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Virtual Assistant

A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a highly skilled, home based professional that offers companies and businesses administrative, technical and social assistance.Virtual Assistants complete tasks such as, sending out correspondence via email or mail, appointment setting, typing, online filing, phone calls, internet research, data entry, maintaining websites, etc.The services that you can provide are endless and all depend on your background training and experience; obtaining a Virtual Assistant certification can help to establish you as an expert in the field.

Setting up a Virtual Assistance business is easy and has a very low start-up cost. Some items that you will need to get started are a computer, phone-line, fax-line, internet access, printer, and a website to market your business. You will want to create a resume or online portfolio of all your training, education and previous experience along with a list of all the tasks you are able to provide.

Depending on what services you offer, how long you’ve been business, and your past experience, Virtual Assistants make an average of $25.00 an hour. There are a few different ways that you can charge for your services, by the hour, number of tasks, project or package – explore what option works best for you and your clients.

If you like to help people, are you organized, have good time management skills, excellent proof reading, grammar and spelling, a career as a Virtual Assistant may be the perfect home based opportunity for you!

Check out our resources below to get started!

Do you want to enhance your existing VA business, check out our resume writing and copywriting sections, these are excellent skills to offer your customers!


Virtual Assistant Resources

Becoming a Virtual Assistant is a free informational site and resource. Get lots of advice from long standing VA, Di Chapman.

Clayton’s Secretary is an online support network for secretarial and administrative home-based business professionals. Membership costs vary based on location and include news, jobs leads, advice, web listings and much more. See site for details.

Desk Demon is an online resource for administrative professionals. Check out their extensive VA section and free newsletter.

International Association of Virtual Assistants offers support for Virtual Assistants. Membership includes support, forums, discounts and the latest VA news. Cost for membership is $125.00 (UK) for the first year and renewal is $100.00 per year.

International Association of Virtual Office Assistants (IAVOA) offers a membership package which provides free web hosting for your VA site, web listings for your VA business, participation in forums, a monthly newsletter and website assistance. Membership is $75.00

International Virtual Assistant Association provides resources, education and standards for virtual assistants. Membership is $125.00 a year with a $99.00 renewal fee.

The Canadian Virtual Assistant Network offers resources, education, mentors and forums. Membership is $60.00 (Canadian) per year.

VA Networking offers everything you need to get started with your VA business – articles, courses, templates and tools. Basic membership is free, or upgrade to become a VA Insider for $249.00 a year. Sign up for their free VA newsletter.

VA Training Academy is a training and mentoring program for new and experienced virtual assistants. Gain the knowledge of how online  businesses are run, what services they provide and the tools they use that are common across industries.

Virtual offers training for virtual assistants and the latest VA news. This company is a member of the BBB.

Virtual-Professionals offer tips and articles for home VA business professionals.

Virtual offers VA job boards and postings, VA forum and a listing for your VA business. Membership is $59.99 per year. This site is a member of the BBB.


VA Certificate Programs

AssistU offers a Virtual Assistant training program which is 20 weeks long and are taught via teleclasses. The cost of the program taught in a group format is $2695.00

International Virtual Assistant Association offers certification for VA’s, the cost of the exam is $120.00.

Virtual Assistant Certification offers certification for Master Virtual Assistant (MVA) and Professional Virtual Assistants (PVA). Application for certification cost $75.00 and requires documentation to support and verify the education and experience requirements.


Set Up Your Own Work at Home Virtual Assistant Business

By Waller Jamison

The second type of home typing business which is easily set up by anyone who can use a computer, is a virtual assistant business. This allows you to work completely at home, usually without ever meeting clients in person, since all of the work is “collected” and delivered online.

The need for virtual assistants is growing rapidly with the development of technology and the ease with which people can set up an online business.

The type of service that you offer can include a huge range of activities from transcription, to creating and uploading web pages, translating, desktop publishing and anything else which you are skilled in and can complete over the internet.

The advantages of being a virtual assistant are many. You work at home but can have clients in any part of the world with internet access. In addition, you can create a much more interesting “job description” for yourself by offering a wide range of different services., which is unlikely if you are working as a personal assistant in the real world. You could be translating reports for a client in France, designing a website for a client in Scotland and transcribing mp3s for another in Canada.

Having a virtual assistant is extremely useful to small businesses and particularly to sole traders who need occasional help but do not have the space or funds to employ someone full time. Larger companies can also benefit as they can call upon a virtual assistant when they have a rush job or an unexpected surge of work.

This type of business can also be set up very easily in your spare time, allowing you to try it out before you commit yourself and giving you the opportunity to build up gradually before cutting back on the hours in your day job.

Waller Jamison is a careers advisor and university lecturer, who understands the difficulties involved in changing career and setting up a home business.

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