You are organized if you are. Love to help others and work remotely. You might consider becoming start a business virtual assistant. This can be a great solution for entrepreneurs and small businesses. You can work wherever you want and the businesses you help get the support they need.
This guide will help you learn everything you need about starting a virtual assistant company or learning more about this flexible career option.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is sometimes called a VA, administrative freelancer. A contractor who was hired to perform administrative tasks for a small business. A virtual assistant is the “virtual”, as it comes from the fact virtual assistants can work remotely rather than in an office. This allows them to work anywhere, whether it’s in a different country or state. They can also manage as many clients as they want.
Virtual assistant roles are highly customizable. It all depends on your skills and what services you wish to offer, the time you wish to work, and where you would like to work. Virtual assistants are highly competitive because of their flexibility.
You don’t need any prior experience to start a virtual assistant company. To be successful in this field, however, you’ll need to have a track record of project management, organization, and communication. These skills are common in traditional office workers’ day-to-day work, so you won’t likely need any specialized training to start your virtual assistant business.
Services offered by virtual assistants
Virtual assistants have many services and specialties that they can offer. This is one of the many advantages of virtual work. Virtual assistants often start with administrative tasks but find their niche later.
Although you can do everything as a virtual assistant you may find it easier to market your skills if there are only two or three niches that you specialize in.
Virtual assistants often start out by providing general administrative services. This could include:
- Email management.
- Schedule management and calendar management.
- Contact customer service by phone or email.
- Bookkeeping, accounting, and invoicing
Virtual assistants can specialize in marketing skills for business, such as:
- Content creation and blog writing.
- Sending and drafting email newsletters.
- Video editing.
- Tracking sales.
- Facebook ads
- Management of social media.
- Management of the community.
- SEO services.
- Maintaining and updating the editorial calendar.
- Social media graphics creation
- Management of affiliates
- Other branding services
- Press releases to distribute
Based on your experience and skills, you may be able to offer specialized services such as virtual assistants.
- Graphic design.
- Design and maintenance of websites.
- Set up a webinar.
- Data entry.
How to Start a virtual assistant Business in 6 steps
These skills and services may appeal to you. Read on to learn how to create a virtual assistant business of your own.
1. Choose your niche and services
When you start a virtual assistant business, the first thing you should do is decide what kind of services you want to offer. Although you can do many things as a virtual assistant it is possible to choose a niche that reflects your skills and experience.
Virtual assistants are usually familiar with the basics of office management, such as scheduling, emailing, and customer support.
Virtual assistants may also market themselves to industries in which they have previous experience. You might decide to market yourself to construction companies if you have experience in that industry.
Also read: How to Choose the Perfect Startup Niche
2. Create a business plan
one of the most important steps creates a business plan is in starting a business. This document will allow you to discover the market demand for your type of business by taking the time to create it. What your competition is doing, who they are and what services you will offer, and how much you charge. How much capital you will need to start, how soon you can expect to make a profit, and more.
It’s like this: Your business plan (at a minimum) is a contract between you and yourself. If you intend to get funding or partner with a business, you will likely need to share your business plan. You can also write your plans there. Your business goals, and even your dreams, should be based on research and facts. A business plan is a tool that you can use to keep track of your progress and hold yourself accountable for your business.
Your business plan is a kind of roadmap. Your business will be a success and we can help you keep it on track for the crucial first months and years. This is not a one-time task. You can revisit your business plan and make changes as your goals change.
3. Register and name your business
Next, you need to start your virtual assistant business to choose a name for your business to create your entity.
You want your business name to reflect you. This describes your business while being easy to remember and pronounce to ensure that the name you are looking for isn’t already being used, you can search your secretary of state’s site for business names.
You will need to decide on the right business entity for you at this point. There are three main types of business entities: sole proprietorship, LLC, and corporation. Every type of business comes with its advantages and disadvantages. You’ll need to carefully consider your options as your choice of business entity will impact how taxed you are, your personal liability, and many other factors.
To ensure you are weighing all options and selecting the right one for your virtual assistant company, we recommend speaking to a business lawyer. After you have made your decision, you can register the business in the state you plan to locate it.
4. Invest in the tools and methods of trade
Once you have a clear idea of how your business will look, it is time to start planning. Have created a plan of how you will build it. It’s time for you to start the actual operation of your business.
It’s easy to set up a virtual assistant company. There are two main things. You absolutely must have a computer with calling capabilities and stable WiFi to start a virtual assistant business. You might also want to consider additional tools such as:
Business management tools
These tools don’t have to be used to start your virtual assistant company, but they are useful additions to your toolbox as your business grows.
- Time tracking: Virtual assistants often charge by the hour. A time tracking tool is useful if you work with multiple clients or on multiple projects. It will help you keep track of everything so that you can determine what you should charge each client.
- Invoicing and accounting: This tool can also be useful for running your virtual assistant business efficiently. This will make it easier to track your income and expenses, and also bill your clients, and track when you have been paid.
- Project management: You can use project management tools such as Trello and Evernote to keep track of all your clients and the tasks that you have to complete. This will allow you to stay on top both of your own schedule and those of your clients.
If you don’t have any clients lined up, you will need marketing materials to promote your new business. Although they don’t have to be expensive, these marketing tools can make a big difference in your company’s success. These are just a few of the many options available:
- Website for the business: A professional-looking website is one of the best ways you can show that your virtual assistant company is legitimate. You can build a website using many inexpensive and free tools. Include your contact information, skills, and experience.
- Social media: This is another way to make your business credible. LinkedIn is the best platform for virtual assistant businesses. Start creating a profile for yourself and sharing industry news, joining discussions, and much more to help get your business in front of potential clients.
- Business cards: Although they are a bit more traditional business cards can still be a great way for your business to get the word out about them. It’s possible to meet potential clients or people who know potential clients. Having a business card is a great way to spread the word about your business, no matter if you’re at a networking event.
5. How to price your services
You have many options for pricing your virtual assistant services. However, you need to decide on pricing before accepting clients. This will ensure that you and your client know what to expect.
Do some research on other virtual assistant companies to determine what they charge, and then set your price accordingly. These are some pricing options to consider. (Remember, these prices are not market rates.
- Hourly rate: This is the easiest way to price your product when you first start as a virtual assistant. The hourly rate is the amount you want to be paid for your work, and then you bill according. This is where time-tracking software can really help.
- Hourly packages: This is another way to charge your time. You can offer a 10-hour package at a slight discount of $925 if your hourly rate for work is $100. You get the entire amount upfront when you offer an hourly package with a discount.
- Service packages: This is another way to bundle your time. For those who are just starting out in virtual assistant, this pricing structure can be more complex because you don’t know the time it will take to complete a task. A service package could be a monthly bookkeeping service for which you charge $1,200 per month. The amount you make will not be affected by how many hours you spend on this task.
- Monthly retainer: A monthly retainer is a favorite option for virtual assistants. The monthly retainer is an upfront payment that the client and virtual assistant agree upon. This amount is paid every month, regardless of how much work you do. For calendar scheduling, a virtual assistant may receive a $1,500 monthly retainer. This will give you a steady source of income and ensure your client receives the assistance they require.
- Flat fee for one-time: Virtual assistants can sometimes be hired to perform a particular task. You will provide a bid to the client for a flat fee. For example, you could help them set up and conduct a webinar for $2,000
6. Create a contract
A contract is required before you can start working with a client. The contract is a binding agreement between you, and the client. This contract clearly defines the work for which you are being hired. Include the tasks and duration of your work; the terms for payment. This includes your pricing structure, your status as a contractor, and many other details. It is important to allow your client to review the documents.
Before you agree to it, sign the contract. Make sure that both parties have signed it. You should take ed before starting work to ensure that you get paid properly. To get you started, there are many examples online of virtual assistant contracts. Also, ensure that your client has sent you the correct tax forms. If you prefer ACH deposits, you can also get any paperwork.
Pros and cons of starting a virtual assistant business
You can evaluate the pros and cons of starting a virtual assistant business to help you decide if it is right for you. You might also consider the pros and cons of outsourcing virtual labor. It is important to understand both sides of the story in order to make an informed decision.
Let’s begin with the benefits.
1. Low overhead costs
The low startup and overhead costs of starting a virtual assistant business are major advantages. Virtual assistants require only a computer with WiFi. These are resources that most people have. You’re now ready to start your business.
2. No formal education is needed
Virtual assistants don’t require any special education. The majority of skills required to become a virtual assistant can be learned from the daily routine of a traditional office employer or in everyday life.
3. Customizable schedule
Being a virtual assistant is a great way to manage your own schedule. Although clients may expect you to work during the 9-to-5 hours, it is possible to work remotely with clients who have more flexible schedules or work from home.
Let’s not forget the downsides of this business.
1. Finding client
Although this is not a problem when you start a virtual assistant business, it can be a challenge. If you don’t have any clients from your previous jobs, it could be hard to find the first clients. You will need to hustle while you build your network and experience. Once you have landed your first clients and provided quality services, it will become easier to find other people to work for.
2. Keep up-to-date with the latest technology
This could be a benefit or a disadvantage depending on your interests and background. You will still need to be up-to-date with the latest operating systems and tools. For example, your clients might use different email or calendar systems. To be a successful virtual assistant, you will need to be able to seamlessly work in each of them.
3. Unsteady income
You won’t get a steady paycheck every week with a freelance or contract job, just like you wouldn’t with a salaried position. Even if you have a large client list, your contract might only last for a few weeks to months. Then you will need to find a new job. You can keep track of when your contracts end and when you need to reach out to new clients. This is a good thing because the organization is in your blood.