How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business

How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business
Virtual Assistance has now become popular. Yet, despite the popularity, many still don’t have an idea what a Virtual Assistant business is or how to start one.

Most people who want to become virtual assistants are moms who can’t go back to the workforce because they need to prioritize attending to their family’s needs, especially when there are younger children in the household. Then there are dads who prefer working at home than spending time at an office cubicle.

Oh, and singles are no exception! Many of them have turned to being virtual assistants so that they can work for their clients and probably build another business while traveling or doing other things they love.

It is no surprise that professionals are picking up on the trend. The flexibility of working at home is endless!

Doctors, lawyers, private contractors, and many other types of professionals have started converting their homes into their workplace. Companies, too, now welcome employees to take advantage of their work at home setup. These companies have seen increase in productivity when their employees take their work home.

So, you ask yourself, what’s stopping you from starting a home-based or Virtual Assistant business? Is it because you fear that you won’t be successful?

To help you out, I have compiled some of the steps I took when I started my Virtual Assistant business.

 

1 – Don’t let anyone discourage you from it.

Those who would discourage you are people who have not tried this type of business. There will also be those who have tried but failed because they did not have the right mindset, attitude, and skills.

If you want to start a Virtual Assistant business, then follow those who have succeeded and learn from them. Learn from their successes as well as their failures. Many successful Virtual Assistants will tell you the struggles are real but the rewards are far greater!

 

2 – Sit down and plan how you’re going to fund your business.

You can start your Virtual Assistant business working alone; be a solopreneur for the time being while you learn the ropes of the industry. All you need is a secure computer, your own Internet connection, a backup storage, a reliable security software, a website, your social media accounts, a desk (dedicated for your work only – maybe the kitchen table, if your space is limited), and the knowledge and skills that you can bring to the table.

If you do not have your equipment yet, then you need to sit down and plan how you’re going to produce the funds to buy them.

If you need to keep your day job to buy yourself a computer and get an Internet service plan, then be patient. All your efforts will reward you in the long run.

Some would actually go to the extent of loaning from friends or family members. You could loan from the bank, too, but this is more of a hassle as the interest rates can be high and, even if you get your business off the ground, it isn’t wise to be paying the bank some money that’s more than what you’ve borrowed. Unless you’re starting big, then loaning from the bank should be least of your options.

Also remember that it may take a while to get a few clients. When you finally get some, you don’t usually get paid upfront. You will need to plan how you will get through your financial needs and obligations while you’re working on getting that first paying client.

 

3 – Do your research.

It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself a business expert or not; you need to do your research if you want to build a successful Virtual Assistant business. Take a look at other Virtual Assistant business websites and see what they’re doing great and what could be improved. Implement the good points in your own business.

Of course, you will also have to research which industries, businesses, organizations, or individuals will need your Virtual Assistant business services. You will do a lot of research because without it, your business will fail.

 

4 – Decide on your services.

You can start with what you are good at. Don’t try offering a service that you don’t know how to execute just because the pay is higher than your current skills.

If you are great at designing websites, then offer that first. Build your skills in other areas while you’re at it.

Although some would advice on niching down, I would say, do not stick to just your web designing skills, or just one skill. Have a backup plan. By that, I mean, other types of services.

Your web design skills might not always be in demand. So having multiple skills will give you other options. You won’t have to worry about restarting another business in case your service goes stale because you have multiple skills that you can turn into services with the blink of an eye!

 

5 – Decide on a business name.

Here comes the legal stuff!

Depending on your country’s legal requirement, you may need to register your business. Decide on a business name and build your logo and branding around that name. But while you’re on it, let your branding be your great personality and your skill sets!

 

6 – Design a pricing structure.

You’ll have to come up with a pricing structure. You can charge by the hour or per project. A monthly retainer is also possible.

Not all great prospects will want to pay upfront. If you choose a pricing structure that requires upfront payment, make sure you have a service agreement in place. This is to help establish trust and security between you and the client.

 

7 – Do all sorts of marketing for your VA business.

Market your Virtual Assistant business using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, among others. If you have a website in place, then use that, too. Publish content and be consistent.

If you know SEO, then utilize that to rank your website in Search Engines. The more visible you are, the more prospects you get.

These are tips you can follow to start your Virtual Assistant business in the right direction. But best of all, never stop learning!

 


 

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10 Free Online Tools to Manage Your Business

10 Free Online Tools to Manage Your Business

Starting and managing a business is time-consuming as well as expensive. Thanks to technological advancements, there are numerous free online tools to help alleviate this problem. And they don’t cost a dime!

 

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media management tool. It schedules bulk posts, tracks mentions, and the number of your social media followers across all platforms. It also tracks specific posts generating the most clicks and allows you to interact with your followers.

Its free plan is for 1 user, 3 social media profiles, and 30 scheduled messages, which is sufficient for any small business. This is one of the free online tools that is worth trying.

 

Canva

You might be an excellent business person, but chances are you are no graphic designer. Posters, marketing flyers, social media graphics, and brochures have to be crafted to improve your content’s visual appearance.

This is where Canva comes in!

With access to over 80,000 templates, up to 1GB photo storage, millions of photos starting at $1 each, or the option to upload your own photos, creating graphics like that of a professional designer is a possibility. There will be learning curves but they are not as hard as when you need to learn Photoshop or other graphics design tools.

 

Mailchimp

Mailchimp comes with a built-in sign up, a drag and drop email template to customize campaigns, and a manage contacts feature. Its built-in sign up form (usually placed on the website’s sidebar) easily collects and imports subscribers.

It has a free plan suitable for small businesses that are starting out or companies with few subscribers as it permits sending 12,000 emails to not more than 2000 subscribers monthly. Make the most of these free online tools.

 

Google Keyword Planner

In this age of technology, a strong digital presence is crucial. Google Keyword Planner helps generate hundreds of long-tail keywords using the Google autocomplete so you can structure your content around words used most by your target audience. This, in turn, helps your website rank higher on search engines subsequently increasing traffic to your site.

 

Evernote

Evernote allows you to take notes, store information or text, pictures, memos, files or audio, keep a journal, and allows sharing files with your clients and/or colleagues even if they don’t have Evernote accounts.

It automatically syncs across all your devices so you can always access it anywhere, anytime. In the event your phone dies, everything saved in Evernote will remain intact.

 

Trello

Trello is a project management tool which enables you to track your team’s files, tasks, and information all in one place. You and your team can log in and report how you’re progressing with your projects.

Its free plan permits attachment of files up to 10MB, one power-up board, and access to unlimited boards, cards, lists, members, and checklist.

 

Hubspot CRM

At some point, managing customers will become tedious and things like customers’ contacts may slip through the cracks. Hubspot CRM automates and simplifies customer management. There are some free online tools similar to this but start with Hubspot CRM so you get to learn how systems like this works.

Hubspot CRM provides everything needed to track, organize, and nurture customer leads. It’s easy to use, has email tracking feature, stores up to one million contacts, and allows an unlimited number of users.

 

Dashlane

Dashlane safely stores all your passwords and personal information. Its free plan allows you to store up to 50 passwords, fill personal information so you won’t have to repeatedly enter it, and receive security alerts all on one device.

 

Wave

Clients have to be paid, invoices have to be sent, and accounting is time-consuming, not forgetting, quite a headache.

Wave manages transactions, tracks income and expenses, creates and scan invoices, and directly scan receipts into the system. Payment and payroll services is offered in its premium plan which costs $19/month.

 

Free images

Written content with visually appealing images get more engagements and clicks. However, you can’t just go to the web and pull out a picture – lest you want to be embroiled in copyright infringement legal issues. Professional stock services, on the other hand, are pricey.

Fortunately, sites like Pixabay, Flickr, Unsplash, and FreeImages have thousands of free non-copyrighted images. Next time you need an image for your blog post, head on to these sites.

There you have it – 10 free online tools to manage your business. Most have premium plans, by the way. Should the need for more features arise, upgrade to paid plans.

 


Want to hire a Virtual Assistant who knows how to use these tools to level up your productivity? Get in touch!

5 Websites to Offer Virtual Assistant Services

5 Websites to Offer Virtual Assistant Services

The basic tools you need to offer Virtual Assistant services are a working computer and an access to a high speed internet connection. Of course, you will also need a set of skills you can outsource. Your skills often depend on your educational background or work experiences. They may also come from your hobbies and interests.

The virtual assistance industry wasn’t that popular a decade or two ago as they are today. Below are five websites among many others where you can offer your virtual assistant services and be paid for what you do best. Take a look at each platform’s requirements and standards.

 

Fancy Hands

Fancy Hands is headquartered in Union Square, New York City. To work with them, you need fast internet access and skills in making and answering calls. You also need to be good at data entry and research. They pay per task from $3 to $7. They provide their assistants with an option to choose their work hours.

 

Red Butler

Red Butler hires virtual assistants to handle front office, back office, and personal support tasks like calls, marketing, research, and travel support among others. You will need communication skills, people skills, technology skills, writing skills, and multi-tasking skills to perform your virtual assistant job.

 

Zirtual

This is one of the legitimate sites that hire virtual assistants, but they only accept applicants living in the US. Before submitting an application, always check for available positions. They do not hire at all times and their available posts change every now and then.

 

virtual assistant services24/7 Virtual Assistant

To apply for a virtual assistant position with 24/7 Virtual Assistant, you need to send your resume to careers@247virtualassistant.com. The services they offer their clients are administrative support, customer service, bookkeeping, data mining, human resources, and web development among others.

 

virtual assistant servicesAssistant Match

Assistant Match offers more than just match virtual assistants and clients. They also train virtual assistants and provide resources through their blog and sister site, Virtual Assistant Quickstart. Their services include marketing and growth, organization and maintenance, and customer service. You need to have the skills to perform at least one of these roles.

 


 

Start a rewarding virtual assistant career today! Ask us how.