A Virtual Assistant is a home based secretary or administrative
support person. A virtual assistant can provide a range
of skills from basic secretarial skills to more complex
executive assistant skills, working remotely for the
business they are supporting. Often the client is a
small business, an independent consultant or a professional,
who does not need a full time administrative person,
and/or who do not have the premises for them to work
Some of the services a virtual assistant might provide
database setup and management
email and fax
transcription services; tape, digital
How do you become a virtual assistant?
If you have the basic skills i.e. any or all of the
above, you will also need a computer, the relevant software,
email and a phone.
Getting your clients is the hardest part, but there
are quite a few agencies out there for virtual assistants.
Some examples are:
Executive Stress Office Support: www.execstress.com
A Clayton's secretary: www.asecretary.com.au
International Association of Virtual Office Assistants
Virtually Yours: www.virtuallyyours.com.au
Australian Virtual Business Network: www.avbn.com.au
As a virtual assistant, you register your details on
these websites, and clients can access the listing and
contact you directly. Some charge a subscription fee
to be listed on the website.
Some of the listings literally have contact details
and a list of the skills the virtual assistant provides.
Other virtual assistants include a link to their own
website which provides more details, including references
and examples of work completed.
The skeptic in me wants to know how many virtual assistants
actually find subscribing to the websites pays off,
so I will be doing a little digging to find out more.
Having said that, the creator of Virtually Yours was
nominated for the Telstra Women's Business Awards and
was a finalist in the Home Based Business Awards in
2006 and 2007, so she must be doing something right.
AVBN also has an award winning founder, recognised
in both the specific field of virtual assistants and
as a Business Achievers Award winner in 2007.
I will be trying to contact some of the virtual assistants
to see whether the membership of any of these sites
has been worth while.
If anyone knows of jobs in this area, please let me
know at firstname.lastname@example.org