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A career as a Virtual Assistant, according to a 2009 article in the Columbus Dispatch, is a fast growing profession. As the recession forces employers to do more with less, Virtual Assistants or VAs as they are sometimes referred, are a more attractive solution to solving immediate business needs. Let’s face it, organizations, in spite of massive layoffs, still need work to be done; and somebody has to do it. And sometimes, it’s a VA.
There are several things you must do to begin an entrepreneurial career as a VA:.
Decide just what type of services you want to offer, and analyze your background to ensure you have adequate experience.
- Determine what you niche will be and begin specializing in just two to three services.
- Determine how much time and energy you have to commit to your venture. Do you want to work part or full time?
- Conduct thorough industry research to determine a need for your services in your local area.
- Outline who your clients are, where they are and how to access them.
- Do a market analysis. Find out the needs for your niche and focus on how you'll apply that to your business.
- Know your budget, projected expenses, expected income and how long you can manage your business on your current income until your business is running successfully.
- Prepare a business plan and review it often to manage growth and change.
- Examine your equipment, software and work space to ensure they meet client needs.
- Wrap up all legal and financial aspects of startup before securing your first client.
- Market your services around the clock. Just because you've built a Web site or placed an ad in the Yellow Pages doesn't mean clients will come knocking on your door. Free advertising in the forms of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, to name a few, are great places to get your name out there.
If this seems like a lot of work, it is. When you make the decision to become a VA, whether full-time or part-time, you have to be certain that you’ve covered all your bases. And this is a good start.
You can also train to become a VA. Virtual Assistance U, an on-line training leader for potential VAs, is vastly becoming recognized in the business world for graduating quality Virtual Assistants. Business owners have to protect their interests and often times they take risk when hiring outside contractors. The risk is even greater when they hire VAs because in some cases the VA remains completely virtual; doing business for a company in California while they reside comfortably in their homes in Virginia. So it is important that the training you receive be credible and that your work is always top-notch.
Do your homework. Perfect planning prevents poor performance; so plan to perfection and get ready to market yourself as an expert Virtual Assistant.
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