We’ve already discussed the value of Administrative Consultants and who may require these services but it is of vital importance you take a deeper look at the key issues affecting the market, your competition (and how to beat them!) and who will be your clients.
- Key Issues Affecting the Market:
Before setting off, plan your route by analyzing the market. Every day more and more companies consider alternative options to increase their business whilst at the same time reducing overheads. This is exactly where Administrative Consultants fit in. The term Administrative Consultant (AC) over recent years has gone from obscurity to a well-known concept in the business world. By outsourcing their work, smaller companies have found opportunities in which to grow that perhaps more traditional methods would not allow. AC online presence has increased considerably these past years mainly due to companies wishing to cut costs but also due to increasing focus on environmental issues. AC’s have become more user-friendly than ever. As online technology progresses, so does the strength in numbers of virtual assistant since it is becoming more and more practical to depend on outside help whose physical presence does not hinder the task at hand.
Some companies will only outsource the more menial tasks to “outsiders” whereas others function by outsourcing up to 80% of their operations to administrative consultants. This is of particular interest to more international companies that count on a number of AC’s situated all over the globe allowing business to take place 24/7, never missing an opportunity to grow or make a buck.
The online world is developing at an unbelievable rate and technology along with it so it stands to reason that the role of AC’s is evolving also with increased roles, responsibilities and presence within these companies but to stay on top you have to ensure you’re on the ball with technology, programs, software, social network and marketing development.
Looking at statistics provided by the independent firm CCM Benchmark, they predict that within the next 3 to 5 years, AC’s will become the norm in the corporate world, not only in admin related and customer services tasks but as the main point of contact for established companies. They predict a 100% increase in 2011, escalating to an impressive 400% by the year 2014. It would seem that numerous companies are particularly interested in collaborating with VA’s as live chat operators or as the first point of contact for online customer interactions. As larger corporations are already obtaining positive results, it is logical to assume that medium and smaller sized companies will follow suit.
Do you see yourself amongst the emerging AC’s ready to take a bite out of this profitable market? Can you find your place in the AC world?
Even though it’s hard to determine exactly how many working AC’s there are out there, it has been estimated that there are approximately 20.000 worldwide and as this field is growing rapidly, that figure is constantly on the rise.
Not to panic though, there is enough work available for everyone to have their share and make a success of their business venture but there are ways in which you can stand out from the rest. One way would to become certified. When the AC industry (or Virtual Assistants as they were initially known), first emerged in the 1990’s, it was mainly stay at home mums that found real benefits from earning an income at home and contributing in a positive way to their household’s finances whilst still being available for the children etc. Recently that demographic has altered and many become virtual assistants be financially independent and work for themselves with no boss to answer to, being able to determine exactly how much they wish to work.
There are many training programs available to AC’s on the net that will give you pointers on how to become successful and how to avoid the pitfalls that many a AC before you have fallen into. These programs will also give you the knowledge and skills necessary to build up a lasting business. Costs may vary but on average they range from approximately $100 to $9.000. Some simply provide you with the information and skills you will need whereas others also include membership but it is well worth looking into in the long run as it may be key to gaining clients.
- Who Will Be Your Clients?:
This is something to consider very seriously as it will determine how you will market your business. Will your clients be local, virtual or a mix of the two? Study your local situation to see whether the services you offer will be well-accepted and sufficient for your business to survive but don’t rule out looking further afield as this business isn’t limited geographically as we have already seen. What services can you provide companies in other countries that will make them stop and listen? Do you speak a second language? Perhaps you can use that to gain work in other countries other than your own. Do you have a special skill that can be marketed the world over? If that’s the case, use it to the best advantage and market yourself…
Now that we’ve discussed market analysis, that is exactly what we’re going to look at in the next section so I hope you will stick around to read it 🙂