A woman, who has become a virtual assistant, working at computer in her living room

How to Become A Virtual Assistant and Run Your Own Home Business |

With jobs becoming ever more pressured and offering fewer opportunities to progress, you may feel it is time for a change. Perhaps you have always thought about starting your own business but were reluctant to take the risk or were unsure as to what to do. One highly sought-after, self-employed role is that of the virtual assistant – a well-paid role that allows you to have a flexible lifestyle.

Better still, the start-up costs of becoming a virtual assistant are relatively low. In fact, you may already have what you need. The essentials for the role include a good computer that meets the requirements of the software you will be using (such as Microsoft Office, a web browser, and any software required in your niche area), a phone, and a fast, reliable internet connection.

To become a virtual assistant (often abbreviated to ‘VA’), it’s important to have a clear understanding of the type of work you intend to do and what the requirements of that work are. Usually, there is great flexibility as VA’s perform the same tasks as other employees. It is certainly a role that moves far beyond clerical duties, in fact, a virtual assistant can provide a multitude of services including web design, marketing or even social media management. It very much depends on the person who is hiring and the skillset of the individual virtual assistant. If you are highly skilled in a specific niche, then it is best to seek employers who require this skillset.

There are many areas you can work in as a virtual assistant. Here are just a few examples:

  • Social Media Manager – Researching content, engaging with followers, network management, reporting.
  • Research Assistant – Compiling research data, presenting data, investigating credible sites.
  • Admin Assistant – General bookkeeping, email management, document formatting, receiving and making telephone calls.
  • Data Entry Administrator – Reviewing and tracking data, generating reports.

Pros and Cons

Working from home may have its merits but there are potential distractions that can make it difficult. A virtual assistant must be dedicated and remain focussed and motivated. In addition, every business needs cash flow to start up and in the first instance, it may mean working more hours to cover the basics before you gain traction. There may be advertising costs, or you may need to take some time to learn how to use online agencies and gain work in this way. Using job agencies opens up the potential to work for clients across the globe – increasing your chances to land more jobs.

Become A Virtual Assistant – Your First Steps

To become a virtual assistant, you must have great time management skills and a flexible approach to work. There is no doubt that it is an interesting way to work and there is a great demand for skilled virtual assistants. Online businesses often seek the services of a virtual assistant, because they do not want to employ staff on location. This benefits those who want to run their own business from home and have control of their revenue.

It is an industry that has gained popularity with the advent of online working. As the revenue of a business increases, one of the first tasks undertaken is to employ a virtual assistant who can take over many of the time-consuming, but essential, tasks. This frees up the business owner, so they can focus on more crucial aspects of the business.

Points to consider when you become a virtual assistant are the types of services to offer and the market in which you want to work. These are the foundational considerations to make to ensure your virtual assistant business is successful. Once you understand the nuts and bolts of this industry, it’s an efficient and affordable business. It is important to operate it as a business, keeping accurate records of hours worked and tasks completed. By having a professional attitude, you will ensure a steady flow of clients or long-term employment.

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