There’s more and more people starting their own Online business today and it will continue to grow exponentially.
This means that there’s also more of a need for competent virtual assistants to help and support these busy Online business owners. So starting a virtual assistant business today can only help fill an ever-increasing demand.
Which is great news for you!
Your Skills & Background
First you need to look at your background and what skills you have acquired over the years. Have you got secretarial skills? P.A. skills? Clerical? Administration? Customer service? If so, write down exactly what you can do.
Here are some examples to get you going:
- Transcription Typing
- Medical Secretary
- Legal Secretary
- Accountancy Secretary
- Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Publisher
- Data Entry
- Customer Service
- Diary Keeping
- Systems Management
- Team Management
- Event Planning (e.g. conferences)
SideNote: Grab your free copy of 150+ virtual assistant services that you can offer today.
Defining Your Target Market
Now you have your list of skills, you want to fit them around a target market. What type of small business or individual business owner uses your skills? Where are your skills best suited?
You should have a pretty good idea of your niche market anyway depending on who you worked for in the past.
Setting Your Pricing
Virtual assistants tend to charge by the hourly rate. Here is the UK, the norm seems to be from £15.00-£25.00 per hour depending on your level of expertise. Don’t be put off by people telling you that you’re too expensive.
If they want a quality, reliable service then they are going to have to pay for it – stick to your guns, you’re worth it!
If people do question you about your rates, gently remind them how much they are saving by not employing a permanent secretary or even hiring one from a recruitment agency who would have to come into their office anyway – do they have the equipment to house a temporary secretary?
Not every service suits an hourly rate. For an example if you want to be a virtual typist, then this isn’t necessarily an hourly rate. Audio can be charge per minute and copy typing per thousand words etc.. Just use your judgement when taking on individual jobs.
Building Your Online Presence
You need an Online presence and a website is mandatory. It doesn’t have to be huge and complicated, a small simple website is all that is needed to let your prospects know what services you offer, your rates of pay and how to contact you.
You must have your own domain name and website hosted on a reliable web host such as SiteGround (I use this and the customer service is exceptional!)
You can also buy a cheap domain name at SiteGround and then use the free WordPress installation inside to build you website. I would also recommend using a Divi Website Theme, specifically tailored for WordPress users.
Marketing & Advertising Your Services
You need to submit your website to all the right places such as Online directories, VA directories, and business services offered directories – this is just a general marketing strategy for any type of VA service.
However, it does depend on who your target market (niche) is as to where you find your clients.
For example, if you were going to do transcription typing for Internet marketers (transcribing webinars, interviews, podcasts etc.) then you will have to find where they hang out Online and contact them there.
Think where your niche clients work and then target your advertising and marketing there.
As with any small business, you need to keep up with all the legal aspects of running a business, even from home. Don’t forget to register with the Inland Revenue (IRS in US), set up a business bank account and get adequate business insurance.
Starting a virtual assistant business isn’t expensive or difficult, you just need to be organised and adapt your own skills to that of the market-place in which you want to service. You’ll be happy by becoming a virtual assistant doing the jobs you love, and your clients will be happy because they have a VA who not only loves her work, but provides an efficient and professional service, once again its win-win!
If you feel that becoming a virtual assistant and working from home is a good fit for you, then…
#1 Grab your free copy of 150+ virtual assistant services that you can offer today
#2 Get these free resources on how to become a virtual assistant:
1. ACCESS: The Virtual Assistant Networking Forum #VAforum
2. VIDEO: How to Become a VA Plus Top 10 Resources by Tawnya Sutherland
3. EBOOK: Kick Start Your VA Business
4. CHECKLIST: Virtual Assistant Start Up PLUS Module 2 of VAC: Why Get Started in Business
5. VIDEO: Setting Your Price, Getting Paid & Making it Legal by Tawnya Sutherland
6. WORKSHEET: The Hourly Pricing FORMULA
7. CONTRACT: Independent Contractor Agreement (Word .doc)
8. GRAPHICS: Images for Social Media Marketing
9. EBOOK: Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing (& Video)
10. VIP LIST: Notification of FREE Training Webinars & Market Leading News in the Virtual Assistant Industry.