First things first; congratulations! You have decided to set up your own virtual assistant company. Maybe you have had enough of the daily commute, maybe you have had a career break or maybe you just fancied a change; whatever the reasons are – welcome to the club!
So where do you start?
Sit down with a cup of tea in your favourite mug (perks of the new job!) and make a list of all of the things that you could offer as part of your virtual assistant service package. Remember, these are not all of the things that you will cover but you the options you currently have.
Once you have done that, prioritise your main ones. It can be tempting, when starting out, to try and offer everything to everyone. But don’t start on the slippery slope of spreading yourself too thinly. Do less really well rather than more, averagely. Your reputation as a VA will precede you. Do you want to be known as a jack of all trades or master of one (or a select few services in VA speak!). By the way, if part of your unique charm or ‘USP’ is that you really are a one stop shop for all things ‘Virtual Assistant’ then follow your own intuition on how exhaustive your list of services will be and consider seeking out an associate to offer services that you can’t, or get up-skilling with practical training courses. Don’t be tempted to offer a service and ‘wing-it’ – we’ve seen far too many horror stories from VAs and the businesses they support to recommend that!
While you’re still in brainstorm mode and possibly on your third cup of tea, have a think about your ideals. Who is your ‘ideal’ client? Where might you find them? How much would you ideally like to work in a week and when? How much income do you need in an ideal world (and as an absolute minimum!)? Jot all of these things down to formulate a business plan of sorts. Perhaps not one that you would take to the bank but one that will anchor you and remind you of your goals and motivation.
Once you’ve set out your business services and packages and potential customers, it’s worth thinking about how you’ll get your name out there into the big wide world (and what your name would be!). Consider what platforms you will use to reach people, whether industry peers or potential clients. Will you use social media channels or a website, face to face networking or a combination of everything? My recommendation is to try everything at first – different types of marketing and networking work for different people, so find what works best for you and your unique business.
Before you run away with enthusiasm and start pitching your brilliant services to prospective clients, remember to consider the legal side of working for yourself. Have you got watertight terms and conditions? Do you know what you need to know about GDPR and data protection and do you have systems in place to help ensure you meet these regulations? It is important to get all your documents and policies in order before you take over the world with your new virtual assistant company, otherwise, you might find yourself up the metaphorical creek without a VA paddle.
Setting up in business can be time consuming, energy consuming and mentally consuming. But remember that every step you take, however small, is one step closer to where you want to be. Consider finding a VA mentor who can help you make those ideals into realities. Write the lists, make the goals, prioritise and reward yourself along the way for making such a positive shift in your work/life balance. You can do this! And APVA is always here with advice and support if you need us!
Looking to start a professional and profitable VA business on your terms?
We’ve pulled together the best bits of our training (and added some A-MAY-ZING extras) to bring you the ultimate one-stop-shop starter package to see you plan, build launch and grow your VA business and get set for success!