There are a variety of ways in which VAs charge. Some simply charge by the hour, having already agreed a budget with their client. Others offer retainer packages, which means you agree a set cost per month with your client for a certain number of hours. It is normal to charge for telephone calls, stationery, travel and other expenses on top at cost. We will guide you as to what you should be charging, how to charge your worth and avoiding comparing yourself to others.
There are too many VAs who are undercharging for their services.
Absolutely. Although this is not a ‘job’ it is your ‘career’, a ‘business’. Being a VA you can work as many or as few hours as you choose. You can build a large client base, and even have associate VAs to whom you outsource additional work, thereby creating yourself an additional income too. There are many well-established VAs who have chosen to work full time.
Because VAs tend to specialise in particular niche markets or with their ideal clients, rather than attempt to be a “Jack of all trades”, not everyone is offering exactly the same service. Therefore, there are plenty of opportunities out there. The VA industry is also very supportive and other VAs can be a great support to your business when you need someone to cover for you when you have a work overload or off sick or on holiday etc. Of course it is about becoming an outstanding VA and at VACT we show you how specifically to stand out and get noticed with our CPD training.
More and more people are setting up their own businesses, and clients are increasingly becoming more supportive of a flexible and versatile working style. These shifts in attitude are providing more business and therefore more income for VAs, as people realise the benefits of outsourcing business support, social media, administrative and secretarial tasks in order that they can focus on their business and profit generation.
Generally industry is working smarter and business owners realise that employing staff versus using freelancers is a more cost-efficient way of running their business. It means they do not have to be restricted to using someone locally, they can tap into the resources of someone who is a greater fit for their business from anywhere in the world!
No. Whilst you are not sharing an office with a group of people, you are in constant contact with your clients and associates, whether it be on the phone, email or Skype. You are communicating all the time. Your office time is also of course interspersed with attending networking events in order to build your business and forge useful relationships. You have the opportunity to be part of a larger VA community, whether it’s through creating your own support network of associate VAs with whom you share information, or the wider VA community.
VACT offers the unique dimension of professional VA training, mentoring and coaching that will motivate you, build your confidence and help you to create a mindset for success. We don’t just want you to work for a living, we want you to enjoy a better work/life balance and have the lifestyle you want.
Our training will teach you everything you will need to know about setting up, managing and making a long-term, sustainable VA business. Not just the overview, the big idea, but also the day-to-day practicalities of putting your business together, getting your administration systems and processes organised, finding and marketing to clients and all the other details that combined will help you build a profitable VA business.
- Fast track your success and side step the common pitfalls that stifle the progression of most novice VAs;
- Discover how to set yourself up as a successful virtual assistant on the BEST possible foundations, quickly and easily;
- Grasp your business numbers and learn how to use analytics to make smart business and marketing decisions;
- Learn HOW to sell yourself and market your business to you can build your reputation, attract the right clients, and earn enough money; and
- Understand how to manage your clients to ensure they get a great service, value your input, and stay with you long term.
For more comprehensive information about the training I offer – click here.
A VA is someone who provides a range of administration, secretarial, office, business or personal assistant services from their own premises using remote and online methods, such as email or online collaboration tools. There is telephone or Skype contact with clients and on the rare occasion on-site.
Originally founded in 2003 by Carmen MacDougall and called The Virtual Assistant Coaching and Training Company. As a company VACT have successfully trained 1000’s of VA’s worldwide. I bought the business from Carmen on her retirement from the industry at the end of 2014, start of 2015.
I would like to add, I am not Carmen, but for those of you who knew Carmen, you will agree with me, she was more than just a coach and trainer – she was a remarkable VA, a leading authority in our industry – and, although my style might be different to hers, I am equally passionate in sharing the vision to supporting people like you to be the best VA’s in the industry.
I was recently asked “Why should I train with VACT?”
I responded with “I would never state that anyone should train with me. But it is totally, prudent to explore all VA training companies that you have sourced and get a feel for the person or people behind the training…how long have they been in the industry to identify how established they are, do they present themselves professionally, do they have the same values as yourself, do they seem like the type of people you would enjoy working closely with, is there a great rapport and understanding on their part?”
Then I would identify what they are offering versus your needs. Every aspiring, new or existing VA will have differing needs and not all VA trainers may have exactly what you are looking for…if you know what you are looking for of course. Then look at your investment, what can you afford right now? The cheapest is not always going to be the best or long-term, something that is more of an investment could actually be the best investment as it provides you with full comprehensive information, resources, tools and after support for a one-off investment. I would also check if the trainer offers instalment plans to help you.
Find out what the clients of the VA trainer have to say, a confident VA trainer will not have a problem in you contacting their clients (of course where there is permission to do so from the client), read the testimonials and find out what the VA trainer has helped their clients to achieve. So ultimately the decision lies with you and certainly not with me. If you are not sure, if we would be a good fit – book a discovery call to see if the VACT training approaches are the right approaches for you.
I know that the clients, I work with – value my honesty, my integrity and my loyalty. They even like the no-nonsense straight talking approach.
Yes, we show you exactly how to get your clients from understanding and creating a niche market or creating a speciality about your business, networking and online networking and how to gain clients not just local but internationally. We cover every aspect of how to build your VA business.
Many potential VAs make the crucial mistake of thinking that to be a VA all you need is a computer, a desk and an internet connection. WRONG! It’s not about simply using your PA or administrative experience to provide VA services to a range of clients. You will need to be a business owner and have the mindset of a business owner too and that requires another set of skills entirely. The ability to actually run your business will be key to your success.
Many who have tried to set up on their own have taken longer to get their business established, and of course, as people like James Caan and Doug Richards who are successful entrepreneurs, they have stated in many of their talks, that to set up a business without the specialist guidance is not acting smartly. Why would you want to make your own mistakes, learn the hard way and take far longer when you can be mentored and shown the way by someone who has created themselves a successful model, made all the costly mistakes and can help you achieve your goals far quicker? Its costs you more in the long run!
What are the advantages of starting my own VA business versus being a temp?
The VA service is growing in demand because of the way in which businesses are now operating, contracting out more and more services, alongside the opportunities of ever-advancing technology. Because VAs are self-employed they have the added appeal to employers or business owners of not needing a salary as they only pay for the time they use the service, employment rights, national insurance, tax, holiday and sickness pay, even office space. Also it provides clients with, not only the image of a larger organisation, but a professional person who is there to delegate to so that the client can have the time to focus on what they do best and on the activities to enable to grow their business.
By becoming a Virtual Assistant you can use your PA, secretarial or administrative skills to support the clients you choose, at hours to suit you and from your chosen location. The financial rewards will be all yours too!
- Flexible working hours;
- No rush hour commute;
- High earning potential;
- Opportunity to expand your skill set; and
- Be a part of a rapidly growing industry based on continuing high demand.