MS Office - Other Programs
PowerPoint presentations have come a long way since Microsoft first brought the program out. If you are skilled in its use or are willing to take a course and learn how to use it, it is a very good skill to add to your Virtual Assistant portfolio. There are many sites on the Internet with free courses that take you through from beginner to advanced.
The services that a virtual assistant can offer are:
Creating templates to reflect the clients company image
- Create complete presentations for clients
- Updating presentations
- Adding Excel or Word documents into presentations
- Adding sound and video to presentations that you or your client have produced
- Sorting out presentations that have been started by clients who assumed that it was a simple program - it is NOT, as beginners quickly find out, it is a program you need to understand and take time over to get stunning results
- Creating hand-out sheets for the clients to take away with them after they have seen the presentation
- Creating a 'crib' sheet' for the presenter to use as they give the presentation
Taking on a presentation if you do not know what you are doing can be a disaster. Also writing a presentation for a client who does not understand what PowerPoint should be used for needs tact and diplomacy. I was lucky as I did my training with Microsoft as I am a Microsoft Partner. The first rule they kept drumming into us was that there should be no more than 6 bullet points per slide - I am sure that you can think of presentations you have been to where the text on the slide was so small you could not see it, I even went to a presentation by one of the worlds leading companies and it consisted of photocopied hand written sheets scanned and placed on slides. Knowing how this product works and the rules of presentations means that you can sell this service to your clients. If the client does not have PowerPoint this does not matter as you can 'package the presentation to 'CD' allowing the presentation to run on machines without the program.
Spreadsheets - Excel
Spreadsheet work tends to be either data entry into a spreadsheet, complicated formulae or macro work. Accounts work can also be complicated but once again there are free courses on the net that you can take to increase your ability.
It is worthwhile to learn at least the basics of Excel if you have Microsoft Office as you can do mail and e-mail merge via Excel and Word.
Inserting Excel files into Word is quite a common request from clients so you should make sure you understand how to do this and have the ability to edit and change the Excel spreadsheets so that they automatically update in the Word file.
If you are running a VA practice you will also need to keep accounts and using Excel to do this will expand your knowledge of the program and save you money when the time comes to present accounts to your accountant or tax advisor.
Databases - MS Access, a virtual assistant specialitySome Virtual Assistants specialise in database work or add this to their portfolio. Creating databases from scratch is something you have to be taught. It is not something you can 'pick-up' quickly enough for an urgent job unless you and the client agree that the job is simple and this is how they would like it done.
Databases can become very complex and have the ability to make calculations, create reports etc. Your client may send you a database and ask you to put data into it. It is worth noting that almost every version of MS Access is different and you cannot go backwards and forwards with data. You will probably need the same version as your client for the system to work.