How to Become A VA: The Starting Point

Virtual Assistant for Blog Writing

Pursuit of Happiness

"If you are not happy or satisfied with something, try to look for something better."

Some might say that this idea is easier said than done. Giving up what you have at the moment involves risks. Being bold to face the challenges and uncertainties associated with career changes isn’t enough for luck to readily come to you. You need to plan your next moves in advance, similar to playing a chess match, in order to make sure you won’t struggle later on.

 According to recent polls, only 39% of employed Americans are completely satisfied with their jobs. The remaining 61% would rather stay where they currently are, than face the uncertainties of seeking something better. Among the factors that contribute to employee dissatisfaction are low wages, poor benefits, strict bosses, unhealthy working environments, and lack of job security.

Self-employment is commonly the top option that people target to find the happiness and contentment they have been looking for. But as mentioned, due to the risks involved, people tend to be skeptical in dealing with this aspect. It’s good to know that advances in technology have provided additional options for self employment. The advancement in technology, notably the Internet, have made the exchange of information and made the flow of data faster and easier. This also paved way to a new breed of profession –Virtual Assistants (VA)

What is a VA?

A Virtual Assistant is someone working independently outside of the traditional office setting, making use of the Internet to provide support, expertise and skills to busy entrepreneurs and the like.

Virtual assistants offer a wide range of services and skills, (e.g. content writing, website development, receptionist, etc.) depending on what the customer/client needs are in relation to the specific area of business.

Virtual assistants have the privilege of being their own boss and working from home or another comfortable place. They also have the luxury of setting their own time that they are available to work. Of course, there are companies that specialize in virtual assistant services, but it isn’t a requirement that you join such companies in order to be successful in this career. Skill and dedication are the most important elements in this field.

Self Assessment

"I am not happy with what I am doing." "I hate being away from my family for so many hours." "My work environment doesn’t suit me." These are some of the reasons you might decide to consider becoming a Virtual Assistant. No matter what your reason is or what they are, always keep in mind that great things start from small beginnings. Don’t expect that things will immediately start with a blast. It will be an added advantage if you bring along the skills you’ve learned from your previous job to have a clear vision on the specific area that you could target.

If you haven’t had any significant work experiences, it would be wise to take some time to learn some skills such as web development or graphic design by studying software and applications that will speed up the process. Specializing in just two or three services could prove beneficial for you to be able to have a strong business niche penetration.

Additional Considerations

The following are some tips that will strengthen your entry in the Virtual Assistant industry.

  1. Decide on the amount of time and energy you will spend in this venture. Would you want to work part or full time?
  2. Use industry analysis and careful research to verify a need for your services in your local area.
  3. Do a market analysis. Find out the needs for your niche and focus on how you’ll apply that to your business.
  4. Get to know who your clients are, where they are located, and how you can get in touch with them.
  5. Come up with projected expenses, expected income, and other monetary concerns to be able to handle budgetary concerns wisely.
  6. Make sure that your equipment and software are up-to-date and in excellent condition to be able to meet clients’ needs.
  7. Prepare a business plan and review it often to manage growth and change.
  8. Find ways to effectively market your services. You can either promote your service through Web sites or by placing ads in the Yellow Pages. Take time to follow-up your marketing efforts to ensure that you’ll be attracting clients.

Starting up is the hardest part of the process of becoming successful VA. You should come up with a thorough plan on how you intend to penetrate the Virtual Assistant landscape. Starting off on the right foot will give you a head start towards a happy and productive career as a Virtual Assistant.

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