There is no better time in history to run the office administration for another small business owner from your own home. All the tools are now online and most of the work can be done in the background – like online customer service.

Most websites have a chat widget which is running all the time and enables your website visitors to reach out and ask a quick question while they are on your website.

Some software companies promote remote assistants for $1 per hour but the truth is you need someone better than that to get the best value for money. Here’s how two graduates and members manage things for themselves.

Before we delve into the virtual assistant businesses of Gina (Tasmania) and Andrea (Hurstville) it is important to understand the value that employers put on different tasks and why.

Office Administration


Office administration usually involves working with Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint & Outlook) and involves managing the admin tasks to keep customers happy. It could be

  • creating flyers or
  • presentations or it could be
  • writing proposals or
  • creating reports.

If you’re good with numbers or financials it could involve using complex formulas in Microsoft Excel to analyse data and create reports.

Most communications involving scheduling and email uses Microsoft Outlook and ideally a CloudPBX phone system that anyone in the world can use.

While you are performing any of these tasks it might NOT be ideal to get distracted by customers but they are pretty important and this is where you can easily be an online customer service agent using website chat – more on that later.

See Office Admin Training Courses with over 50% OFF

Business Administration


Business Administration tasks tend to involve more understanding and working with the financial aspects of the business. At least Intermediate level Microsoft Excel skills would be required as well as confidence using accounting software like MYOB and Xero – at least for

  • daily transactions and
  • end of month bank reconciliation.

Business administration tasks can more easily be performed from a home office and are not usually so time critical unless the business is reasonably large and they need someone available during business hours.

Many of these bookkeeping tasks can be performed during school hours, which is great for parents with young kids, and even after hours.

See the Ultimate Xero Training Course

Customer Service and Sales

Sales and Customer Service training is centered around having clear and easy to understand products and services and staff members who are good communicators.


It’s important for sales and customer service staff to have empathy and understanding of their clients needs. These staff members are the connectors between the outside world and the company. Their goal is to understand their clients needs and provide them with the best product and services to suit them.

An important aspect of sales training is for staff to understand what to ask clients to understand their needs. Not all clients will simply “spill the beans” about their troubles and issues unless they really trust the sales person. The sales person must use their experience and product knowledge to make the client feel at ease and comfortable to talk about what they want and need.

Once a sales persons work is done the relationship with the client can often move to an admin or operations person.

Customer Service Training Course

Want a course with an Internship?

StartUp-Academy online training courses in Xero, WordPress, Facebook and Google Digital Marketing Training Courses

The hardest part about up-skilling to find work is getting the real life experience in performing that work. An internship gives a student an inside understanding about many aspects of the work and this experience builds confidence to speak with future employers.

Internship opportunities are available at Australian Small Business Centre for students who want to get experience as a Virtual Assistant. If you are interested read about our Startup Academy and inquire.