Note: This is a very small list of Resources and Cool Tools for new Virtual Assistants all of which I have used in my own business or have been highly recommended to me by people I trust. Some of my recommendations are affiliate links, meaning that if you decide to purchase using my link I may receive payment for referring you. But no worries, that fee is never added on top of the price to you. Also note that I have tried very hard to include as many free (or extremely inexpensive) resources as possible. I will be updating this list often so you will always have access to the ‘latest and greatest’ findings! Hope you find this helpful for your VA business.
General Virtual Assistant Info:
Virtual Assistant Forums: Free to join. A great place to ask questions and read up on the industry. After 25 posts you have access to their free document library.
Virtual Assistants Network: Free and Paid Memberships Available. Forum to ask and answer questions. Lots of resources and training available for purchase.
Administrative Consultants Association: Community Forum. Lots of resources and training available for purchase.
IVAA – International Virtual Assistants Association: A paid membership site offering education, networking opportunities and RFP’s for Virtual Assistants
For General Admin Work:
Microsoft Office: For Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint: For creating documents, spreadsheets, information management and presentations
Google Docs: Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations. Particularly good as you can access your documents from anywhere and share your work online.
Email and Calendar:
Gmail: Free, excellent spam filtering, folder options, calendar integration, ability to use your own domain
WordPress: Free blogging platform. Excellent functionality and ease of use. Plugins help your site do almost anything you want to. Many themes available for a customized and professional look. Easy to Use and Maintain.
Headway: Theme for Customizing WordPress (note – there are probably thousands of themes to choose from. This is the theme I use)
Bluehost: Super easy to load WordPress onto. The BEST support I’ve encountered. (note – there are probably thousands of hosting companies to choose from. This is the hosting I use)
Resources for Graphics and Graphic Design:
Gimp: Free Image Manipulation Program you can use to create graphics etc.
Pixlr: Free Image manipulaton Program you can use to create graphics etc.
Photoshop: Strong Image Manipulation and Graphic Design software. Various paid versions available.
Dafont: Free fonts available for use on your website/marketing materials
Note: You can also post your own RFP’s on sites like Elance, Guru, Odesk and ask others to bid on a design for you. You set the price, they submit their designs and you choose and pay for the one you like best!
Accepting Payment and Bookkeeping:
Paypal: Accepts all major credit cards. Will also accept bank transfers from your clients if they also own a paypal account.
Quickbooks: Accounting Software. Various paid versions
Freshbooks: Accounting Software. Various paid versions
Wave Accounting: Free Online accounting resource.
Business Cards/Printing Needs:
Vistaprint: Often free. You pay only for shipping. Excellent deals on business cards, marketing materials and more.
Office Depot: Free sample templates for small businesses
Virtual Assistant Forums: Free sample forms library (after you make 25 posts) Paid forms also available for purchase.
Administrative Consultants Association: Large amount of forms and templates available for purchase
VAClassroom: For General VA training
Virutal Miss Friday (The VA Apprentice): For General VA training
Sis-ter-hood Authentic VA Training: For General VA training
Geek Goddess Technical Training: For specialized techie training in WordPress, Newsletter creation, Merchant accounts and a variety of other highly sought-after VA skills. (Taught by the fabulous Alicia Rittenhouse – I have taken this training myself and highly recommend!)
Step it Up VA Coaching: Excellent training to take your VA business to the next level. Taught by ‘Brainy Gal’ Donna Toothaker. (Another course I have taken myself and give my big stamp of approval for!)
Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Toastmasters: Improve your public speaking skills and meet other business owners at scheduled gatherings in your area
Meetup.com: A listing of networking events and gatherings you can attend in your area.
Freelancer Sites to Bid for Online Work:
Social Media Sites (note – there are hundreds…these are my recommended top 4)
For Social Media Management
Hootsuite – To manage and make updates to all your social media accounts in one place. Pre-schedules posts for you.
Tweetdeck – To manage your twitter account
For Project Management
Manymoon: Free version available. For scheduling tasks, managing projects, sharing files, collaboration etc.
Basecamp: Paid version only. For scheduling tasks, managing projects, sharing files, collaboration etc.
Remote Computer Access: