Become a Mobile Assistant Or a Virtual Assistant - Or Both?

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You're either a people-person or you're not. Is that a fair statement? This is relevant to a discussion I had at a conference recently.

At a round table break, another Virtual Assistant and I started talking about the differences in our work. She is 100 percent virtual and I am about 60 percent mobile and 40 percent virtual.

Let me first make the distinction between mobile and virtual, as I see it.

Mobile: goes to a client's office either regularly or as needed; has a stable group of clients but accepts offers for other work as time permits; assists clients with various types of administrative work, but also gets into the organizing realm; travels with clients; assists with office moves and reorganizations; gets involved with bookkeeping (if the skill set is there) and prepares checks and invoices; is a people-person and needs regular people contact; likes face-to-face interaction; can be more of an extrovert; can and does work virtually but majority of clients are "in person."

Virtual: has a home office and works there almost exclusively; utilized technology to get work done (including email, phone, fax, scanner, and courier services); has a stable group of clients and performs a wide variety of administrative tasks; doesn't need face-to-face interaction; can be more of an introvert; thrives on discovering new technology to make their virtual business more efficient and effective; can become mobile if clients are local or request a "face-to-face" meeting.

After explaining to my table mate why I chose to do business as a Mobile Administrative Assistant, she got very excited and said, "I have a colleague or two who have recently mentioned feeling very isolated as Virtual Assistants. They struggle with being in their home office all day long with no people contact."

This sounds like a real opportunity for these women to find new clients, offer new services and make more money. For example, if they start offering some office organizing services, they have just increased their worth in their clients' eyes. And a Virtual Assistant could offer organizing services virtually. A recent article told the story of an organizer in South Carolina who organizes people all over the world without ever laying a hand on their stuff. She works with photos and webcams to get things accomplished!

There are also more than a few consultants out there who regularly travel for public speaking or to facilitate group workshops. If you are a VA interested in special event planning, that's a wide-open market to make money, especially if you attend and oversee the event.

So sit with the question for bit -- do you need and/or want to see your clients in person? Have you considered that you could do all your work without ever meeting them in person? Or do you just crave that human contact and know you would go stir-crazy alone?

As a mobile administrative assistant, you'll have more face-to-face people contact on a day-to-day basis. As a Virtual Assistant, you will still have people contact, but it will mostly be using a variety of technology resources.

For me, the answer is, "I need face-to-face interaction." For others, it might be a combination. Just know that the right solution is out there for you -- all it takes is a little creativity and keeping an open mind. Regardless, small business owners need your skills and talents. Remember, in 2006 there were 26.8 million small businesses in the United States. That means there is an abundance of work available however you choose to define your days.

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Angela Mattson has 1 articles online

Solopreneur, Angela J. Mattson, publishes "Supporting Solopreneurs," an online e-zine for mobile administrative assistants, project assistants and bookkeepers who want the freedom to define their days by being their own boss! Sign up today at

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Become a Mobile Assistant Or a Virtual Assistant - Or Both?

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This article was published on 2010/04/04