So now that you have decided to create your mark as an ace virtual assistant by working from home, don’t forget about the few important decisions and investments you need to make first before taking up a new project. If you are certain that you can produce quality work by working from the comfort of your home, here’s how to get started:
a) First of all, decide which room you will use as your ‘office’. Make sure that your dedicated workspace is free from any other distractions or noises coming from within the house or from outside. Also ensure that your new ‘office’ has enough power sockets for your equipment, an internet connection as well as a dedicated phone line connection.
b) Decide on the kind of furniture that is appropriate for you. You will need a large enough desk, a comfortable chair which gives your back and arms good support as well as one or two small cabinets for storing files. Think carefully about the kind of computer or laptop you would prefer to invest in and along with that, purchase a printer and a fax machine to enable you to handle work more efficiently. In fact, many brands sell an all-in-one printer machine which has multiple functions and which may also be lighter on your wallet. If you feel the need for extra equipment, you can always purchase them later.
c) In this age when almost everyone carries at least two personal handsets, keep one sim card exclusively for your clients and for other official purposes. On the other hand, having a dedicated telephone in your room is also a good option for taking client calls and may give prospective clients the impression that you are a professional and reliable VA.
d) One of the most important decisions you need to take includes deciding what kind of virtual assistant services you will offer as well as your work times. When you are a newbie, it is best to stick to a niche area that you are comfortable with as that could help you get more projects. With regard to work times, honesty matters as you need to take into account other factors which may also require your time- such as housework or an educational course which you may be pursuing. Set aside those hours at which you feel you can perform at your best and during which you can give undivided attention to your clients. Unless you have a genuine reason, never alter your work times during a project as that could inconvenience your client to a large extent.
As you take up more projects, make the necessary additions to your resume as well so that your prospective clients always get an updated resume. Being a virtual assistant may be challenging but you’re sure to love being your own boss!