Tips For Starting A VA Business 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 and 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

Your WHY is the reason why you want to start your own Virtual Assistant business. My why is, I wanted my FREEDOM and 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 and 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 and transition checklist, click below to download them all for free.

What are you going to work on first?

Feel free to post a comment below and share it! I’d love to hear from you. All comments and questions are welcome.

Thanks for reading – Susan

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Written by Susan Mershon

Susan Mershon started The Techie Mentor™ in 2013 to teach Virtual Assistants her no-fluff approach to the systems and skills they need to build and automate a successful business.

With a strong base in project management, Susan brings her love of systems and teaching to offer in-depth training and mentoring to new and experienced Virtual Assistants.

She’s taught over 5,000 students her unique systems and strategies that focus on offering high-end skills that give you the freedom to work when and where you want.

To learn more about The Techie Mentor™ and the systems and skills she teaches without all the fluff or hype go to The Techie Mentor website.

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  1. Rakesh Sharma

    Thank you @Susan Mershon for sharing such a valuable and informative content with us.

    • Susan Mershon

      My pleasure Rakesh, glad you found it helpful.

  2. Nichole Leah

    I always look forward to your emails and vlogs! I am building my business while working full time without a coach, so every tip you offer means something to my success. I do have an ebook collection that I have learned so much from since having to quit school over halfway through my bachelor’s degree 🙁 so this has been a journey for me and I appreciate all the guidance from the VA community 🙂 !!

    • SE Mershon

      Thank you Nichole!

  3. Lindsey


    Great Vlog, the timing for me is perfect. I am 2 months into starting my own VA/Bookkeeping business while working full time with a 2 year old. Your talking points really hit home for me and provided some guidance I didn’t even know I needed.
    Thanks for having such a resourceful website, you have a new follower!
    Heading over to join the Facebook group now.

    • SE Mershon

      Thank you Lindsey, glad it was helpful. See you in FB 😉

  4. Rose Bigham

    Good video Susan. I have found it difficult because I have just completed a WordPress course at a college and much time was spent on that. There are other things I have to learn as well so it can be discouraging. Now I have to redo my website since I got a better idea now of how to use WordPress. 🙂

    • SE Mershon

      Thank you Rose!

  5. Cathy Goodwin

    I’m also sharing this with my career website,
    It’s very accurate – especially the point about allowing time for everything. Most people go out of their way to make everything seem easy. You’re telling it like it is.

    • SE Mershon

      Thank you Cathy!

  6. Shelia Bruno

    Great blog, Susan!

    • SE Mershon

      Thank you Shelia!

  7. Anne

    Thank you very helpful!

    • SE Mershon

      My pleasure Anne!

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