I became a virtual assistant a few years ago. I’ve worked part time since then helping other businesses and entrepreneurs with various tasks. Of all the jobs or businesses I’ve tried, it’s been one of the most rewarding. It allowed me to work at home, set my own schedule, help other people, and develop skills.
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Become a Virtual Assistant
First of all, what is a virtual assistant (VA)? A virtual assistant works with clients, providing them support services without having to be physically present at a client’s office. VA services are becoming more and more popular thanks to technology such as email, the Internet, online instant messaging, and virtual project/team management applications. Staff no longer has to be in one location to work together.
If you have a secretarial, technical, or graphic design background, then you seriously should consider working as a virtual assistant. Even if you don’t have experience, there are training programs you can do online, like VA School, to learn. Other similar training such as bookkeeping, accounting, real estate, paralegal, translation, editing, and writing can help you offer particular services entrepreneurs and businesses need.
1. Make An Income You Can Live On
A virtual assistant charges either a set amount for a package of services or by the hour. She is in control of how much she charges her clients. The more specific/specialized the task, the more the services are worth. While you may come across some job offers saying they will pay $5 an hour for va work, the reality is for a virtual assistant living the US the rate is more in the range of $15 and up. When I started out I charged $10 per hour, but it was basic work that didn’t require a lot of training. As I developed my skills and got more specialized I raised my prices. It’s not unusual for a VA to charge $50 per hour for special services. When you get started training and planning to become a virtual assistant, you’ll get a feel of what the norm is and what you should change.
One helpful way to figure out how much you can make is think about backwards. What do you need to make per year? Then how much is that per month? How many hours per month can you work? Remember to include time you need for admin duties. On average a full time VA may set aside 10 per week for admin and use the other 30 hours for client work. Divide your monthly need by the hours you have to do client work. That will tell you how much you need to charge per hour for your work. Remember that is the amount before you subtract business costs and putting aside for taxes. But you, also, are saving money by not having to pay the costs of daycare, commuting, wardrobe, or eating out for lunch.
I know of several VA’s making 5 figures consistently. Those who build a business and expand it to have a team of VA’s bring in 6 figures.
2. The need For VA’s is only going to get greater.
Growing technology have made it easier to work remotely. That and the realization that hiring a virtual assistant instead of office staff saves companies money, the need for VA’s is growing continually. Every year more businesses and entrepreneurs are in the hunt for VA’s to assist them in variety of tasks. There is almost no business that would not benefit in having a virtual assistant helping them manage or market their business.
3. You gain freedom and new opportunities to grow.
Are you dreading getting dressed up, driving your commute to work, and working with a boss who is ungrateful and unappreciative? Do you love some parts of your job and despise other parts and wish you could do the parts you love more? To become a virtual assistant means new freedom to control your career, your schedule, and your income. You can choose what services to offer based on what you enjoy the most. You choose you schedule to fit around activities with family. And there is no cap on your income. Instead, you can continue to grow your income by expanding your business as much as you want.
4. Want to continue your professional working life without having to leave home?
Want the flexibility to work from home and have a better balance between work and life?
Maybe you’re thinking of having kids, or have had your first baby. You so want to continue your career, but you also want to spend more time with your children. Take a good hard look at the world of a VA. This type of home business will continue to give you the satisfaction of a career, while also offering you the ability to be there for your kids doctor appointments, their first step, school field trips, and running them around to after school events.
5. Gain the ability to work with people you want to work with.
Do you tend to click with certain types of people more than others? With a VA business, you can decide who you want your clients to be. Authors, salespeople, consultants, coaches, executives, entrepreneurs, and small business owners are just a few of the types of people you could work with. You have the freedom to choose who you want as a client. This benefits both you and the client making you both more productive.
6. The ability to do more than just one thing.
Looking for a little variety in your business? Don’t want to get stuck doing the same thing over and over again? Here is a list of just some of the things you can do as a VA.
- Writing services (technical or creative)
- Business/employee communications
- Proofreading and editing, research (online or traditional)
- Data entry
- Database management
- Customer Support
- Blog/Website Management
- Social Media Management/Content
- Copy Writing
- Press Releases
- Mailing List Management
- Billing & Coding
- Graphic Design
- Concierge services
- and more!
7. The ability to Niche yourself.
Choose just a few of the ideas above and take it one step further. Niche yourself. You might already possess knowledge in a certain area. You can contact those businesses you are already familiar with and work with them. Maybe in the past you had worked as support staff for a marketing company. If marketing is your thing, you can let businesses know that you can not only be their VA and take care of all their typing and database applications, but that you can also use your expertise to help them market their business.
8. It’s low cost to become a virtual assistant.
If you’re reading this article, then there’s a good chance you already have a computer, a printer/scanner, and internet access. Why not start putting that equipment to good use and make some money? Other costs include any training you need, setting up your website, and cost of registering your business.
9. The choice between working full-time or part-time.
Maybe you don’t want to work full time, but you need to do something to call your own. That’s great! You’ll be your own boss; you can decide how much or how little you want to work.
10. Being able to say you love the way you make money.
If the thought of working being able to work from home using your computer makes you happy, why not make money doing something you love? Grab hold of the opportunity to make as much money as you’d like and the ability to work from your home. You have the opportunity to decide who you want to work with, the type of work you want to do or not do, and your niche area.
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