Online Class: Virtual Assistant 101

This Virtual Assistant course is designed to walk you through the process of preparing for a business of your own, upstarting your own business and transitioning into a successful VA business.

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  • 15
  • 23
    Exams &
  • 1,674
    have taken this course
  • 8
    average time
  • 0.8

Course Description

Today's businesses, both new and established, are desperately in need of administrative type assistance at an affordable rate. They need versatility in the services performed and flexibility in the way the services are performed. If you have a career as an administrative assistant or executive assistant and would like to break out into your own business, there has never been a better time to do so. 

This Virtual Assistant course is designed to walk you through the process of preparing for a business of your own, upstarting your own business and transitioning into a successful VA business. You will learn how to research, what to research, how to target your market, how to make your VA business a boutique shop that caters to a particular industry or a general office that caters to all, how to grow you business and so much more. This course and some planning will position you to upstart your new business as quickly as possible.


Course Motivation

Time to "Jump Ship?"

In the United States, many households are suffering from overworked, one-parent families and too many social demands. There simply is not enough hours in the day to get everything done for the average worker. Virtual Assistants are primarily workers who come out of corporate America from the position of administrative support in some form or another. These are the detail workers who determine the quality and efficiency of their boss's final presentation and professional image. So, for these workers, the opportunity to shore up their time and energy to better spend in the interest of their families, while still retaining a profession with a professional salary is very inviting.

The immediate concern for most administrative staff who want to jump ship, is whether they will be able to handle the time demands and schedule adjustments. Another concern is whether a professional has the personal discipline necessary to jump ship and survive the change of pace, change of schedule, change of public image, and the merging of all of life into one continuum. Many people who go independent find they never stop working, because others refuse to see them as "working" while they are home or driving around in the daytime. 

Before you begin your new Virtual Assistant's service, you will need to examine these and many other questions, and be brutally honest with yourself. If you can honestly make the transition without harming yourself or your family, then opening your own Virtual Assistant business may be right for you.

Certification of VAs

Any profession that moves to create a certification system does so to increase legitimacy, professional assurances to clients, and to increase the standard fees of those professionals. Virtual Assistants are no different in this sense and, in some areas of the world, certification and associations can help the individual to earn a better income. Today, VA services range from $15 to $100 per hour, depending on the area of specialty.

In a field that has become laissez faire, some VAs question the usefulness of such organizations. But among professionals who seek to strike out in their own VA business, the associations offer a reinforcement of their image as professionals. A professional association that sets the standards for an industry can arguably benefit the client because association members meet their standards. Equally, however, there is plenty of VA work in the marketplace, where the client is comfortable with the risk of an independent person or company. Oftentimes, this is because the independent VA comes to the client from a previous professional relationship, or the recommendation of another professional through a social network or association. In other words, the quality of the VA's work is already known to the client. For many upstarts, word of mouth and previous [not current] employers form the basis for building a clientèle.

Local, National and International Research

You will want to research your competition at all levels according to your expected target market. Your competition may include corporations or Virtual Assistant outsourcing companies that have sprung up on the Internet. If you register with freelance sites, you may find that your competition includes hungry assistants from places such as India. Be prepared to know what your competitive strategy will be if your find yourself competing with workers in other nations. Assess your natural-born strengths – those you possess by fact of your nationality – and do not be afraid to state that you have this advantage to offer your client. Your target market will dictate which strengths and features are most important; you must figure out how to communicate to your market that you have what they really want and need.

Evaluating Your Own Professional Assets and Liabilities

For the novice, a little known fact is that no one starts a business in a field for which they have no experience. It is really practical sense that dictates you should know something about your profession before beginning the business, and significant experience, or unique corner of the market before opening your doors. After all, when you begin any business, your greatest assets are human talent and experience. The greatest liabilities are character flaws and any area of talent lack that may exist among your staff. In the beginning, you are your staff, so you do well to take an honest inventory of your personal assets and liabilities, as well as your professional ones.

Ask yourself these questions to get a clearer idea of what you bring to the marketplace that is going to cause clients to take notice:

  1. What is my honest competency level?
  2. Do I really enjoy assisting others?
  3. Am I prepared to do the work of my clients until my business grows to the point that I can hire others to do the work?
  4. Am I ready to put in the extra hours that it takes to upstart a new business?
  5. What can I handle with ease for my clients that most of my colleagues either cannot handle or do not want to handle?
  6. Am I willing to charge a premium price for that hard-to-find feature that I will offer my clients?
  7. Where do I make mistakes in my profession? Can I hire or contract an expert in this area to help me make sure I get this area professionally taken care of, so I don't stumble?
  8. Who can I count on to be part of my company's "brain trust" – professionals, counselors, and advisors who want to see me succeed?
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.3 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(1,655 votes)

Lesson 1: To Be, Or Not To Be - Doing Your Homework/Research Before You Begin

Virtual Assistants are primarily workers who come out of corporate America from the position of administrative support in some form or another. 13 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Virtual Assistant; Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Assessment: Lesson 1: To Be, Or Not To Be - Doing Your Homework/Research Before You Begin

Lesson 2: Transition -The Shift From Employee to Business Owner

An independent Virtual Assistant business is one of the least expensive businesses to start, but without properly planning your resources, you will not make it to the "profit line." 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Why Become a VA?
  • Assessment: Lesson 2: Transition - The Shift from Employee to Business Owner

Lesson 3: Going Into Business Without Going Broke: How to Compete

The first element that will determine your upstart success is your personal and professional time management. It is most important to get your entire family enrolled in your new business. 14 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 3: Going Into Business Without Going Broke - How To Compete

Lesson 4: Virtual Assistants - Corporate Choices

If you want to simply jump out of the traditional workplace and start your own independent freelance operation, you can choose a corporate avenue similar to a temp service; or you can choose to find corporate work on your own. 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 4: Virtual Assistants - Corporate Choices

Lesson 5: Virtual Assistants - Carving Out Your Niche: Services Offered

The difference between perfection and excellence is perspective. If you strive for perfection, you risk never producing anything, because perfection can be easily redefined by every person who looks at the work. Additional lesson topics: Finding Your Niche 14 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Niches
  • Assessment: Lesson 5: Virtual Assistants - Carving Out Your Niche; Services Offered

Lesson 6: Networking - How to Grow Your Business and Market Appeal

If you have not yet joined the millions that rank in the files of Facebook and other social networks, this segment will help you quickly acclimate to how the social networks work. 14 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 6: Networking - How To Grow Your Business and Market Appeal

Lesson 7: Technology and International Competition

Technology is something you must stay up on in the Virtual Assistant business. Your employees are not located on your client's site and, depending on how you set up your business, possibly not located on your site either. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 7: Technology and International Competition

Lesson 8: Small Business Appeal and Upstart Needs

Entire VA businesses are built to cater to the needs of the small business owner or single professional shops. There are "virtual offices" that are leased to small business owners for a minimum set fee each month. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 8: Small Business Appeal and Upstart Needs

Lesson 9: Do What You Do Best

Especially in the beginning of your venture as a Virtual Assistant for hire, it is important to remember -- first and foremost -- do what you do best. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 9: Do What You Do Best

Lesson 10: Organizations, Services, and Structures

One of the first things you will decide when setting up your new VA business is what type of organization you want. 16 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 10: Organizations, Services and Structures

Lesson 11: Pricing Your Services

While it is important to know and understand both sides of your clients' concerns, it is equally important to look out for your own interests. 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 11: Pricing Your Services

Lesson 12: Working From Home

Although you may see yourself as a business person, the business image can be especially difficult for mothers who may have small children at home. 16 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 12: Working From Home

Lesson 13: Expanding Your Business - Hiring Employees/New Locations

To expand your VA business, there are some preliminary steps you need to take. Most VA businesses begin as most American businesses do: as a sole proprietorship. 14 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 13: Expanding Your Business - Hiring Employees/New Locations

Lesson 14: Pitfalls and Traps - Weathering Business Storms

If you present your staff as top in their field of specialty, then your client will perceive value and expect to pay more for them. 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 14: Pitfalls and Traps - Weathering Business Storms

Lesson 15: Strength and Prosperity as a Virtual Assistant

To succeed as a virtual assistant, you must know that your personal strength is your ticket to your success. Your number one job is to please the client by meeting their needs. 57 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Course Completion Poll: Your Thoughts; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 15: Strength and Prosperity As A Virtual Assistant
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what a virtual assistant does and whether or not it is the career for you.
  • Describe the transition the shift from employee to business owner.
  • Summarize how to compete.
  • Describe corporate choices for virtual assistants.
  • Describe how to carve out a niche and decide what services to offer.
  • Summarize how to grow your business and market appeal.
  • Describe technology and international competition.
  • Describe small business appeal and upstart needs.
  • Summarize organizations, services and structures.
  • Describe pricing your services.
  • Describe working from home.
  • Describe expanding your business, hiring employees, and adding new locations.
  • Identify pitfalls and traps.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Virtual Assistant 101
Course Number: 7550341
Lessons Rating: 4.3 / 5 Stars (1,655 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
Last Updated: November 2021
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.8 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Linda Zavadil
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $75.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "I found this course to be very well structured and organised and easy to understand. The instructor was very professional and kind in her comments and words of encouragement. Thank you very much." -- Zaylo S.
  • "The course and instructor were great! I really like Universal Class!" -- Barry L.
  • "This course had great ideas in what how to start a virtual assistant business." -- Candice P.
  • "I particularly enjoyed the assignments. I really took what the lessons were telling me and incorporated them into my life to answer the questions. I got a lot of ideas for my business that way! Great instructor." -- Ramona H.
  • "My only regret is that I did not engage in discussion with the instructor due to the stress of my job. I did what I had to do to complete the course but I am usually a more engaged student." -- Janice S.
  • "Along with the actual lessons, I found the associated websites very helpful." -- Yvette J.
  • "All parts were very useful. The reason it took me longer to finish the class is because I work. The online course is great for people that has a tight schedule to keep. I will be taking more classes with Universal Class. I learned a lot." -- Deborah S.
  • "This course and the instructor were great. I feel much more confident about starting my own VA business." -- Debby H.

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