The Rapid Rise of VA Jobs Since COVID

COVID-19 has brought about drastic changes to the way people from all over the world do their jobs. Particularly during the early days of the pandemic, millions lost their jobs due to businesses having to close (temporarily or permanently). Health-wise, wearing masks and physical distancing became the so-called new normal.

On the other hand, COVID has also brought about the rise of remote work. Thanks to the internet and fast-paced technological developments, more than a handful of companies were able to continue their operations with some adjustment.

The circumstances also gave the VA or virtual assistant industry a huge boost. With more and more businesses transitioning to digital in a post-COVID world, it’s predicted that the VA market will continue to grow.

What Is a VA and What Do They Do?

A virtual assistant or VA is someone who provides support services for all kinds and sizes of businesses as an independent contractor. Usually, they fulfil administratives roles such as handling calls, managing schedules, making travel arrangements, and organising files.

At times, VAs may also provide a wider range of services, including:

  • Tender writing
  • Social media management
  • Customer service support
  • Organising events
  • Developing in-house processes for standardisation
  • Marketing support
  • Basic bookkeeping

Of course, the list of responsibilities should be agreed upon and formalised through a contract before the work commences. For employers, it’s also important to note that many virtual assistants work for multiple clients at a time.

The Benefits of Hiring VAs

For a lot of businesses, hiring virtual assistants provides a lot of benefits. These include:

Lower Costs

Because a VA works remotely, you don’t have to allocate a permanent space for them in your office. You also don’t have to spend on their equipment, as it’s understood that the VA will be the one to provide their own computer, software, internet connection, and other necessities.

You’re also not required to provide the same employee benefits to a VA. However, do note that more competitive VAs will be interested to work with you if you give more than a basic salary.

Scalability

For smaller businesses and entrepreneurs, there may be times when there isn’t a need for assistants. That said, there may also be times when there’s a surge of work and you’re busier than usual. In these circumstances, it may be wise to hire a VA.

This level of scalability can add to your cost savings and also help make your operations more efficient.

Ease of Hiring

As mentioned earlier, the VA industry is on the rise. This means that it’s rather easy to find a VA when the need arises. Of course, you have to be specific about the competencies you’re looking for so you can be sure to get the kind of service you want.

Business Success

When you hire a VA, you can work more efficiently because you aren’t worrying about minor stuff. This gives you more time to focus on growing your business. Of course, there are many other factors behind business success; still, it can’t be denied that working with a virtual assistant can help you do more.

How to Become a VA

If you’d like to take advantage of the booming industry and become a virtual assistant, here are some things you need to work on:

Improve Communication Skills

The job of a virtual assistant is anchored heavily on communications. Your clients should be able to keep in touch with you easily, so that you can then do what needs to be done properly and correctly. You also need to be able to facilitate meetings, when needed.

Aside from learning how to use messaging apps and video conferencing software, you need to develop your communication skills in both written and spoken mediums. You also need to be adaptable because, again, you’ll likely be working with multiple clients from different locations.

Fortunately, there are many training programmes that are specifically designed to hone various communications skills. Even better is that you can choose offline or online courses to suit your schedule.

Learn the Digital Landscape

As the job title implies, a virtual assistant’s work is performed mostly online. This means that to be a good VA, you need to be good at using virtual tools and platforms. These include social media, email, chat apps, and project management software.

You also need to learn how to use whatever digital tools that your client may have. These can be things like meeting or events organising platforms or task schedulers.

Brush Up on Accounting

Finally, VAs are also sometimes tasked at managing a budget such as for procuring office supplies or setting up a mini conference at a hotel. This means that you need a strong sense of accounting and other related maths skills.

Bruising up on your accountancy knowledge will also help you in managing your own earnings as well as keeping up with your taxes and other financial responsibilities.

 

Considering the state of the world post-COVID, it appears that there’s no way but up for the VA industry. Hopefully, this article has helped you as either a business owner or an aspiring virtual assistant.