Doing Google searches and gathering advice from multiple business coaches can be overwhelming when starting your business. Establishing your business, the services you are going to offer, marketing, onboarding clients, software, and don’t forget about setting up a process to get paid!
There’s so much to do so where do you start?
Here are the 7 steps you need to take to avoid the overwhelm and start a successful virtual assistant business today!
- Translating your pre-existing skills into a successful Virtual Assistant business
The fastest way to get your VA business off the ground is to assess your work experience and offer services that you already have experience in. Learning new skills and practicing them until you feel comfortable can take time so narrowing your services down to pre-existing skills will help you fasttrack your business.
What types of skills can you offer a small business owner? Are you super organized and great at checking things off your to-do list? Becoming a general administrative VA might be right up your alley. I used to work in corporate advertising before becoming a VA so I started doing Facebook ads and social media marketing. You will gain new skills as you work with clients so these skills will give you that initial boost until then.
- Getting paid
It’s important to figure out how you will get paid once you get that first client. Remember, this is your business so payment is up to you. When you first start out I recommend an hourly rate because you don’t know how long tasks will take you yet and you don’t want to undercharge for a project or task.
Once you get more experience and focus on a specific service, you can create service packages because you know how much time goes into those services.
The average hourly rate can vary but as you advance, get great reviews under your belt, and gain new skills to add to your service list you can raise that rate as you please!
- The tools every successful Virtual Assistant needs in the their toolbox
The one thing I found so helpful when I first started was the endless supply of amazing and free online business tools. From time tracking to invoicing to project management there are so many tools available. Some of my favorites are Canva, Asana, Later and Google Suite.
Free tools create low overhead costs which are ideal for startup businesses. Once your business begins to grow and you need more complex software with bells and whistles you can move to paid versions, but for now these free tools will get the job done.
- Setting up your online presence
If you are starting your VA business you will most likely be working with a lot of online small business owners so it’s important to establish your presence online. Now this does not mean you need to go and pay for a 6 page website but it is a good idea to create a landing page that you can send potential clients to. This will show that you are established and the services you offer are legit. Getting your social channels started is also a great idea. Post content about the services you offer and to whom, and don’t be afraid to tell a little about yourself. People love to know the person behind the brand.
- Launching your business
No one will know you are in business unless you tell them. It’s important to launch your business and tell people about it. I know that this can be hard for many as it was for me. I was so scared to tell anyone about my business because I was scared about what would happen if I didn’t get any clients.
Let me let you in on a secret…
Your personal network will be supportive. I can almost guarantee it and you will most likely get your first clients by just emailing your family and friends and letting them know about your new business. That is how I started. I had a friend with a mom that needed help with social media and another friend who had clients that needed help with social media as well. I was so thankful for those referrals and vouches of confidence.
- Perfecting your client journey
Client onboarding is so important and I think it is often overlooked. It’s important to think through what you will do once you get a client. Now don’t feel pressure to have it perfect in the beginning, but it’s a good idea to know the steps you will take after you get your contract signed. I recommend setting up a kickoff call.
In that call you can go through expectations, anything you need to get started and estimated timing. Creating checklists of your process from start to finish can be helpful in staying consistent and also help you to fill gaps in your process where needed.
- Retaining clients
It can be so easy to get lost in the adrenaline of sending invoices to get paid and move on to the next, but keep in mind that your current clients are the best referral partners. Service them to the best of your ability and they will treat you well. I am so thankful for all the clients that referred me to other dream clients along the way. Honestly, I owe my business to them because with each new client my services got better and better.
If you want all of the building blocks, tips, and strategies to building a successful virtual assistant business, make sure to check out my self-paced Fast Track Your VA Business course!