This guide is only an overview of what you need to know and do in order to create a successful VA business. The rest, you can find out as you go along but I will try my best to help you by sharing what I learn in my business.
Here are tips you can follow when starting your VA business…
Don’t let anyone try to dictate what you need to do.
I am clearly not against getting advice from experts but I am not talking about them here. I am talking about the negative talkers and thinkers who try to offer their advice based on what they’ve heard or seen and not from their actual experiences. Some who have experienced running a VA business and failed may even advice you against starting your own because they haven’t gotten over their hurts and frustrations.
The sad thing about these crowds is they may even come from your own circle of friends, family, or even those you consider to be mentors! So, choose who you listen to when it comes to starting a business.
Sit down and plan how you’re going to fund your business.
You can start your VA business working alone. 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 – not the kitchen table), and the knowledge and skills that you will offer to your prospect clients.
If you do not already have the above initial requirements, then you definitely need to plan how you’re going to raise funds to get them. If you have a day job, then it is time to save up. But that means you won’t quit that job for the meantime. You could loan from friends or family members. You could loan from the bank – but I wouldn’t advice you going through this process unless you’re starting big! Even then, avoid this option if you can.
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 usually need to complete a project in order to get paid; of course, there are exceptions if you already have structures in place.
So can you afford a few weeks of not getting paid yet as you set up your business? Where will you get funding for the meantime? Plan it out – and make sure you write them down. If you choose to save those plans in your computer, then secure them or back them up through a cloud storage or an external storage.
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 VA business. Take a look at other VA business websites and see what they’re doing great at 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 VA business services. You will do a lot of research, I am certain of that. If you give up on research, your business will fail.
Decide what services to offer.
You can start with what you are good at. If you are great at designing websites, then offer that first. Build your skills in other areas. 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. When that happens, you won’t have to worry about restarting because your business will thrive through your other services.
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!
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.
Do all sorts of marketing for your VA business.
We market our VA business using Instagram and Facebook most of the time. We also use our website (which is fresh – again – from being revamped so we’re back to square one). 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 I can give you to start your VA business in the right direction. But best of all, never stop learning!