It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? All the information on the web about setting up a virtual assistant business. There are pages and pages of it! It’s hard to know what to do first or where to start.
I remember what it was like when I started out way back in 2009. I found tons of helpful information. But the problem was… it was not a complete system or process. I had to try and put all the information together myself and hope I had it right. Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t.
It took lots of trial and error AND time to figure out what I needed and in what order.
To help you avoid the same mistakes that I made, I thought I would share my system. Because it’s all about systems. A business is after all just a series of systems working together.
I’ve created the Setting Up A Virtual Assistant Business Series. Everything you need to know laid out in a simple, step-by-step system. (Something I wish I had when I first started).
- Part 1: Setting Up A Virtual Assistant Business
- Part 2: Your Virtual Assistant Business Plan
- Part 3: Key Business Systems For VAs
- Part 4: Virtual Assistant Business Operations
In this first blog post, I’ll be sharing an overview of the steps and processes you need to get your VA business up and running. Plus a few other things that I think would be helpful – not just the nuts and bolts of things. So, let’s get started.
#1 You Need A Plan
A plan for how and when you’re going to do the work needed to make it happen. I have a step-by-step VA Action Plan that walks you through everything you need to set up your VA business – in fact, it’s a big old list of tasks to follow.
#2 Know What To Expect Second
You need to realize that whenever you do something new there is a sense-of-overwhelm because it’s new, you’ve never done it before. Understand going in, that you are going to have a sense-of-overwhelm. You may also have a sense of confusion because it’s something you’ve never done before.
For most of us starting out, we’ve never built a business before. I was an employee for over 20 years – I had NO clue how to build a business when I started.
Expect confusion and overwhelm when you’re starting any type of new venture. It could be a diet, it could be an exercise routine, it could be a business.
Just go in with your eyes open and have an idea of what you’re getting in to. It’s NOT easy regardless of what others may say – it takes hard work to build a successful business.
#3 Don’t Collect Gurus
Don’t add to your sense of overwhelm or confusion by doing what I call “collecting gurus“. What I mean is when you listen to several different people on how to do something specific – like set up a VA business.
You may join multiple VA groups on Facebook and subscribe to multiple VA coaches or trainers on YouTube looking for advice or how to’s. The problem with this is you hear, read or watch 8 different ways to do the same thing! You get more confused because I may say one thing and someone else says something completely different.
It’s not that any of the advice is wrong – there is more than one way to do everything. There’s no right or the best way, it just depends on who you’re listening to and the method that they’re using.
Trust me I know – I am a research junkie, I love to collect research, and I fell into this same trap myself. I listened to podcasts, watched videos and read every blog post I could find on being a Virtual Assistant. I collected so much data (I had a spreadsheet with 11 different tabs) that I got stuck in Analysis Paralysis and ended up with a massive headache to boot!
Because I had listened to too many people, I had no clue which one to follow, or which system to implement because they were all different. I finally had to choose which person I was going to follow and actually do what they were teaching or suggesting. Otherwise, I would have stayed stuck forever!
So… if you find yourself collecting gurus, PICK THE ONE that resonates with you the most and follow their advice. Do what they’re suggesting! How do you know if what they’re saying works unless you do it? Whether that’s me, or someone else, take action and do the work until you get results or you don’t. If you don’t get the results you want, move on to the next guru or expert. If it does work think how happy you’ll be!
By collecting gurus and experts, you get different opinions on different things, but the problem is that you get overwhelmed, you get even more confused, and then you get stuck because you don’t know what to do and you don’t know who to follow. You have to make a decision and then take action.
#4 Know What It Takes
It takes hard work to set up and launch a VA business. There is a lot to do when you’re building a business, whether it’s a VA business, or you’re knitting sweaters for a living. Whatever it might be, there is so much that goes into it.
It’s not something you’re going to do in 30 days. It’s not something you’re going to do on a weekend. Now, you probably could, but the question is do you want long-term success? If you want long-term success, you have to put in the groundwork.
You have to build the foundation for a solid long-standing business. You need to put the time and energy into the back end of your business – your business systems. A business is made up of systems – you need to make sure that those systems are in place.
Besides systems – you also need the skills that clients want. Just like in the job world, it’s all about the skills and expertise you have. You need to look at your current skill set and how you can use it to your advantage. You don’t need any special Certification to be successful.
#5 Have Realistic Expectations
I know I had unrealistic expectations when I started my business, because I thought, “Yeah, I can do this and I can get out of my soul-sucking job in six months.” Ha… was that ever unrealistic!
I really didn’t understand what I was getting into, or the amount of work that it takes. I’m painting a real picture here for you. Make sure that you set realistic expectations for whatever your life is and your schedule is.
If you’re working in a 50-hour career plus you’ve got three kids and a two-hour commute, you’re probably not going to build a business in 30 days, at least not one that’s long-standing and successful.
Just set realistic expectations and go for it, but just realize what you’re getting into. It’s not easy.
#6 Take Action
All right, so part of building a business or anything is taking action to get where you want to go. One of my favorite sayings is, “Take imperfect action every day.”
I am a recovering perfectionist, overthinker. I can be my own worst enemy and get in my way all the time, so I have to focus on taking imperfect action every day.
Think about how you can take imperfect action every day to get one step closer to your dream, whatever your dream is, whether it’s quitting your job, or just making some extra money on the side, you need to take some type of imperfect action to achieve it.
You could start by implementing your key business systems. These systems are the foundation of your business. Without them, your business is on shaky ground. Remember… a business is a system.
The 4 Key Business Systems You Need To Implement
We will be diving into each one of these key systems, along with planning and understanding what it takes to set up a successful Virtual Assistant business in this blog series.
For the next blog post, we are focusing on creating a plan for how and when you’re going to do the work needed to get your VA business off the ground.
Do you have a plan for setting up a Virtual Assistant Business?
I’d love to know if you do!
If not, be sure to check out my Virtual Assistant Action Plan. It’s a step-by-step plan to set up and launch your VA Business with confidence and it’s affordable!
Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to set up your VA biz. All comments and questions are welcome.
Thanks for reading – Susan