The idea of starting a successful virtual assistant business can sound absolutely amazing. You work for yourself. No boss to answer to. No set times. You can work from anywhere. You are finally free from a 9 to 5 job. Being a virtual assistant is ALL of those things and more.
However, starting a virtual assistant business doesn’t come without hard work, dedication, and the occasional setback.
When I first told people what I did for a living, people were intrigued and asked how they could start a virtual assistant business as well. I wasn’t ready then to tell them how I started because I was growing myself, still learning sometimes the hard way.
The hard times of starting a VA business may cause beginners to quit; being a freelancer is not for the weak minded or faint of heart.
If you are here and really are interested in starting a VA business, then it starts by truthfully contemplating the answer to some tough questions.
Why do you want to start a virtual assistant/freelance business? (Your Why will be what you need to remember when you want to give up because there will be times you want to give up or times when you doubt yourself.)
Whom do you want to serve? After all, being a Virtual Assistant is about serving.
What makes you unique or remarkable? What services will you provide that are unique or remarkable? This answer will help you think about how you can solve problems for your ideal client.
What would be the benefits of starting a virtual assistant business? This answer will motivate you.
What hardships do you think you may face? This answer will help you stay prepared, should the expected actually happen.
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Is 2019 your year to start a virtual assistant business?
There are a few “must-haves” and some processes to put in place to start your VA business. Some may seem simple, but they are typical and necessary for a successful virtual assistant business start-up.
Virtual Assistant Business Must-Haves
A computer and steady internet service
It is incredible to think you can start a business with only a laptop! Having a laptop means you can do your work from anywhere. Work freedom is one of the most popular benefits that virtual assistants the most about this industry.
With a laptop and internet service, you literally can work from anywhere. We have a VA that works from the South Pacific on our team. The flexibility and options are endless, but you need some type of computer and internet service to make it happen.
Microsoft Office or other office software alternatives
Virtual assisting typically means you are doing some type of administrative work which usually means you are working off documents, spreadsheets, or slides in some way, shape, or form.
There are plenty of free office software programs out there that are easy to use, are packed with features, and are fully compatible with Microsoft Office. A few you can explore are LibreOffice, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, Open365, and Zoho Workplace.
Invoicing and Accounting systems
There plenty of websites like Wave or Freshbooks that can invoice your clients for you. A simple template like the one provided in the Virtual Assistant Making Money Course will do just as well, but you will have to keep a file record of each one.
You will also need accounting software to keep track of your earnings. Even if it is only a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, keeping track of what you make is essential for your records and for tax purposes at the end of the year.
Time and Productive management system
Freshbooks is an accounting system that invoices and tracks your time.
Virtual Assistant Business Must-Dos
Determine your services and rates
You have abilities and skills that people are willing to pay for. Deciding your services can start with the skills you know you are good at. It is always better to start with a clear idea of what service you will provide and who you will be serving.
Once your business takes off you can branch off gradually to more learned skills, but choosing whom you want to work with and how you can make their day easier is a great place to start.
Decide on an hourly rate and the amount of time you are able to allocate for your projects. You can search the internet for standard rates for the service you provide and go from there. If you do not plan on building a website right away, although I highly recommend you do, create a pricing sheet of your services and always have it ready to send to new clients.
You can grab a free pricing guide here:
Branding and Marketing
There a few instances where your business takes off by word of mouth only. However, branding gets increasingly important as time goes by.
A mistake new businesses make is deciding on a name then not searching that domain name in hosting sites to assure it isn’t already taken.
Finding a name that captures what you do and developing your business brand will establish validity in your target market community and in the services that you offer them.
Marketing is something you will have to do throughout the life of your virtual assistant business. It doesn’t stop when you get a few clients.
Decide what avenues you will use to market your brand (i.e. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, eNewsletters, etc.), then develop a marketing strategy to follow through on your plans.
Develop a contract and set-up processes
Create a contract to give each client before the delivery of your services. The Virtual Assistant Making Money Course provides an Independent Contracting Agreement Template that you are free to use for your VA business.
There are two lessons dedicated to contracting in the course because of how important it is to have one ready when starting a virtual assistant business.
Note: You may need to obtain a business license depending on the rules of your country, state, or city. Search the internet for small business license regulations in your area to get more information.
Be ready to learn new things and evolve with the changes in technology. Remember you are no longer tied to someone else’s schedule, set salary, or job duties. Being a virtual assistant isn’t easy work, but failure is not an option.
Struggling may be a part of your learning process, but know that we are here to help. You can start building your VA business today with this Virtual Assistant Business Start Guide.
If you need an extra boost once you get the ball rolling, try out the Virtual Assistant Business Coaching Community. It was created to help entrepreneurs like YOU launch and grow a successful and profitable freelance business. You’ll receive personal coaching, education, accountability, and a community of fellow VAs for support.
Now that you know what you must do and what you must have to start a VA business, what is stopping you? Every day you procrastinate is a day you could have been closer to your goals!