Many women have found that by offering their services as a virtual assistant they can make a substantial income from home. This is one of the most popular home businesses for women today. A virtual assistant simply aids companies or individuals in things such as typing manuscripts or letters, transcription work, writing resumes, event planning and other areas that are similar to the duties of a secretary. If you have experience in secretarial duties such as typing and proofing, enjoy helping people, are very familiar with the internet and internet research and would like to begin a home business that is currently in high demand, then a virtual assistant business may be just what you have been searching for.
Virtual assistant home businesses actually require little start-up and can be started with virtually no out of pocket expenses. You will need a computer, internet service and a few skills to begin. If you already have a computer and internet service then your overhead costs are virtually already met. You will likely also need a good word processing system such as Microsoft Office. An office software that includes a word processor and spreadsheet application is optimal.
As a virtual assistant you will simply be providing administrative support for businesses, entrepreneurs, executives or individuals who need help in handling their tasks. You may receive job assignments through email, phone contact or through an online contact if you have a website set up. A website will allow you to advertise your services, rates, experience and give you the opportunity to work with people from around the world instead of just locally. This is particularly important if you live in a rural area instead of a larger city where virtual assistant work can be found more easily. If you live in an area that has many businesses, such as a large metropolis, you can advertise your services via newspapers to gain clients, but living in rural areas typically means that you do not have access to companies that may need your services. This is where having a website for your business will help you to gain and maintain clients that will make your business successful.
Pricing for your virtual assistant business can vary considerably. Most virtual assistants begin by charging around $25 per hour as a base price. This is, however, highly dependent on your area, whether you are marketing your services globally, your experience and what specific services you provide. You can charge per hour, per project, per page for typing or transcription or per event if you include event planning in your services. A good way to determine how much you should charge is to research a few virtual assistant businesses that provide services similar to yours.
Be sure to also check for any specific licenses or certifications that you will need to ensure that you are meeting legal requirements. Keep updated business expense and income logs to make it easier at tax time as well. Any computer equipment that you purchase as well as your internet service and other home expenses can be used to help offset your tax costs.