Tips For Starting a Virtual Assistant Business While Employed

Tips For Starting a Virtual Assistant Business While Employed

tips for starting your VA biz while employed

Many people start their Virtual Assistant business while working either full or part-time.

I know, I was one of them.

I had a full-time corporate career, plus an infant at home when I started my Virtual Assistant business over 10 years ago.

I remember what a struggle it was to figure out how to juggle it all and stay sane!

If you’re like me and you’re working on starting or building your VA business while you’re still employed, I want to share a few of the tips that really helped me.

I’m including a free sample work schedule + transition checklist for you to download to help you plan your exit from your JOB. You’ll find the download at the end of this post.

Ok… let’s dive into the tips!

#1 – Schedule Everything!

You only have so much time each day to fit in everything you need to do. Use a planner or online calendar and schedule out your days in detail. When it comes to doing your VA work, schedule it around your job and family commitments. Be sure to include downtime for yourself, otherwise, you will burn out.

For example, set aside 4 hours per day Monday – Friday to work on your business. Get up two hours early in the morning and then work two hours in the evening. Then work 4 – 6 hours on Saturday and take Sunday off.

This was the schedule I followed to help me launch my business.

If you have a lunch hour, you can use that time to work on your business too. Just don’t do it at work.

Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it. It takes commitment to build a business especially when you’re working in a JOB.

I used the hatred of my soul-sucking job to help me stay focused!

What can you use to help you stay focused? Find out what it is and use it to fuel your fire.

#2 – Talk Deadlines NOT Schedules. 

Remember, as a Virtual Assistant you get to dictate when you work. If a client asks when you’re available, remind them that it doesn’t matter when you get the work done. What matters is meeting your deadlines.

I would tell clients that my schedule depends on my family so, it changes. Then I asked them when they needed the task completed.

Now realize I didn’t offer the types of services that kept me in front of the computer during “business hours”. The work I did for clients could be done on my schedule when I wanted. The key was to deliver on time.

Always focus on your deadlines NOT when you do the work. It’s not a JOB.

#3 – Work Around Your Commitments. 

Your job is important as it’s still paying the bills so, be sure to do your client work when you’re not working.

Go out for lunch and work at a local cafe or restaurant.

Get up an hour earlier in the morning and do client work or work late into the evening.

Remember, you set your own work hours and the most important thing is to meet the promised deadlines to your clients.

Keep in mind if you’re using free wi-fi, you’ll need to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure your connection and your data. Don’t take the chance of information falling into the wrong hands!

I recommend using Tunnel Bear VPN. It’s easy to use – just install and activate.

I use it every time I’m not in my own office.

They have a free version so you can try it out.

#4 – Have a Support System.

It’s so important to have people around you that understand what you’re going through. Who better than other Virtual Assistants? We’re a tight-knit family, here to support you on your VA journey.

Join my Facebook community – VA Tips, Tricks + Advice to connect with other Virtual Assistants both new and experienced.

It’s a safe space to ask questions, vent, get support and help each other succeed.

#5 – Have an Exit Strategy.

You need to have a plan in place before you’re ready to leave your job behind.

You need to plan your exit!

It’s so important to step back and think about how your life will change when you’re no longer employed.

You don’t want to quit your JOB before you’re ready.

Take time to plan.

Things like how much do you need to earn before you can quit?

Or, what expenses will be cut or alleviated when I’m no longer working for someone else?

What new expenses will I have?

Having a strategy or plan is a MUST for being successful.

#6 – Know Your Why.

What’s your why?

Your WHY is the reason WHY you want to start your own Virtual Assistant business.

My why is, I wanted my FREEDOM + I wanted more FLEXIBILITY in my life.

They are the driving force behind everything I do, even now.

It’s important for you to know what drives you – your WHY.

You need something to keep you going when the times get tough because they will.

And, when they do… you need to focus on your WHY.

I use a Vision Board to help remind me what I’m working for when the going gets tough.

Put your why where you can see it every day.

It’s hard work to start a business – remember it takes time + commitment.

Lean on your WHY when the going gets tough for you.

Reach out to your Support System for a boost when you’re feeling low.

You’re not alone!

It’s possible to build a thriving Virtual Assistant business while you’re still working, I’m living proof.

It takes commitment and persistence but, in the end, all the hard work is SO worth it.

You’ll have your freedom and the flexibility to work when you want from where you want.

I hope you found these tips helpful. They really did make a difference in helping me meet my deadlines and keeping my sanity.

If you want a sample of the schedule that I used when I was working + an exit strategy + transition checklist, click below to download them all for free.

va-transition-blog

What are you going to work on first?

Feel free to post a comment below and share! I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Where Does Your Time Go?

Where Does Your Time Go?

Where does your time go?

Do you have a handle on your time?

We all get the same amount of time each day but there are those that are very productive and those that are not.

One of the most eye-opening experiences for me was to figure out where my time was going. I thought I knew.

In this week’s VLOG I talk to share my tips for managing your most valuable asset – your time.

Thanks for watching!

Do you know where your time is spent?

I’d love to hear what your comments and questions, please take a moment to leave them for me below.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Enjoy your day – Susan

How Is Your Focus?

How Is Your Focus?

Focus Pocus

I suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS… how appropriate), so I am easily distracted. I have learned how to cope with my SOS using several different techniques.

Do you have tips & tricks on how to stay focused? I’d love to hear them – please share.

In this week’s VLOG, I share a few tips that work to keep SOS in check and stay on task (and focused).

Thanks for listening.

I’d love to hear what you think. Please take a moment to leave a comment below and share your thoughts and questions. Or, feel free to share what you learned from this video.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Enjoy your day – Susan

Getting & Staying Organized

Getting & Staying Organized

Getting & Staying Organized

There are many tips, tricks, and tools available these days to assist you in staying organized within your business. Some are more preferential than others on different personal levels. What one person finds helpful, another can find a hindrance, however, they are all out there and available to assist you in the most important element of your business – Organization!

The top 5 key factors (in no particular order) that I believe contribute to being A+ at organization are:

  1. Time Management – Be aware of what time you are spending on which tasks. You will get used to how long it takes you to complete certain tasks if they are regular, and also help to predict how long it will take you to complete something new.
  2. Project Management – Make use of a project management system, such as TeamworkPM, so that you can plan your workload and ensure you don’t miss anything. Break down your tasks and tick each one off as you go along, so you know what you have outstanding.
  3. Diary Management – Not to be confused with time management. Use your diary/schedule constructively to plan meetings, telephone calls and block out times to work on projects for specific clients.
  4. Discipline – Ensure you stick to the procedures you have set up to keep yourself organized. That’s the only way you will stay organized!
  5. Determination – Keep your eyes on the prize! Organization equals a happy client and in turn a happy you and a successful business. Keep your determination switch to full power!

If you are struggling with any part of your organization strategy, then get in touch and I will see how I can help you.

I’d love to hear your comments. Please take a moment to leave me a comment and share your thoughts.

Please share if you know someone who might benefit from this information. The share buttons are below the post.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy your day – Susan

Tips For Managing Your Time

Tips For Managing Your Time

Managing Your Time

As entrepreneurs time is a valuable commodity.  We need to learn to manage it, otherwise, it will manage us.  Especially if you’re a Virtual Assistant.  Time is money!  If you do not learn how to manage your time you are losing money and clients.

If you think you are managing your time effectively, try this easy exercise.  Keep a log of what you do each day for a week. Include all interruptions, distractions, how many times you stop and start tasks, etc.  This is an eye-opening exercise that helps you see just how much time gets away from you.

To manage your time, here are some simple tips you can easily implement:

  • Schedule everything – use a Task Management System such as Teamwork
  • No multi-tasking – do one thing at a time and finish what you start.
  • Stick to your schedule – create a schedule for your daily tasks and stick to it.
  • Process for interruptions – create a process for how you handle daily interruptions.
  • Have client status calls – schedule weekly or bi-weekly status calls to stay informed.
  • Manage your email – close your email when you are working on tasks or projects.

It’s amazing how these simple tips can help you save time each day and in the process become more organized and efficient.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your comments. Please take a moment to leave me a comment and share your thoughts.

Please share if you know someone who might benefit from this information. The share buttons are below the post.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy your day – Susan

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