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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Selling a Service > Start a Virtual Assistant Business from Home

Start a Virtual Assistant Business from Home

What is a Virtual Assistant Business?
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an assistant that works for companies, home based business and busy individuals on a contract basis. As a Virtual Assistant, generally all your work is done from from your own office and this can be in your very own home. Your business can include just about any kind of service including:

 

- Secretarial Services: word processing, etc.
- Preparing and distributing correspondence
- Desktop publishing
- Website design, maintenance & promotion
- Marketing & other research
- Newsletter/ezine management
- Travel & Event planning
- Bookkeeping
- Proofreading
- Graphic design

If you can assist your clients with it, you can offer that service.

Says, Nancy Brown of VirtualGalFriday.com, "I would suggest not biting off more than you can chew. If you are great at one or two types of services stick with those services; your reputation and business will grow. Don't apply for a job or a project that you do not have the skills or software to complete. Many VA's accept queries for projects and sub-contract other VA's if the job is out of their skill set."

Virtual Assistant Characteristics & Skills
- Computer & Office Skills
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Self-Starter - until you establish yourself, assignments are not going to come to you, you need to find them
- Ability to anticipate the needs of your clients
- Staying up to date with the relevant technology
- Great interpersonal skills - you're going to be working with a lot of different kinds of people and personalities

Benefits of Being a Virtual Assistant
If you already have the equipment and software to offer your services, your start up costs will be very minimal. In addition, this is potentially a low-overhead business over the long term. If you do most of your business online and electronically...you can keep your expenses to a minimum.

You only have to take the projects you want. If you are too busy or just aren't interested in the project, ask one of your Virtual Assistant contacts if they would like to take the job.

You can start with a few services and expand your offerings as you develop your expertise and have the funds to purchase new equipment or software.

Busy people and companies will need your help over and over again. Do a great job, and your clients will be calling on you for more jobs all the time.
 

Benefits to Your Clients
They don't have to hire a full time employee: no income taxes, no insurance, they don't have to pay for breaks, no extra equipment, supplies or desk space is needed.

Virtual Assistant Business Supplies
The equipment and various software that you will require varies depending on the services you offer, but be prepared to have a minimum of:

- computer with Internet connection
- fax
- printer

How Much to Charge
- The going rate is about $25-$35 /hr. You may find some that charge far more than that, but they are likely well-established and have clients willing to pay this much for their services.

Getting Your Virtual Assistant Business off the Ground
1. Well, you can't really be virtual without a website. Be sure to include the following in your website:

- Highlight your services
- Highlight all the equipment and software that you have available for your use
- Stress the benefits of hiring a VA ~ in particular, stress the benefits of hiring you
- Include any associations you belong to or any certifications you have for credibility
- Include testimonials of your clients

2. Offer a few freebie or low-cost jobs to build your portfolio and gather testimonials. Or barter your services with another home based business.

4. Promote Yourself

- Mail out information about your services to various businesses
- Send out a press release
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce or other business organizations and network with members

5. Partner with other Virtual Assistants

Be sure to find another VA who offers some of the services you do not. Work together to refer clients that require your unique services. You can even include information about each other's services on your respective websites.

For a More Comprehensive Look at the Virtual Assistant Business
RECOMMENDED - Moms Talk Biz Guide to Start Your Own Virtual Assistant Business from Home.

 

 






 



 

 

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