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Virtual Assistant

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 from.

Some of the services a virtual assistant might provide are:

  • bookkeeping

  • database setup and management

  • desktop publishing

  • editing/formatting documents

  • email and fax

  • flyers

  • invitations

  • mail merges

  • newsletters/enewsletters

  • presentations

  • proofreading/copyediting

  • repetitive letters

  • reports

  • spreadsheets

  • submissions

  • transcription services; tape, digital and shorthand

  • web conferencing

  • word processing

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:

A Clayton's secretary:

International Association of Virtual Office Assistants (IAVOA)

Virtually Yours:

Australian Virtual Business Network:

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














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