Impact of Economy on Virtual Assistance Industry: Times of Trouble or Cause for Celebration?

As the economy starts to stretch for spring, overcoming the sluggishness and downright sloth of the winter and last fall, our industry will continue to grow and thrive… but it may not be smooth sailing.

Where are we now?

Although many optimists are claiming that the recession has officially ended, the Economics Group of Wachovia Securities expects that the recession will have its formal conclusion during the first quarter, much earlier than the third quarter forecasts being touted a few months back. But, recovery will be slow.

“The economic news has taken a decided turn for the better… (and) The Index of Leading Economic Indicators … rose for the fourth straight month in January, housing starts rose 6.3% in January and chain store sales remained strong through mid-February,” reports this group in their weekly report issued February 22, 2002.

“The businesses most likely to succeed will be the ones that do their homework now and prepare…rain or shine,” according to NW Builder Magazine, a professional publication of the construction industry. That is excellent advice for ALL industries during these uncertain times.

What’s the timetable and what do we do?

How long will the current situation last? Tom Potiowsky, Oregon state economist, says “Recessions typically last nine months.” And Les Savitch, of the Target Group Marketing advises, “The key to marketing in 2002 will be less PR and more planning.”

How does this affect our industry?

The good news for the VA industry is that smaller companies continue to grow through this downturn, while the larger companies layoff and downsize. Our primary markets are small to medium sized business.

The bad news is that there is a larger pool of talent looking for employment. However, in uncertain economic times, small businesses are much more likely to utilize the contract and independent services we offer than they are to hire full-time staff with all the related expenses and headaches.

Virtual Assistants make it easy to get the work done. And, utilizing this opportunity to demonstrate the advantages of hiring Virtual Professionals will educate our target market, secure long-term contracts and help to advance our individual businesses and the industry as a whole.

If you have been putting off getting your marketing plan together and implementing it, now is the time! Plan and execute your own target marketing and take advantage of all the open doors of opportunity. By the end of the second quarter or third quarter, these doors may begin to close.

© Copyright 2002 by Angela Allen Parker.

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