In Summary

Virtual personal assistants with a background in executive assistance stand higher chances of making money from businesses hiring virtual assistant services, Dorothy Nakaweesi writes.

The online business platform just keeps getting bigger and better by the day.
Many people retire and wonder: What next? If you have knowledge and skills in different computer programmes, why not utilise those skills to earn money as a virtual personal assistant?
Yes! You can actually help people whose schedules are too tight to plan and coordinate their daily programmes.
The most surprising thing is you can do it at the comfort of your home.
A virtual personal assistant is self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office.

How it works
According to, Mr Newton Buteraba, the chief executive officer House of Wealth – a local firm offering business advisory services, this is a new trend unlike the traditional way of personal assistants moving around with files, diaries and carrying phones for clients.
Virtual Personal Assistant is a service you can do even at your home as long as you own a computer/laptop with full-time Internet.
Experts say that although personal and virtual assistant jobs do not sound glamorous, they pay well. Virtual personal assistants with a background in executive assistance stand higher chances of making money from businesses hiring virtual assistant services.
This work involves preparing presentations and receiving calls like a personal call centre, maintaining the schedule, calling back and preparing the schedule.
“You have to be online all the time and making use of instant messaging to manage your work,” Buteraba shares.
As virtual personal assistant, all you need is a quick response when your client needs your service.
You must improve your skills of writing, proof reading and customer care.

Costs
Ordinarily, the market rate for writing a proposal goes for $10 (Shs37,000) per page. This means you spend more than $100 (Shs370,000).
So to be more competitive, make your services attractive when pricing. In most cases, virtual personal assistants earn per hour of service or on a daily basis.
Buteraba says at least a five to 10 minute Power Point Presentation can go at about Shs40,000. Writing a three to five paged proposal can go for Shs100,000.
If this is your competitive charge, you can target 80 people per month and at least if you can win five people per week, then in a month you will serve 20 people.
On average, if you are going to write proposals for all the 20 clients and design their power point presentations, you will be assured of Shs2.8 million in a month.
But business experts say this could be more depending on the number of clients you have and what services they request for.
Earning Shs2.8 million will accumulate into Shs33.6 million annually.
The idea is to have 20 people who will be giving you assignments. The beauty about this kind of service is you have the liberty to hire those with expertise in writing the proposals and designing power point presentations.
This means the moment you are certain about the 20 clients, business will be always flowing.
“Be the face of the business, look for clients and market the business by opening up a Facebook page. You must have a website, business cards and brochures which show prices,”
Put sample works on your social sites.

Advice
Buteraba shares, if you have already held this job in an office; you will find the digital version allows for a lot more freedom. You can choose your clients, hours of work and payment schedule.