I have great organisational and communication skills, and love PA type work. I'm researching setting up as a Virtual PA and have a few questions:
1) If you are considering using a VPA, what services are most useful to you? I can offer transcription, diary management, travel booking, Excel work (not a qualified book-keeper but have kept my own self-employed accounts for 20 years), website design/upkeep (if it's Moonfruit or similar, am not a coder) and some social media (FB and Twitter, need to further investigate other sites).
2) If you are a VPA, do you find you have returning clients, or is most work a 'one-ff'?
3) If you are a VPA, do you find the contract/invoice/being paid part of the business reasonably easy to manage, or are you forever chasing clients to pay? I'm guessing payment is on completion of task if a few days/hours, or weekly if a longer project, is that right?
4) If you are a VPA, do you find it stressful trying to remain available in case work comes in? I'm freelance in another field at the moment and I find being in between jobs pretty difficult, I can't just relax and pretend to myself I'm on holiday!
1) I've used a VA before for one off admin projects, eg going through my Twitter contacts and adding them into a list or combining excel data for me. I outsourced as I was busy and the tasks I gave could be done by somebody else. She was recommended.
If you haven't look at the type of things people want help with on www.peopleperhour.com The pay can be low for many tasks but you can sometimes find a gem and it gives you a sense of the market.
The VA I have used recently charges by the minute and uses a timer which then translates to an invoice. I pay her promptly, not sure about her other clients!
I do know another local VA that sells her time in 10 hour blocks and I think payment is in advance, that obviously works for her. Guess it encourages people to use you.
What I would say about both of them is that they are very active networkers locally, so I would add that into your plan of marketing/promotion.
I have used the same VA for the past two years. I purchase monthly hours in advance and for this I receive a discount on her usual hourly rate. We liaise frequently so I plan for how much I'm likely to need her. She does call answering (though she has recently outsourced this) diary management, credit control, invoicing etc.