In this write-up, we will be looking at how to start and profit from a virtual assistant business. We will be providing a detailed guide and all required information to enable you successfully start and profit from virtual assistant business.
Just some few months ago, when we were are gladly and happily saying happy new year to each other, none of us, maybe probably a few people, knew that the year 2020, will become such a year that many of us will never forget in a hurry.
The year took the world by storm with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, which though has gradually reached its peak, and has started gradually declining, but its impact on our well -being and world view, is something that will live with us for the rest of our lives.
The greatest impact, or perhaps the advantage of the pandemic is that it has forever changed the way we do business and relate with each other. One of the greatest opportunities as brought about by the pandemic is the ease with which we can now easily and professionally work from home, as remote working as they call it.
Virtual assistant business, though not new, as it was said to have started in the 1990’s, but has now taken a new front burner position, as a high percentage of people now work remotely because of the pandemic. It will not be out of place to state that the growth of virtual assistant business can be attributed to the affordability of technology and the increase of solo entrepreneurs, which by implication, means that new virtual support staff are now needed to meet up with these growing needs.
So let us cut straight to the chase.
Why you should start a virtual assistant business
There are many reasons why you should decide now and start a virtual assistant business:
• Aside from the profit motive, it is very fast and cheap to start, particularly if you have the skills, equipment, and software to do the work.
• Besides the skills, there are no specific education or licenses needed to start.
• You will be in a position to decide on the services and the industry on which your business will be based.
• By been your own boss, you create your own schedule. As you simply decide the times you want to work and find clients whose requests fit into your timing.
There is no doubt that there are lots of prospects for you, if you decide to start and profit from virtual assistant business. The areas in which you can offer services as a virtual assistant are in exhaustive, but the following will serve as a guide, with regards to areas you can consider and get started immediately.
Here is a list of the most common services you can offer as a virtual assistant:
1. Email Management
2. Calendar Management
3. Customer Service (email or phone)
4. Content Creation (blog posts)
5. Email Newsletters
6. Video Editing
7. Sales Funnels
8. Facebook Ads
9. Graphic Design
10. Web Design
11. Custom Sales Page Creation
12. Social Media Management
13. Community Management
14. SEO Services
15. Webinar Setup and Assistance
18. Data Entry
19. Billing and/or Processes
20. Internet Research
21. Responding to Blog Comments
22. Maintaining an Editorial Calendar
24. Social Media Graphics
25. EBook Content and Design
26. Accounting and/or Bookkeeping
27. Affiliate Management
28. Branding Services
29. PR / Press Releases
Key steps you must take to start your virtual assistant business
1. Choose a name for your Business.
There is nothing wrong with using your own name, but it is advised that you do this professionally, hence don’t just settle with your own name, but rather, simply get a name for your virtual assistant business. It does not have to be anything fancy or catchy, but it should be a name people can easily remember or pronounce. The keyword here is get a name people can easily search for and not something that will be a turn off, either because it is too long or confusing.
2. Decide On Your Services & Rates
Though we have provided you with a very long list of the services you can render as a virtual assistant, it will not be very wise for you to start rendering all of the services from the beginning. You can start with a few, hire more hands as you scale up, then incorporate more services. So the first question, while starting out is? What are you good at? Are there any specific services that you will be very comfortable offering? Use the answers as a guide, then start from there. For instance, you can start offering social media services, blog management services and scale up to include project management.
When it comes to how much you will charge for your services, you have to do a little research to find out about the prevailing rates in the services you have chosen. Generally, some virtual assistants charge between $15-$20 per hour. It all depends on the services you are providing and the competition. Whatever rate you decide to charge your clients, always remember your overhead cost, taxes, etc., and find a way to factor them into your final rates.
3. Make your virtual business legal
Every country or state or city have their own requirements for running a business. It is advised to check with authorities to find out if you will need a license to start your new virtual assistant business. So if your virtual assistant business name is different from the name you chose from step 1 above, it is then important that you get the name registered. If you decide to register the business, please seek professional advice from lawyers for instance, on how you want to structure the business, as the right business structure will help with taxes, legalities, etc.
4. Develop a Business Plan
A wise man once said that failing to plan is akin to failure. You don’t necessarily need a Harvard vetted business plan to start your virtual assistant business. A simple document detailing your services, contracts you will give to clients, how services will be paid for, what makes you stand out from other virtual assistant businesses will suffice as a business plan.
5. What is your Marketing Strategy?
How do you intend to reach out to new clients? Will you be using paid traffic? Social media? Blog posts? Email marketing? Word of mouth/mouse? Forums? You have to simply figure out the best way to reach out and acquire new clients for your business.
6. Reach Out To Your Network
Each one of us have their networks, some may be large and others small. So you have to reach out to your existing network. They may not necessarily fall within the niche of the services you provide, but you never can tell if any introductions may come from there, and with your first client, it will become easier getting more clients, as you now have a reference point of a satisfied customer.
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7. Advertise Your Virtual Assistant Business
It is pretty tough getting your first client. But you can simplify the process by using paid advertising to get your first clients. You can also create a very impressive profile/portfolio on your website, post your services on social media, write a blog post about your services, do a YouTube video, etc. simply use every medium possible to get your first clients.
8. Satisfy and Keep Your Clients
When you eventually start getting clients, please ensure that you go above and beyond to satisfy and keep them happy at all times. The key to virtual assistant business speedy growth is recommendations. So which client will recommend your services if you don’t deliver on time? Or if you do a very shabby work? One of the easiest ways to keep your clients happy is to always communicate with them. If there is any reason why a task will not be completed within schedule, let the clients know, as they will always appreciate this and be more willing to work with you in the future.
9. Ask For Referrals & Testimonials
Once you deliver a task to the satisfaction of a client, ask them for referrals and testimonials. Do not be afraid to ask for this. One of the ways to go about it is to ask them to put a testimonial on your site or social media. You can also record a video of them stating all that you have helped with. Don’t also forget to ask them to refer you to everyone in their network.
10. Use the Right Tools
It is common knowledge that an axe with blunt edges will require more and more strength to cut down a tree. In like manner, why will you venture into a technology-driven space with the wrong or limited tools?
So to run a successful virtual assistant business, you will need accounting tools, task management tools, amongst others. As much as you can, also try to take courses where possible to brush up your skills, and getting a mentor will not be a bad decision to take.
So are you sure you want to be a virtual assistant business owner?
Now that you have decided to become a virtual business owner, it is important to note that working as a virtual business owner, may give you the flexibility of being your own boss, controlling your time or working from home, in your car, coffee shop, or anywhere else, you should bear in mind that there will be some initial set up cost and working solely on the computer will become lonely sometimes and you will also have some bad clients to deal with.
No matter how beautifully written this guide is, if you are not willing to take any actions, it will make little or no difference. So why not decide now and start right now so you can profit from the virtual assistant business. Let us know your thoughts about this guide in the comment section. Do you have any business idea you want us to write on, please comment below.