If you are looking for a way to work from home or supplement your current income, you may want to consider becoming a Virtual Assistant. The income potential varies depending on the services offered a client, but a VA can charge anywhere between $10 to $50 per hour, depending on their specialty.
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Become an Online Assistant From Home

If you are looking for a way to work from home or supplement your current income, you may want to consider becoming a Virtual Assistant. A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a person who handles office tasks for clients from their home instead of working in a traditional 9 to 5 office building. The income potential varies depending on the services offered a client, but a VA can charge anywhere between $10 to $50 per hour, depending on their specialty.

Skills Required: Basic computer skills and office skills are good to have before considering becoming a Virtual Assistant. If you have knowledge in a specialized field, you may be able to fill a certain client's needs and charge more money. But, just about every type of service is in demand online, including customer support, proof-reading and book-keeping. As with any small business, you will have some start up costs to consider, but they are minimal. The purchase of a good computer, printer, and desk are the only items that you'll need.

Your Services: What are you good at? Deciding which talents you have will determine the services that you will offer your clients. Are you a typing whiz? Do you like solving customer problems over the phone? Can you make complicated travel arrangements seem easy? Do you like to coordinate special events? Are you a good networker? Do you have a good eye for design? Can you find your way through developing a web site? After you figure out which services suit you, you will be able to develop a plan of action.

Put Together a Business Plan: Before taking the next step of starting a Virtual Assistance business, we recommend that you write a business plan that includes an overview of your business, mission statement, marketing and financial plan. There are many online resources to help you put together your plan, decide which services to offer, etc.

Setting Up Your Home Office: Make sure you have a separate work area, free from background noise, with adequate space to keep your client information secure and organized. You'll eventually want to invest in a good desk, a separate telephone line with answering machine, and a reliable computer and printer. As your business grows, you may want to expand your office to include a scanner, copier and fax, depending on the type of work you're doing for clients.

Software You'll Need: You'll also want to have all the software required to provide the services you've decided to offer. If you're starting on a budget, at a minimum you need the software required to do the job well. You can always upgrade or get new software as warranted. Networking with other VAs is invaluable in finding out all the best resources for software and support. Many expensive programs can be purchased at low cost or free -- or replaced with a free alternative, you'll find.

Marketing Yourself Professionally: Having professionally-made address labels, business cards, and stationery is important to presenting yourself as a professional. You'll also want a website or blog as a means to introducing yourself to the public and as a way to maintain contact with your clients. Be sure your website includes a list of the services you offer, your contact information, and, once you get established with a few clients, some testimonials.

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