Hats, Just One Head
Entrepreneur Paints Detailed Portrait of Today's Virtual Assistant
Business magazine, August 2004)
to Vonetta Booker-Brown, virtual assistants must wear many different
hats, including that of a secretary, IT person, and PR representative…just
to name a few. Providing such valuable services, from word processing
and general administrative support to desktop publishing, virtual
assistants have become high in demand among businesses that prefer
to outsource job tasks over hiring extra help.
owner of Right Hand Concepts (www.righthandconcepts.com),
a virtual assistance firm in Stamford, Connecticut, Vonetta knows
that her livelihood depends on her being extremely versatile.
One minute she might be screening a phone call; while updating
a web page or performing market research in the next.
who accrued over eight years of experience as an administrative
assistant, writer, editor, web designer and graphic artist prior
to starting her home-based business, knows it's also important
to be organized, disciplined, and a self-starter. She says these
traits are critical "since you don't have anyone but yourself
to tell you when to start and finish that project."
and perseverance are other important characteristics that virtual
assistants require to succeed, says Vonetta. She explains, "You
have to approach tons of prospective clients that may not have
heard of virtual assistance--and even though it's a great concept,
you'll still get lots of hesitation or resistance from people
who are used to the familiar, i.e., having someone in the office
also stresses the importance of being imaginative. She adds, "You
have to be creative, in terms of coming up with different ways
to accomplish a client project, troubleshooting a problem, or
but not least, one has to be comfortable with working by oneself
without becoming isolated," asserts Vonetta. "Although
working from home sounds great, it's not for everyone--many people
find that they do need to have others around them during the day."
In Vonetta's case, this has never been a problem, because she
makes a point to frequently get together with friends and pick
up the phone.
Vonetta and many others, being a virtual assistant is a great
way to utilize one's talents and creative energy. Vonetta says,
"With my personality, skills, resources and interests, the
virtual assistant occupation seems tailor-made--as though it had
been created especially for me."