So, you’re wondering how to start a Virtual Assistant business – congrats! Now is a great time to begin since the online business world is growing by leaps and bounds. More and more people are realizing the benefits of working remotely and the freedom it provides.
The Virtual Assistant Industry is the support backbone for millions of online business owners and as the online business world grows so does the demand for skilled professional Virtual Assistants.
The VA Industry Is Moving Away From Being Admin-Based
Did you know that the VA Industry is made of many different skillsets even though many people believe that a VA is “someone offering administrative services remotely”? I still see people defining it that way and I have to say it’s incorrect. In fact, the VA Industry is moving away from being “admin-based” as more and more online business owners need help with the technology that runs their business. They can do their own admin work but they can’t manage all the other moving pieces.
So… just realize that the industry is diverse and welcomes anyone who wants to offer their expertise as a service to online businesses. It doesn’t matter what services you plan on offering in your VA business. The systems you need to run your business are the same. If your goal is to have a profitable and sustainable business that gives you the freedom and flexibility you’re after, then the first thing you need to do is make sure you have a solid foundation for your business.
The Key To Business Success Is A Solid Foundation
That means you have to implement the key business systems that form the structure and foundation to create a successful business. There is NO structure when you start a Virtual Assistant business – or any other business – it’s a blank slate. You need to design and build it from the ground up which starts with the foundation.
I struggled when I started and had to create and implement my business systems all by myself since there was no “VA Systems Training” that I could find back in 2009. The trial-and-error method is a hard way to do anything especially build a business that you want to thrive and succeed in the long term.
I want to share a few of them to help you on your journey on how to start a Virtual Assistant business along with simple strategies that made a huge difference in my success. If you are interested in getting in-depth training on how to set up your VA business, please check out my VA Success System.
So, let me give you an overview of the must-haves on how to start a Virtual Assistant business.
How To Start A Virtual Assistant Business Step 1: Your Mindset
- Know what to expect
- Don’t collect gurus
- Know what it takes
- Have realistic expectations
- Take action
I write about these points in my blog post Setting Up A Virtual Assistant Business Without Getting Stuck In Analysis Paralysis. Don’t miss reading it if you feel that your mindset may be holding you back.
How To Start A Virtual Assistant Business Step 2: Have A Business Plan
It’s important to understand what it takes and how to start a Virtual Assistant business with the right expectations. I’m not trying to scare you; I’m just being honest. It’s not a walk in the park. Regardless of what you see on social media, you can’t start a profitable and sustainable business in 30 days with no skills, time, or money.
You need to be realistic and remember it’s always harder at the beginning. You’ll get confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated, it’s all part of the process. If you want it bad enough, you’ll continue to work through these temporary feelings.
Then you’ll need to have a strategy and a plan for the how and the what of setting up your VA business. I’m sure you’ve heard that old phrase – fail to plan and you plan to fail. It’s true. And this is a step so many people just skip over…they dive right into the deep end of things without any structure or plan of how they’re going to achieve this dream.
At a bare minimum, you need to know how much time, money, and energy you have to invest in setting up your business. Do you know? This is why you should have a VA Business Plan that helps you gather your thoughts and start creating an action plan that shows you what you need to do and how to start a Virtual Assistant business in a manageable way.
Get more details about how to create your VA Plan in this blog post: Ready To Create Your Virtual Assistant Business Plan? Start With These 9 Untypical Questions. It deep-dives what to include in your plan along with a done-for-you template to help you get started. I cover:
- Do your research
- What is your why
- Your schedule
- How much do you need to earn
- Your service offerings
- Your target or niche market
- Your perfect day
- What do you need
How To Start A Virtual Assistant Business Step 3: Key Business Systems
A business is nothing more than a set of systems that work together with technology to run and automate your business. When you start your business there are no systems or structures until you create and implement them. It’s a blank slate.
But… if you’ve never built a business before how do you know what systems or structure you need? Well… I can help you with that. There are 4 key business systems every online business should have, including yours.
Each one of these systems is crucial and they work together to form the foundation of a successful business. You can get more details about these key business systems in my blog: The 4 Virtual Assistant Key Business Systems That Will Make Or Break Your VA Business. I talk about what the systems are and why you need them including:
- Why you need them
- What each one does
- How they work together
How To Start A Virtual Assistant Business Step 4: Business Operations
The four key business systems I mentioned in step 3 are crucial for ANY online business but there are also specific systems for Virtual Assistant businesses. These systems are part of the overall key business systems and are what most VAs do on a day-to-day basis so I wanted to call them out specifically.
You know things like:
- Doing client work
- Checking your email
- Looking for clients
- Running your business
Do you have systems in place for these? Are they automated using technology? Systems create repeatable processes. They focus on being efficient and effective and looking professional to your clients and prospects. They also allow you to focus on enjoying life instead of working all the time! Systems = Freedom!
Get more details about the VA business systems in my blog: The 5 Virtual Assistant Business Operations Systems That Will Make Your Biz Run Smoothly!. It deep-dives what the day-to-day systems you need including:
- Client Management
- Task Management
- Email Management
- Business Management
- Prospect Management
Bonus Tip: Must-Have Tools
While researching how to start a Virtual Assistant business you must have noticed that you will need some digital tools too. It’s important to know what techie tools you need in your tool belt. I know it can be overwhelming and a bit confusing, so I invite you to check out my blog post: Set-Up These 16 Must-Have Tools For Virtual Assistants Before You Launch Your Biz.
Well, that’s The Ultimate VA Success Guide: How To Start A Virtual Assistant Business In 2021. Has it helped you? Do you have questions? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading – Susan
P.S. If you're ready to invest in yourself and a professional future, please check out my VA Success Training. It's for people that are serious about running a successful Online Business. It includes everything you need from business set-up, getting clients, client management, a WP website, coaching, a supportive community, and so much more.
I’ve decided to open a VA business with a like-minded friend of mine. We are both still working full time, but excited about the possibilities of what the future may hold for us. It is very overwhelming to try to understand where to start and with what, but doing your free VA Training plus absorbing as much as I can on your website, it feels like I’m slowly getting to the point where I can confidently say “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!”
I’m looking forward to continuing learning from you!
Thank you for a wonderful website and great products.
Hi Amanda, thank you so much for taking the time to comment I appreciate it. You can do it! Just focus on the next step not the entire journey.