Virtual Assistant Software
What Virtual Assistant software do I need?
Virtual Assistant Software is an important consideration for your new business to run smoothly.
Depending upon what industry you are in and the types of services you will provide, there may be specific software you will need to purchase.
If you have already been working in that industry for a while, you may be well aware of what specific software you will need. If you are not sure about what virtual assistant software you need then start with the basics and work up from there.
Here are some popular types of Software many VAs are using:
Word Processing: Microsoft® Word and Corel’s WordPerfect® are the two main word processing programs being used today. You will want to be familiar with them and have at least one because most businesses are using these programs.
General administrative VA work: Microsoft Office® includes Excel for spreadsheets, PowerPoint for presentations, Access for database functions and Outlook for email and scheduling. These programs are very common in businesses today and are often looking for most administrative professionals who are proficient in them.
Desktop Publishing: If you plan to do desktop publishing there are three main software manufacturers that have excellent software packages: Adobe, Inc.®, Corel Corporation®, and Quark, Inc.® Microsoft has an easy to use program Publisher.
Web Design: If you are a web designer and would like to provide web creation and maintenance for your clients, a good web design program is essential. The gold standard is Adobe Dreamweaver®. This is an excellent program and a favorite among web masters, but it does have a learning curve and is expensive, but if you are going to design websites, you want to use the best program you can.
A less expensive option is Xsitepro. This program is based on templates and extremely easy to create websites for yourself and others. It does not have the flexiblity of Dreamweaver, but is not near as expensive or difficult to learn as well.
Virtual Assistant Software you need to run your VA Business:
As a business owner yourself, there are some essential software programs you will need to keep your own home business running efficiently. There are many software programs today that make running your own home based business fairly easy – even for beginners.
You need to have a system for keeping records of your business expense accounts, creating invoices and tracking payments and keeping a contact database of your clients. You will need a good email program and time scheduler too.
Fortunately there is some overlap between what you need for yourself and what you need for clients, therefore you may only need to invest in a few programs to get your business up and running.
Bookkeeping Services: Quickbooks® and Peachtree are widely used. If you have not done bookkeeping before, this may sound complicated and difficult but there are great home business accounting software programs that will allow you to do these tasks quickly and easily.
If you plan on doing bookkeeping for clients you will want to make sure you are familiar with several accounting software programs and have a few popular ones in order to be compatible with your clients. See Bookkeeping Section
Email:Microsoft Outlook is extremely popular and many clients will be using this program. A great free one is Google’s gmail.
Time Tracking: If you prefer to keep track of your work time electronically, there are some excellent time keeping programs. Two good ones are Time Tracker and Time Stamp.
Telecommunications: Today it is easy than ever to communicate with anyone around the glove. An excellent and affordable option is Skype for long distance phone calls.
Need help remember things? Hassle Me offers a free reminder service that will email you in intervals any important event you need help remember. Yes, you can be nagged for free.
Software can be a big investment but is a necessary part of running an efficient home based business that relies on computers and the internet. You don’t want to try to save costs by using cheap software. You will save yourself headaches in the long run by purchasing good software from reputable manufacturers, however there are ways to save money when buying software.
Today there are some excellent free software programs you can take advantage of as well.
Google Docs offers a free software package including a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation programs. One nice thing about this software for virtual assistants is that it is easy to share documents with your clients. You can email them an attachment or a link to an html page for easy viewing of the document. This free software package is an option for someone just starting their virtual assistant business with a tight budget.
Another free software package for virtual assistants is OpenOffice.org. This is very similar to Google Docs and is also free to use and easy to share documents with clients.
One way to determine the virtual assistant software you need is to network on VA forums and Virtual Assistant Associations to see what other VAs doing the type of work you want to do are recommending.
Here is a list of Free VA Resources you can check out and see if there are some resources you can use.