The virtual assistant business is currently booming, and has become a unique home-based business with its own standards and definitions. You can find plenty of organizations and staffing agencies that run virtual recruitment services, and these are helping change the way we perceive these services.
A virtual assistant (abbreviated as VA) is a self-employed professional who provides technical administrative and creative or social services from a remote location Virtual Tax Services . A notable characteristic is that they are independent contractors and not full-time employees; thus, they are responsible for submitting their own taxes, and paying for their own insurance and benefits.
A VA has three main characteristics: 1) they tailor their services to suit a client’s needs and often perform duties outside of a particular job description; 2) they work remotely from home, which gives them the freedom to do their business wherever they choose; and 3) a VA provides a multitude of services to clients in many industries.
One reason why companies hire VAs is that they are cost effective and give good value for money. Ideally, VAs earn by the hour; and therefore an employer will pay only for services rendered. Another reason is that the employer incurs minimal overhead costs like renting office space and buying equipment– virtual assistants purchases and maintain their own equipment. Thirdly, they perform different tasks, eliminating the need for the employer to hire many people to perform different tasks.
As a VA, you must have good data entry and word processing skills; most importantly, you must be Internet-savvy and knowledgeable of technology terms since employers will required you to perform most tasks over the Internet. It also helps to learn additional skills like web design, writing articles and press releases, social media marketing, as well as strong organizational and communication skills.
When working as a VA, remember that you no longer have company benefits, and you must pay your own taxes. If you are working through a recruitment agency, they may have a pre-set pay scale. You can earn between $15 and $25 an hour, depending on your skills, services, and the type of employer.
Many people who run small businesses and want to reduce operational costs hire virtual assistants. This can include large companies that want to cut costs on hiring fulltime administrative assistants, as well as busy individuals and celebrities who plan and coordinate events. Other employers might include college students who need help with processing and completing research papers and reports on time.
Many recruitment agencies and temp. staffing agencies recruit virtual assistants as part of their collective portfolio of services, and you can find a job by registering with them. On the other hand, you can register with freelancing websites where you post a portfolio and look for available job openings as they are posted. The catch with freelancing websites is that you must bid for the position, and prove to the employer that you are competent enough for the job.
A virtual assistant must be an all-rounded person who has the capacity to perform different duties and responsibilities. The duties can range from basic accounting, researching on insurance options, and purchasing supplies for an office.
They are also required to provide administrative services like web, graphics design, and online promotion of products and services. The other common duties include bookkeeping, creating presentations, writing, proof reading, and editing articles, and basic desktop publishing. Your employer will require you to give them updates on market developments and maintain business relationships with customers, suppliers, and staff members.