What Is A Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant, or VA, is someone who works independently and remotely to provide professional administrative support for a business. VAs are called upon as and when they are required, usually by small businesses, and often provide support in a number of different areas.

Why Do Business Love Using Virtual Assistants?

  • VAs save time – they do the jobs that people don’t want to do, or don’t have time to do.
  • They’re cost effective – hiring a VA allows a company to reduce overheads such as taxes, office space, supplies and much more.
  • VAs are used to working flexible hours and being called upon as and when they are needed.
  • They’re usually highly experienced – most will have been well trained or already worked as a PA.

Why Should I Become A Virtual Assistant?

  • VAs normally work flexible hours, so it’s great career path if you have other commitments such as childcare.
  • No commuting!
  • You’ll get to work with a variety of clients on a wide range of tasks.
  • No office politics!

Read our guest post from VA Louise Richman, owner of Indigo Eleven, on what it’s like to be a VA.

What Skills Do I Need To Become A Virtual Assistant?

We recommend having some office experience on your CV before you consider becoming a VA.

Remember that certain programs such as Microsoft Office will be updated as time goes on, so it’s important to undergo training regularly to keep your skills fresh.

Aside from this, the following skills will also be useful:

  • You’ll need to be computer savvy and be familiar with Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint
  • Good telephone manner
  • Proofreading
  • Strong organisational and time management skills
  • Internet savvy
  • Motivation – with a job that has so much freedom and allows you to work remotely, you will need to maintain motivation at all times
  • Fast learner and good at adapting to new things
  • We recommend specialising in a certain area because it’s always good to have a niche – why not try social media, web design, event management or PR?
  • Know useful apps to help with productivity and time efficiency

What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?

VAs work on a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Answering phones and managing emails
  • Bookkeeping
  • Social media
  • Assisting with event planning
  • Typing up documents
  • Data entry
  • Transcription
  • Travel planning
  • Research
  • Maintaining databases
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Public relations
  • Web design
  • Copywriting
  • Updating the company website
  • Pay bills
  • Customer service
  • And pretty much anything else your client needs a hand with!

We recommend skilling up in as many areas as you can, to increase how much you can charge businesses for your service and increase your chances of employability.

Where Can I Look For Virtual Assistant Jobs?

  • Networking events – hand out business cards and get to know potential clients
  • Social media – especially LinkedIn (groups, make your profile searchable) and Twitter – creating an online presence
  • Set up your own business and website (learn how to promote yourself)
  • Apply to work for a Virtual Assistant company
  • Be brave and contact people/small businesses directly

How Much Money Do Virtual Assistants Make?

You would normally charge your clients a fixed fee by the hour or daily, but some people prefer to charge per project, and they would also cover extra costs such as phone calls and postage.

But remember, the more skills you have, the more money you can be making.

How Much Will It Cost Me To Become A Virtual Assistant?

Whilst the cost is low, you will need to make sure you have the following things:

  • Up to date and wide-ranging skills
  • A computer with internet connection and printer and a scanner
  • Microsoft office software
  • A phone line
  • A website

Fancy becoming a VA? Call or email our Course Advisors today to see how we can help you.

Published by Holborn Training.

Get in touch and we will be happy to see what we can do for you!

020 7025 4700 – High Holborn Training Centre

020 7792 5214 – Notting Hill Training Centre

0161 923 6814 – Manchester Training Centre

020 8688 0378 – Croydon Training Centre

Or Contact us by email: htinfo@pitman-training.net.

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