Secretarial Service

Become a Virtual Assistant, or VA

Becoming a Virtual Assistant might be the perfect way for you to earn money working from home. If you become a Virtual Assistant, you are in charge of the hours you work, what work you do - and how much you get paid.


But what is a Virtual Assistant?

A VA is a person, often working from home, who is working across the Internet. The work can take many forms, from providing basic clerical and secretarial support, through to life organisers or diary keepers and making travel arrangements. In fact, any single task that a company, usually small companies, can outsource easily to somebody working across the Internet.

The advantages of being a Virtual Assistant over a normal Secretarial Services company is that you are setting the expectation with your clients that they don't meet you. Although how much interaction you have with a client is up to you, but keeping it all online does mean you can operate across the UK or even the world. And there are no issues about using your home as a place of business and obtaining planning permission because you aren't having a stream of clients coming/going from your house.

VAs are normally self employed and work on a freelance basis for several clients. Of course, it is possible for a VA to operate out of an office and even to employ staff themselves who work from home to undertake all the client work. It all depends on the services you are offering and how large you want to grow your business.

If you are thinking of becoming a Virtual Assistant, you should look first at what skills you have and what services you can offer across the Internet. There's no need to invest in more equipment than you have already, although you might find that some services you'd like to offer need you to buy some equipment - for example you might feel you need a professional binding machine - but don't forget you can outsource some of the tasks yourself, so until you can justify a binder, a local printer would be a good place to get copying/binding done - and the walk out can be nice too! Not to mention the fact that building a relationship with your local printer is a great way to get the word out about your Virtual Assistant business.

The main entry point for a Virtual Assistant business is to provide a typing and secretarial service with some data entry services to local individuals and small businesses. Believe it or not many businesses don't know how to get hold of these services quickly/easily so they tend to carry on doing the work themselves even though it takes them 4x as long to do it as a professional typist.

Find Out: What others are charging, what services are they offering.  Get some price lists.  Then sit and work out how to word your services list and what to charge!

Over the years I've done a number of data entry and copy typing jobs for students, small businesses, large businesses and even individuals who want to have a CV or a college project typed up. in the past. I've worked for a retired author, a publisher putting together directories, a self-employed businessman selling imported cars to army personnel. . . in fact, it's surprising what businesses people ARE running from home that will welcome a local Virtual Assistant service to do their paperwork for them.

Become a Virtual Assistant in Just 30 Days! Virtual Assistant Startup System

Beyond the usual secretarial work, you can also provide PA services. Perhaps receiving and sorting out CVs for companies who advertise jobs - one job I had as a Virtual Assistant was to receive, hole punch and stick in a ring binder all the job applications they received. I then pitched for the additional work of "filtering out the CVs at the first phase by comparing and matching them with the job spec" - that paid me a handy £10/hour about 15 years ago! The words "money for old rope" spring to mind.

If you are interested in being a Virtual Assistant, then do something about it now, before the marketplace gets too crowded and you have to work harder to get clients.

Good luck with your new Virtual Assistant service!


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Become a Virtual Assistant - Get Into a Growth Industry

Being a Virtual Assistant is something that is truly a growth industry - and one that doesn't take much to get started in.

Under the banner of being a Virtual Assistant there are 100 things you could do, services you can offer your new clients. For each new client you get as a Virtual Assistant, you've got a good chance they will start to ask you to do other/new things, which you can then offer as a service to your other clients.

As a Virtual Assistant, you have to only offer services you know you can manage, then over time your confiden ce and skiillset will grow and you can start to offer more services.

Small businesses hire Virtual Assistants to help when they don't need, or can’t yet justify, a permanent employee - this is especially true during a credit crunch or in a recession.  Companies need skills they don't have and they can't always take the risk of employing somebody, so they look to Virtual Assistants to undertake a variety of one-off tasks for them ... which quite quickly grow into regular work.

There is even an organisation for Virtual Assistants to join: The International Virtual Assistants Association, which was started in the 1990s with just 28 members and has grown to nearly 1000 since that time.

As a Virtual Assistant it is up to you to decide how much you charge. It might be from £8 per hour to more than £50 per hour - as a starting point I'd suggest you pick a price that is 1.5x what you could get working for a local temp agency. Price yourself too low and you won't be taken seriously, price too high and nobody will hire you.


More Virtual Assistant Resources

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Jobs for Virtual Assistants

Some of the jobs you could do as a Virtual Assistant might include:

Envelope Stuffing Jobs

Stuffing envelopes for mailshots.  Most companies want to do a mailshot of just 250-2500 items as a one off, they can use fulfillment offices that are automated and do all the envelope filling for them, but the costs for such a small run are quite prohibitive.  Find out how much mailing houses in your area would charge for an automated 1000 run - and price yourself cheaper.  Mailing houses charge a one off set up fee, to set up their machinery to do mailshots, so there's still room for Virtual Assistants to offer envelope filling services for small and quick batch runs.

Telephone Answering Service Jobs

Maybe some local one-man companies would welcome a personalised telephone answering service when they're not available, or to take enquiries just as a result of one special advert or promotion they are running.  You can build a good income just from providing telephone answering services, which is a growth industry!

Home Typing Jobs

Offer to do typing for local companies, perhaps as temporary cover if somebody phones in sick or if they have an extra requirement, like transcribing notes from a meeting.  With digital audio so easily available these days they could email you an mp3 and you could transcribe it.  There is an increasing amount of work transcribing interviews too - with digital recording equipment so affordable these days, many meetings are simply recorded and then transcribed.

Flyer Distribution

For local companies it can be impossible for them to find somebody to reliably distribute flyers.  They might only want to have them placed in specific roads, they might feel they can't trust a teenager not to dump them and the Post Office will only distribute to every address.  Provide a targetted/personalised service to them, where they can have their flyers only delivered exactly where they want.

Data Entry Jobs

Many small companies need lists typing, information gathering, products uploading to their e-commerce sites.  These simple data entry jobs are usually done by Virtual Assistants.  Every job is different, one day you might be finding a list of 20 suppliers of keyrings for an exhibition they're attending and sending the data to them in a Word document or Excel, the next day somebody might need you to type their customer list into a format to produce labels so they can send out Xmas cards.  But the term "data entry jobs" really can take 100 different formats.  Increasingly now, companies need people to promote their business online, so who knows what little jobs you can do for people, companies who will be grateful that you're prepared to do that work for them so they can forget it and get on with running their own business.

There are hundreds of more ideas to think of, it's all about finding something that businesses can use - then offering a small niche of that service that it isn't profitable for larger companies to offer.


Virtual Assistants

Virtual Assistant Jobs

Below are the latest Virtual Assitant jobs for you to apply for. There are no fees to do the work - and payment is guaranteed through the Escrow system. Pick the jobs you can do, state your price and apply. It's as easy as that.
Source: PPP7

Start a Telephone Answering Service


Start Your Own Professional Telephone Answering Service

One growth area these days is in the area of telephone answering services. Although people have mobile phones, emails, SMS, a business can't be run on those alone. For some businesses it's imperative that they have somebody answering their phones for them - and this is a steady income that virtual assistants are building. Have you thought of starting your own telephone answering service?

A lot of VAs are turning down telephone answering work as they don't think they can do it with their home phone, but what they didn't realise is that there's a service they can use to build up a telephone answering service without equipment investment - so one potential marketplace to sell your telephone answering service is actually to other VAs - and they'll be grateful to you for offering the service as it means they keep their customers happy.

Years ago I worked for a serviced office organisation, we'd take telephone calls on behalf of local businesses, answering in their company name, taking messages and passing them on.  Customers had a choice of services.  At the lowest level we simply answered the telephone in the name of the building, we'd say they weren't in the office at the moment and take a message.  The next level of service was to answer in their company name - again we'd say they weren't in the office, take a message and pass it on.

How we passed the message on also varied with the service.  Some customers would pop in and pick up their messages, some wanted them faxing to them.

The switchboard we used cost £100k to put in place, with 1000 telephone lines.  100 telephone lines were used for the telephone answering service - and one person manned the switchboard and they weren't rushed off their feet at all.

With the technology changes that have occurred since then, which was nearly 20 years ago, you can now start your own telephone answering service from home - without any of the equipment investment whatsoever!

If you are organised and can answer a telephone, you can start your own professional telephone answering service, taking calls for small local companies - or even national companies.  You can easily recruit others to take the calls too - building yourself a steady and regular income, without the huge investment in equipment you'd have needed.

One company that is set up to help you achieve this is Virtual Telephone Answering Service (TAS). What's great about this is that you don't need any special equipment, all the call routing is done virtually.

They simply provide you with the tools and technology you need to run your own successful telephone answering service. It's your business, run it your way! Market and acquire customers how you want. Set your own pricing, customize your services and features to match your unique clients.

Once you've taken your messages, the technology enables you to instantly send that message on using SMS, pager, email or mobile phone.

The benefits to the businesses you serve are greater customer confidence because they spoke to a professional when they called, they have confidence your messages are coherent and complete, your customers sound like a larger organisation than they are, your customers can have a day off or be in meetings and not lose business.

There is, of course, a cost to start a telephone answering service - but that reflects the technology that's running the system. The important thing is, the equipment and technology are set up and somebody is looking after those for you, leaving you to get your business up and running without having to worry about anything technical at all - and the overhead costs are very reasonable.

If you're organised, business-like and looking for a real business to start from home, choosing your own prices, choosing the way you run the business and how you want it to grow, then it's a no-brainer, check out Virtual Telephone Answering Service (TAS).

Start Your Own Telephone Answering Service Easily Today


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