Starting A Virtual Assistant Business From Home

by WorkFromHome on October 8, 2011

Virtual assistant positions have been growing steadily over the last five years. A recent report shows that nearly one quarter of all executive assistant positions are now conducted in a virtual manner. This report, conducted by a university, went on to state that within 10 years the trend shows that this figure will increase to 50 percent. What does that mean to someone that is looking to start a career as a virtual assistant? It means that there is no better time than today.

Becoming a virtual assistant is much like starting a business. There are specific things that you must do to find work and perform well. If you know that you are a highly organized individual, you are on your way to becoming a virtual assistant.

What You Need To Start As A Virtual Assistant

Before you start advertising your services as a virtual assistant, you should review the following list to make sure that you are prepared for everything the job entails.

  • Establish a home office. You should have your office ready for work before advertising your services. It is always better to be prepared than to be disorganized. You do not want to work from the dining room table, this leads to chaos. Make sure you have a place where only work is conducted.
  • Update your computer. Make sure that your computer has sufficient memory and storage. You will need to update your word processing and business software. To ensure compatibility with your clients, use mainstream software.
  • High-speed Internet connection. You are going to need high speed connections for file uploads and downloads.
  • Laptop or handheld device with Internet connection. You need portability to perform some of your duties.
  • Cell phone. You will need a cell phone that is dedicated to your business.
  • Personal website. You will need a website that describes your services and how to contact you. You must have a presence on the Internet – think about it, you are working online.
  • Business cards. Everyone is a potential client, make sure you have cards to pass out to people you meet offline.

Where To Find Work As A Virtual Assistant

When you are searching for work as a virtual assistant, you will need to look both on and offline. Start your search with an updated resume in both printed and digital format. These positions, even if you are working as a freelancer will require you to submit a resume and go through an interview process.

  • Freelance Job Boards. There are many freelance job sites that post listings for virtual assistants. These sites, however, also list many other freelance positions and you will need to sift through them to find listings for virtual assistants. Most sites will allow you to browse the advertisements without membership. To place a bid on a job you will need to be a member. Membership fees are relatively small, and in some cases, only are charged if you receive the job.
  • Virtual Assistant Job Boards. There are some job boards dedicated specifically to virtual assistants. These job boards are not as common, but do exist.
  • Job Sites. Executives that are looking for virtual assistants will place advertisements on regular job sites. One trick to finding these postings quickly is to set your Google notifications to Virtual Assistant and anytime something is posted, you will be notified.
  • Social Networking Sites. There are many forums and social sites dedicated to virtual assistant positions. These are great sites for interacting with others in your profession. These sites often have the first news on open positions or upcoming jobs. Interacting on these forums will also keep you current on industry news and trends.
  • Local Job Agencies. As the economy continues to shift, so do job positions. Many state employment agencies are now listing virtual positions as regular jobs.

It is also very important that you promote yourself and your business website whenever you get a chance. You never know when the person you are talking to is your next client. Interacting with the community through social events is a great way to get the word out about your services.

You should take advantage of any opportunity you may have to promote your website. Website promotion is not difficult and, in many cases, not very expensive. The more people that you can drive to your site, the more exposure you will have to potential clients. One of the best ways to promote your site is through article marketing. Write articles that are industry-specific about your profession, or something similar, and you will generate interest in your site. Article submission sites are generally free to use, so the effort is worth the time invested.

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