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How do I Become a Virtual Assistant?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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A virtual assistant is an individual who works from a remote location, such as a home or an independent office, providing a range of business support services. Virtual assistants help to manage their clients' businesses from as far away as across the country or even around the world. They provide such services as data entry, word processing, order taking, bookkeeping, appointment setting, and a full range of other tasks. They communicate with their clients online, via email, through faxes, and even over the phone. Essentially, they can perform just about any task office staff members would, without even being in the office.

There are no set requirements for someone who wants to become a virtual assistant. Though there are some organizations that both train and certify individuals for this job, it is not necessary to enroll or join one to become a virtual assistant. What is necessary is a knowledge of technology and a willingness to learn and keep up with technological advances that make communicating with clients and completing work possible. It is also necessary for a person who wants to become a virtual assistant to evaluate her skills and come up with a set of services to offer clients. For example, a person who wants to become a virtual assistant may choose to offer general office services while another person may specialize in helping real estate clients with various tasks.

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The next step to become a virtual assistant is to set up a business name and securing a business license. Most states and localities have some regulations in place for this. It's best to take care of this right away to avoid potential problems in the future. Requirements can be explored by contacting city and county officials for information. Keep in mind that running a home-based business doesn't necessarily exempt a person from licensing requirements; many places still require home-based businesses to be licensed.

A good marketing plan is necessary to become a virtual assistant and succeed in this career. A person in this field may use a number of methods for finding clients. For example, she may create and market a website that lists her services and describes her experience, skills, and qualities. She may also send letters to entrepreneurs who may need her services, introducing herself, describing what a virtual assistant does, and offering a free consultation. A virtual assistant may also use networking, classified ads, fliers, and bidding sites to get the word out about her services. She may even use cold calling to market her services.

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