VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

The term “virtual assistant” may be new to you, but chances are, you may already be very qualified for this work at home position. A virtual assistant, also known as a VA, is someone who helps a business owner with the administrative tasks of running their business – only they do it from home, rather than in their employer’s office.

There is no specific job description for a VA, as the tasks they may choose to handle range from general tasks such as answering email, data entry, transcription, and website maintenance to specialized tasks such as writing, marketing, and affiliate management.

A virtual assistant who chooses to specialize in a specific task, such as the specialized tasks listed above may choose to devote their time solely to those tasks and not take on any of the generalized tasks. They may not actually call their selves a VA, either.

However, it is common to find VA’s who list all of those tasks and more on their websites. That is why it is hard to narrow down a specific definition or job description. There really is a lot of variance and just about anyone can find a VA-related task that they could develop a business out of.

Again, because there are so many job options in this field, it is almost impossible to list the skills needed to be a VA. Thos skills will vary, depending on the type of work a VA chooses to do. In general, a VA will need good language skills, be able to type accurately at a reasonable pace, and have a basic administrative background.

In order to be successful as a virtual assistant, you will need a basic home office set up, including a computer, high speed internet, and a phone. Most people use Microsoft products, and in order to be compatible, you will want to have Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Access).

If you choose to specialize in an area such as website design, website maintenance, or transcription, additional software would be needed. If you are advertising these services, the person hiring you will expect you to already have these programs. However, if you have developed a relationship with a client and they ask you to take over one of these tasks they may purchase the software for you.

The amount of money a virtual assistant can expect to earn will again vary, depending on how much experience they have and what type of tasks they are performing. Someone who is performing basic tasks and is new to virtual assistance can expect to start out at $8 – $10 per hour. However, someone with experience who is also specializing in a certain area can expect to earn upwards of $20 or $30 per hour.

It is important to note that as a virtual assistant, you will not typically receive 40 hours of work per week from the same client. You will most likely have to balance several clients in order to make up a 20, 30, or 40 hour work week each week of the month.

VA jobs can be found posted in online job boards, such as FlexJobs. You may also find these on forums and websites dedicated to the work at home community. You can also post your services on these sites. There are also websites such as elance.com and guru.com that allow people to post openings they have, and as the service provider you can post how much money you would charge for the service.

Virtual assistance can be a great way to earn money from home. There really is a specialty for people of all experience levels and personalities.