The Virtual Assistant Business is a growing phenomenon, worldwide, since its beginning in the 1990s, that people
often ask the question – How To Setup A Virtual Assistant Business. This industry can perform various tasks,
including secretarial service, and is becoming increasingly popular among the people who want to maintain
a good work-life balance, devoting time to family as well as doing some professional work. The Virtual
Assistant Business is cost – effective and requires less amount of startup investment, only if one has a thorough
knowledge of how to work with computers and other technologies.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
Before we come to “How To Setup A Virtual Assistant Business”, we should know that a Virtual assistant, also known as VA or Virtual Office Assistant, is usually a self – employed job. It offers professional, administrative, creative, technical and social assistance to clients, from a remote location. This term was created in the 1990s describing the ability to work virtually with the help of advanced technologies. High-speed internet and sharing of documents among many others allow working from a remote area, or from one’s own home, a possible reality.
Virtual Assistants are generally solo traders, who know how to set up their own Virtual Assistant Businesses. They can choose their own places of work and work timings. VAs can provide all kinds of technical and professional support, services, and skills to solo businessmen and others busy entrepreneur and business managers, through the internet. VAs are used by online businesses who are not keen to bring their employees onto their own workplaces, and also by other businesses who need support in few areas like social media management.
Usage And Advantages :
The Virtual Assistant Businesses consist of independent contractors. So, their clients are usually exempted from the employees’ taxes, insurance or benefits, until and unless these are included in a VA’s fees. The clients have to pay for the total work, and they can simultaneously work in multi – VA firms, according to their requirements. There are approximately 25,000 Virtual Assistants working worldwide, currently, which is expected to increase in growing economies with “fly – in fly – out” practices. The main modes of communications used in this field are emails, phone call conferences, online workspaces and fax machines.
Nowadays, VAs also use Skype and Google Voice to reach out to their clients. Virtual assistants have made their way into mainstream businesses also, by becoming a kind of a virtual receptionist, where the company does not actually pay the cost of hiring a person. VAs are also sometimes called an online administrative assistant, online personal assistant or online sales assistant. On the other hand, virtual webmaster assistants, virtual content writing assistants, and virtual marketing assistants are experienced professional employees with their own respective virtual offices.
What Can A Virtual Assistant Do?
The Virtual Assistants have specific areas of expertise, with the required skills in each field accordingly, they decide the techniques of how to set up a Virtual Assistant Business.
- Transcribing voice memos, conference calls, managing the employer’s calendar and travel.
- Carrying out research on any topic.
- Compiling data into organized spreadsheets.
- Handling forwarded phone calls when the employer is unavailable. They can also do any other time – consuming or repetitive tasks.
- VAs can help to hire other employees by conducting a research on the candidates for recruitment.
- Virtual Assistants are able to write and distribute standard business communications and manage social media accounts. Moreover, they can also coordinate with vendors and place orders for new supplies.
- VAs can help the employer with marketing support, making use of optimum time. They are also capable of handling marketing, publicity to promote the particular company or service.
- Sometimes, VAs can also help in web designing and search engine optimization (SEO).
Additional Advantages :
- Virtual Assistants can help to create professional and attractive presentations to promote products. This, in turn, can capture the targeted audience.
- VAs often help out their employers with bookkeeping, bills and other payments of accounts.
- A Virtual Assistant can plan and organize the company’s next meeting or outing, reducing the employer’s burden.
- VAs save both space and the associated costs. They do not require a proper office to work.
- Virtual Assistants come at an affordable cost. They can help the employer to run his/her business smoothly, by working diligently.
- VAs provide help in customer support, public relations, project management. Their work also includes travel booking and customer service.
How To Setup A Virtual Assistant Business?
Freelancers are in high demand nowadays, who have to know how to setup their own Virtual Assistant Businesses, as companies prefer their cost-effectiveness and associated services. The ways in which one can understand how to setup a virtual assistant business in their homes are –
- Assessment of one’s own skills is very important, to setup this business. Experiences in customer service, marketing, office administration are mainly required, besides expertise as a real estate assistant or with web or graphic designing skills, to proceed in the way of how to set up a virtual assistant business.
- One needs to decide what kinds of services he/she wants to offer in this business – be it secretarial work, targeting clients, real estate assistance or writing.
- It is always wise to obtain a business license and other legal permits, before asking the question of how to setup a virtual assistant business, from home, by contacting the city’s department of licensing and inspection.
- It is necessary to set up a definite workspace at home, to start this business, and keep a wide range of basic and other supplies, equipment and devices at hand, like a computer, printer, phone, scanner, papers, and stationery.
Vital Points to remember :
- One of the key factors in how to setup a virtual assistant business is to be able to communicate with clients easily. For this, one needs the online tools like emails, instant messaging, internet, and telephone services, active all the time.
- Preparing a detailed and well – a structured business plan is necessary, to work smoothly. One should have a good knowledge of how to setup a virtual assistant business, effectively, with proper skills.
- One needs to set his/her prices, at the very outset. It should be at an hourly rate or otherwise, depending on the kind of tasks to be performed.
- Planning out a proper work schedule is always helpful, with fixed working hours. This depends on whether one wants to work part time or full time.
- One of the most vital points in how to setup a virtual assistant business is to create one’s own website to post articles and other content. This will spread awareness regarding the offered services .
Additional tips :
- Market and promote the new business through brochures, fliers, business cards. Using online and newspaper advertisement, and attending business networking event will also be helpful.
- Making a list of potential clients or the targeted market audience will be beneficial. Then, one can set sail in the direction towards how to setup a virtual assistant business.
- Creating a unique business name, aptly describing one’s services is necessary to set up a Virtual Assistant Business, with a proper business structure.
- The VAs should be able to adapt themselves to suit the customers’ needs. They must also communicate with them, clearly and effectively.
- While deciding on how to set up a Virtual Assistant Business, one should read up on various fields of expertise and other related topics. Then, it is beneficial to update one’s resume, focusing on particular skills, with experience and educational background.
- Create profiles on freelance websites like Odesk, Freelancer, Elance. Attach a copy of the resume in each of them. Also contact the human resource departments in local businesses and corporations, to spread awareness about his/her new home-based Virtual Assistant Business.
- Locating and purchasing Web hosting to set up a Virtual Assistant Business is necessary. Choose a less expensive hosting plan because they do not need much space. Create the website and add all information about the new business, services offered, fees, estimated delivery time. There can also be pages containing samples of one’s work and client testimonials.
- Lastly, one should market his/her new business website on social media through search engine optimization (SEO) skills, and advertisements.
By following these steps, one can have a complete idea of how to set up a Virtual Assistant Business, at home, or otherwise, and provide one’s unique services by reaching out to clients and customers.