Virtual assisting is a profitable home business. It can be started with little seed money. Here are some of the essential items needed when setting up a home office for the virtual assistant.
1. Computer – This is the brain of your virtual assisting business. Computers of today can do wonders. A state of the art computer will cost money but it is an investment in the future of the business and it can be claimed on next year’s taxes. Through the computer and Internet access, you will communicate with clients near and a half a world away, should you choose to have them there.
2. Telephone – A separate phone line prevents personal calls from getting mixed in with business calls. And, you don't want the kids answering the telephone for a client. For the virtual assistant, communication is everything. Quick calls can be made to clear up last minute changes with clients and for finding clients.
3. Fax machine – Specs for work to be done can be sent this way. Documents that require signature get signed faster via the fax machine than through snail mail.
4. File cabinet – Most of the information a virtual assistant receives from clients is in the form of virtual documents. For privacy and business purposes, contracts and other documents can be printed and filed. the file cabinet needs a secure lock to all business communication is safe.
5. Comfortable desk and chair – You will be working from that office most of the time and, more to the point, from that chair. With the essential equipment around you, there will be no need to go anywhere else unless you are meeting with local clients. A virtual assistant must keep comfortable in the home office.
6. Separate work area – For tax purposes, it is essential that the home office be separate. With so much sensitive data coming in and out of your hands, a virtual assistant needs an area dedicated to the business and nothing else. Use a den, garage, or construct a small office behind the house (if finances permit).
7. Printer combo – Simple printers are a thing of the past for virtual assistants and other business owners. A printer that also has the capability of scanning documents, sending faxes, and copying documents is more of value and cheaper than purchasing each separately. A virtual assistant will utilize all of these extra features.
8. Software – A virtual assistant is nothing without the software to do the job. This includes website design software, desktop publishing, Microsoft Office, accounting software, and the like. There’s no need to start from scratch if you don’t have to.
For a virtual assistant, the office is the main workspace. Besides being functional it also needs to be comfortable.