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The rise of the Virtual Assistant (VA) in a brave new online world

As the full effect of COVID-19 plays out in our economy here in Australia, and around the world, it is painfully obvious that we are living through unprecedented times, and that life will never return to the way it was. In fact, the ‘new’ normal will see many of us redefine how we work, and even who we work for. For many of us, it’s shaken us to the core and challenged us in a way we never imagined. More than that, it has caused us to think about what we can do to futureproof ourselves.

Most businesses who survive this economic crisis will do so because of the fact that they are able to adapt and utilise cloud-based technology to run their businesses in the online space as ‘the norm’ rather than the exception.

I’ve been a Virtual Assistant (VA) since 2008, and I’ve always said that it was the best thing I ever did. In fact, the act of becoming a Virtual Assistant has been part of the futureproofing strategy for many skilled administrative professionals in recent years, but it’s seeing renewed interest brought on by the acknowledgement and realisation that we actually CAN work from anywhere as long as we have a stable internet connection.

What’s really clear to me is that those who have already set up their own VA businesses have been able to retain clients, and adapt quickly to suit the changes in the economy… something that traditional employees are not so easily able to do (or have control over).

More importantly, established VAs have been able to offer fast and responsive support to businesses who are trying to navigate this brave new ‘online’ world with a minimum of fuss and bother – remember, the online space is something VAs have operated successfully in for years, and it’s actually nothing new… in fact, as a Virtual Assistant myself, life is pretty much business as usual.

One thing is for certain; the need to understand how to work remotely (virtually) is not going to go away. Savvy business owners are quickly realising the cost saving benefits of incorporating remote (virtual) workers into their business model such as lower overheads from not needing to provide office space, equipment, and other staff amenities, plus the increase in productivity for their staff who no longer have to travel hours to get to work each day.

Let’s face it, there is no turning back. This IS how we are going to be operating in business, and therefore, the Virtual Assistant industry is a perfect choice for anyone considering building a resilient, adaptable and futureproofed career for themselves, whether it’s as a dual strategy (some would call it a “side-hustle”), or as a stand-alone solution.

If you’re wondering if now is the right time to get yourself set up as a VA, the answer is a very resounding YES… there’s never been a better time, and when businesses start to come out of their self-imposed hibernation, the boom will hit, and those who are established and ready to roll will be in the best position ever to support the new virtual economy we are witnessing the birth of.

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