Starting your own virtual assistant (or VA) business is a great way to become an entrepreneur and be your own boss. If you have great organizational and time management skills, an administrative background, and love the idea of making life easier for your clients, a virtual assistant business might just be for you. As more and more people decide to hire a virtual assistant rather than take on another full-time employee, you should be able to find plenty of work. Here are six tips for starting your virtual assistant business:
Buy a Quality Telephone Headset
One of the first things you should do when starting your VA business is purchase a decent telephone headset. As a virtual assistant, you will be spending a ton of time on the phone, interviewing with potential clients, having organizational meetings, making travel arrangements for clients, etc. Without a good headset the sound quality of your calls will suffer, making you come across as less professional than you would like to and potentially frustrating your clients.
With a good headset, you will also have hands-free and bluetooth technology at your disposal, along with the ability to hold conference calls. For more information, consider websites like www.headsetplus.com.
Determine Your Business Structure
Determining your business structure has implications for everything from your taxes to your own personal financial liability should your business fail or get sued. Many virtual assistants start off as sole proprietors since this is the simplest business structure to set up and doesn't normally require paying fees to your state.
Later, as your business grows and you decide whether or not to begin hiring employees (such as other virtual assistants you can subcontract work to), you may want to transition to an LLC or other structure. If you have questions about this, it's a good idea to meet with a small business tax attorney.
Set Up Your Home Office
Having a dedicated, quiet space to work is important. If you don't have space for an entire home office just yet, you can start with a small desk and chair in a quiet part of your house. In addition to your new telephone headset, you will need a decent computer, a comfortable office chair, and a printer/scanner combo to start.
Create a Website and Logo
Creating a business and logo will help differentiate your business from that of other virtual assistants, let potential clients see your services and rates at a glance, and can even help potential clients find you in the first place if you utilize SEO practices.You can hire a web designer to build your website, or use one of these services for building your own, even with limited tech skills.
It's usually best to hire a graphic designer for your logo. Don't commit to a design until you're sure you love it, since your logo will go on everything from business cards to your business' social media pages.
Start Networking with Other Virtual Assistants
Networking is important, especially when you're first starting out. Other virtual assistants are excellent sources of advice, and might even send you clients when they are too busy to take on more work. You can look for a local meetup group for virtual assistants in your area, or join the Global Virtual Assistant Networking Organization.
Begin Marketing Your Services
Now that your business is set up and ready to go, it's time to find clients by marketing your services. You can create profiles under the administrative category of freelancing sites, post flyers and business cards in your own city, and place ads online and in the local newspaper. Don't forget to tell all your friends and family about your exciting new business as you never know where referrals will come from.
By following these tips, your new virtual assistant business will soon be up and running.
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