The AVA State of the VA Industry Report – Freedom is the New Wealth
If freedom is indeed the new wealth, our respondents are very rich. When questioned, “Are you enjoying the freedom and flexibility you desire?”, 93.6% of the respondents we surveyed answered “Yes!” How many people can say that about their work right now?
When the Association of Virtual Assistants decided to conduct the VA State of the Industry Report it was due to the fact that the data being provided to virtual assistants wasn’t really provided with VAs in mind. Instead, the information was collected and the data was told with the client in mind. Not to mention they had our titles wrong, our skill sets downplayed, and didn’t paint a picture of being a VA as a career path let alone a business owner, entrepreneur, or thought leader. Most importantly, if VAs wanted to know what was possible for their earning potential, the statistics commonly used were obtained outside many of the VAs home countries which negate the findings.
Past reports did not answer the questions VAs want to know most, which is a disservice to our industry and those in it.
The AVA decided we were not going to make assumptions, nor were we going to create a survey that could only respond to the needs of the client. First, we needed to ensure that the questions most asked by virtual assistants were answered . The most pressing questions VAs have whether they are trying to make a decision to enter the industry or if they have been an established business owner for years are along the lines of:
Where are the gaps in the VA industry?
What are the future needs for myself and the client?
Where is the VA industry headed?
How can I prepare my business for the future?
In the AVA’s very first year we had over 500 responses worldwide. Of those respondents, 54.1% said that they were a full-time VA, meaning their sole income (not tied to hours worked) came from being a virtual assistant.
Part of the survey findings was in how well a VA is able to anticipate the client’s needs. A whopping 93.9% of survey respondents believe that the measure of a true assistant is how well he/she can anticipate their client’s needs. It’s what separates task takers from assistants. It’s what makes any assistant, human or AI, truly valuable because delegating takes time and is work for the client. Having a VA who anticipates your needs saves time and money.
Likewise, being a VA who anticipates their own business needs is a smart business owner.
The survey also started pre-COVID lockdown. The majority of those we surveyed answered the question, “What had the largest impact in your decision to become a Virtual Assistant?”, 37.1% answered the ability to work from home, 31.1% responded to flexibility in their schedule, and 18.9% responded it was being their own boss. Clearly the largest impact is tied back to location freedom.
The VAs we surveyed are not working a typical work week. We found that 38.2% are working 20-30 hours a week while 26.5% are working 40+ hours a week, 24.2% are working 10-20 hours a week, and 11.2% work 0-10 hours a week. Again, this is a strong argument to be made for having and enjoying the freedom and flexibility of being a VA.
When VAs talk about their freedom and flexibility, in many cases it means more to them than the money they could earn working in an office. Money that ties them to a commute, pulls them away from their families, comes at a cost of working 40+ hours outside their homes, and gives them little to no freedom over their schedules. (We’ll be discussing money in an upcoming blog post).
Want to receive the full AVA State of the Industry Report when it is released? You can download our Industry Standard Pricing Guide or the VA Business Blueprint and this will add you to our email list and you’ll be automatically notified when the full report becomes available.
Not a member of the Association of Virtual Assistants yet? Join today and enjoy your new freedom and wealth as a virtual assistant!
We see you. We hear you. We value you.