The pandemic has locked everyone inside the house and has drastically affected the daily livelihood of many. In this crucial situation if you wish to start your business from home, then introduce yourself to the online business by being a Virtual Assistant. If you have administrative and creative skills from your past job experiences, then setting up a VA business will be a win-win situation for you. It is not only easy, you can even start your VA business very fast as compared to any other business with the resources you have already at home.
Before we discuss how to become a virtual assistant, let’s understand what it is!
What is a Virtual assistant?
The first thing that comes to your mind when hearing the term – virtual assistant is ‘Alexa’ or ‘Siri’. But there is more to it. It covers a wide range of services from administrative to creative that can help you make money. You can simply offer any services that your business needs through a virtual assistant. Here is your answer to ‘What is a virtual assistant?’- Whatever service you could provide virtually for small businesses technically falls under this niche. Whether document preparation, billing, project management, or other services, the virtual assistant helps you work on the cloud without setting up an office. You can try out various kinds of services and you don’t need to have any prior experience to start as a virtual assistant. Figure out what unique skill you possess and market yourself accordingly.
A virtual assistant is someone who can perform and manage tasks from a remote location. But wondering what their day-to-day work is? Get your answer here!
What does a virtual assistant do?
Virtual assistants juggle several tasks and some of their typical tasks are:
- Event planning
- Maintaining calendar and scheduling tasks
- Updating company’s websites
- Maintaining and managing the social media account
- Making arrangements for travel, etc.
This is the scope of work that a VA is involved in on a regular basis. Let’s give you an idea of what services prospective clients can expect from a Virtual Assistant.
What services can be offered as a VA?
There is a wide range of service lists that can be offered as a virtual assistant. If you find yourself well-versed with general administration then you can go for handling email, data entry, filing, basic social media, etc. Generally, there are three levels of services:
- General administration
- Advanced administration
- Specialized services.
Don’t freak out hearing these terms! If you don’t know any of those, then you can learn them and get on with your VA business. Well there are multitudes of services that you can work on, some of them are:
- Customer service
- Content creation
- Email Newsletter
- Video editing
- Facebook Ads
- Graphic design, and whatnot!
But you may wonder how to become a virtual assistant? Well here’s the answer to it, check out the section below now!
How to become a virtual assistant in 5 simple steps!
To know how to become a virtual assistant or start a VA business at home, check out the below-mentioned steps!
1. Concentrate on what you are offering
By now you know what all you can offer and what is the scope of this virtual assistant business sector. Therefore, concentrate on the skills and niche that you want to work on and offer your services smartly. Focus on these services that you know well, as it won’t be too wise to spread yourself thin at the beginning. Try learning from your initial days for a better future.
2. Set up your business right away
Running your business in the right way and earning well is your primary target. Therefore, you need to decide how you will run your business. Setting up your business as a sole proprietor or LLC is up to you. Learn the consequences before you decide on one, as you will be the one who is going to bear the losses for your wrong choices.
3. Make your social media presence more prominent
Make yourself noticed among your potential clients by creating a strong social media presence. Being present everywhere is practically difficult. Therefore, choose your social media platforms wisely. You can opt for Facebook and Instagram as these are some of the active platforms that would give you wide exposure to your client base.
4. Create your website
Well, if you prefer to work from a remote location then it would be smart and wise to create an attractive and effective website that would highlight your services. It would serve as a virtual CV that would make your potential clients get an idea about your skills and the services you offer.
5. Make friends in your niche and ask for client’s feedback
Working from home may become monotonous sometimes. Get acquainted with friends who belong to the same niche and get advice from them for better work performance. Making clients happy and getting great feedback is your greatest asset. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Worry not about what their feedback would be, as it would always add value to your service and help you in the long run.
- On average Virtual Assistants earn $32 per hour.
- Flexibility in work is the most significant advantage of a VA.
- VA works remotely and most of them are freelancers. As per research, 40% of the US workforce are freelancers.
- Business owners prefer hiring VA to cut down expenses on taxes.
- With the growing popularity of Virtual Assistants, the number of freelancers is expected to rise up to nearly 87 million in the US by 2027.
- With the increasing demand for Virtual Assistants, the market for outsourced services has crossed $90billion in 2019 and is expected to rise further.
- As per studies, San Francisco is at the top of the list as the highest paying city for VA in the US.
Big companies also prefer to hire VA professionals so you can have an added advantage to get a well-paid job if you have relevant experience. Here’s why they look for virtual assistants.
Where to find virtual assistant jobs?
Finding a Virtual Assistant job is as easy as finding any other. Online job hubs- Indeed or FlexJobs are great platforms to look for jobs depending on your niche and qualification. You can simply reach out to the companies that hire virtual assistants.
If you are up for freelance services, then there are various online apps where you can create your profile, give your rates and submit. Prospective clients will approach you automatically.
A virtual assistant can save nearly 78% or operational expenses per year. This is one of the reasons why companies prefer keeping a VA. But there are more. Check out the section below!
Reasons why companies prefer to hire virtual assistants
Do you know?- not only can you start a business as a VA but also can get hired by companies for a well-paid job. Here’s why companies look for virtual assistants!
- Virtual assistant professionals help organizations to eliminate mundane risk as they are specialized in a particular niche.
- Hiring a VA professional helps companies to organize their business for better administration.
- As mostly VA professionals work remotely so you can have someone always to attend to your customers 24/7.
- Managing your business finances is a vital aspect and you can not ignore that. Hiring a VA professional will help you monitor your finances and would ensure updating the records timely.
- Virtual assistants help to grow your business exponentially by exposing your business to the online market. They create a strong social media presence which brings in more clients.
- You can look for VA professionals as per your business needs as they are well skilled in their craft and would lend their hand in times of need.
- To help businesses survive the losses or failures due to lack of competence, VA professionals help execute project management and other vital business functions.
- Hiring a VA professional will help you balance your work by managing those tasks that eat away a major portion of your day.
- Hiring a VA means you are paying for a specific service and therefore you are paying to boost production and it is not a waste of money.
- Lastly, hiring a VA helps you get expert guidance for your business for improved business growth.
So, ultimately the main aim is to learn how to become a Virtual Assistant and start a business. Here are the key takeaways!
- Select an appropriate name for your business.
- Decide your niche and select your services accordingly.
- Price your services.
- Research diligently to learn about the market trends.
- Create a contract to cover you in time of emergency.
- Brand your business for more exposure.
- Marketing is essential so do that effectively.
- Create a strong invoicing system.
Pricing your services is a top concern among new virtual assistants. It is recommended to charge your services on a per hour basis. Most of the virtual assistants follow this method as they don’t know how long certain tasks will take. There are different pricing ranges for different kinds of VA assignments. Take a look:
1. $25 per hour
2. Hourly packages- 15 hours per month for $375
3. Service-based package
4. Monthly Retainer- like for Social Media Management $550/month
5. One-time fee like event planning- $1200
6. Per project pricing- $1100 for a website
VA is one of the most attractive businesses if you can market yourself the right way. Once you start getting clients you can make money immediately. But if you are planning your business budget, then remember you don’t have any overhead expenses as such. What you need is your laptop and a reliable wi-fi connection along with your excellent creative and administrative skills. Once you are all set and revived your first payment it is highly recommendable to reinvest your money in short term expenses like,
2. Business cards
3. Internet or computer up-gradation
4. Education or training programs
5. Accounting systems, etc
Starting a VA business should be followed by some of the essential tools for the ease of your work. These are:
1. Time-tracking tool
2. Invoicing tool
3. Client CRM
4. Business expense tracking tool
5. Project Management tool
Generally, Virtual Assistants make $10-$30 per hour with an average hourly rate of $19. And, annually they make an average of $36k. But, the pay depends upon experience, skills level, industry, and the client base.
Whether you are planning to hire a VA for your company or trying to be one yourself, you need to have a clear idea about this field. Go through this article to figure out all the important aspects of becoming a virtual assistant. Get on with your dream project by following the simple steps now!