Planning to be a virtual personal assistant? Here's some information about what the job entails.
Virtual Assistant Position
As a virtual assistant, you will be required to provide services ranging from administrative support to consulting via email, fax or phone. In other words, you will be streamlining your client's business, thus letting them have free time to run regular business operations.
Qualifications and Duties
It takes more than typing skills to be a successful virtual assistant. A virtual assistant needs to think like an entrepreneur to understand the workings of the business world, and thus assist other business owners in their secretarial services (for which they neither have time for nor understanding).
Depending on your qualifications and interests, your duties as a virtual assistant may vary. These are some of the basic ones:
- data entry
- creating or managing databases
- desktop publishing
- creating or managing websites
However, industry experts say that though hard work is the key to building sustainable practices, what is equally important is combining your experience with strong business plans and training.
Get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce, enterprise agency or regional business start up center to help you to work out the charges. They will guide you with the basics like how much you need to earn to sustain a living from your practice, and thus, plan your charges.
By and large, your charges depend on the kind of work and your locality. Jobs like data processing can start at low rates, and then increase the rates for complex jobs like database management.
On an average, a new virtual assistant can start with a minimum of $12 per hour. If you have a lot of experience and a more complex job, you can expect to earn $45 per hour. Hence, if you are working 20 hours per month, then the pay is $12,960.
The key is to be patient. It takes time for any business to get established. However, in the meantime, you can follow these steps to help you:
- Do some research on virtual assistants and word processors.
- Choose a professional sounding company name.
- Networking is always important. Join business associations in your area and online networking sites.
- Sign up for newsletters, as they include a wealth of information.
- Read business magazines for more information.
- Take a small business course to upgrade your skills regularly.
A job as a virtual personal assistant can be a satisfying and reasonably highly-paid job for anyone who is organized and understands how to streamline business operations.