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Make yourself easily accessible through email, telephone and instant messenger. You should have access to whatever instant messenger service your client prefers. The most popular are ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo. Be certain to set your instant messengers to save your history so that you can easily refer back to client request or comments without having to solicit client to repeat what they already have said.
A rule of thumb is to remain in communication with client, but don’t waste their time. The client should end their work day each day with a sense of real gratitude of skills, organization and trustworthiness you bring to table. They should know that you are available to converse with at almost any time but you do not bother them unless it is absolutely necessary.
In end presence of a Virtual Assistant should prove to make company more money because owner and other business team members can focus on income producing areas of business that they otherwise wouldn’t have as much time to do.
The most common and I would say necessary tools for job are most current version of Microsoft Office. You should have and be comfortable using Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access. You should have either Macromedia Dreamweaver or Microsoft Frontpage and know basics of HTML and ftp’ing files to and from servers.
So much of a Virtual Assistant’s work is based online that it really is crucial to have DSL or Cable internet access. You also want to have a good computer that you can rely on.
There is so little expense in running a virtual office that I don’t believe it is wise to cut corners with your computer, software and other office equipment. Having latest technology on hand and continuing to acquire and master new skills will increase your desirability and worth in eyes of your clients. It will also demonstrate your commitment to your career.
When a client begins to trust you with important responsibilities and invests time in training and familiarizing you with procedures of their particular business, they need to be able to depend on you and to know that you are committed to your work.
In short, with administrative skills and above average technical savvy, coupled with an organized and professional approach – a career as a Virtual Assistant is definitely a viable and rewarding option.
Lori Redfield, owner of FreelanceMom.com, http://www.freelancemom.com is a Virtual Assistant, Freelance Designer and Internet entrepreneur. To sign up for her monthly newsletter, visit http://www.freelancemom.com/newsletter.htm