May 7, 2010Could You Be a Virtual Assistant?
Could You Be a Virtual Assistant?
By Glory Borgeson
Do people think of you as #147;Ms. Organization?#148;
Do you have excellent grammar and spelling skills?
Are you a good communicator?
Are you technically-savvy when it comes to using the Internet, e-mail, programs such as Word, Excel, and Outlook?
If so, you may be the right person to be a Virtual Assistant.
Virtual Assistants (VAs) work from their home office for their clients. They may meet with their clients briefly, such as when a client drops off information at their home office, or they may never meet some clients in person at all.
VAs do a variety of administrative tasks for clients. Because of this, a person who wants to be a VA must be organized. They need to be able to juggle several clients and the particular work their clients give them to do, keep track of the time worked for each client, and account for billings.
Since a VA does a lot of writing and phone work for her clients, she needs to be highly skilled in grammar, spelling, and communication. There are tools to help with this, such as grammar reference books and spell-check in word processing programs. Also, being well-read is helpful. Still, it is best to already be proficient in these skills before deciding to be a VA.
Having #147;technical know-how#148; is a big plus when deciding to become a VA. If you want to increase your skills in this area, consider taking a course (perhaps at an intermediate or advanced level) that will take you through Windows Explorer, My Computer, and Control Panel to get very familiar with how to use these areas to best organize your work and keep your PC in top working condition. If you have been out the workplace for a while and/or have not used certain types of software for months, consider enrolling in classes to get your skills current (or even to an advanced level). Examples of classes you might want to take are MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Also, some advanced VAs do a little work on client#146;s websites and know some html code, using software such as Dreamweaver.
Your PC also needs to be up-to-date before venturing into this field. Check the versions of the software you are running. You may need to upgrade the software to a current version.
Does your PC have enough free space on the hard drive? (Note: To check how much space is used and how much is free, open Windows Explorer. On the left panel, click the #147;C#148; drive once, so that it is highlighted. At the menu bar, click #147;File#148;; click #147;Properties#148;. In the Properties box on the General tab, you will see information about #147;Used space#148; and #147;Free space#148;, in bytes, gigabytes, and in a pie chart. The pie chart is especially useful at a glance to tell you how much space is available.)
Does your PC have enough random access memory (RAM)? Extra RAM is inexpensive to purchase and easy to install.
What are you using to access the Internet? Is your online service fast or slow? If you become a VA and set up a business, your online service will be a business expense. Consider getting broadband (cable) or DSL (digital subscriber line) Internet service for the fastest, most reliable service.
So, your action steps to take when you are deciding whether you would like to be a VA are to review your organization skills, your grammar, spelling, and communications skills, your software and PC skills, and the ability of your PC to handle the workload.
Next: What else goes into creating the business of a Virtual Assistant? What steps should you take to get your VA business up and running? See my next article,
#147;How to Create a #145;Virtual Assistant#146; Business#148;
for more information!
Glory Borgeson is a small business consultant and coach who loves to work with clients by phone from her Chicago-area home office. Please contact her at 630-653-0992 for more information about your home-based business.
Posted by Staff at 1:43 AM