Virtual Assistants - Make Money? Save Money?
Become a Virtual Assistant to make money....use a Virtual Assistant to save money in your business.
The History of the VA Movement
Burgeoning computer technology combined with corporate downsizing and an increased focus on the bottom line lead to the creation of the VA movement in the mid-1990's; the continuing trend towards independent contractors supports the growth of the profession.
Clearly most small business operators wear too many hats - the VA's role is to remove the hats from the client and either wear them themselves or find an alternative resource.
So What IS a VA?
A VA is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to individuals and business. Assignments or projects are usually communicated to the virtual assistant via the Internet, phone, or fax - face-to-face meetings are not the norm.
Typical assignments include:
1. Contact Management
2. Handling voice mail and email correspondence
3. Marketing assistance - handling the client's distribution and communications (daily broadcasts, newsletters, etc.), including subscribes and unsubscribes to the list
4. Reminder Services(tracking special occasions, deadlines, etc.)
5. Transcription - minutes from meetings, voice mail messages, training class notes, focus group input
6. Word processing, working with spreadsheets and creating presentations. This includes managing correspondence, writing reports, training manuals, proposals, sales presentations, etc. More advanced skills include writing business plans, proposals, and dealing with legal documents and financial reports.
7. Editing and formatting the client's own work
8. Scheduling appointments and meetings
9. Travel, conference arrangements
10. Basic bookkeeping and invoicing; may include bill paying
11. Basic desktop publishing - forms, newsletters, flyers, brochures
12. Web Site Design/Support - not fundamental, but sometimes offered by VA's.
13. Research, online and off.
14. Mailing campaigns
Basic Equipment and Supplies Needed to Get Started
If you're planning to get started as a Virtual Assistant, you need some basic tools and equipment. At the minimum, you will need:
1. A phone (preferably a land line)
2. A reliable computer
3. A good-quality printer
4. A high-speed internet connection
5. A fax line (optional but recommended)
6. Software appropriate to the services you are going to provide, i.e., Microsoft, Word, Front Page Excel, etc.
Who Uses VA's?
o Small businesses and entrepreneurs
o Businesses who can't or don't want to hire a full-time employee
o Businesses who have an occasional need for professional admin support
o People who want to have more time to concentrate on those aspects of their business that they enjoy most
o Real Estate Agents and Brokers
o Professional speakers, business or personal coaches
What are the benefits of using a VA?
o You pay as you go – your commitment is limited to the time on task or by the project
o You incur no staffing commitments - there are no payroll expenses, sick leave, paid vacation time, no benefits, no bonuses
o Periodic or seasonal projects can be handled without overloading your resources
o You limit expenditures in software, furniture, equipment
o You are not limited to regular office hours - most virtual assistants keep flexible schedules
Learn more about General Transcription - Meet Karen S. Musselman
General Transcription Business Guide
Wanting to become a VA but don't know where to start? Excited by the opportunity to grow an international client base? - Meet
Francis van Wyk
Considering your options? Go from 'Virtual Assistants' to 'Choose the Business that's Right for You'