At a recent dinner party I was talking to a good friend whose wife had recently had twins, but was getting back into the workforce after only 6 months of having the babies. What was more was that she was able to do all this while staying at home and still have a relatively flexible schedule. This sounded a bit too good to be true, and I was worried that she was falling for one of the countless working-from-scams.
So I asked my friend more about this “job” and he told me his wife was starting as a virtual (administrative) assistant. “A what?” I asked. A virtual assistant (VA), I found out is basically an administrative assistant to one or more people, that does his/her job from home. Thanks to the wonder’s of modern technology and communication this is rapidly becoming an expanding industry as busy executives and working people want the organization benefits that come with an assistant to manage their schedule/tasks, without having to pay for the over head of a full time worker.
Hearing about this job, I was interested to find out more and what the potential earnings could be from this type of endeavor. I know with a young family, the thought of my wife or I working from home in a flexible (decent paying) job is an option I definitely wanted to investigate further. I did a number of Google searches around administrative assistant jobs and surprisingly there were a lot of ads for these positions. Here are the key aspects and requirements for a VA position:
1. Virtual Assistants typically provide professional administrative, basic accounting, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office. They usually work for other small businesses and consultancy groups. It is estimated that there are 40,000 virtual assistants worldwide.
2. They normally get paid on an hourly basis, with rates ranging from $20 to $50 per hour. Most have had experience in a “real” office environment and have a basic diploma or degree. 90% of VA’s are women and work on average 25 hrs a week for 2 to 4 clients.
3. There is a lot of software and setup books currently available to help you with becoming a effective virtual assistant. If you work through a company to find clients, they can provide you with the software/training or you can buy it online.
4. Despite having flexibility and the opportunity to work from home on a full time basis, you still need to be very professional since reputation is critical to keeping and getting new clients. The ‘working in my pyjamas’ mentality will not get you far, and you cannot afford to treat this as a secondary concern.
5. There will be an upfront investment to get your home office and supporting systems setup, but most of it is tax deductible and you should consult with a tax professional for exactly what deductions you can take based on your financial situation. Ongoing investments will mainly be related to marketing costs and/or any agent fees you have to pay if working via a third party.
So there you have it, my review on the VA world. It is a rapidly growing profession and I know that as companies try to reduce the number of full time permanent staff and people get busier in their lives, the demand for VA’s is set to continue. The ones with the best reputation and professionalism will be the ones that succeed (my friends wife will do very well!). If you are reading this post and are planning to, are or have been a VA leave a comments with any tips or experiences you have had so far. Who knows, if I go full time with this blogging caper I may even find myself in need of a VA one day.
2 thoughts on “Virtual Administrative Assistants – Flexible Money Jobs”
I am currently in the process of starting my own Virtual Administrative business. For me, this endeavor was a natural progression with my many years of being an Executive Administrative Assistant and always wanting my own business.
There are many things to consider when making the decision to become a VA. But there are plenty of websites out there that lend useful information to newbies such as VirtualAssistantsForum.com and VirtualAssistantNetworking.com. These sites offer business plan templates, business related forms, and a plethora of information beneficial to any VA, newbie or experienced.
There is also training for those looking to get into the business, but have limited skill sets, or are unsure of there administrative aptitude.
This field is a dream for anyone who wants to use their years of Administrative experience to start their own company.
Many businesses use our services, from C-Level Executives to your neighbor next door. But remember, this is still a business and money can’t be the only reason why you do it, because if it is, you will soon find that money alone won’t be enough to wake you up in the morning. You must enjoy what you do and be good at it.
I am currenlty seeking employment as a VA. I have a background in both the insurance & mortage industries. I am motived, harworking and creative. If you are in need of these qualities, drop me a line:)