How to Become a Virtual Assistant

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By Laura Swetman
The first step in becoming a Virtual Assistant is to understand what that means and how it works.

The way that you view what a Virtual Assistant is and does will depend on whether you are answering the question as a VA or a client!

First and foremost, a Virtual Assistant (VA) is an entrepreneur in their own right. They provide administrative support or specialised business services from a distance. Frequently a Virtual Assistant is someone who has had a lot of experience at senior secretarial level, understands and applies logic to administrative tasks and is skilled, innovative and a quick learner. Often they are also good at budgetary control and making money for others.

The VA industry really started to get established in the late 1990s as an extension of the ‘traditional’ secretarial and typing services industry and has grown significantly since then, not only as an industry but one that offers a very wide range of products and services. Thanks to the Internet, advances in communications technology (e.g. broadband) and the onset of home-working as a feasible concept, Virtual Assistants use today’s technology to provide very cost effective, accurate and professionally presented documentation and office support as well as many other specialised services such as web design and build, marketing support, sector specific transcription, internet research and database build to name but a few.

Virtual Assistants are motivated and dedicated to the success of their own business. To achieve that success they are also dedicated to their clients’ success. In providing that level of support they have a complete home office solution that is often equipped at a level that many Executive Secretary/PAs are unable to achieve because of corporate budgetary constraints.

Professional VAs need to understand current technologies and be able to demonstrate skill in using software to its full advantage to be able to meet the varying demands of a broad client base. Add to that the fact that VAs are a resource that responds with a great deal of flexibility as well as quality and you bring real benefit to any business.

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