Becoming a Virtual Assistant in 2022
Ever wanted more freedom and flexibility in your career? Wanted to travel the world whilst you work? Wanted work the hours that suit you and complete tasks you enjoy?
Then Virtual Assistant might be the role for you!
Read on to find out more about becoming a virtual assistant, the benefits and the disadvantages…
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is typically a self-employed contractor who can provide a variety of professional services, such as administrative, financial, or marketing support to their clients remotely.
As technology continues to develop and more businesses are shifting toward more flexible or remote working, the role of the virtual assistant is becoming increasingly popular.
This is especially true for the younger generation of highly skilled professional who are predominately seeking more freedom through flexible alternatives to traditional employment.
Because of their adaptable nature and wide variety of skill sets, virtual assistants can be employed by companies of all shapes, sizes and industries meaning the client pool is vast.
Even smaller businesses are relying more and more on virtual assistants with an estimated one third of them outsourcing at least one business process in 2019.
Why do companies choose to hire Virtual Assistants?
Virtual assistants can provide many more benefits than traditional full-time employees to the businesses that choose to hire them, making them an attractive alternative.
Primarily, virtual assistants can help ease the workload significantly for businesses by managing the burden of time-consuming but important tasks like admin, finances, or marketing or handling essential recurring tasks.
This helps free up more time for the business to focus the efforts of their full-time employees on high-impact projects and improving company performance and productivity.
Virtual assistants can help with cutting costs for businesses, it has been estimated that virtual assistants can help reduce operating costs by around 78% as they do not require the same expenses as a full-time employee, such as training or equipment.
Virtual assistants are effective in supporting business scalability as their services can be used as and when they’re needed without businesses having to commit to the cost and time of a long traditional employment contract.
Does a Virtual Assistant have to work with lots of different clients?
Virtual assistants may choose to work exclusively for one business, or they may assist lots of different clients each day, but this is often totally up to the preference of each virtual assistant.
One study has indicated that nearly 60% of all virtual assistants are exclusively full-time employees of a singular company.
Committing to working with a single client as a full-time employee is beneficial as it provides strong job and financial security whilst also still allowing virtual assistants the freedoms associated with working in that role, such as remote working.
However, with more clients the earning potential of a virtual assistant increases. Working with lots of different clients can also create more variety in day-to-day work.
What tasks does a Virtual Assistant do?
Some virtual assistants may choose to specialise in certain areas like digital marketing or financial administration, whilst others may support clients by undertaking a much broader range of tasks.
Typical tasks that are handled by virtual assistants can include but also aren’t limited to:
- Customer services support
- Calendar and schedule management
- Answering and directing calls
- Managing personal errands
- Maintaining or updating social media platforms
- Research e.g., competitor, industry.
- Billing and accounting activities
- File and document organisation
- Email monitoring and organising
There is lots of variety and it is usually up to the discretion of the virtual assistant which services they may want to include for their clients.
The freedom to choose means virtual assistants can ensure they only handle the tasks they enjoy and are most proficient in.
What skills does a Virtual Assistant need?
To really succeed as a virtual assistant there are some key skills that one should have or aim to develop, these include:
Regular and concise communication with clients allows you to create and maintain stronger relationships with them ensuring their ongoing trust and loyalty to your services.
Certain tasks may also require strong communication skills, such as scheduling, customer, and email management.
Time Management & Organisation
These skills are crucial for any virtual assistant. As your own boss you need to be able to effectively manage your time to ensure all your tasks are completed on schedule and to a high standard.
Strong organisational skills will make it much easier to keep track of and juggle all your tasks, especially if you choose to work with multiple clients.
Clients trust you to independently get on with the work, therefore if you are continuously unreliable and don’t deliver your tasks on time or to a good enough quality, clients simply won’t want to keep working with you and may choose to end their contract with you.
Proficient Computer Skills
As a remote worker whose entire task load is computer based, you must have good computer skills.
Learning and using new software may also help make your work more efficient, for example task management software may help you be more organised.
Invested in Learning New Skills
As technology continues to rapidly develop, it is important that you update your skills as business management methods change.
To be a successful virtual assistant you must invest time in keeping update on trends and key developments in the field.
What are the benefits of working as a Virtual Assistant?
Essentially working as a virtual assistant provides you with more freedom and flexibility than traditional employment offers.
Other key benefits include:
- You are your own boss: You have the power to decide when, where, and whom you want to work with.
- You can work from anywhere: You can choose to work from the comfort of your own home or even use your freedom as chance to travel the world and work abroad, all you really need is a laptop and reliable internet connection.
- Complete control over the services you offer: You can focus exclusively on doing work that you enjoy and are most skilled in.
- You can set your own rates: You get paid what your skills and time are worth.
- No commute: Save time by cutting out busy and long commutes into the office.
- Low start-up costs: All you really need to get started is a computer and a reliable internet connection, as your business grows you may wish to further invest in tools and software to help with your workload, but these aren’t essential.
What are the disadvantages of working as a Virtual Assistant?
Whilst there are many benefits to being a virtual assistant it can also come with its downfalls, such as:
- You must be motivated and driven enough to succeed: As your own boss you’re in charge of managing yourself and can’t rely on others to give you a push if you are in a rut.
- Finding clients can be difficult and time-consuming: This is especially true when you’re first starting out as a virtual assistant as it can take time to build an established reputation. Attracting prospective clients can also require a lot of effort as it is dependent on you reach out and pitching to them.
- Productivity: When working from home it can be easy to get distracted by things like household chores, personal errands, hobbies or even just scrolling endlessly on your phone.
- Difficult to keep a good work-life balance: Working from home can blur the boundary between your career and personal life.
- No paid holiday: As a self-employed contractor you are not entitled to paid holiday from your clients.
How can Jomo247 help with Virtual Assistant task management?
Jomo247 can help you organise your task management and ensure you keep track of all your jobs that have been set in one centralised location.
We are based on the AWS cloud, which means you can access your tasks whether you’re working from home, a café or even abroad are as long as you have an internet connection
Create tasks and set their priority and due date to ensure you never miss a task, especially the important ones.
Your dashboard will also remind you of any upcoming tasks and flag those that are overdue.
You can invite your clients to your hub, free of charge so that they can check the progress of tasks and communicate with you via task comment sections.
With our roles and permissions feature you can control what activities each client can access keeping yours and your other client’s information confidential.
Our innovative tagging feature allows you to quickly organise activities, tasks, and documents making them easier to search for and locate later on.
Find out more about our features and how they can help you with task management, here.