The Ultimate VA Success Guide: How To Start A Virtual Assistant Business

So, you’re wondering how to start a Virtual Assistant business – congrats! It’s always 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 serves as the support backbone for countless online business owners. As the online business landscape expands, the need for skilled professional Virtual Assistants skyrockets.

The VA Industry Is Moving Away From Being Admin-Based

The VA industry involves more than just basic admin tasks done remotely. Some folks still see it that way, but I have to set the record straight—it’s way more diverse. Nowadays, online business owners are leaning on VAs not just for admin stuff but for handling all the tech behind their operations. Sure, they can handle admin work themselves, but they need a pro when navigating the tech maze.

And on top of that, AI is revolutionizing the whole scene! We’re seeing a shift where AI takes over more admin-based tasks.

So, here’s the deal: the industry is broad and open to anyone ready to offer their expertise to online businesses. Whether you’re into admin tasks or other services, the systems you need to run your business remain consistent. If you aim for a profitable, freedom-based business that fits your lifestyle goals, start by laying a rock-solid foundation.

The Key To Business Success Is A Solid Foundation

It’s all about setting up those key business systems that lay the groundwork for success. Starting a Virtual Assistant business—or any business, for that matter—is like starting with a blank canvas. You’ve got to design and build it from scratch, starting with that solid foundation.

I get it. When I began in 2009, there wasn’t any handy “VA Systems Training” out there. I had to figure it all out solo and let me tell you, the trial-and-error approach is tough, especially when you’re trying to build something that you want to thrive in the long haul.

So, let me give you an overview of the must-haves for starting 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

Check out my blog post, “Setting Up A Virtual Assistant Business Without Getting Stuck In Analysis Paralysis,” for a deep dive into these points. It’s a must-read if you think your mindset might be holding you back.

How To Start A Virtual Assistant Business Step 2: Have A 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, freedom-based business in 30 days with no skills, time, or money.

You need to be realistic and remember it’s always more challenging 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. This is a step so many people 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.

You need to know, at a minimum, how much time, money, and energy you will need 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 and a done-for-you template to help you get started. I cover:

  • Do your research
  • What is your why
  • Investing
  • 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 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. Every online business, including yours, should have four key business systems.

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Delivery
  • Operations

Each 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 daily, 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 always working! Systems = Freedom!

I’m all about helping you create a freedom-based business with tech at the core!

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 into 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. Knowing what techie tools you need in your tool belt is essential. I know it can be overwhelming and 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. Has it helped you? Do you have questions? Let me know in the comments below.

Now, build your freedom-based business with tech at the core!

Thanks for reading – Susan

PS: Ready to embark on the journey of building a freedom-based business? Join me in Techie Biz in a Box, your comprehensive guide to leveraging systems, automation, and tech. Discover how to streamline your processes and reclaim precious time for the things you love. 

Susan Mershon
My most popular VA resources

My Most Popular VA Resources

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  1. Amanda

    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.

    • Susan Mershon

      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.

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