The virtual assistant business is one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide. It attracts numerous around the globe entrepreneurs who want to be part of it.
Many ultra-busy professionals appreciate having someone who can check and answer their emails, organize to-do lists for them, update calendars, and so on, with minimal interaction.
Advancements in cloud technology and the increased implementation of cloud services in business have made it easier than ever for people to work remotely. Thus the virtual assistant market is growing.
The George Washington University states:
“…the virtual assisting industry is growing rapidly and is expected to be a $130 billion industry.”
As a startup goes for an assessment like what skill do you have to offer as a virtual assistant, any additional virtual assistant training you need, what are your strength and weakness, who will be your target audience, how will you identify your niche, and what benefit you will be going to offer them.
One can initiate this business from location and on a self-employment basis. Otherwise, you can initiate this venture by setting up a professional organization.
To start a virtual assistant business all you really need is a laptop, a phone line, and an internet connection. Having a personal website will be an added advantage as it will help you to present your service portfolio to the client.
Steps in Starting Virtual Assistant Business
Starting a virtual assistant business is not difficult. Basically, anyone can do it. However to be a successful virtual assistant you will need desire, huge motivation, constant commitment, good planning, and plenty of perseverance.
More and more people prefer the virtual assistant business instead of working as salaried individuals.
1. Choose your Niche
There are plenty of services that can be provided as a virtual assistant. As a virtual assistant, you can provide services like website maintenance, blog writing, emailing, project management, customer support, sales, marketing, ebook writing, data analysis, etc. Choose the one as per your expertise.
As Gina Horkey puts it – The best, quickest way to start a successful virtual assistant business is about to get even better. You can check her blog for more resources.
2. Create a Business Plan
Irrespective of working as an individual or as an organization, you must have your own business plan. The business plan must include what services you are offering, the pricing of services, the structure of the organization, financial, and marketing strategies. The plan is critical because you will be earning from leveraging your or working time hours.
3. Name your Virtual Assistant Business
If you are aiming for making serious money out of the virtual assistant business, naming your business is an extremely critical aspect. Choosing a relevant name for your business will go a long way in making the venture successful.
4. Choose a Proper Business Structure
If you are a beginner with a low budget, starting your venture as a sole proprietorship is a popular choice. However, it has its limitations too. Your personal assets are at risk and you are entirely liable for any financial loss. If you want to play safe, choosing LLC is a better choice as it safeguards your personal assets if you land in legal problems.
5. Make the Business Legally Compliant
After receiving the necessary documents, check whether you need to apply for a business license or any other permits or licenses. Every state has different regulations. Don’t forget to open a business bank account.
6. Fix your Rate
When starting a virtual assistant business, you need to decide how much you are going to charge for your services. There is no such industry standard and commonly pure administrative tasks are at the lower end of the scale while services like website design, content writing are at the higher end.
As per the specific requirement of your client, you will need to furnish the quotation.
6. Virtual Assistant Services
Below we list down some of the popular virtual assistant services that most clients look forward to.
- Data entry Services
- Basic bookkeeping Services
- Data mining / online research
- Minute taking & Typing up notes
- Video creation/editing/uploading
- Social media set up/maintenance/content research/scheduling
- Facebook, Twitter, or Google ads – creating, monitoring, and analyzing
- Setting up/managing webinars and podcasts
- Setting up LinkedIn groups
- Photoshop Jobs
- Transcription Services
- Marketing – creating sales pages/squeeze pages/pop up email boxes
- Event coordination – venue finding and confirmation/collating attendees and documents/on-site support
- Collecting outstanding invoices
- Gmail set up & Email management
- Writing/editing/formatting reports and presentations
- Blog set up/writing/SEO/editing/scheduling
- Newsletter set up/writing/autoresponders/editing/maintenance/scheduling
- eBook editing/formatting/publishing
- Designing/formatting infographics, logos, banners, social media profile images
- Website Designing
- Sales Consulting
7. Identify your Target Audience
Identifying your customer segment is a critical decision you need to make in the starting phase of the business. It is in general, getting customers initially is a tough ask. Define your customer audience as per your skills.
Make a list of potential customers. Register yourself with online marketplaces and look for opportunities. If needed, fix your price at the lower end initially to get more customers. You can increase your rate at an appropriate time.
8. Promote your Virtual Assistant Business
You also need to spend time and create your marketing plan. Do you know someone who needs virtual assistant services? List them. Make a plan on how to approach them. Additionally, you can also create a profile of your services on online freelance job sites.
As a VA and as a business owner, always remember you need to be spot on client needs. Keep your marketing elegant and professional and your service delivery friendly and accurate.
Meeting the responsibility in time with quality work is crucial in getting success in the virtual assistant business. It is important to keep the momentum and drive your business forward. Become resourceful and keep your client happy.
Enjoy the journey and keep your new small virtual assistant business to start an amazing experience for yourself.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their business. Our aim is to educate the entrepreneur on the various stages of entrepreneurship.