By Holly Reisem Hanna
One of the easiest ways to work from home is by doing virtual assistant (VA) work. Virtual assistants are skilled, home-based professionals that offer companies, businesses, and entrepreneurs administrative support.
Virtual assistants perform a wide variety of tasks … in fact, the services that you can offer are endless and all depend on your background training, experience, and skills.
Here are some common tasks that virtual assistants complete:
- Making phone calls
- Email correspondence
- Internet research
- Data entry
- Scheduling appointments
- Blog management
- Project management
- Graphic design
- Tech support
- Customer service
- Event planning
- Social media management
Employee or entrepreneur — which route is right for you?
When you work as a virtual assistant you can choose to work as an employee or you can setup your own business. There are pros and cons with each arrangement. When you work as an employee you don’t have to invest any money up front or find your own clients, but your pay rate, work hours, and how you work will be more restricted. Please note, if you’re hired on as an independent contractor or a freelancer — you are considered self employed and will need to pay quarterly self employment taxes.
When you set up your own business, you have more flexibility with scheduling, choosing clients, and setting your rates, but you’ll also have to find your own clients, setup your business, and pay self employment taxes. Setting up a virtual assistance business is easy and has relatively low start-up costs. Some items you’ll need to get started are a phone line or cell phone, a computer, high-speed internet access, a printer and scanner, and a website to market your business. Don’t worry — you can setup a website in a few easy steps for little to nothing by using WordPress.
For a complete checklist of steps — check out this article.
Where do you find virtual assistant jobs?
- 24/7 Virtual Assistant
- Assistant Match
- Fancy Hands
- People Per Hour
- Red Butler
- Time Etc.
- Virtual Assistant USA
- Virtual Office Temps
- Virtual Staff Finder
- Worldwide 101
How much do virtual assistants earn?
Depending on what services you offer, how long you’ve been working in the field, and your past experience, virtual assistants can make anywhere from $12 – $60 per hour. If you’re running your own VA business, there are a few different ways that you can charge for your services; by the hour, number of tasks, project, or package – explore what options work best for you and your clients.
What training do you need?
While you don’t need any special training to work from home as a virtual assistant, you do need to have good organizational and time management skills, as well as excellent communication skills. There are some virtual assistant training programs and certifications and these can be helpful in establishing your credibility in the field; especially if you don’t have any prior job experience.
If you’re starting your own VA business, you should educate yourself on best business practices, marketing, where to find clients, general bookkeeping, and tax issues — this guide from FabJob will give you a good place to start.
Additional virtual assistant resources.
- Become a Virtual Assistant
- Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA
- International Virtual Assistant Association
- On Being a Virtual Assistant
- Three Virtual Assistants Who Have Taken Their Businesses to Six Figures
- Top Virtual Assistant Services
- Virtual Assistants.com
- VA Networking
- What You Need to Know About Starting a VA Business
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