Thursday, September 12, 2013
According to a recent study by Babson College and Baruch College, U.S. entrepreneurship rates have climbed to their highest level in more than a decade. Some attribute this to the fact that after the financial crisis of 2007, hundreds of corporations went belly-up and workers either lost their jobs or realized there was no longer financial security. Others feel it’s because so many are realizing the huge potential of self-employment. No matter the reason, one thing is clear, more and more are becoming entrepreneurs. And one industry that continues to lead the way is the Virtual Assistant Industry, which was voted as one of the most popular businesses to start, according to a recent article in Home Business magazine. In fact according to Google Trends, since 2004 the number of individuals searching for “virtual assistants” has risen 650%.
So what is a virtual assistant? A virtual assistant or VA is a highly skilled professional who provides administrative support and other specialized services to businesses, entrepreneurs, executives, and others who have more work to do than time to do it.
Here are just a few reasons virtual assistants are in high demand today:
• Not only are small businesses appearing in record numbers, but they are growing at record rates and as these businesses grow, they need support. A virtual assistant is the ideal source for that support because they come to the table with the knowledge, skills and expertise needed to provide critical services.
• Social media is an important element of any business success today and most business owners do not have the time or skills to do it properly, thus losing time and money. VAs can be instrumental in this area, which can lead to greater exposure and increased profitability for those businesses. From keeping up with the latest Facebook additions to offering tips on what to post to continue to build a brand, VAs excel in this area. Because of that, virtual assistants now can add the social media niche to the other niches they can specialize in.
• Technology is advancing and improving faster now than ever before and small businesses often find it difficult to keep up. As more and more are utilizing tablets, smartphones, and many other devices, a business needs to be set up properly for this mobile marketing and a virtual assistant can provide those tools. From helping to get a website mobile friendly to assisting with mobile marketing, virtual assistants and virtual assistant teams bring businesses into the 21st century plus providing great opportunities for tech savvy virtual assistants.
• Because VAs typically work on a contract basis from their home offices, they are less expensive and less cumbersome than having to hire an employee and provide office space, equipment, benefits, salary, etc. In today’s economy, these aspects of working with a VA are becoming more and more attractive to small business owners and entrepreneurs. So the potential for virtual assistants continues to rise.
The growth of small business combined with the massive increase in people using technology and the internet creates an atmosphere that’s perfect for those who wish to become a virtual assistant regardless of the stage of career they are in. For young workers it can be the one and only career they have. For seasoned professionals it can be the result of a re-invention of themselves; and it works well for military families, families with small children or empty-nesters.
The good news is that there is training available to help anyone who has the desire and the commitment to make it happen. Plus leaders in the virtual assistant industry continue to offer advice on how you too can become successful. In fact, you can join the authors of VA the Series: Become a Highly Successful Sought After VA, for monthly chats on how to succeed in your virtual assistant business. You can do it.
Diana Ennen and Kelly Poelker are the co-authors of numerous books including Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and accompanying Virtual Assistant - The Series Workbook. Stop by their site for complete information on starting your own VA business http://www.vatheseries.com. Connect with them online at @dianaennen and @kellypoelker or facebook.com/becomeava. Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.