Virtual Assistant

pikeydivapikeydiva Settling In NicelyRegistered Posts: 16
I am currently studying to take my final exam for technician level and am looking to work from home offering businesses a range of services from admin to accounts, BUT, my main aim is to offer this "virtually"...do you think this is a step too far?

Will any business be prepared to take a chance??

I would be very grateful of your opinions

Thanks

Comments

  • hushbabyhushbaby Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 21
    I think its possible but the company in question would have to have an advanced IT system (or maybe post/fax them to you?) I think companies want things as simple as possible, I dont see them wanting to fax papers, pdf invoices etc unless they are a very small business (with less paperwork to send).

    I also think from a personal point of view it would be better to see them from time to time to keep the business relationship going (otherwise you risk losing touch with your client)

    I hope this helps

    Shani
    www.hushbaby.co.uk
  • jryorkshirejryorkshire New Member Registered Posts: 5
    Hopefully I am not going off at a slight tangent with this post but...

    When I originally set up my business it was from a shop which proved excellent at getting new clients. However, the rents where horrendous so we then moved to a 1st floor office. The number of new clients dropped drastically, then when the landlord announced the rent was to increase by 80% we went virtual. Best move I've made. Practical points to consider:-

    - But do remember I have already built up the client base and this is where working virtual (and from home) has it's downside - you need to get you name out there this will mean increased advertising and promotion. We use only a fraction of the cash saved from not paying office rent but gain more clients than being office based.

    - For clients who are local, I set aside time to visit them - this is important so they do not feel forgotten about.

    - Technology will be key particularly if you end up employing someone. Communication and work flow when someone is 30 miles away can be a problem when transferring files. Our employee works from her home and we operate a virtual private network and VOIP phone exchange over the internet. We are currently in the process of going towards paperless to assist with this. So you will end up spending cash on IT assets and software that you wouldn't necessarily spend otherwise.

    - From a clients perspective, as far as I am aware (and I have polled clients both before going virtual and after 6 months of being virtual) my clients do not have any problems with me working from home as a virtual office. Where I am in New Zealand over 90% of businesses are small and the majority work from home and it's generally accepted here, not too sure about UK (I left 7 years ago). I certainly have not lost any clients from operating a virtual office and do not see much of a difference in the way we work from home to anyone else who works from home.

    - How do you intend to do the work for your clients ie are you going to be logging into the clients computer network? Are you going to collect papers and records from the client? Are you going to use post/couriers ?

    What ever you decide I wish you the very best.

    John
  • SevrenSevren Well-Known Registered Posts: 101
    Hi - I think this will work well if you are offering something that nobody local is - whether that be a specialism or working from home means that you can pass on some of the savings to the customer.

    The key to this is how your customers will 'interface' with you.

    I work this way quite a bit and use FTP to ensure that both myself and my customers can access information as required.

    But this is where it starts to get a bit tricky.......

    Also, using remote access such as VNC is a great way to virtually be sitting in their place of work.

    Good luck - but beware of the cost and the hassle factor of battling with IT. My furthest customer is 300 miles away - which is a long trek when only a face to face meeting will do......
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