Starting a Virtual Assistant Business
Six Things to Think about when Establishing A Virtual Assistant (VA) Business
A Virtual Assistants (VA) job can give you the following:
- Job Satisfaction
- Work / Life Balance
- Variety of Work
- Diverse Mix of Clients
- Self Respect.
A lot of “Mums” decide they want to become a VA in order to have a mix of the reasons above – others decide they have had enough of the corporate world and want it to go alone. So, would you like to know more about establishing your own VA business? Here are Six things to think about.
So how do you start a VA Business – a lot depends on whether you can afford to go it alone or need to juggle your current career until you have enough clients or enough income to make it a full time job. The VA industry is a growing industry and I would strongly recommend lots of research before starting out. My advice would be to conduct research about:
- The industry
- Other VAs and the services they offer / prices they charge
- Determine your own skill sets and what you want to offer
- Identify your core values
- A potential client base
- Your financial position
This is all critical research before you even think about what type of business structure you want to be. Sole Trader or Limited Company and before you even think about business names, websites etc.
To set yourself up as a VA, does not require a professional qualification, although depending on some of the services you want to offer, you might actually need to have some appropriate qualifications. However, there are a number of Training Providers who offered training and I personally would recommend following one of the UK based courses. The Training Providers will help you work through sample contracts, pricing, networking, PR, niche markets, social media and the list goes on.
3. Business Name
Naming a business isn’t generally that easy, although initially I thought it would be. Below are some things to think about are:
- What is your target market?
- Does someone already own that name – check Companies House?
- Does the name indicate what you do?
- Is the name easy to spell? Make sure the name isn’t obscure / a misspelling of a common word or too complicated.
- Can the name grow with your business?
4. Websites / Domain Names and Hosting
A website can cost as little as £0 to £1,000’s – it really depends what your initial budget is, your target market and how/why you want a website. I have known some VA’s launch their business just through free social media such as Twitter and Facebook and their websites have come much later. You need to consider what you want your domain name to be, an exact replica of your business name or something that links to your business name. Don’t rush this element, take lots of advice.
When designing your website, think about your content and the information you will share with your visitors. The best advice I was given, was look at competitors websites, write a list of what you like and more importantly write a list of what you don’t like. This helps you write a brief for your Web Designers.
5. Social Media
Start building a presence on Social Media, use social media to build relationships and raise awareness of your brand but don’t use it to sell! It took me awhile to understand what it was all about, and for Twitter to learn to talk in 140 characters or less and more importantly why I should be on it. However, now I love Social Media. The main advice I can give you, is be yourself and be social.
6. Let People Know What Your are Doing – Go Networking
Clients will not just appear, finding clients is the hardest element and sometimes the scariest element of establishing a VA business. You need to let people know you are available and what services you are offering. It is not enough to say “I am a Virtual Assistant (or a VA)”, as many people have never heard of one! What you mustn’t do though is go out and sell. No-one likes to be sold to. So talk to people and look for opportunities both on and offline for networking. Show interest in the people you are networking with and find out who they are and what they do.
Your Executive Secretary Limited, a Virtual Assistant (VA) Business, was established in 2012 by Amanda Johnson on her retirement from the Royal Navy. Amanda has over 22 years administration experience and Your Executive Secretary, based in Ferndown, Dorset provides a VA (freelance PA) and business administration services for small to medium sized companies as well as to sole traders or individuals; enabling them to maximise their potential and business opportunities. Services provided, can be categorised into four main headings; PA, Business Administration, Event Planning and Management and Administration Consultancy – however, the list of actual services is endless.