Virtual assistance, a well-established industry in other nations, is steadily gaining traction in Zimbabwe. It is one particular industry that I am passionate about. Those who are seriously working towards establishing themselves in virtual assistance in Zimbabwe right now could score big. The game-changer has largely been the pandemic which has necessitated the need for virtual assistance more than ever. You just cannot ignore the prospects of making money virtually, legitimately, online. In this article, I shall discuss some business opportunities in this virtual assistance industry.
What Is Virtual Assistance?
Virtual assistance is the offering of mainly administrative, secretarial or other related services online. So you will generally find that a virtual assistant (VA) is someone who wields the necessary skills to discharge such duties online. Some of the core duties of a virtual assistant are email management, social media management, events management, schedule management, file management, and customer relationship management, amongst others. Clientele ranges from businesses, companies, institutions to executives and individuals. There are even titles such as Executive Virtual Assistants; very interesting field it is.
Let us now discuss some of the business opportunities in this budding industry in Zimbabwe:
Virtual Assistance Course Development, Teaching Or Training
This to me is the most foremost business prospect in virtual assistance. You can focus solely on developing online virtual assistance courses and selling them. You can even develop virtual assistance courses that can be accredited and ultimately taught in tertiary learning institutions. The other day I was reading a story of a certain lady in the US who made US$6 million in her first year developing and selling online courses. So given the rising star of virtual assistance in Zimbabwe, you can make money from virtual assistance course development.
You can then go further to doing the actual teaching or training of virtual assistants. I know in Zimbabwe it is yet to become a common feature to see job adverts like ‘Executive Virtual Assistant Needed’. However, in other nations, particularly developed nations, it is so commonplace. Just go check out LinkedIn and you will be amazed at the countless clients looking for virtual assistants.
So, money can also be made by teaching or training virtual assistants. The smartest approach would be to develop virtual assistance courses, get them accredited and start holding training programs where people actually get certification. For example, many people would gladly pay US$50 to get virtual assistance certification. Such courses can even be at the very least 6 weeks long of intensive training. The returns can be tremendous because you can roll out training completely online.
Virtual Assistance Agency
Think of a digital marketing agency – the core operating principles are somewhat similar to what a virtual assistance agency would be. The business would entail you enlisting the services of several virtual assistants. Then clients would approach your agency when in need of certain virtual assistance services. Let me highlight here that if you chose the teaching and training path you could easily morph into or bundle that into a virtual assistance agency. It is kind of like a law firm where you commercialize the combined expertise of several VAs. I am sure such agencies will become common in Zimbabwe moving forward.
Virtual Assistance Freelancing Platform
Think of freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. These are platforms where clients and freelancers converge. You can adopt that model to develop such a platform for virtual assistance. Ideally, clients would come onto the platform to look for virtual assistance services. Virtual assistants on the platform would take up the requests and you get a percentage of what they get from the client. Of course, having such a platform would mean other revenue models such as advertising, subscriptions and the like would be adopted as well. This is worth a shot and the beautiful thing is that your market reach will not only be confined to Zimbabwe.
I have been doing virtual assistance, to some degree, for almost 2 years. Recently I decided to enrol for formal training as a Virtual Assistant and it is progressing quite well. The virtual assistance industry holds exciting business prospects especially here in Zimbabwe. Most businesses, institutions, and companies are yet to even realize that they can significantly cut operating costs by working with virtual assistants. It is still a relatively fallow ground but soon it will become the mainstream in Zimbabwe. This is an opportunity for early takers to take up such opportunities.