How to Set Up a Virtual Assistant Business and Make it Successful

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.

Start an Online Business and Stop Dreaming

Without spending a small fortune, here are a couple of ways you can start an online business. Remember, when it comes to building an online business, you can not play unless you get in the game.

1. One thing you can do to develop your own online business is to purchase an existing website or blog. Because they may not want to go through the problem of building the website and monetizing it with products this makes sense for many people.

This is also true with purchasing a blog. Today blog flipping is becoming a big business and it’s a great way for you to get an attractive blog with a platform such as Word Press.

For a couple hundred dollars, or less, you can have a domain name and your own blog set up and ready for you to start marketing. For people who do not want to learn HTML code, or the initial startup costs that come with an online business, it’s fast, and it’s a smart way to start an online business.

2. To search for information is one of the many reasons that people today go online. This presents a great free opportunity to start an online business.

You can join an affiliate program known as Clickbank.com and have access to thousands of digital information products in the matter of a few minutes. The interesting thing about this affiliate program is each digital product will be ready for you to market with your own affiliate website.

You will earn a commission each time you make a sale off of this website. Clickbank handles all of the details and sends you a check two times a month. Believe it or not there are people earning a full time living, and even getting rich, selling nothing but digital information products as a Clickbank affiliate.

One way to start an online business with this is to market your products using the pay per click business model. You can check out both Google AdWords, and Yahoo! Marketing, to determine which might be the best fit for the products you are wanting to market.

In summary by purchasing an existing website or blog, you can definitely stop dreaming and start an online business as an affiliate marketer. These are two ways that don’t cost a lot of money and can get you into Internet Marketing.

Small Business Tips – Market to Your Former Customers

Often times as a small business we find ourselves looking for new customers. One place that we generally fail to look is at our former customers.

We have already been successful in getting our name out in front of our them, motivated them into coming to us and they ended buying from us.

So why are we letting these people drift into the background of our marketing activities. These people are already qualified and know us so why aren’t we using them?

Marketing to your Former Customers

Keeping your name in front of these customers should be a prime part of your advertising efforts. It will cost less to sell to them and as long as we delivered as promised, they should be interested in us and our products or services.

Former Customers Are Less Expensive Than Finding A New Customer

If you haven’t already you need to figure out the cost of gaining a new customer. Add up the costs of advertising, special offers and staff time that you spend each month and divide that by the number of new customers that you generate. It will costs you much less to sell to your current and past customers

We Already Have Their Information

We don’t have to buy mail lists, try to get them to call on ads or anything else. We have already sold to them and should have collected their contact information. We can easily send an occasional e-mail or holiday card.

We Know What They Bought

We even know what they bought so it should be easy to design a special offer or item that they will find interesting.

They Can Be A Source Of Both Repeat Business And Referrals

One of the biggest values of former customers is not just repeat business, though that is important. The biggest value is the referrals that they can send to us.

But they won’t do that if they don’t remember us and they won’t remember us if we don’t keep in touch. Make sure that keeping in contact with your former customers is a key part of any advertising plan.

How To Invest and Make Money From Home

Learning how to invest and make money from home might apparently feel like a scam but it is really easy. All you need is a thorough research and clear financial goals to make the most of your investments. You need to understand that even the smallest investment comes with its own risks and as an investor you have to take risks to make steady gains. The higher the risks the greater the gains!

In this article, we will take a quick look at some of the essentials that you need to check prior to investing all your money.

Investor profile - This is probably the most neglected yet the most significant aspect that determines the failure or success of your investment. To invest and make money from home, you need to dig deeper into your investor profile. Knowledge about your investor profile will help you to find out the different types of investments that you can consider. Some of the important elements of your investor profile are the duration, returns, liquidity and risk. The duration will tell you about the time period you will like to invest for and the returns will let you know whether you want a fixed income or steady growth. Liquidity will tell you whether you will able to access your money easily or not and the risks will give you an idea of the risks involved in different types of investments.

Investment ways - There are a variety of investment ways open to you, so that you can invest and make money from home. For instance, you can invest through your bank for the term deposits or you can choose a sharebroker to invest in shares and bonds. At the same time you can even invest in properties through a real estate agent. Prior to investing with any of them, you should carry out your own research on the various types of investment markets.

Financial goals - You need to find out what exactly you want to achieve through your investment. You need to find out the time period for which you can afford to part away with your money and at the same time you have determine whether you are looking at an income or you want to see your funds grow over a period of time. All this will guide you in etching out the perfect investment strategy with an eye on accomplishing the financial goals that you have set.

Investment advisor - There are many companies as well as investment consultants who can guide you in making the right investment decision. In order to lower your investment risks, you need to hire a good investment advisor. An efficient advisor will tell you the right places to put your money in and all you have to do is pay up a small fee for their services. With an efficient investment advisor at your side you can easily invest and make money from home without any hassles.

How to Invest $100

If you’re like most people, you probably have little understanding of what it takes to properly select and manage investment opportunities. For many people the market can be a scary place, and understanding how best to assess the market and your place in it can be decidedly intimidating and discouraging.

Another consideration when contemplating an investment is that you don’t need a lot of money to get started investing. Although it would be great to invest with the bankroll of Warren Buffett or a Russian billionaire, you can watch your money begin to grow today by starting out with as little as $100. Before you can make a sound investment decision though, you need to understand a few market principles and how they relate to your investment strategy.

Fortunately, investing is not a privilege of sages and wise men, and the market is not a black box. Although there are certainly complicated and daunting aspects of financial market places, for the most part, you can make smart decisions and manage investments in various places with a little study and understanding of basic market principles.

It doesn’t take a Wall Street genius to understand that to make money you must sell any asset you have for more than you purchased it for. Unfortunately this means that to manage your investment properly you have to be able to determine when is the best time to enter the market for an asset and when it’s the best time to exit that market. This is a very difficult task and short of committing the crime of insider trading, you are left with relatively few reliable options for predicting when the market will be high or even when it will be low. While the best investment strategy is clearly to be able to see the future, the most realistic market strategy is to diversify your investment and not have to worry about individual up and down fluctuations of an often-wild market place.

Let’s speak next about that principle of diversification, as it’s truly one of the most important aspects of investing with little capital. The simplest way to explain it is to think about, proverbially speaking, putting all your eggs in one basket. Essentially, the logic goes that it would be unwise to put all of your investment capital into one asset or investment. If that investment were to turn south, and trust me, it’s guaranteed that at least a few of your investments will, then there goes all of your money to invest and create wealth with. Instead of putting all of your money into one asset, spread it around by selecting a fund with diversified goals.

Now that you understand a few market principles it’s time to allocate your $100 and make that money begin working for you. If you want to invest in stocks for example, invest your $100 in funds that track stock indices and go up or down depending on the composite performance of individual and varied listings in that fund. This will ensure that as each part of your fund rises and falls with the market, you will see a steady increase and won’t have to worry about sudden drops in certain markets or for certain products.

Hopefully you know a bit more about the scary world of investing now. With these tools you can invest safely and wisely to ensure that there is money for you going forward to do with whatever you please.