To be a successful VA it's not enough to just be good at administrative tasks, you also have to be able to run your own business. If the focus of a VA is to support our clients with building a successful business then it stands to reason that the better you are at running a successful business the better you will be at supporting your client with creating a successful business.
In order to run a success practice there are skills you need to have or develop. The ability to get really clear on, why you are in business, what impact you want your business to have on the world and document, in detail, all of the systems, procedures, standards and protocols for your company are instrumental to success. Laying a strong foundation is the key to success.
Continued work on your business is essential to sustaining success. Business and strategic planning, marketing, networking and relationship building will continue and sustain the growth of your business. All of this translate to working with your clients.
Good communication is important in any situation however when developing virtual relationships it is critical to success. Due to the fact that everyone has different styles of communication you need to be able to adjust to various styles of communication and flow between clients matching their style. If you have a client who is very detailed don't give them just the bottom line and the opposite is true for clients who are bottom line oriented and are not interested in the details. Matching your clients communication style by adjusting your style when necessary will create synergistic communication.
Being solution focused is the corner stone of a good VA. You do not have to have all the answers only the willingness and resources to find out. Doing the research and compiling the end result allows your clients to make good and informed business decisions.
In addition to communication skills the following are valuable soft skills for any VA to have:
*High attention to detail
*Strong work ethic
*Does complete work
*Takes the initiative
*Has a desire to learn, and expand ideas
*Not afraid to make mistakes
*Confidence to voice opinion
*Minimal supervision and follow up required
*Has the ability to write and edit content text
*Strong technical understanding
*Loves to collaborate
The information highway plays an critical role in a VA practice. Because we work virtually you need to have excellent equipment, software, Internet access, equipment and software protection along with a back up system. You need to be able to create a contingency plan should anything happen to the technical side of your business which will allow for minimum down time. VA's are forward thinkers and have paid attention to all the details.
Staying on top of the latest technology, including communication tools and sharing of documents and calendars will put you heads above the rest. Consistent research in this area is a must in order to stay on the leading edge.
The following are the basics for a VA to have:
*High speed Internet access
*MS Office Suite
*512 meg of RAM minimum
*Pentium III processor
*40 gig hard drive
*Separate business line
*Fax machine, software or email fax account
*Back up system and process
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Virtual Assistant Training Program
Virtual Assistants - Business partner of the 21st Century
Mary-Lou Ashton has been a pioneer in the Virtual Assistant profession in Canada since 1997 and developed a training program to support other VA's in being successful. Her passion for the profession continues to grow and Mary-Lou invites you to visit her at http://www.vatp.ca