Are you intrigued with the world of Virtual Assistants and like the idea of getting away from having to commute into work each day? Yet, you still need an income?  I was in that position when I typed “Assistant” under Google search and “accidently” came across  links to virtual assistant websites, so I typed “Virtual Assistants”  under Google and Yahoo search and found several more virtual assistant website along  with a few organizations.  I was pleasantly surprised and it gave me hope.  But I wouldn’t be hasty and quit your job.  In the article written by Carolyn Moncel, “Starting a Virtual Assistant Business, Sharon B. Williams say:

Before packing up the office cubicle and giving notice to your boss, know that becoming a virtual assistant isn’t an easy job that just anyone can do. Sharon B. Williams of The 24-Hour Secretary cautions, “To become successful, you need a good marketing strategy in addition to that phone, PC and Internet connection.” Many virtual assistants work between 14 and 18 hours a day during the startup phase. Even after establishing solid practices, one-third of these business owners admit to working nontraditional hours, including weekends and holidays.

I needed the income, so didn’t quit my job, but I leveraged the time to read and research thereby becoming acquainted with several Virtual Assistant organizations and observe the interactions between the VA’s.  I also checked out several virtual assistant web-sites to get an idea of their niche and how they presented themselves. VA’s are professional and savvy. I was encouraged to give it a try.  I looked at my resume and saw that I could sell myself as a VA, and to be honest, I winged it.  What I know now is: Don’t be hasty. Do your homework and try to get started on the right foot.  I recommend that you join several VA sites.  I recommend the following:

International Virtual Assistant Association (IVAA); Virtual Assistant Association-Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce (VACOC); Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA).

There are many more available which I will mention through out my blog. What I want to convey is that it is important that you are clear about your business model and to have a plan. I will blog later this week and provide a few links from VACOC and other VA sites with their own version of recommendations and steps to follow in starting out as a VA.

Even though I “winged it”, I considered myself successful, because I did land a few VA positions and through those experiences, learned what my strengths and weaknesses were, likes and dislikes, and learned to be bold about my rates. Daniel Keister, founder and Chief Virtual Officer of VACOC has been an advocate for Virtual Assistants and has encouraged VA’s to educate clients, family, and friends that Virtual Assistas ADD value to a business owner and are experts in their field. We do not do clerical work, we have brains, style, technique and finesse.

Stay tuned for additional blogs regarding steps to take for your VA business and more stories about my journey!