First off, who or what is a virtual assistant? A virtual assistant is someone who offers online services mainly focused on administrative operations. This is not the only field of focus though – I prefer to present to you a wide array of possible services that can be offered. Thus I can define a virtual assistant as someone who can offer any services online (or remotely). The ‘virtual’ denotes remote or online operation whereas the ‘assistant’ element refers to helping in any way. So if you are someone with a well-constituted skillset you can become a virtual assistant.
Why You Should Explore Virtual Assistance In Zimbabwe Nowadays
Increased Online Activity
We are now living in a society where there has been a significant surge in online activity. The times we are in are laden with infinite opportunities online because that is where people are easily found. This effectively means that you can market goods or services online without leaving the comfort of your home or any abode. Virtual assistance businesses are a thing in most developed countries – in Zimbabwe, we are yet to see a spike in these. You can be the trendsetter for this domain if you enter the space.
Low Overhead Costs
The other reason why starting a virtual assistance business would be good is the relatively low overhead costs. I am quite familiar with the virtual business model and I know the overheads are very low. It is possible to run a virtual assistance business whose major overhead cost is just internet data.
Flexibility And Scalability
That is one of the beauties of a virtual assistance business. Most virtual businesses are flexible and easy to scale. For instance, imagine someone focusing on online business consultancy. There is no limit as to the number of ways they can redefine their core business from time to time. Even when there are drastic and unforeseen market or economic developments such businesses can easily pivot.
What Skills Must A Virtual Assistant Have?
A virtual assistant can wield any skillset really – it is not just about academic qualifications. Of course, having documented skills such as in the form of formal qualifications does beef up your credibility. However, the most important thing is to have a proven demonstration or track record of exceptional work. This is something that can be done without formally documented qualifications. Many people who possess exceptional expertise are not formally schooled.
A virtual assistant must possess certain fundamental skills. You must be a good planner in general – this means your time management must be impeccable. This also feeds into or from the multitasking aspect. As a virtual assistant, you will most probably be dealing with many clients at once. Be an effective communicator especially considering you will be interacting with people virtually. You must also be a voracious reader and or researcher. Be someone who is always thirsty to acquire new knowledge and new skills. Since you want to make money you must have an appreciable level of financial management.
What Do You Need To Start Being A Virtual Assistant?
Since it is obvious you will be operating online you will need new age media. You must, at the very least, have a personal computer (PC) and mobile smart devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets). You must have a reliable internet connection. In Zimbabwe, you can choose to have Wi-Fi connectivity where you stay or you can opt for mobile internet connectivity. You can leverage on things like Mi-Fi devices or just basic private Wi-Fi packages offered by mobile network operators. These things I have just mentioned are must-haves. Over time you can then invest in getting additional components such as audio-visual equipment. Trust me; such equipment will come in handy along the way. For instance, you could do online video assistance using streaming services.
Once your gadgets and your internet connection are in order you must ensure you have relevant software. This will depend on your line of virtual assistance though. Then you must set up social media accounts – for a start. If you can it would be ideal to even have the website up from the onset. The most low-cost website option is to develop an information-based site. This will be a website that you use to simply inform people of the services you offer and the like. You can use free packages of platforms like Wix and WordPress – you do not even need coding experience to build sites using them.
Virtual Assistance Examples – Just To Paint You A Picture
I just want to nudge your mind a little bit. I will highlight some virtual assistance ideas so that you get the picture. Suppose you are adept at social media management; you can offer assistance for people or entities in managing their social media accounts. You can be a veterinarian, a motor mechanic, a plumber, and so on – you can offer online consultancy. You could be a teacher, a fitness trainer, a hairstylist, and so on – you can offer online consultancy or online training services. Even a student can offer research services. You can do all these remotely from the comfort of your smartphone or PC. Like I mentioned earlier, what counts the most is having an unquestionable skillset and a proven or demonstrable track record.
Once all that is in order, you are good to go. Your daily endeavour will be to create content that you put out there to attract clients. Virtual assistance is one of the easiest businesses you can set up in Zimbabwe. Many people need help on many things and they are looking for it online. There is a ready market that is waiting for what you have to offer. Let me reiterate that anyone can become a virtual assistant in Zimbabwe.