Many administrative professionals and others who wish to work at home offer their services online as a “Virtual Assistant”. Virtual Assistants (also known as VA’s) provide a wide range of traditional office services and more from a remote location instead of a traditional nine-to-five job. VA’s can charge anywhere $10-$50 an hour for their services, depending on the services they offer
If you have a good general knowledge of office management or have a skill that business owners need, you can start a Virtual Assistant business without too much hassle. There are generally few start up costs and maintaining the business is quite simple.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
· What Services Will You Offer? – It’s important to know what services you can offer and how before you offer them. Are you a good typist? Do you feel comfortable speaking on the phone with others? Are you good at making event and travel arrangements for others? Do you have web development skills? These are some of the things that a Virtual Assistant does in the course of their working relationship with the clients that hire them.
· Put Together Business Plan – Before you take the big step of starting a Virtual Assistance business, you will need to write a business plan that includes an overview of your business, marketing and financial plan. To help you put together your plan, decide what services to offer and more, pick up a copy of your “Virtual Assistant Starter Pack.”
· Setting Up Your Home Office – Make sure you have a separate work area, free from background noise and where you keep your client information secure and organized. You’ll want to have a good desk, a separate telephone line with answering machine and invest in a late model computer and other office machines including a scanner, copier and fax.
You’ll also need to ensure you have all the software required to provide the services you’ve decided to offer. If you’re starting on a budget, simply ensure that, at minimum, you have the supplies and tools you need to do the job well. You can always upgrade or get new equipment and software as you need it.
· Marketing 101 -Along with getting business cards, letterhead and address labels professionally prepared, you should set up a website that will serve as your virtual office potential and current clients can visit. Add information about your services, contact information and testimonials once the work starts coming in. To get started, you might offer some service free to select business owners in return for feedback and to build your portfolio as a service business tends to really build through word of mouth.
With a good skill-set and a plan in place, just about anyone can set up a successful Virtual Assistant e business.
Recommended Additional Resource:
To get a full overview of what you need to start your Virtual Assistant business, how to set up your website, market your business and keep your clients, check out the “Virtual Assistant Starter Pack.” You’ll learn from two professional VAs who share their success strategies, allowing you to cut your learning curve and get your business profitable much more quickly.