How and Why to Keep your VA Skills Current
I spent several years working in a corporate Human Resources department analyzing training metrics. The importance of training and continuing education had two significant and obvious impacts that stood out when reviewing data for this large corporation, and the same holds true for many small businesses. In this post, I’ll be making the comparison for a Virtual Assistant Business.
The first important impact was from the perspective of the company. Providing employees with the training they need to maintain and improve upon their skill set was a wise investment for keeping the company on the cutting edge of developing and enhancing technology, leadership and customer service. The second important impact was from the perspective of the employee. Having the opportunity to attend training and knowing the company is making the investment in you as a valued contributor leads to employee satisfaction.
As a Virtual Assistant, there are many niche markets to focus on. Whether it’s Real Estate, Coaches, Non-Profits, Social Media or General Administrative services, there is still huge value in continuously improving your existing skills and knowledge. For one, the Virtual Assistant profession has a high caliber of competition. I have to note that even though it’s a competitive market, Virtual Assistants are also among the most generous when it comes to sharing information, tips and ideas. The bottom line is if you want to keep up with your competition, a healthy dose of training as often as you can squeeze it in will be key to your success and to the growth of your business. It is a worthy investment of time and money – if you go the that route. Second, there is an added bonus to participating in training geared towards your niche. You achieve a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. Each additional piece of knowledge you have makes you more valuable to your existing and potential clients - that is a truly satisfying feeling.
There are a lot of free and paid training opportunities out there. Even just picking up a book or reading multiple articles or blogs on a particular subject will enhance your knowledge and can be considered training. So don’t limit yourself to the idea that training must be in a traditional format. However, a variety of mediums works best, especially since everyone learns differently. If you like interaction, go for more of the live training sessions. If you learn by doing, enroll in more webinars so you can pause the material and test your knowledge.
The recent webinars I have participated in include graphics courses for Canva, Google Digital Garage, and a variety of free QuickBooks Online webinars to improve my skills on basic tasks and my knowledge getting around the system so I’m prepared when a client needs assistance. I’ve also used my more in-depth knowledge in QuickBooks to point out features and improve processes for clients.
Whatever methods you select, training will open doors to your Virtual Assistant business, so take the time to invest in yourself, imagine the possibilities and by all means have fun with it!
Katie Bauer started Effective Virtual Assistance, LLC, in 2008. Based out of Northern Virginia, Effective Virtual Assistance, LLC partners with small businesses locally and nationally to give business owners the time they need to focus on core business and revenue generating activities. With a firm belief that when a client is successful, that reflects on her success, Katie’s goal is to go above and beyond with each and every client task and project.
Over the years Katie has been contacted by aspiring VAs through clients or directly via her website, asking for insight and advice. She realized writing a short eBook to share her experience along with offering some of the documents and tools could benefit other Virtual Assistants. Visit her Etsy shop to find these great resources.
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