Virtual assisting is a growing trend that is quickly becoming popular with people who are looking to work independently at home. If you have administrative assistant skills, then this opportunity may be right for you.
There are some things you need to consider first before setting up your own virtual assistant business. Keep in mind that there’s a big difference between working a job and working for yourself. You will be taking on all the responsibility of setting up your business, marketing it, and getting paying clients.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1) Create a Business Plan
Okay, I can hear you groaning. Nobody likes the thought of writing out a long, detailed plan, but you do need something in writing that gives you an idea of what your business is all about.
The good news is that you can sketch out a short roadmap of your business in a few paragraphs. Just answer these questions:
What is the name of your business?
Why are you going into this business?
What is your business going to do for people?
What equipment and supplies do you need to start?
How much are you going to charge for your services?
How do you plan to get paid?
How many hours/days are you planning to work?
How are you going to market your business?
2) Do a Skills Assessment
Take out a notepad and write down all of your skills. List the strongest skills that you’ve acquired over the years as an administrative assistant. Like most people, you’re probably better at some things than others. Your strong skills are what you should focus on doing the most. Keep in mind that you don’t need any special virtual assistant training school or certification to go into business.
3) Present Yourself as a Professional
When you’re an employee you get used to seeing yourself as someone who works for someone else. As a self-employed virtual assistant, you are now considered a professional independent contractor. This is a concept that you must fully embrace in order to make yourself appealing to potential clients.
You’ll need a professional looking website (with a dot com URL), business cards and possibly some brochures to hand out. You should also look into joining professional virtual assistant organizations and your local chamber of commerce.
4) Get Comfortable with Promoting Your Business
As an employee, you never have to worry about where your work is coming from – it’s just always there.
As a business owner, you’ll have to seek out clients and let them know how your service can help them. Your success solely depends on how much effort you put into promoting and marketing your service business.
You are in this business to assist individuals and businesses with jobs that they are too busy to do themselves. Let them know how much time and money you’ll save them. Once you have them interested – always ask if they have a project in mind that you can help them with.
5) Charge What You’re Worth
Remember that you are in business to make a profit – not to work for peanuts. The average virtual assistant earns $25-70 per hour. Think about where you fall within this range. Never undercharge, thinking you’ll get more clients by being the cheapest. Clients expect to pay higher rates for top quality service. If you’re good, they’ll gladly pay your rate.