Are you searching for a means to earn a living in the comfort of your home? Then you are in the right place. How to start a Virtual Assistant business (called VA) is exactly what you need. It comes with great benefits and few liabilities. If you invest well in it, the VA business has incredibly great returns that can support your monthly budget and you will still be left with some money to save.
With this article, you have access to all the information you need to know about the VA business. And these include what it is, what it entails, the services you will offer, basic requirements, and how to start it. Are you ready to learn about the Virtual Assistant business and start one of your own? Let’s begin:
What’s a Virtual Assistant?
There are different ways you can define a virtual assistant. But to keep this simple, they are business people with a speciality in helping other business owners for a given agreed fee. And through helping other businesses succeed, their business of assistance also prospers and expands with time. They do remote assistant jobs and they are often self-employed.
That said, you will not receive an employee benefits package and you are liable to your taxes. It’s important to point out that you will be receiving monthly payments. So if you are comfortable with all these, this is the right gig for you.
Benefits of working as a VA
Let’s have a look at the perks you stand to gain from these businesses:
- Flexible working hours
- You can work from anywhere as long as you have access to network services
- Higher potential of earning
- Provides you with a free platform to be creative and exercise your professional skills
- You have a wide range of services to offer depending on your skills set
- You won’t need a diploma or degree to become a VA
- It’s the best choice of a business that requires an affordable investment/ upfront money
What services will you provide?
Before starting your own VA business, it’s important to know the services you will offer to your clients. Fortunately, you are free to offer any form of assistance a business owner may need from you and ready to pay. Therefore, you can choose to become a specialized or general virtual office assistant depending on your skillset.
As a general assistant, you will work with various kinds of clients. In this case, you have an unlimited niche at hand. But with specialized VA, the services you offer are specific to given groups of clients. With this service, you offer based on your expertise in a given niche.
Requirements in becoming a virtual assistant
Practically, you only need a laptop and internet connections to start this business. There is little or no need for upfront money. So if you have a computer and access to internet connections, you can set up and begin running this business.
Apart from these two requirements, there are certain skills you need to have. They will enable you to be successful in this business. They include:
- Excellent organization skills
- Basic understanding and knowledge of Google dos and Microsoft office
- Great skills in writing, typing, and proofreading
- Broad thinker and creative
- Excellent time management
- Stellar communication skills, both vocal and in writing.
Steps on how to start a Virtual Assistant Business
- Come up with the business name
While using your name is the best means to keep things simple with your business. Coming up with a catchy name is also a great option to consider for your VA business. And if you choose to use a catchy identity, ensure it’s simple to read and pronounce. Avoid at all cost fancy names that are less easy on the eyes and seem quite confusing.
To spend less time in this step considering you have a business to start, you can brainstorm possible names. From the list of names you come up with, chose one that’s catchy and stands out as a business/brand name.
2. Obtain legal permit/license
And just like any other business, staying within the legal frame is important. In this case, you can choose to legalize your business with a license or permit. While doing this, it’s important to consider your country, city, or state laws when it comes to starting a business.
As you obtain the legal permit or license for operating your business, don’t forget to specify the kind of business entity you are running. Depending on your country, the best choice is LLC (limited liability Company). With this option, you are safe from lawsuits in case of anything.
3. Formulate a business plan
With your business legalized, it’s about time you come up with the proper structure on how you will run it. There is no need to elaborate and make it long. Please keep it simple and straight to the point.
To ensure you have the best effective plant, you can use the assistant of a Certified public accountant and a lawyer. With their help, your business plan will be professional and in conformity with paying taxes and legalities among other things. Within the plan ensure you include the services you are offering, contracts for your clients, how you’ll finance it, and its uniqueness.
4. Choose the services to offer
In general, virtual office assistants offer more than one service to their clients. Therefore, you don’t need to limit yourself to a particular service. Furthermore, this will make it easier for you to get more clients as compared to focusing on a single niche. That said; ensure your list of services covers a lot of ground. So, let’s have a look at some of the services you can offer:
- Research reports
- Document editing
- Post scheduling in social media
- Publication of blog content
- Online management of files
- Data entry and creation of power points
- Writing email auto-responders
- Scheduling or organizing your client’s calendar
- Email management
- Customer support
- Project management
And while choosing the service to offer to your clients. Ensure you have the skills and knowledge to deliver quality service if you want to maintain your client. That said; exercise both your hard and soft skills for best performance and excellent reviews. The hard skills are like those mentioned above. You get to learn more about them with time and develop expertise. While the soft skills are inborn talents, you might have in you. Some of them include:
- Team player
- Thrive under stress
- Great organization
- Meets deadline
- Consistency in quality service delivery
By combining the two skill sets, you will have the best selling point that will earn you more clients.
Set your rates
It’s very important to set a competitive rate. And while considering this, you should keep in mind the taxes and bills, among other liabilities. This is vital especially if this is going to be your full-time job.
Thus, as much you want to help your clients run their business successfully, know that you also have a business to build. So, consider various aspects before opting for a particular rate. This will enable you to design your business to work in your favour.
Develop effective marketing strategies
Marketing is among the major back born of your business when it comes to growth. Without proper and effective marketing, all your efforts will be in vain. Furthermore, marketing strategies create the difference between a successful and unsuccessful business.
To start, you need to determine your potential clients and where they are. You can try to do this through keyword research. It would be best if you found out which keywords your potential clients are using to search for VA services. And with the keywords at hand, incorporate them in all your marketing strategies to draw in potential clients.
But this can only be possible through a website. Your business needs a website you can use to draw in traffic from Google searches. It should be professional with a user-friendly interface. For marketing optimization, also include social media in your marketing campaign strategies.
Establish your business brand
Branding has a unique role in your business. It creates a sense of professionalism and trust between you and your potential clients. Let’s be sincere, between a VA with an online presence great reputation, and positive reviews and a VA with no reputation, or online presence, whom will you work with?
Yes, your guess is right.
Therefore, don’t rush into reaching out to clients if you have not branded yourself. Branding is all about what you are offering, insight on your business, and most importantly who you are. This information is what sets you apart from other VAs.
To start, consider simple branding techniques like creating a social media channel for your business. You can use Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest among other social media platforms.
And while doing this, avoid focus so much on marketing and branding your business. Try and build connections with your clients and thereafter utilize any opening to inform them about your VA services.
Find and Reach out to clients
At this point, you are through setting up your business. It may seem difficult but achievable. However, don’t let this stress you, everyone starts somewhere in business when it comes to the first clients. What’s more, you may have everything you need to find and reach out to your potential clients at this point.
If you have a ready social network through Instagram among others, you have a better chance of finding potential clients. Social media platforms give you access to not only the local market but also global clients. And that’s not all, there are other best places you can utilize to find and reach out to potential clients. They include:
- Email marketing campaigns
- Use LinkedIn to network
- Seeking referrals from people you know
- Canvassing remote assistant jobs
Employing any of these options or all of them creates a better chance of you getting a potential client. And while employing this technique, ensure they are striking and engaging to the audience. The last thing you want is to off-put clients your business needs.
Search online for VA jobs
Job boards are no secret anymore for those seeking clients to offer their online services. It is an excellent source of clients but with a broad range of different clients. To get new clients it’s essential to try out your luck on several resourceful sites such as:
Indeed.com – this is a general kind of Job board you can use to find and reach out to potential clients.
Flex Jobs – Now, this site is specifically for online jobs you can do at the comfort of your home. It covers a wide range of jobs with an endless number of clients seeking out virtual services at large. Furthermore, the jobs come with attractive pay that allows you to leave out low- offers that are not in your favour.
Virtual Vocations – this site is full of remote jobs, including those for VA. And just FlexJobs, there are also tons of options for VA jobs to get from this platform. All you have to do is search the specific niche you are interested in and you will find a perfect match for your expertise.
You should also open your profile at online marketplaces for freelance services like Fiverr or Upwork. There you can start offering your services and maybe, with a little twist if you’re creative enough, you can attract plenty of customers and start a really successful business.
Expand your skills
Do you need to expand your skills before or after starting your VA business? Well, you can do it either way. However, it’s much better to expand your skillset with an online course on virtual assistant before. This will enable you to succeed in this business faster.
At the same time, it’s never too late to start an online course after starting your VA business. This will sharpen your skills and improve your performance and success in this business. So, whichever way, you will still benefit.
At this point, are you ready to launch your business and become a Virtual Office Assistant? It is a great remote job you can invest in and benefit from the comfort of your home. If you can set it up and perform best in it, it’s a great full-time job you can really earn a lot of money from your home or anywhere with internet connections.
So, when you choose to dedicate your money and effort in it, ensure you deliver quality services and satisfy your clients. As you do this, you should also keep in mind the interest of your business. Meanwhile, sharpen your skills with time and improve your marketing skills. It’s important to watch out for competitors if you need to remain at the top and reap the most benefit.
From this guide, you should have the best account or platform to run your VA business. For further informations, you can get in touch with us.