What is a virtual assistant?
Have you ever wondered What is a virtual assistant? Let me tell you about this job I love and how I became a work from home mom!
Hi, Tami here. You may not know me, but I have been working with Sarah at A Thrifty Mom for a few years and have known her and Matt much longer than that. I get asked a lot about what I do, so I thought I would share with you too!
I am a Virtual Assistant. Working from home is something I love to do. I mostly work for bloggers, but I am also a VA for some other small business owners as well.
A Virtual assistant (sometimes called a VA) is someone that offers support services from a remote location. We usually work for online businesses and small business owners and entrepreneurs that need extra help. That being said, there are so many possibilities of who may use our services. Our range of services is so broad that narrowing it down is practically impossible. Basically a VA can do anything that can be done on a computer and many also help with calls and customer support.
One of the things I love about it is that it isn’t always the same thing. One day I may be scheduling travel arrangements for a client and answering their customer emails and the next I could be editing videos and audio recordings. There really is so many different things you can do! I suggest if you are going to take the leap deciding what you don’t like to do. If you don’t want to be on the phone with customers, than find clients that don’t need that service. If you don’t like Pinterest, find clients that need something else from you. That way you enjoy your job and want to stick with it. Keep in mind, if you get too picky then you are probably going to struggle finding people to work for.
What do I need to be a VA?
First and foremost you need to know your way around a computer. No one wants to hire someone who can’t figure out how to turn a PC on. 😉 You need to be a self starter, be willing to work on your own, be flexible and answer requests promptly.
How do you become a VA?
Look on hiring sites and google. Find someone that is looking. Decide what you are going to charge and make a resume.
What are some things to know before you start?
One thing to keep in mind is that you need to be able to do tasks promptly. If you are working full time elsewhere it will be hard to keep your clients pleased.
Do you plan on making calls and talking to customers? Make sure you have a quiet space for that. If you have a newborn baby that cries that might not be the best for you.
Typically you will be an independent contractor, which means you are contracted with them to do certain tasks, but you aren’t their employee. Because of that, you are responsible for your own taxes and keeping track of your own time. But that also means that you have a little more flexibility on your schedule. Because the people you work for are not your “boss” they can’t demand you do something at a specific time.
That being said, if you aren’t flexible with your time and a client needs something done ASAP or has scheduled ahead of time that they would like you to be on hand during certain hours you have to be willing to do those things. It is nice to be able to run a sick kid to the doctor or help at my kid’s school and not have to worry that I am on the clock. Being a mom is first for me, so having a job that allows that and clients that understand is awesome.
As a self employed independent contractor your tax rate is higher than it would be as an employee. That was the biggest shock to me I think.
Do some research, find out the programs that a lot of entrepreneurs and people that are looking for VAs might have you using and do some studying so you can learn those programs. Decide what you are willing to do and what you would like to avoid. For me, I wanted to avoid being on the phone with client’s customers. That isn’t something I enjoy, but it is also something I am willing to do if an existing client needs some help.
So there you have the basics to becoming a VA. If you are interested in working from home and have the computer knowledge and are tech savvy, this could be a great job for you! I have loved it and getting to be home with my kids while also earning an income and learning so many new things.