Do Your Homework Before Setting Yourself Up as a Virtual Assistant
Those thinking about setting up their own business as a Virtual Assistant often make the crucial mistake of thinking that to be a VA all you need is the relevant experience, a computer, a desk and an internet connection.
It’s not about simply using your office or assistant experience to provide VA services to a range of clients. You will need to be a business owner too and that requires another set of skills entirely. In fact, the ability to actually run your business will be key to your success.
Running your own Virtual Assistant business does mean you can use your assistant and administrative skills every day, without having the hassle of a regular 9 to 5 job.
However you will need to consider the day-to-day practicalities of putting your business together, getting your own administration systems and processes organized, finding and marketing to clients and all the other details that combined will help you build a profitable VA business. .
Here are some key DOs and DON’Ts for anyone thinking about becoming a VA:
- Ask yourself WHY you want to be a VA and run your own business.
- Set your boundaries in terms of where your ?office space? will be (especially if working from home), how many hours, and what hours, you want to work, and how much money you need and want your new business to provide you with
- Get the support of your family and friends
- Make a business plan. This should include what services you want to offer, who you want to work with (the types of client or business, i.e. your niche), what fees you will charge, what your costs are likely to be etc.
- Look at the different ways you are going to market your business. (Don?t waste your money on advertising ? look at some low cost ways to get your business known. When you have the budget of Coca-Cola or Orange, then you can advertise like they do!) Join a local networking group.
- Get an accountant, preferably one that specialises in small businesses.
- Get a business bank account.
- Get your systems and processes in place before taking on any clients.
- Have a contract of work for all of your clients.
- Panic! You are not alone. There are many VA, and small business communities around you, both online and offline. Join one or two. You will see that there are lots of other people exactly like you.
- Get scared! Running your own business can be a daunting prospect but if you plan it properly and understand the requirements and challenges involved then you will be well prepared.
- Give up! Being a successful business owner means having commitment, motivation and self-belief and above being prepared to keep going, despite one or two set backs.
As someone who is thinking about setting up a VA business you should begin by doing some research on the industry, looking at experts and specialists who help VAs set up their own business and also get in touch with existing VAs who are running a successful business. There are lots of ways to meet other VAs, including joining VA networks and going to VA events. But perhaps one of the most effective and rewarding ways is to undertake VA training alongside other people, so that you can learn with them, hear what they think about being a VA, what their questions are and, most importantly, become part of a network of potential VAs just like yourself.
Would you like to join us on our next webinar to learn how to set up your own VA business? Perhaps you have questions and want to know more. Click here to learn when the next webinar is running.