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Start Your Own Business as a Virtual Assistant

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More and more companies are hiring virtual assistants who work from home rather than in the office building. In this position, you have your own home-based business as an independent contractor providing administrative services to a wide varieties of companies. You set your own rates and set your own employment practices. You must keep your own records of employment and submit the appropriate taxes on the amount of money you earn. One advantage for companies in hiring people for these positions is tat they pay only for the work done and do not have to pay any benefits, such as health or dental insurance.

You still need to have the same qualifications for the position of virtual assistant as you would for a job in a regular office. You can set your own schedule or work as on call when your employer needs you. This type of job opens up all kinds of possibilities in the administrative field as you do not have to live in the same location as your employer and have to drive to work each morning. The only requirements are that you have your own computer and Internet access to be able to go to work. You may actually work for several employers at the same time.

In order to start your own business as a virtual assistant, you should decide on what services you want to offer to potential employers. The best thing to do is to narrow your services to two or three niche areas. In this way, you won’t be spreading yourself too thinly and are able to concentrate better on the jobs. You can also determine how much time you want to spend on the job. You might want to do this for only a few hours a night or you may work full time from Monday to Friday. Some who work in this area perform only tying services while others provide more specialized services such as website development. In order to find the niche areas for which there is a need for virtual assistants, you can research the job market to find the areas where employers are advertising most.

You do need to have a budget in order to get your home office up and running. It does not have to be elaborate and most virtual assistants simply use their own personal computer. You may have to investing in accounting software if your employer wants accounting and financial records as part of your work.

There are many online courses available to help you become certified as a virtual assistant. One of these, the International Association of Virtual Assistants has courses leading to certification in this field. One such training is a ten-week course in which you interact with other members of the class, even though the course is taught online, and learn how to develop your own business. As a virtual assistant you can work from anywhere so you don’t have to give up your job if you move to another city. You simply take your computer with you and work from another location.
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