Virtual assistants are quickly rising to the top of the home based business industry. With an anticipated growth rate of 20% or more over the next five years, virtual assisting is growing at a pace that outranks any other profession on or offline. To be a successful virtual assistant you must possess the following 10 [...]
Interested in exploring a career that allows you to earn an income that can support yourself and your family while being based at home? Virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular among businesses large and small, since they can fulfill all the same important administrative functions that a normal administrative assistant would, but do so remotely. This means that the business does not have to find office space for them and that the business owner or manager is free to hire someone who is located anywhere in the U.K., as long as he or she is able to do the job. While every employer is unique, the basic functions of being a virtual assistant are very similar, so read on to learn more about what becoming a virtual assistant would mean for you.
Every Day Is Different For Virtual Assistants
Many small businesses like to use virtual assistants on an as needed or part time basis. This means that you can become an independent contractor who provides services like typing, scheduling appointments, research and proofreading for a number of different businesses.
As an independent contractor, you can enjoy a certain amount of freedom in being able to negotiate hours that work for you and your family with each of your clients. However, the more hours that you are available to your clients, the more likely you are to be retained as a virtual assistant by them. A business that is located abroad or has salesmen or offices located in other time zones may need a virtual assistant that can provide his or her services during unusual times. While they may not be traditional U.K. business hours, these evening or early morning hours may be better suited to your family’s schedule.
Discretion Is Not Optional
Even though you are spending your working days at home your employer or clients will still expect the same level of professionalism and confidentiality that you would be required to provide in a traditional office setting. This means that you can expect to be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements promising to not share your clients’ confidential information. These types of binding legal agreements have become standard in the current business climate, especially among businesses in technology, pharmaceuticals or other areas that involve investing a great deal in proprietary information.
A Virtual Assistant May Never Be Seen But Is Always Professional
You also should strive to remain professional in your communications with your client, whether they are over the phone, via video-conference or e-mails, despite working from the comfort of home. A virtual assistant’s services are valued by a business for their consistency in execution and quality, which means that your employer or clients expect you to be able to consistently be professional, polite and, most importantly, competent.
Whether you are booking your boss’s last minute travel plans to New Zealand or calling for quotes to have a leaky roof repaired, you should be calm and discrete. Just as it would be frowned upon to complain about your boss if you worked in a traditional office, it also will come back to haunt you if you spend your free time complaining or otherwise decrying your boss or clients online or to your friends and family. Whenever you are tempted, just imagine that he or she is standing over your shoulder, and bite back your remark, lest it snowball into something that ruins your reputation as a professional.
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