Work Option When Caring For An Elderly Parent

Being a stay at home Mom or Dad is not the only reason to consider becoming a professional virtual assistant. Caring for an elderly parent, grandparent or friend is a growing responsibility in many households. There is a large number of middle-aged professionals (referred to as the Sandwich Generation) who are simultaneously caring for children and parents — that have left their normal 9am-5pm job to become an at-home caregiver.
According to a Pew Research study, most caregivers are women, about 45% are men. AARP research says most caregivers have jobs, but 70% are obliged to “make workplace adjustments”—coming in late or leaving early, for instance. (Forbes 7/14). This can hamper your job performance and add stress to an already overloaded day. Many who are working and caring for an elderly parent or grandparent eventually end up having to take a leave of absence or will decide to quit their job as health situations change.
Working as a virtual assistant is a...

Continue Reading...

The Technology Tether

Do you find yourself constantly checking email, text messages or social media? Is your smartphone or tablet the first thing you reach for in the morning, or the last thing you put down at night? If this sounds like you, then you are tethered to technology and probably missing out on what is actually going on around you.

Below are some tips on how to disconnect—so you can connect with your family, friends and with your kids from Working Mother Magazine.

  • Customize your notifications. Give important contacts (your husband, boss, nanny, etc.) their own ringtones and text tones. Only respond to key contacts when you’re trying to have uninterrupted time with your kids, family or friends. Everyone else can wait.
  • Create tech-free zones. Make a pact that you’ll stay off your phone during key “connect times”. Those should include meal times, when you’re in the car with your husband, wife or kids, and an hour or so before your child’s bedtime. Kids...
Continue Reading...

Don’t Get TRICKED into a Virtual Job You Don’t Want

Starting out as a virtual assistant can be very exciting but also a little confusing.  Where do you to begin? How do you promote yourself? How do you know what to charge? How do you find clients? The list is endless!

Below are a few tips that will help make your first, or next virtual job more of a treat than a trick.

In order to become a successful VA, you need to know how to market yourself.

We suggest that if you are serious about this profession, you invest in  a professional website and become active on social media.  There are many templated web builder programs that are affordable and provide wonderful design elements.  Most social media sites are free, but do require a time investment.

Your website should include the following information:

  • What virtual services you can offer a client
  • Your billing process
  • Your rates or fees
  • Be sure to have an updated headshot and bio on your website
  • Client testimonials (if you have any)

When you find a prospective...

Continue Reading...

The Benefits to Blogging

Do you blog for your virtual assistant business?  Every time that you write a blog post, you are adding another “asset” to your inventory of marketing content on your website that will help your SEO.
If you have any doubts to the importance of blogging, here are 5 key points posted on ChicagoBusiness by Ann Dwyer last year about the benefits you can gain by blogging.

  1. A blog can boost your reputation as an expert: Customers want to do business with people who are experts in their industry. So by projecting a knowledgeable image and sharing insights about the products and services you offer, your blog can have an impact far beyond your website. A blog is a terrific way to provide tips, answer questions and teach visitors about your industry.
  2. A blog gives you more pages to talk about products and services: Having a blog can allow you the room to provide more information about the products and services you offer.
  3. A blog helps customers find you with SEO: Each blog post...
Continue Reading...

Tips to Balancing Your Workday When School is Out – The VA Summer-Time Shift

Many of us who work virtually, have a keen awareness about the benefits of balancing family life and work life. It is not necessarily easy, but it is manageable if you are organized and have a strong commitment to the profession. However, for those with school-aged kids, the summer months can push the limits of balance and patience. Our work schedules suddenly have to compete with kids who want/need our attention during daytime working hours.

Here are some useful tips to get you through what we like to call the summer -“time shift”.

Plan daily projects for your kids:
Depending on the age of your kids, try to have a daily project that requires little to no supervision which will occupy them for at least an hour. While the kids are doing their project, you can get some work done on your laptop or within ear shot of them.
Some project ideas include:

  • Quiet reading time
  • Writing letters to grandparents
  • Coloring or drawing pictures
  • Playing educational games on the iPad
  • Watching...
Continue Reading...

Digital Clutter Is a Reality In Business

When you think about spring cleaning, you generally think about your surroundings- -your home, your car, the backyard.  Most business owners (including you), need to spring clean their digital “house”.

Digital clutter is a reality that we all deal with on a daily basis as we conduct much of our lives and business dealings electronically through computers, tablets and even on our smartphones.

Sometimes digital cleaning is about restoration. Spring may be the right time to get online accounts back in order.  When is the last time you went through your Amazon wish list, worked on organizing your social media accounts or revisited learning how to use them correctly?

Dealing with digital clutter or digital restoration is a great task to take on in your own business or to offer as a virtual service.  Feeling empowered by your digital world instead of bogged down by it can help you be more efficient, more productive and ultimately more successful.

How can you...

Continue Reading...

7 Event Planning Tips for Virtual Assistants

Assisting with event planning is a service many clients need help with.  There are many parts of the event planning process that can be done with the help of a virtual assistant.

Events planning can include online events, video based or webinar style events, and events that are held in conference rooms, hotels, or event centers.  In this blog we will be discussing tips for planning an event or training at a physical location.  Regardless of what kind of event you are helping to execute, there are a lot of questions you should ask your client early on in the planning stage in order to assure a successful partnership.

Listed below are some key questions you should discuss with your client before starting to work together.

  1. What is the projected date and location for the event?
  2. How many guests will attend the event or what is the attendance goal?
  3. What is the budget for facilities rental?
  4. Will there need to be catering or other food/drink services?
  5. Will there be...
Continue Reading...

Find New Clients Through Your Everyday Activities

As a virtual assistant it is important to share your services in a variety of ways.  Having a website is great, being on social media is important, but don’t forget to share what you do during normal daily activities.

Talk to the person working out next to you at the gym, share your skills at kids’ school activities, at church, at social gatherings, etc. You never know who may need your services.

It is important to have specific examples of how you can help someone make their life easier. It also can help that person identify someone who may need your services if they don’t.

You can discuss how you are:

  • Skilled in social media marketing
  • Great at transcription
  • A numbers person with a strong accounting background 
  • You may even have to explain what a virtual assistant is and how you started working as one

Be sure to give a way for people to contact you – email, visit a website, connect on social media, etc. if they or someone they know wants to...

Continue Reading...

Tips For Virtual Assistants to Stay on Track at Tax Time

As the new year begins, virtual assistants who own and operate their own business or who are working as an independent contractor will  need to work on organizing receipts and tax-related expenses. 

  • Did you keep records of your expenses from 2013?
  • Do you have your expenses organized?


If you are having trouble answering either one of the questions above, do not worry…here are a few tips and tricks on helping you get on track for tax time!

Understanding what type of expenses can be applied to your business as a VA, can best be determined by an accountant.  However, here are a few examples of everyday expenses that you should be tracking throughout the year.

  • Telephone call made to contact your clients – whether it’s a land-line and/or cell phone
  • Internet connection in order to communicate with your clients
  • Copier and fax
  • Business cards and any marketing material
  • Did you use a car  to visit your clients – if you did, expenses...
Continue Reading...

5 Ways To Help Clients At The End of the Year

It is hard to believe that December is here and we will be welcoming in the New Year very soon.  Many of your clients still have things they need to do before changing the calendar to 2014 that can be outsourced to a virtual assistant.

Here are 5 things you can do to help with the end of the year push.

  1. Communicate!  This is a busy month, and time is flying by.  Be sure and reach out to your client by email, phone, or Skype to remind them that you can help wrap up administrative tasks.
  2. Website Review. Offer to make sure all information on their website is updated with new business testimonials and photos, so that the website is refreshed and ready for visitors in the new year.
  3. Organize Emails.  Many of your clients would really appreciate starting 2014 with an inbox that isn’t cluttered.  Offer to create or purge both their active or reference-only emails.  With a little guidance from your client, this can be a great project to help them with.
  4. ...
Continue Reading...