Becoming a Virtual Assistant
By Sandy Naidu
A Virtual Assistant is an administrative professional who works from a remote location.
Generally a VA never even steps inside the client's office. With the growing
globalization, all they need are some office gadgets and the Internet and they can start
working from anywhere including their homes. They provide services based on the clients
need and their own expertise. The variety of duties performed by them include answering
phone calls to updating websites, reading and responding to emails, typing up transcripts,
writing articles and doing light bookkeeping.
The best part about being a virtual assistant is that you can have your own working
hours and work from your homes too. No need to rush to your office in heavy traffic.
Virtual assistants have an independently contracted business and they are not anybody's
employees. They work from their office, manage the work from their clients and how the
work is completed. They also set their own operating policies and fees as well as pay
their own self-employment taxes. In short they are their own bosses!
You don't need a lot of skills to become a virtual assistant. If you have the basic
office skills and organizational skills, you have won half the battle. You should be able
to keep track of several clients at a time. As far as the equipments required by you; you
would need a computer with high speed internet access, email programs, office programs
software, phone, printer, scanner or fax machine and a website to promote your services.
If you are new in this field, then you can join some organization for some time and learn
the secrets of the trade.
When you become a virtual assistant, you first have to concentrate on attracting more
clients. You can do that by a number of ways such as:
• By advertising in Ezines and other places like Shelancers.com: the
online newsletters accept advertising but you should purchase advertising in publications
that reach your target market and should highlight your expertise.
• By networking online where successful people hang out: don't hang
out on forums where people are struggling to make money; the better option is to join a
membership site for your target market.
• Press release: for good results, you should write press release and
submit them regularly to your local newspaper.
Join some local business groups: some big clients have offline businesses but require
simple task like customer support or more skilled activities like Internet marketing. They
can help you make a lot of money.
It is very important to manage your client successfully. Be careful that you are always
able to access the projects that you are working on. You can exchange emails with your
clients to clear all doubts and to inform about the latest progress on your assignment. If
you have a large clientele you can even take the services from some client management
systems; they can do this management for you and you can concentrate more on obtaining
more clients. For your growth an a virtual assistant you should look for tutorials and
newsletters that are being published by more experienced virtual assistants and you'll
learn a great deal from their example. You can even hire a coach to give you personalized feedback.
Virtual assistants are a popular option over hiring a regular employee as they save the
potential clients a lot of money in overhead costs. It is a win-win situation for both the
client as well as the Virtual Assistant.
Sandy Naidu is a work at home mother. Sandy's website
Business Ideas features interviews
with women business owners. Most of the guests are mothers who have created a successful
business working from home. There are also resources on the site to help you start your
own business. Visit Internet Business Ideas.