The virtual assistant (VA) is a
professional who works from home or her own location, providing office
support services. Tasks such as basic communication, general
administrative duties, billing, accounting, data collection, customer
service, reports, editing, writing, handling documents, digital data,
website updating and database maintenance are just some of the
activities that VAs are involved in for business owners and companies.
Time is the most effective resource for
any small business owner. It is essential to learn how to handle time
efficiently in a home-based environment, since it is very different from
a traditional office. For example, a regular business office may have
structure in place that assists with organizing and completing tasks. In
a home office, it is up to the business owner alone to learn the best
ways to manage time.
You will need to keep track of how much
time you spend performing every task, in order to ensure that you are
adequately compensated for your work.
Working from home, you will need to
master how to effectively communicate from the home office environment,
by using technology efficiently. For example, using email as a primary
source for data is a very effective way to keep track of essential
information, work orders and other requests. It provides an instant,
recognizable and excellent way to maintain operational records. Use a
separate email address to handle business requests and create folders
for each client. Learn to minimize phone usage so that time is not
wasted where it could be better spent producing required work.
Make a schedule for answering email and
phone calls to free up more time. This will help a great deal, since
there will be a long list of hats to wear. Developing multi-tasking
skills is also essential in order to keep deadlines and stay ahead of
Develop Small Business Systems
Set up an office space that is organized
for efficiency. Create a list of all of the things you will need for
daily operations, and have them all available within arm's reach.
Eliminate items that are used infrequently to cut down on clutter. Find
out about what the requirements are for running your own business. There
are tax implications and records that will need to be kept and later
referred to. Study other similar small business operations and make a
template for your own that covers what is needed, while tailoring it to
your own needs.
Create a filing and tracking management system for your business documents and communications. Create a small business plan with realistic expectations for income and goals. By having a regular goal-focus, you will more easily make the transition while maintaining attention to detail.