A virtual assistant is someone who works from their own home-office, providing specialized services to companies. Many companies favor a virtual assistant over conventional personal assistants. Here's how to start a virtual assistant business of your own.
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Home Business Opportunities as a Virtual Assistant

The word "virtual assistant" or the job title therein, is a new name that has developed into a popular business venture in today's internet based society. As the name signifies, a virtual assistant takes care of a company's administrative work without taking up any office space at their work environment. In other words, a virtual assistant is someone who works from their own home-office, providing specialized services to companies, taking care of their paper work and submitting them via the world-wide-web. The "online revolution" has turned the role of a virtual assistant into a huge industry, with many companies favoring the duties of a virtual assistant over conventional personal assistants.

What makes the role of a virtual assistant more favorable in the corporate world?

There are many reasons, and the benefits are definitely two sided. The benefits the employer receives include:

• Saves the trouble of hiring permanent staff and allocating office space for them

• Excludes the payment of fringe benefits such as healthcare, insurance, taxes and training

• Save up on equipment investments such as computers, faxes, phones

• Ability to hire them on a temporary basis, for various projects, when and as required

Is one required to have special skills to enter the virtual assistant business?

Where specialized skills in typing, data base management, office management and internet browsing will undoubtedly be advantageous, you can easily venture into the virtual assistant business with basic skills that can be improved through experience. As long as you are self motivated, target driven and have good organizational abilities, all of which doesn't require special training, you can succeed well as a virtual assistant.

Is it a good field for a work at home mom?

Almost all virtual assistants work from their homes, on their own schedule, on a project delivery basis. This means the opportunities for at-home moms in the industry is huge. If you do not have the time for a day job that requires regular work hours, this is the best option for you. As long as your deliveries are timely, the customer doesn't care whether you work at night, after all your children have gone to sleep, or if you work alternatively amidst your household chores. All they need is a perfect job that meets their standards and, most importantly, prompt meeting of deadlines.

How to start a virtual assistant business of your own.

There are several things to consider before you venture out advertising your services. First decide the type of work you wish to offer. This should be decided based on your skills, abilities and capacity. Investigate the various services required by companies in your area, highlighting your potential target market and devise an advertising campaign based on these requirements. Budget your initial investments, based on your investigations, and set up a business plan on achieving your requirements. Make rough estimates on investment and potential expansions. Once all these prerequisites are complete, you can start looking for clients. This brings you to the most crucial aspect of the business, marketing yourself.

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