Tell me more…
A virtual assistant works remotely on tasks like administration, bookkeeping, event organisation, telephone answering and personal assistance. Small businesses who need admin support but don't want an employee can hire a VA for as many hours as they want. VAs usually work from their own home and many never meet their clients face-to-face.
What are the benefits?
- You can work flexible hours.
- You can choose the type of work you'd like to do.
- With technology such as call diverting, the internet and email, you can work from almost anywhere.
Things to consider…
- Although this is a much more flexible way of working compared to being employed, you will still need to meet deadlines (usually for several different clients at the same time) and be available when your clients need you. This takes a high level of organisation and being realistic about the hours you can work.
- Many people with administration and PA experience are great at their job, but are used to being 'behind the scenes people'. This means that getting out there and selling themselves doesn't come naturally to them. You can overcome this, but you will need to think about how you will do it.
- The concept of virtual assistance is still new to many people so you may have to explain what you do and how you can be of benefit to them.
- Having a niche is the key to building a business – don't try to do all types of administration for all types of business.
- As a remote worker, potential clients will need to trust that you can get the work done to a high standard and on time. This means projecting a professional image at all times. If your home makes this difficult (if you have screaming children in the background when you answer the phone!), then you'll need to create some systems to get around this. E.g. using a telephone answering service when the children are at home.
The Virtual Assistant Handbook by Nadine Hill
The Society of Virtual Assistants
International Association of Virtual Assistants
Not convinced that being a virtual assistant is for you? Take a look at other business ideas for mums.