Work from Home as a Virtual Assistant
Would you like a business that has low start-up costs, enables you to work from home, has a decent monetary pay, and has the flexibility to allow you to make your own hours? Becoming a virtual assistant is one of the best work from home business ideas. Not only do you get to start your own business and be your own boss, but there are also MANY successful virtual assistants out there that make 5-6 figures annually.
I remember when I was first planning on blogging for Bizinabox. One of the most interesting work from home businesses I researched was the virtual assistant. I had an idea of what they were, but I really did not know how amazing their business really was until I researched it more and met men and women that are working within the industry now.
Virtual Assistant: What Exactly Do They Do?
The term Virtual assistant originated in the early 1990’s. With the improvements in technology such as online file sharing and high-speed internet connection, the ability to work independently and virtually became a reality. Virtual assistants are in great demand especially by small and mid-sized businesses because virtual assistants have their own office space- in their own homes, and usually work independently as contractors. They may work only a few hours a week, or they may work full-time, depending on the need as well as depending on how the virtual assistant structures their payment plans and schedules. The tasks they complete are equivalent to tasks that an in-office employee may complete, however, they are working from home!
So…. what is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants are employees or independent contractors for a business, or multiple different businesses, that work remotely- where they have the luxury of working from their home. Many will perform essential duties that are multilevel and varied. They may help with job duties that others have not completed or they may be chosen for a specific position within the business. Many times, virtual assistants are known to be the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades because they perform a variety of tasks. Although they are working for the business, they do work more independently since they are not within the brick-and-mortar office setting and are more likely working from a home-based office. More and more companies are now turning to virtual assistants for a multitude of reasons that are beneficial to them and to the virtual assistant.
Why are virtual assistants so popular?
Virtual assistants are hired by all small and large companies as they are more convenient, and they cost much less when compared to hiring employees. You can hire different virtual assistants for different tasks and make the best use of your money.
- Saves Salary Cost – Many times virtual assistants are hired on an hourly basis and may or may not complete tasks based on full time earnings. This saves the client from only hiring full or part time employees with a set salary.
- Less Office Related Cost - Without having to provide an office setting, this saves in brick-and-mortar costs. These costs include power, space, heating/cooling, and other operational associated costs.
- Saves Your Valuable Time - When talking about business, everyone knows that time is money. Virtual assistants can save a lot of time. Hiring experts for handling a company’s daily tasks is better as they are more productive and can deliver professional quality work.
Positions a Virtual Assistant May Fill
A virtual assistant may work remotely, but they can act as an administrative assistant. In this position, you would be performing daily tasks like answering calls and replying to emails, events management like scheduling meetings, scheduling appointments, organizing and managing calendars or to-do lists, basic data entry tasks, creating bills and statements, file management, creating graphs from spreadsheets, and much more!
The only difference between an administrative assistant and a virtual assistant is that as a virtual assistant, they are working remotely, from home.
You may also be assigned to perform your boss’ personal tasks which could include things such as organizing your boss’ to-do list, travel bookings, hotels, vacation planning, making random purchases, or being a personal online shopper, and any other personal work.
Social Media Tasks
Many times, virtual assistants are hired to handle social media profiles and postings. Social media has a huge impact on businesses and many times it is a task that is not easily fit into schedules. Nowadays, this is something that needs regular postings and can take a lot of time out of the day. Virtual assistants can help create new social account profiles, help create postings, advertisements, and follow others. Tasks may also include updating the latest information on different social media platforms, managing and creating different content for your business’ audience, creating new profiles, monitoring analytics and monitoring engagement.
Many times, virtual assistants may update business websites, add blogs, write blogs, add advertisements, create graphic design elements, change website content, and add to news feeds.
- Instruction based research
- Keeping an eye on your top competitors and their moves
- Searching new opportunities for business
- Professional research in different occupations such as the health field or law.
Ecommerce Based Task
The eCommerce industry is growing at a very fast pace. There are many tasks a virtual assistant may perform for an ecommerce related website, including:
- Adding new products to the catalog
- Updating photos
- Writing SEO friendly titles and descriptions for products
- Processing orders and returns
- Handling calls, emails, and chats
- Offering customer support
- Analyzing competitors
- Answering questions and commenting to reviews
Virtual assistants may perform accounting or bookkeeping, finance management or payroll. These types of financial management tasks can be so helpful to any business.
Creating good customer relationships is one of the most important things for business success. You cannot make customers trust your products and services and, ultimately your company if you are not solving their questions or providing them assistance. This is another task a virtual assistant may perform. Replying to social media posts, replying to live chat boxes, answering online tickets, answering phones or replying to emails may be common customer service tasks.
Ultimately, if a virtual assistant is not given a specific job, they may just complete a variety of tasks. Being able to market yourself in an area that many others are not familiar with may create a great tool for you as a virtual assistant.
How much can I make?
Of course, this is the big question, however, since a virtual assistant could be and do many things ranging from secretary to website developer, there is no way to really answer this. According to BLS.gov, when searching for virtual assistant, it lists out jobs from secretaries and administrative assistants, which average $40,990 per year to paralegals and legal assistants, which average $52,920 per year, and knowing the skills that one could have within this field, a virtual assistant could make much more.
How should I get paid?
When determining your fees, make sure you research other virtual assistants with the same qualifications that you hold. Decide if you would like to be paid hourly, or as a salary, and determine if you would like to have the client provide a retainer. This is not an uncommon method of payment in which you will be paid up front and you will bill against the funds hourly. Ensure you are creating proper documentation to show the hours that you are working and keep your records for future reference. Many virtual assistants track their hours and then invoice their customers. It all depends on how comfortable you are with your clients.
Where can I find Virtual assistant jobs or get referrals?
Many virtual assistants are able to find work by word of mouth, joining communities and social networks and marketing themselves, or going on to different job posting websites. Websites such as Indeed.com, Upwork.com, Freelancer.com and Ziprecruiter.com tend to list virtual assistant jobs regularly. Over time, once you start building your clientele, you will likely continue to work with them or receive referrals from them to other potential clients.
How do I become a Virtual Assistant?
Becoming a virtual assistant is easy. You can either create your own website, and market yourself, or you can take training classes to learn more about this business. Some people may feel more prepared with a certification. However, it is not required. Create a CV that details your prior work experience and qualifications. Setup a social media account such as Linked In and start networking.
Virtual assistants are in high demand and there are lots of opportunities to start your own Virtual Assistant business and work from home. Deciding to use a virtual assistant for business needs is not only helpful but can save money. Start working from home as a virtual assistant and earn money today.
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