Resources - Virtual Assistants

Firstly, so many people ask me what my business is. Basically I am a Virtual Assistant or VA, which is someone that provides professional assistance, generally business support/administration in some form, from their home rather than from a place of employment/onsite. Additionally, rather than have one "employer" as such I have a range of clients that I may do work for on a regular basis or on an adhoc basis.

If you are thinking of becoming a VA it is important to determine the services that you are going to offer based on your level of skill and experience. VAs offer a wide range of services from typing and phone answering to desktop publishing, marketing and bookkeeping.

It is also important to have a reliable computer, internet connection, printer/fax and phone line. You may want to purchase other equipment such as a laminater, binding machines, photocopier and heavy duty printer down the line if the demand warrants it but generally these things can be easily outsourced for minimal cost if you only use them occasionally.


There are many advantages to being a self employed Virtual Assistant - you get to set your hours and the volume of your workload, have flexibility, spend time with your children (especially new ones), set your own income and claim running costs at tax time (check to what extent with your accountant).

Following are some resources to assist you in starting up and/or developing your VA business:


A Clayton's Secretary 

A Clayton's Secretary is one of the oldest VA networks online and provide support to VAs by way of ebooks, printed books, Virtual Assistant Network Membership, training and even domain registrations, web hosting and website design. 

A one-stop shop to get your Virtual Assistant business up and running quickly, benefitting from all the marketing and development we've done over the years. 

Why not visit today and learn how you can benefit from being a member of this team.


VA Trainer

This is a 10-week program designed to help those who already have good computer skills to develop or advance their Virtual Assistant business.

  • Learn from an experienced Master Virtual Assistant who has over 12 years’ knowledge of the industry
  • Work out what skills you can use and the types of services you can provide
  • Look at different niche markets you can target for your business
  • Give your business a kick-start in the right direction!


The Program:

  • Will guide you in setting up your business
  • Get you started on your own website
  • Guide you in setting rates that are right for you
  • Teach you how to deal with clients, what questions to ask and how to quote
  • Will help you learn to network and market your business
  • During the program you will be given access to materials that consist of
    books, software programs, hardware items and other things essential in
    assisting with the operation of your VA business.
  • Includes weekly email lessons, with homework to complete (some research will be involved); fortnightly 60 min online classroom sessions with Q&A plus unlimited email support (and some phone support via Skype), if required


Professional Associations

There are several associations and organisations offering membership, support, education, development and mentoring programs.  Becoming a member of associations like this are a great way to network with other VAs and gain access to resources for a rapidly growing industry. There are costs involved so make sure you join the ones you think will provide the most benefit based on your location and the style of your business.  

- an Australian based network offering support, training, resources, products and even job referrals (as mentioned above)

-a non-profit organisation offering professional education and development to members as well as educating the public on the role and function of the Virtual Assistant.

-promotes the use of Virtual Assistants Worldwide by providing a forum and support to organisations that want to utilise the services of a VA.

Accreditation Programs

At this stage it is not necessary to have a certification to be a VA but if you want to set yourself apart from your competitors and show potential clients that you are experienced and qualified then they can be a good idea. There are a varity of certification programs offered by membership associations so it's important to consider which one/s are relevant to your location and level of skill and experience, as well as whether you feel the benefits will outway the cost.

1. Accredited Secretary Online (ASO) - an accreditation program offered by A Clayton's Secretary and is based on experience, skill, education & industry participation. 

2. VA - a program put together by three industry assocations: The International Association of Virtual Office Assistants (IAVOA), AVirtualSolution (AVS) and Virtual Assistance U (VAU), designed to "weed out" those with marginal skills and experience from the ones with higher skill levels and more experience. You must submit an application to an independent credentialing authority who checks your references, verifies your work experience and evaluates your education. If you have earned enough credits/points and displayed your professionalism, you are then awarded the certification.

There are two levels:

Professional Virtual Assistant (PVA) - tells the world that you are a professional who has invested in your professional development through education, training and hands-on experience. 

Master Virtual Assistant (MVA) - these are people at the top of their game who have built a Virtual Assistant practice and achieved success in their chosen field. The requirements and standards are higher than those for a PVA  and you must have extensive verifiable experience. 

3. Certified Virtual Assistant (CVA)
- offered by the International Virtual Assistants Association ™ and based on experience as well as skills that must be tested and demonstrated by way of an exam.







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