you attain the client, it will be expected that you already have the software needed.
Keys to becoming a virtual assistance:
Be Internet Savvy
A Virtual Assistant job is an online career, and so prospective applicants must know the geography of the World Wide Web. This means knowing different website categories, reliable sources of information, pools of media resources, and all possible means of communication being facilitated by the Internet.
Many employers task their virtual assistants to perform creative tasks, which include writing press releases, creating photo journals, releasing company newsletters, and the like. Hence knowledge on the production, use, and dissemination of different media through the Internet is important.
Know the Language
In becoming a virtual assistant, good grammar is not enough. One should learn the conventions of business language, orally and in writing. The job has a lot to do with writing letters, documents, and reports, and so using formal and professional language is necessary. An employer’s specific industry has a jargon of its own, and one should know at least have an overview of this in order to qualify.
Assess Your Abilities
This is one of the crucial Keys to Becoming a Virtual Assistant. With the increasing population of employers seeking for virtual assistants, competition between applicants also becomes more intense. One should assess one’s abilities in performing the job, and ensure that he or she at least belongs to the higher segment of applicants who have desirable administrative, secretarial and creative skills.
While there are a lot of job postings in employment websites, truth is the best virtual assistant employers are the ones who seek and interview qualified people individually. Having a personal websites that contain one’s portfolio and experience can do a lot in attracting great clients. Asking family members, friends, relatives, and people within one’s network to promote the site can also help in increasing the popularity of one’s services.
Know Your Rate
Virtual assistance jobs are work from home jobs, and this means that the resources that one’s employer should shoulder-office rents, Internet bills, computer maintenance expenses, supplies, etc.-are transposed to the virtual employee. These expenses are all against one’s monthly income, and so one should make an accounting of the service rate that one should offer to his or her employer. While there is comfort in working from one’s own private space, being underpaid is a completely different case.
The following are some of the benefits of becoming a virtual assistance:
A Flexible Schedule
We all like the idea of having a flexible schedule, but it’s not always in the cards. In fact, few jobs provide employees with a flexible schedule of any kind. But if you are considering becoming a VA, this type of flexibility may be in your future! This means that if you will have the luxury of spending more time with your children, friends or spouse.
Work From Home
Just like having a flexible schedule is appealing to most people, so is the idea of working from home. When you opt for becoming a virtual assistant, you will not just be able to work from home, but you may be able to work, well, “virtually” anywhere! Thanks to breakthroughs in technology, such as the cell phone and mobile computing, as a virtual assistant, it may be possible for you to work anywhere you like.
Build Your Work Experience
Becoming a VA means that you will potentially work on a variety of different types of jobs and, in the process, learn a good deal about many different industries and fields. This, of course, means that you will build up some impressive work experience that is difficult to garner in almost any other way. In terms of overlooked benefits to becoming a virtual assistant, this one ranks rather high!
Break Into an Industry
If there is an industry that you would love to work in, then being a VA might be the way for you to get your start. Considering how difficult it can often be to get that foot in the door, this factor also makes becoming a virtual assistant rather attractive.
Build Great References and Potential Job Referrals
Great references can be invaluable in life, and becoming a virtual assistant will allow you to accumulate numerous references from all sorts of entrepreneurs and executives. These references will help you stand out in a competitive job market in a variety of important ways!
Becoming a virtual assistant may be tough but it is a dream job for a lot of people. Just imagine living your life with time in your hands. There will be no boss or annoying office mates. All you need is for you to decide now and take the path of virtual assistance.
There are many more features needed to help you become a virtual assistant, You just need constant practice and dedication to succeed. When you have your career as a virtual administrative assistant, always remember to achieve excellence in everything you do. Always seek for the best and never be satisfied with an average output.
Gina Horkey from HorkeyHandBook has a great virtual assistant course 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success I recommend you take.