You can do anything but not everything. Especially when you’re starting or running a business, you will need to delegate tasks. Sometimes, it’s not advisable to hire a regular office secretary because it’s either costly or you jump from one location to another.
So, you will need an assistant in a different kind of setup, say online. As work from home (WFH) become more accepted, the demand for a virtual assistant rises. They are great for business owners who are just starting up, businesses who run in different locations, and solopreneurs. So, what is a virtual assistant?
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is an independent contractor providing administrative services from outside a client’s physical location. Commonly, they perform appointment scheduling, email management, simple researches, and travel arrangements.
These they can do through shared calendars, documents, and task boards. Nowadays, they can also handle blog post writing, content creation, graphic design, internet marketing, and social media management.
Qualifications of a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant performs a unique task to help his/her client. As such, he or she needs to possess basic skills that match those unique tasks. Not everyone can be a virtual assistant overnight. Even a college degree holder may need some training to hone such skills. There are five critical skills a virtual assistant should possess.
As a virtual assistant will be working remotely from his or her client, he or she must have good communication skills. Good grammar and excellent written communication are very important when calling clients, making presentations or reports, and sending emails or fax.
Virtual assistance is performing online works. As such, you’ll need comprehensive know-how on the best ways to share information with your clients. Cloud-based knowledge is critical in these three areas:
- File sharing for your clients to see the progress of your work in real-time. This includes knowing how Dropbox, Google Docs, and Google Drives work.
- Google Voice management to share your number with your clients so you can communicate as if in the same office.
- Password Manager for you and your clients to share login information to access personal and business accounts.
Time Management Skills.
A virtual assistant must have the ability to work with minimum supervision. Clients often need assistance with scheduling and setting deadlines. Thus, it is critical that you can manage your time and productivity and be accountable for your responsibilities.
By using a time tracker, you can check whatever you have accomplished for the day and compile it for future reference. In case your client demands a productivity report, you can very well use it.
A good virtual assistant is willing to go the extra mile. He or she is not only working for the money but is devoted to giving the best support to his or her client. Most clients hiring virtual assistants expect a two-way relationship. They prefer a VA who suggests what can be done to make things better. And they deeply appreciate a VA who is responsible enough to take charge of a project.
Clients are often fully loaded and lack organization and time-management. This is the main reason why they need a virtual assistant. They need someone to organize their files for them. They need someone to track their schedules and remind them of their appointments or deadline. If a VA lacks organization skills, then he or she won’t be able to handle such needs.