Why Consider Being a Virtual Assistant
As more small businesses and entrepreneurs work remotely, there is a growing demand for Virtual Assistants. A Virtual Assistant (sometimes referred to as a “VA”) is an administrative professional who works from a virtual location.
Virtual Assistant Skills to Offer Your Client
The services you offer your clients can include creative, digital marketing, personal, and social media, and each of your clients will require different sets of skills from you. Here are some examples:
- Book reservations for airlines, hotels, rental cars, and restaurants
- Internet research
- Data entry
- Email and calendar management
- Content writing
- Creating complex spreadsheets, documents, or presentations
Niche clients may even offer on-the-job training giving you the specific skills they need. First, make a list of the skills you possess or are learning. Next, add them to your Virtual Assistant online profile if you have one.
Tips to Get Your VA Business Started
Here are some tips for getting your VA business off the ground.
Virtual Assistants are usually classified as independent contractors. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for paying your own taxes, health insurance, and other benefits. It’s important to save a portion of each paycheck for these necessities.
Choosing a name for your new business doesn’t always have to be catchy and fun, like “Girl Friday Virtual Assistants”. You can always use your own name to start with.
You will have to set your own rate by determining the list of the services you can offer separately or as a bundle and if you want to charge hourly, flat, or on a retainer. If you do some online research, it will help you by breaking it down better. Virtual Assistant trainers, The Virtual Savvy, offers a formula to use for calculating how much gross income is needed plus the billable hours per month, this results in your hourly rate.
After you and your client agree to the terms, create a contract for you both to sign. Keep the contact for your records as it will save you from any potential discrepancies or misunderstandings. The most popular forms of payment that clients will want to use are typically PayPal and Venmo. Familiarizing yourself and accepting these methods of payment is ideal. For invoices, make sure to create an accurate and easily understandable template. There are many free invoice templates you can download and use.Create a profile on free sites such as WordPress or LinkedIn, so that you can build your brand and network.
Virtual Assistants Add Value
The advantages to becoming a Virtual Assistant are you can be your own boss, set your own schedule, determine your wages, and work from anywhere in the world. The disadvantages are it can be difficult to get clients and start making money right away.
But don’t despair because companies know it is more lucrative for them to hire a Virtual Assistant since they can get the skills they don’t have in-house without paying for insurance and other benefits. A full-time VA provides a lot of value per dollar spent.
Once a job is complete and your client is satisfied, remember to ask for that referral because it can lead to more clients.
Get the Ball Rolling
To get started, professional guidance can give you that extra push. Search for “virtual assistant class” and you’ll find there are many successful Virtual Assistant professionals who offer free and paid courses. Before investing in a paid training, sign up for a free course to test the waters.
Social media is a great resource. Find and follow VAs on your favorite apps for tips. Build a relationship with them, and over time they may provide you with a referral. Networking with your peers and friends can lead to referrals as well.
Take the first couple of steps! Sign up for a free course, and start networking!