Boy do I have something great in store for you today. I was preparing to write a post about starting your own Virtual Assistant business and enlisted the help of the one and only Susan also known as Suzi of Ace Concierge. Who is she you ask – oh, she’s just a kick a** V.A. and you’re about to find out for yourself. Suzi put the whole article together and she’s got some great resources for anyone who wants to become a Virtual Assistant.
Are you ready for the goodness? Here is Suzi…
You’ve chosen the path to become a Virtual Assistant. Now what?
Before you run out and try to secure your first client, make sure that you have seriously evaluated your reasoning for entering this industry. It isn’t all fun and games, nor is it just a hobby. You are a vested partner in someone else’s dream. Their business, their livelihood to generate income and enjoy entrepreneurship. The reason I mention this here is because I have encountered prospects who were cautious of a VA because their prior assistant simply disappeared, couldn’t work the hours, had poor follow up, they lacked time management skills or they didn’t take their responsibility seriously.
Examine your mindset and commitment to do whatever it takes to build a business and wear all of the hats, for the next several years. Think and live like the entrepreneur your clients will want to work with.
Entrepreneurial mindset refers to a specific state of mind which orientates human conduct towards entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation and new value creation. Financial Times
Your determination will set the fire to achieve your goals so it’s up to you to do the research and create a strong foundation. Be THAT Virtual Assistant and do the digging yourself. It’s good experience. My thought process is that you’re an aspiring VA and should do your own homework and learn to effectively research versus only asking everyone for answers. You can do this!
Make connections, use the forums, and the online associations for the more business oriented questions, tech details and some of the other processes that help you to diminish reinventing of the wheel. Below I’ve listed 21 Beginner Steps (in no particular order) to help kick-start you thinking about your new venture in the Virtual Assistant business. You’ll need much more than these, but it’s a start.
Basic Business Startup Steps
- Brainstorm your business name
- Write your business plan
- Niche specialty market or general VA
- Choose your business entity for example: LLC or sole proprietor
- Apply for an EIN
- Protect your business with insurance
- Decide if you’ll work from home or off-site
- Get a separate phone line (landline or mobile)
- Establish a business bank account
- Apply for a business credit card
- Purchase a computer and other office supplies
- Tech repair
- How will you charge?
- Determine your office hours and work life boundaries
- Do you need/want a CPA and an attorney?
- Create your client contract agreement (attorney input is always helpful)
- Design your marketing collateral
- Order business cards/stationery
- Create a professional website
- Plan your social media platforms
- Organize your business systems and processes for success
- Plan for your training, e-courses and desired certifications
You may even want to put these into checklist form or perhaps a spreadsheet to help you track your progress and create additional action steps. Everything is a learning tool. A step toward your goal.
As I mentioned above, there are many informative online communities, groups, coaches, entrepreneurial VAs and other individuals to further support or guide you with your new career choice. They offer paid training, free resources, in addition to some impeccable networking with other Virtual Assistants. You will discover an outstanding industry of very helpful, supportive and caring professionals who want you to succeed.
Get to know them. Develop relationships. Engage and follow them on their social networks.I can live life without a computer. My assistant checks my emails. Nobu Matsuhisa #quoteClick To Tweet
- How Do I Become a Virtual Assistant?
- Your Virtual Assistant
- Virtual Assistant Networking Group
- Virtual Assistant Forums
- Virtual Assistant Start-Ups
- Search Twitter Bios and Profiles
- The International Virtual Assistants Association
Do be prepared to invest time in learning new tools, apps, gadgets and platforms required to help manage your clients’ business as well as your own. Be an avid reader with a thirst for knowledge and exploring content to help you jump past the hurdles of mediocrity or the offshore one step task doers. It’s an exciting, ever-changing world for business support opportunities – use them to your advantage.
Free and Paid Business Tools
- 30 Essential Tools and Web Apps for Freelancers
- 26 Tools Every Virtual Assistant Should Be Using
- 99 Insanely Useful Resources for Freelancers
- 10 of the best time tracking tools for freelancers
- 14 Best Free Project Management Software Programs 2016
- The 20 best tools for online collaboration
- 6 Free Online Tools to Help Your Business Grow
- 7 Social Media Tools For Small Businesses To Manage Their Social Presence
- 29 Favorite Business Tech Tools of Entrepreneurs in 2015
Everybody is going to have their own recommendations, preferred tools or favored processes for what is best for your VA business but in the end, it’s up to you to filter, research and determine the final outcome to support your success.
A Few Last Words:
- Experiment with the programs and tools before implementing. There can be tech gremlins, difficulties or the program doesn’t do as you’d like and your client is not the guinea pig.
- Understand your value to the business owner. Not everyone is going to be your ideal client so don’t undersell yourself.
- Set work life boundaries. Just because you may choose to have an office in your home, it doesn’t mean there’s an open door policy for interruptions.
- Deadlines! Beat the deadlines – never deliver a late product/service.
- Nurture long-term relationships to build your business. You’ll create loyalty and commitment.
- Exceed client expectations. You love great service; deliver it to others. It’s that simple.
Over To You
Did Susan amaze you or what! If you’re thinking of becoming a V.A. these awesome resources she just shared with you is a great place to start. I’d love to know what you think about this article. Are you motivated to become a Virtual Assistant? Let’s get the conversation going in the comments section below.
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With over 30 years of business experience, Susan has been the executive assistant for hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide. Her enthusiasm, energy, wit and dedication to time management and productivity, deliver the kind of exemplary service business owners need and depend upon in a person who keeps them organized, efficient and free to focus on their core business operations.
She has been working independently for over 14 years with entrepreneurs from Canada to Florida, providing a wide range of virtual administrative services from executive admin tasks and social media management to project management, travel planning, and presentations. The service solutions are only limited by her client’s requests. Working virtually, her extensive experience, support and knowledge has helped numerous entrepreneurs achieve their success and business goals.
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