Virtual assistants provide valuable services to many solo professionals. Are you a stay at home mom looking for a way to be a work at home mom so you can be with your children and contribute to the household budget? You may have what it takes to a virtual assistant (VA).
Before deciding to set up a business as a virtual assistant you should do your research to determine if this is the career for you. There is a lot of information on the VA industry and what it takes to be a VA. This article won’t cover every detail. The purpose of this article is to give you some basic information so you can begin the journey of discovering whether becoming is VA is right for you.
There are 3 basic factors to consider:
- Do you enjoy working independently and taking the initiative? For the most part a VA works alone. If you are used to working with other people, this could be a challenge for you. Also, your clients will expect you to take the initiative, coming up with ways you can help them in their business.
- Do you have the necessary skills and equipment? If you’ve had experience as an administrative assistant, you most likely have the skills needed to get started. But you may need to take some time to add to your skill set by taking some local community college business courses or online courses specific to the skill set you intend to offer to your clients. You’ll need to have a reliable computer, internet access, basic software programs and a telephone, at minimum.
- Do you understand what it takes to run a business? When you decide to become a virtual assistant, you are also choosing to be a business owner. Have you put in place what it takes to run a business?
Here are just a few things to consider:
ü Business license
ü Business name
ü Business plan
ü Marketing plan
ü Bookkeeping – invoicing and collecting payments
ü Rates you’ll charge
ü Hours you’ll be available
ü Services you’ll offer
Once you’ve determined that you would like to pursue becoming a VA, join one of the VA online communities. I recommend FindVirtual.com where you’ll find many friendly, helpful virtual assistants and resources to continue your research.
Contact some of the more experienced Vas and ask them if they’d be willing to spend 30 minutes of their time talking to you about how they got started. You might ask these questions:
- Why did you choose to become a VA?
- What’s your greatest challenge?
- What does a typical day look like for you?
- If you could start over, what one thing would you do differently?
- What’s the best piece of advice you can give someone hoping to become a VA?
Look for free or low-cost teleclasses you can take to learn more about the VA industry. Subscribe to other virtual assistant’s newsletters. Find a VA coach who offers a free 30-minute coaching session. Read books about the industry. Several can be found at Amazon.com. Find a local VA meetup or an online meetup at Meetup.com.
Another option could be to do sub-contracting as a VA. There are multi-VA firms you can contact who are looking for sub-contractors for specific tasks. This can be a good way to get experience and help you decide if this is really the career you want to pursue.
Is the VA career for you? It may be if you enjoy working independently and taking the initiative, have the skills and equipment, and know what it takes to run a business. Do your research! Join VA online communities, talk with experience virtual assistants, take some teleclasses, read books, contact a VA coach. Begin your journey to becoming a virtual assistant.