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.
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 who want to work at home a few days a week. 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. Then there are also 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 worth every effort!
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 think about 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 building your online reputation and your business.
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 for sure. If you give up on research, 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, too. Do not stick to just your web designing skills. This is called a backup plan. 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 because you have multiple specializations. Some would prefer to stick to one service, though, and this is not wrong.
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 skillsets!
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 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!