Becoming a Virtual Assistant
Becoming a Virtual Assistant and avoiding the mistakes I made
If you want to use your current skills as a PA, Secretary or Office Manager to start your own business then this book will tell you how to set up a Virtual Assistant business at home.
Why would I want be become a VA?
There are many benefits to becoming a VA. One of the most exciting is that you become an entrepreneur… you are your own boss.
We believe there are four types of Virtual Assistants:
- Virtual Assistant (VA)
- Personal Assistant
- Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA)
- Virtual Executive Assistant (VEA)
For the purpose of this book, I am going to use the term ‘Virtual Assistant’ (VA) to include all of the above.
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As a VA, you can work for clients in your own town, your own county, or even around the world. You can have the diversity of working for one client, answering emails and scheduling speaking engagements and an hour later making sales calls for a mini bus hire company. It certainly keeps things fresh and interesting. If you find are not enjoying a job, you have the opportunity for change with the next work you take on.
What do you get from the book?
The skills and services of a talented Virtual Assistant / PA are in high demand. A Virtual Assistant can work with anybody, anywhere, any time.
This is a way of working that leads to an extremely fulfilling career.
Dress to impress
We have already covered just how important and long-lasting first impressions are, and this is certainly the case when it comes to networking events, especially when you are starting up and growing your business. The impression of you and your business and how your business can perform is based on what people see. To make a good impression, ensure that you are well groomed and feel good about what you are wearing at all times.
As you are advertising Virtual PA services, make sure that you turn up to a meeting appropriately dressed. In my opinion (and I am very conservative in this one) jeans and a t-shirt will not do. Equally, I don’t believe that a very low cut top is appropriate for a woman or an open shirt showing half a man’s chest.
Remember you are a business owner and representing your profession and your business. If you feel smart and professional, then your appearance and mannerisms will appear professional, and your confidence will increase.
Remember, when you are networking,
“... you are promoting your personal brand. Like any product, your packaging defines and differentiates who you are as a professional business person. Make sure your visual message matches your verbal message”.
Aviva Shiff, co-founder of Spark Training & Coaching Associates
Most people want to have a very amicable relationship with their clients. You want to be on the best possible terms at all times. This requires work, planning, and always putting your best foot forward. Relationships take consistent work. We know that from any relationship we’ve had in our lives. A business relationship is similar in many ways to a friendship or a marriage. It takes communication, cooperation and commitment, to be a success.
In order to get to the point of how to be the perfect VA we need to discuss the building of a solid foundation, setting expectations for both you and your client, and proactive thinking; the ability to think ahead and prevent problems arising.
The type of relationship you have with an employer or client will dictate the ease with which you will be able to work with them. It is vital that you build a level of trust and understanding from the very beginning of each relationship. This is your foundation, the building blocks of your future with your client. There has to be a level of trust on both sides...
Professionalism, Confidentiality and Integrity
If you have integrity, you never talk about one client with another. That would be an automatic red flag to a new client that you can’t keep your mouth shut. Hearing you talk about your existing clients will just make any potential new client think that you will do the same with them. Aside from the fact that nobody likes to be talked about behind their back, there are professional issues of confidentiality, especially if your clients work in a similar field. You could give away product secrets or other valuable information which could affect their ability to win or lose business themselves.
Keep office secrets to yourself and always be discreet. It is not your place to talk. If a client is running their business in a way that makes you uncomfortable, then that’s another topic and one which you need to deal with yourself. You must keep your clients’ confidentiality at all times; it is just what a good assistant would do.