If you have office skills, being a virtual assistant may be a perfect fit for you. Many small businesses need an extra hand on a regular basis, but don’t want to add a permanent staff member to the team. Virtual assistants fill the void, offering a wide range of office services.
Following are just some of the services you can offer other businesses:
* Word processing and desktop publishing
* Press releases, correspondence, report preparation
* Travel arrangements, appointment scheduling and taking phone messages
* Basic bookkeeping using QuickBooks, Quicken or MYOB
* Faxing, broadcast faxing and bulk mailings
Many virtual assistants make $50 or more an hour, depending upon their experience, skill set and breadth of services offered. All you need to get started is a well-equipped computer workstation, a broadband connection to the Internet and a phone with multiple lines or a home phone and a cell phone.
To be an effective virtual assistant, you should have good communication and office skills, be professional and confident, and be able to multi-task and work well under pressure.
Your ideal client base is local businesses that are one or two person operations. If you’re in a smaller community, you can find businesses like this by joining the local chamber of commerce. Business networking organizations are another good source of new clients.
A good example of a virtual assistant business is InfoWord VA. Debbie Buxton has been a virtual assistant since 1997 and has a solid client roster of small businesses she serves. She provides clients with a wide range of services that fit her unique skill set, including running errands, doing desktop publishing, keeping websites up to date and basic accounting functions. You can visit her business online at http://www.infoword.com and get a sense of how a virtual assistant is set up and operates.