Virtual Assistant (VA) - "a highly-skilled, independent professional who remotely provides administrative, technical and/or creative business support services"
Choosing the best Virtual Assistant Training and Certification
The ExpertRating Virtual Assistant Training Course also states that The Office of Advocacy and Census Bureau reports conclude that there were nearly 29.6 million small businesses in the United States in 2008 and small businesses make up the majority of clients for Virtual Assistants. The same office states that an average of 600,000 new businesses open each year which contributes to the positive outlook of a Virtual Assistant career.
As per the Virtual Assistant Training Course, the word 'virtual' has many definitions, but for the purposes of this course can best be described as having most of the properties, the appearance, essence, or effect of something without being that thing. Virtual Assistant (VA) is defined as a highly-skilled, independent professional who remotely provides administrative, technical and/or creative business support services. A virtual office is a mobile or remote work-environment equipped with telecommunication links and basic office furniture, but without a fixed office space.
Virtual Assistants are professional Administrative Assistants who work from their own home or office rather than from an employer's location, and they typically provide services for multiple clients instead of a single company. Services provided by Virtual Assistants include such things as technical, creative, secretarial and receptionist services, however some VAs also specialize in certain fields such as real estate, social media, legal, project management, event planning, ecommerce or research. Following is a partial list of typical services provided by VAs as taken from the ExpertRating Virtual Assistant Training Course:
Some Virtual Assistants choose alternate titles for themselves like Virtual Professional, Virtual Associate, Personal Assistant, Virtual Business Manager or Online Business Manager.
The Virtual Assistant Training Program from ExpertRating equips you with most of the essential skills required to start working in many of the above stated job categories.
Some of the key concepts covered in the ExpertRating Virtual Assistant Training Course are:
* About the Virtual Assistant training Program
* How to Create a Business Plan
* Registration and Licensing of your business
* Setting Up Your Virtual Office
* Virtual Assistant Tools
* Computer Skills
* Introduction to SEO and what it involves
* Developing Your Services
* Pricing Your Services
* Marketing Your Services
* Marketplaces For Your Services
* Social Media - The Next Big Marketing Revolution
* Online Forums & Communities
* Organizing Your Work Flow
* Balancing Your Home Office & Family
* Expanding Your Virtual Assistant Business
* Business Ethics
* Sample Documents
How the virtual assistant course is structured - The Online Virtual Assistant training Course from ExpertRating will equip you with all the knowledge and skills that you need to start your own VA business. The VA training program is 100% online and you can read the material at your convenience from any computer with an internet connection. On completing the VA course you are required to take a small test to ensure that you have understood most of the concepts explained in the course. You will receive a certificate, logo and online transcript for you to display on your website, stationary and in your office. You can display the credentials "Certified Virtual Assistant" on all your business correspondence on completing the virtual assistant training and test at the end of the course. The Virtual assistant course includes in-depth material that covers all the concepts covered in the final test. Below is the format for the Virtual Assistant Test which must be taken at the end of the VA training program in order to be certified:
The first step in setting fees is to estimate your costs. Calculate how much income you'll need to cover your regular household bills, or how much income you need to replace if your plan is to move from a current job to running your own Virtual Assistant business. Next, divide that amount by 52 weeks to determine how much you'll need to earn on a weekly basis.
For example, if you are currently earning $20,000 gross per year and you'll need to make that much or more in order to leave your current job, then divide $20,000 by 52 weeks to arrive at a weekly figure of $385.
Next, figure out what additional business expenses you'll also need to cover and add that amount to your weekly figure. As an example, you will be using space in your home and likely extra electricity and other utilities that you would not be using if you were working outside the home. For the purpose of this example, we will estimate 15% to cover those expenses, so $385 x .15 = $58, for a total of $443 per week.
Now, if you work an average of 40 hours per week then you would need to bring in around $11 per hour. Therefore, if you are bidding on a job for a client that would take approximately ten hours to complete, you would need to bid at least $110 for that job.
On larger jobs you might want to charge on an hourly basis rather than on a per job basis, or if your client has many different tasks for you then it may be easier for everyone involved to bill hourly for the work. In cases like this you can ask for a retainer up front based on the number of hours you expect to work each week. For example, if you charge $15 per hour and expect to spend ten hours per week for that client then you would request $150 in advance and provide billing reports indicating how much time you've spent.
Research the fees that others charge for similar tasks and set your fees accordingly so that you'll be competitive in the marketplace. Check resources such as the annual "Writer's Market" digest at your local library to see what common fees are per page or per word. Look up the websites of Virtual Assistants or other businesses that provide services similar to the ones you plan to provide and find out what they are charging.
Take all of the above factors into consideration when setting fees for your initial list of basic services and keep in mind that can and should revisit your price list from time to time and make any changes or adjustments that you feel are necessary.