7 Ways To Scale Your Virtual Assistant Business

7 Ways To Scale Your Virtual Assistant Business

Ideas to scale your virtual assistant business to work less + earn more.

Have you reached that point in your business where you’re looking to do something new + different?

It might be time to scale your Virtual Assistant business if you’ve grown bored with the same routine day in and day out. Or… maybe you just want to work less and earn more.

I know this was me after being a Virtual Assistant for 5 years. I had grown restless and wanted a change. I enjoyed working with clients but somewhere along the way I stopped liking what I was doing.

I wanted more freedom and flexibility in my day and my business.

It was time for me to scale my Virtual Assistant business!

Is it time for you?

Maybe you’re looking to:

  • have more time and  freedom
  • earn more money
  • become a consultant or specialist
  • stop working 1:1 with clients
  • reach more people
  • change things up
  • or… whatever works for you

The beauty of having your own business is you can change anything at any time!

My motto is Your Business – Your Choice.

You get to choose everything you do – so when it’s time for a change – change it!

This is ideal for me since I’m one of those types that needs a constant challenge to keep me interested.

You don’t have to keep doing what you’re doing now – especially if you no longer enjoy it!

So… if you’re ready for a change read on!

In this blog post I’m sharing 7 different ways you can scale your VA business. These aren’t the only options – just the most common.

I’ll be creating separate blog posts for each of these to deep dive into them and include details around how to get started, key systems you need, how to market your new business model and so much more. Stay tuned!

#1 – Build a Team of Virtual Assistants.

Build yourself a team of virtual assistants that can either do overflow work for your clients or the work you don’t want to.

This is where I started. I wanted to get more time back in my day but not take a hit on my income. Plus I was tired of turning business away for things my clients wanted but I didn’t do.

Just know that when you add more people to your business – it adds a layer of complexity to it.

More moving pieces to manage.

But… it’s a great way to scale your business. Just be sure you’re clear on everything involved. I’ll be doing a blog post to expand on this topic in the coming weeks – so stay tuned if you want more details.

#2 – Start a Virtual Assistant Agency.

First off, there’s a big difference between a VA Team and a VA Agency.

When you build a team for your business you’re still working with clients.

When you start an agency you take on the role of CEO, which usually means you’re no longer working with clients. You’re in charge of going out and getting the clients for the business.

You become the sales and marketing department all by yourself.

I would recommend building a team first then moving into an agency so you have some experience and a general idea of what it’s like to manage a team and delegate the work.

Building an agency is a great way to earn lots of money without working one on one with clients.

I’ll be doing a blog post to expand on this topic in the coming weeks – so stay tuned if you want more details.

#3 – Be a Matchmaker.

A Matchmaker is someone who refers or matches Virtual Assistants with clients.

You become a connector.

There are a couple of different ways matchmaking works.

One is to help clients find qualified + vetted virtual assistants.  Your main focus here is creating a satisfied client base where you charge them a fee to match them with the right VA.

Two is helping qualified + vetted virtual assistants find clients. Your main focus here is creating a satisfied base of Virtual Assistants where you charge them a monthly fee to be part of your association or club.  These are what most of the VA associations do.

Either way is a great way to help both clients + virtual assistants.

I’ll be doing a blog post to expand on this topic in the coming weeks – so stay tuned if you want more details.

#4 – Affiliate Marketing.

This is a great way to make some extra income and it’s becoming more and more popular.

Especially with techie tools.

What is it?

It’s where you refer products + services to your audience and get paid a commission or referral fee.

You get what’s called an affiliate link that tracks the sales you refer and you get paid!

Most people create a Resources page on their website and add their affiliate links to it.

Check back in the coming weeks for more details on how to add Affiliate Marketing to your business!

#5 – Become a Consultant + Specialize.

When you’re a consultant you are known for a specific expertise or speciality.

They do more strategic type work vs the day to day stuff.

AND… Consultants can earn up to 3x more money than assistants.

So… what do I mean by becoming a consultant.

I mean to specialize in something.

Learn everything you can about a specific industry, techie tool or system.

I’m a Project Management Consultant. It’s something I brought with me from my cube farm days and it’s something I am passionate about.

What are you passionate about?

Where do you have existing expertise?

Is there something you want to learn?

I love all things strategic so, my newest passion is Sales Funnels. I’m learning everything I can about them + the tools they use.

I’ve recently started working with coaches to help them create group coaching or membership programs using content they already have. Another passion of mine.

If you want to be a consultant, take some time to figure out what are you passionate about and how you can offer it as a service to your clients.

Check back in the coming weeks for more details on how to become a consultant and specialize!

#6 – Create Digital Products.

If you’re looking for a way to earn more money and work less you can create digital products to sell.

There are so many different things you can create based on your experience and expertise.

Products can be simple or complex, pricey or affordable.

You could create something as simple as an ebook.

Or… you could create an entire course or membership program.

If your looking to move away from working 1:1 with clients and want to reach a larger audience, products might be the way to go!

I’ll be doing a blog post to expand on this topic in the coming weeks – so stay tuned if you want more details.

#5 – Coaching + Training.

I hesitated to add this one based on what I’ve noticed happening in the industry these past few years.

First… I believe that you need to have more than a year or two of experience before moving into coaching or training.

You need to know what you’re doing before you start teaching or coaching others… period.

In my opinion you should have at least 5 years experience.

Why?

Because you need to know what you’re teaching actually works.

That you’ve used your “system” successfully in your own business not just took training and decided to turn around and teach it to others.

That you’ve experienced the highs and the lows of running a business and know how to work through them.

That you’ve actually been successful at marketing, getting clients and making money running a full time VA business.

Too many new Virtual Assistants jump over to coaching and training before they’ve even completed their first year in business.

My question is – what are they teaching and is it ethical – does it really work?

Look at these statistics for small businesses and what does it tell you?

  1. 20% of small businesses fail in their first year
  2. 30% of small businesses fail in their second year
  3. 50% of small businesses fail after five years in business
  4. 70% of small business owners fail in their 10th year in business

Experience + success is key if you’re going to coach or mentor others.

Obviously this is a passionate topic for me and I’ll be creating a blog post to talk more about this topic. So stay tuned!

There is so much potential in this industry. It’s there for the taking. It’s up to you to figure out what works best for you and your goals.

As I mentioned, these are not the only ways you can scale your virtual assistant business. These are the most common.

The sky is the limit!

So… do any of these peak your interest? 

Feel free to post below and let me know.

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

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

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!

The Things That Keep You Stuck

The Things That Keep You Stuck

The Things That Keep You Stuck

Today’s topic is all about the things that keep us stuck.

I call these stuck points.

A lot of these points are for people who are just starting out in the VA industry. But, they’re also for those of you who’ve been in business for a while, whether it’s been six months or two years.

What can happen is we can come across these same “stuck points” and they become stumbling blocks for us.

Let’s start with what I feel is the most important, and that’s mindset.

Mindset affects every single thing that you do in life. Now, we’re going to focus on it from a business point of view. You have to realize, how you think, and what you think about affects the overall success of your business.

I think one of the biggest things for me is I’m an over thinker. I can overthink anything. It took me a while to figure out that overthinking was causing me to stay stuck because I kept thinking about things instead of doing them.

Now, here’s the thing with overthinking, you’re not going to know if what you’re thinking is going to work until you push it out to the world and see what happens. Failure is not the end of the world, it means you’re trying.

When you’re overthinking, you’re keeping yourself stuck.

Be careful if you have perfectionist tendencies as well – they can stop you in your tracks.

I am a recovering perfectionist-over thinker. So… I have to really step back sometimes and look at, “Okay, am I just being a perfectionist? Am I overthinking this?” I need to remember good is good enough. Get it out there, get started and then you could make tweaks as you go along.

You’re going to learn from pushing something out to the universe, if you will just do it.

Overthinking, perfectionist, procrastination, those three things are usually intertwined. Because you’re overthinking, you’re thinking it’s not good enough, then you procrastinate about actually putting it out. Those things sometimes work together.

Ok… next up is thinking like an employee.

Now this can be a hard one. If you’ve been an employee for most of your life, like I was, it’s very hard to stop thinking like one.

One of the biggest things is you don’t have to ask for permission anymore.

It’s your business, your choice. That’s my motto. You get to make the decisions on who you work with, how much you earn, and so much more.

It really makes a difference when you realize that if you’re waiting for direction it might be time for you to put on your CEO hat and make those decisions yourself.

Watch for your employee behavior and habits because it’s something that’s very easy to fall back into.

Self-worth is up next.

If you have issues with charging what you’re worth or if you’re always undercutting your rates to try to land clients, you might want to look at your self-worth.

If you don’t believe you’re worth it (whatever it might be) then nobody else is going to. This is one of the reasons I say don’t work for free. You’re selling your expertise and your knowledge, don’t start off by giving it away for free. You need to charge for it!

Value yourself and how your knowledge helps clients.

Let’s talk about confidence.

Confidence comes with experience. But, most people start as a VA without experience like myself. You can’t get experience until you do something.

Experience brings confidence.

So… how can you get experience?

Well you can subcontract for another VA to get experience, or you can offer what I call a Launch Special. It’s where you offer a new service for a lower rate to get experience. The client gets a discounted rate while you get experience. It is NOT the same as learning on the job. You’re looking to get experience NOT learn a new skill. A Launch Special can help you get that while building your confidence.

You’re going to have to put yourself out there to get experience as a VA, there’s no other way around it.

Another big “stuck point” I see is deciding on a business name.

Don’t overthink this. Just use your name because you are a personal brand.

Your business name doesn’t need to include Virtual Assistant or VA. In fact, I encourage you to stay away from using either one because VA is not a title, it’s an industry. (Here’s a blog post I wrote on why it’s an industry and not a title just in case you’re interested – https://www.thetechiementor.com/virtualassistant-not-title/)

Focus on something that resonates with you or, if this is keeping you stuck and you can’t move forward, then just choose your name.

If your name is not available then use your middle initial in your name, use your maiden name. Come up with something that’s very simple because you can always rebrand.

Don’t let this keep you stuck. Because, at the end of the day, your business name doesn’t tell people what you do. That’s what marketing is all about.

Now… Let’s talk about marketing!

I think some of the biggest “stuck points” have to do with marketing.

You know…

  • target market
  • ideal client
  • how to market,
  • where do I find clients

These all lump together because it’s all about marketing.

First off you need to define WHO you want to work with.

Not everyone is your client. And saying that entrepreneurs or solopreneurs are your target market is way too broad.

You really need to focus on targeting a specific profession or industry. What do I mean by that? For example coaching is an industry. But you can even go further and say, business coach, life coach, health coach, finance or money coach (down to a specific profession).

Defining a target market and an ideal client is what helps you find + get clients.

A target market is simply who you want to work with. So, start by narrowing it down to an industry or profession.

Your ideal client also known as a dream client – these are the people who you love working with. They have the traits that you enjoy working with.

They’re not somebody, for instance, who is a micromanager. I don’t work well with micro managers or what I call a firefighter, which is somebody whose hair is always on fire and everything’s urgent and was supposed to be done yesterday. Those types of clients are not ideal for me because I don’t work well with them.

That’s what an ideal client is. You start with your target market, industry, or profession, and then you define it down into the traits that you’re looking to work with. Because, not everybody in that industry or profession will be right for you.

The big question now is where to find clients.

First remember, marketing is nothing more than sharing. But it’s NOT selling.

Marketing and selling are two different things. Marketing is awareness. Selling is selling.

When it comes to marketing, you want to create great content to get your markets attention.

It’s a great way to show people you actually know what you’re talking about. It’s all about sharing you’re brilliance!

Show them you know what you’re talking about.  Blog, create a checklist to give away as a freebie, share your expertise on social media, or create how-to videos or audios. There are so many different ways to share your expertise – go with what is most comfortable to you.

This is the best way to get your market to Know, Like and Trust you.

They need to get to know you, to like you, and to trust you before they’re going to sign on the dotted line.

Second to last are skills.

First I will say that the VA Industry is changing. Clients want more than admin skills.

They can do their own admin work but they can’t create systems, or use the technology that runs + automates their business.

Clients want help with systems + technology.

Now, I’m not saying that admin skills aren’t important, they’re just not an in-demand skill anymore.

Systems and technology are the tools that clients want and need. Plus they pay on average twice as admin based skills.

To learn in-demand skills and specialize check out my Techie VA Training Vault for 7 days for only $1.00. https://www.technicalvirtualassistant.com/join

Last but not least, is not having a plan.

Many people decide they want to start a VA business but don’t have any idea where to start or what to do.

My advice is create a plan first.

A plan can help keep the overwhelm in check and keep you focused so you can leave your soul sucking job or whatever your dream is.

Start with simply creating a schedule of when you’re going to do your research and stick to it.

If you’re looking for a done for you plan that walks you through all the steps to setting up and launching a VA business be sure to check out my VA Action Plan Workbook. To learn more go to https://www.iwanttobeavirtualassistant.com/sale.

That’s it! Thank you for reading.

These are the key stuck points that I see in my Facebook + LinkedIn groups and I thought I’d just take a moment to share these in case you are someone who is currently stuck. I hope you find it helpful!

I’d love to know if you found this information helpful – please share below as a comment.

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.

Enjoy your day – Susan

You Need a Trusted Parter in Your VA Business To Keep From Losing Clients

You Need a Trusted Parter in Your VA Business To Keep From Losing Clients

If you are a solo Virtual Assistant, having a trusted partner or partners is a must.

First… a little bit of background on what they are and why you need one (Trusted Partners).

If you’re a service provider and you’re a solopreneur… you are the business.

You’re a one-person shop so to speak.

Nobody else in your business does what you do or can do what you do.

Now, maybe you have a team that supports you, but they’re not the ones that go out and make the money for the business.

If you’re a Virtual Assistant, chances are you’re a solopreneur.

You’re the one that does the work and delivers the services.

If you have a team of Virtual Assistants or Freelancers that work with your clients – you’re not a solopreneur!

Even coaches are considered solopreneurs!

So… What’s a Trusted Partner?

A Trusted Partner is someone who can step into your business and essentially be you when you want or need to take time away from your business.

Why do you need one?

To help your clients when you are unavailable.

What happens when you get sick or have an emergency and need to be out of the office for more than a day or two?

Your clients business doesn’t stop because you do.

They have tasks that need to be done + delivered even when you’re out of the office.

Do you currently have someone who can step in and assist your clients while your away?

I didn’t… and this is what happened to me and how the Trusted Partner was born.

I had all these wonderful clients.

I was always busy, always had a lot on my plate, always had a lot of to-dos.

Then… I got sick.

In fact, I got pneumonia, and I wasn’t able to complete my daily to-dos or meet my deadlines.

And… you probably can guess what happened next.

Because I didn’t have anyone who I trusted and had similar skills as myself to do the work, I lost a few clients.

They had to go elsewhere to get their stuff done. And, I totally get it!

(Some of my other clients could wait until I got back to work but several of them were in the midst of a launch and couldn’t afford to wait).

I couldn’t work… I was just that sick.

And… on another note I don’t advocate for working when you’re sick or on vacation or need to be present for a family member.

You need time OFF – it’s that simple.

I didn’t take a vacation for the first three years of my business, which is not healthy.

I realized that I needed to have somebody who could back me up when I was unavailable and that is how the Trusted Partner was born.

Essentially a Trusted Partner becomes you when you’re unavailable for any reason.

So… what if you have a family emergency or you just need a mental health day, or, you get really sick?

How will you provide coverage for your clients?

A quick side note for those of you that are brand new to the VA Industry, this is something that you should start looking into as soon as possible. You want to take care of your clients, even when you’re out of the office.

It gives them a sense of comfort, plus this is something that not everybody does – have a Trusted Partner.

How do you find one?

In order for them to become you while you’re away, they need to have similar skill sets as you so they can do the work that needs to get done.

That way you can truly relax or get healthy while your business is in good hands.

They should be someone you know and trust.

You can find them through colleagues and even Facebook groups.

Facebook groups are a great place to start, but you have to build a relationship with someone, because you are trusting these people to run your business while you’re unavailable.

So you want to make sure that they’re a good fit for you and understand how your business works.

Bottom line is it takes TIME to find the right person.

As I mentioned they need to have similar skills, but they also need to understand how your business is run since this is NOT a cookie cutter industry.

Every business is different.

I reached out to a few colleagues that I had worked with in the past and asked them if they would be interested in being each others Trusted Partner.

These were Virtual Assistants that I had worked with on a team or who had done sub-contractor work for me.

The most important thing is to find someone you know and trust who has similar skills to you.

That way they can handle any of the tasks that may come their way.

Look at your friends, at colleagues, at people that are in groups with you, whether it’s a paid group or a free one.

Reach out to people and say, “Hey, I need a Trusted Partner and I need somebody that does X,Y, Z.”

You have to make sure you’re really zoned in on what type of skills you want. They may not have the depth of knowledge, but they should be able to do the work that needs to get done while you’re away.

How do you use them?

Once you’ve found your partner(s), be sure to let your clients know about them and how they work.

This should be part of your Business Policies and Client Kick Off call process – to introduce the concept and how they work with your Trusted Partner.

I introduced my Trusted Partners to my clients and explained that they were only available when I was unavailable for extended periods of time (3 days or more) and not for any other reason.

They’re not for emergencies when they can’t reach you for some reason.

Unavailable means you’re out of the office, on vacation, you have a family emergency, you’re sick.

That’s when the Trusted Partner would step in.

You would let your clients know the situation – that you’re on vacation, sick or otherwise unavailable and remind them about your Trusted Partners and how to connect with them.

Be sure to add the exact process for working with your Trusted Partners to your business policies document and discuss it with your clients. This way they are clear on how and when to use them. Also, add your Trusted Partners contact information and skills to your business policies document.

How do you pay them (Trusted Partner)?

That’s something that you have to figure out – but they should be paid for any work they do for you.

Remember, they are providing a valuable service for you and your clients.

It gives you peace of mind and time to unplug while you’re unavailable AND it gives your clients peace of mind knowing they have help.

My Trusted Partners and I kept it simple.

We decided to be subcontractors for each other and charge a lesser rate for the work that we did while acting as a Trusted Partner.

Since we were each others, this kept the whole thing simple.

One more quick thing…

I would set up a business email for them at your company.

For instance, [email protected].

That will keep it simple for them and your clients when reaching out to them.

So by having a trusted partner in your business, you have somebody that can step in and help them do what they need to do while you’re unavailable. It’s going to give you peace of mind while you’re out of the office, and give your clients peace of mind that they know if you’re unavailable, they have someone they can go to that can help them. And so that’s a trusted partner.

Having a Trusted Partner gives you and your clients peace of mind.

Your clients have someone they can reach out to if they need anything while you are unavailable.

And you can unplug, recharge, get healthy or tend to whatever you need while you’re away.

It makes a huge difference between keeping and losing clients.

Here is a quick checklist to help you get started finding your Trusted Partners!

Trusted Partner™ Checklist

  1. Reach out to people you trust. These can be people you have worked with on a team, met on social media or were in a course together. I recommend finding two or more.
  2. Be sure they have similar skills as you. Remember, they are going to be stepping into your business and acting as you while you are unavailable. This means that they need to understand how you run your business.
  3. Decide on whether or not you are going to pay your partners. Sometimes we paid each other, other times we just bartered for each other’s services. This is something you need to work out together. And, be sure to get it all in writing!
  4. Work with your trusted partners to create the process you use when an emergency happens and you have to be out of the office.
  5. Train your trusted partners in how you work with clients and the tools that you use (great time to have an operations manual). 
  6. Add the trusted partner process to your business policies document and share it with your clients.
  7. Make an introduction to your clients and make sure they understand the process for working with your trusted partners.
  8. Create an email for them at your company to help keep it easy for everyone involved.
  9. Decide how much and when to pay your Trusted Partners for providing this invaluable service to you and your clients.

When was the last time you truly unplugged from your business without panicking or worrying about everything that wasn’t getting done? I’d love to know.

Do you have a Trusted Partner?

I’d love to know!

All comments + questions are welcome.

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to find a Trusted Partner for your business.

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

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Getting Organized
  2. Changing Your Employee Mindset
  3. Start Working With Clients

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!

What’s The Difference Between Front-End Services + Back-End Services

What’s The Difference Between Front-End Services + Back-End Services

Front End vs. Back End Services

What You Need to know! 

Believe it or not there is a difference in the type of services you offer in your VA business.

I call them Front End Services + Back End Services and I want to take you through what they are in this blog post.

Now… this post is actually related to a post I wrote on why you want to stop calling yourself a Virtual Assistant.

If you haven’t read it yet, you can do so here.

The main point of that post was to point out that SO many people get hung up on what they call themselves instead of focusing on how they help their clients.

When you call yourself a Virtual Assistant people assume (right or wrong) that you’re an admin.

But what if you’re not?

I wasn’t an admin and I didn’t offer any type of administrative skills.

It’s not that I couldn’t – I didn’t want to because admin skills keep you tied to your desk or computer during certain hours of the day.

I started my business because I wanted FREEDOM an admin skills would not give me that.

You see… when you offer administrative type services (aka Front End Services) you usually need to be available during specific business hours for your clients or their clients.

You’re basically like the front desk for their office – you’re just virtual.

I didn’t want that – I wanted to do the work on my schedule.

I wanted flexibility and that is what Back End Services gives you.

The ability to work when you want, on your own schedule.

You just need to meet your deadlines.

Besides… when I started my business I wasn’t available during so-called business hours because I had a full time job.

So… the only work I could do, needed to be deadline driven and around my schedule.

Besides, I’m a systems junkie + techie and those are the type of services I wanted to offer – what I call Back-End Services.

So… just to recap the differences between Front-End + Back-End Services…

  • Front end services are administrative type services where you need to have “office hours” or availability during the work day for your clients or their clients.
    • Services such as answering phones or email, scheduling appointments, anything customer service related would be a front-end service.
  • Back end services are the techie + system type services where you can work when you want and just meet your deadlines.
    • Services such as WordPress, Mail Chimp, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing or really anything under the Digital Marketing umbrella.
    • Anything technology or systems based.

My focus is on teaching the back-end systems and skills which is different from most other VA Trainers + Coaches in the VA Industry.

I do this for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s my passion – I love it!
  2. It’s what online business owners aka clients need.

I would estimate that somewhere between 75 – 80% of the people starting a VA business have an administrative background of some sort. Like a PA or EA for instance.

While those skills are valuable, clients are looking for MORE than admin skills.

They are looking for people that can set up the tools, technology and systems that run + automate their business.

Clients can do their own admin work (answering their phone, schedule appointments, take care of their own customers) but they don’t know how to work the tools or systems that run their business.

Now, I’m not saying clients should do their own admin work – they shouldn’t – they should focus on what they do best.

But… push comes to shove and they don’t have the budget to hire help, they can do those things themselves.

What they can’t do is log into the back of their WordPress site, or send out an email using Mail Chimp or edit a video.

These are back-end skills that most clients don’t know how to do or are afraid to.

There is a much larger demand for back-end skills and they pay more!

Plus… it’s much easier to specialize in a specific skill or system which makes it easier to market your service and get clients.

One other difference between offering front-end + back-end services is how some of your clients might view you.

They may look at you as more of a consultant, someone they can brainstorm with as they grow their business.

It’s just a perception – I’m not saying that admins aren’t consultants.

But for some reason the word “assistant” has less value than “consultant” – especially to those of us from the corporate cube farm.

Oh… one other quick thing, just to clear up any confusion.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term OBM – it stands for Online Business Manager and they are NOT the same as Virtual Assistants.

They’re more what I call an Operations Manager – they help run a client’s business, focusing on the day to day stuff.

Many of them focus on back end services + skills but they don’t usually do admin type tasks.

You can find out more about OBM’s at onlinebusinessmanager.com.

I hope you now have a better understanding of front-end and back-end services and the differences between them.

Keep in mind, that these are my definitions or categories.

So… if you’re looking for skills that will give you the freedom to work when you want from where you want, then I’d recommend specializing in back-end services.

If you’re not sure what is considered a back-end service, feel free to comment and I’ll be happy to help.

Thank you for reading my story!

All comments + questions are welcome.

I’d love to hear from you.

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

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. What Skills Are Needed To Be A Virtual Assistant
  2. Setting Up A Virtual Assistant Business
  3. Your Virtual Assistant Business Plan
  4. Virtual Assistant is NOT a Title

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.

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

Setting Up a Virtual Assistant Business

Setting Up a Virtual Assistant Business

Setting up a Virtual Assistant Business:
What You Need to Know

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 can be overwhelming and confusing.

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’m creating a series of blog posts on how to set up a virtual assistant business.

Everything you need to know laid out in a simple, step-by-step system. (Something I wish I had when I first started).

In this first blog post, I’ll be sharing an overview of the steps & 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.

First, 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 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. You can find out more about it by clicking the image below.

Second, know what to expect.

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.

Third, 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 best way, it just depends on who you’re listening to and the method that their 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 vidoes 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.

Fourth, you need to 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 in 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 ground work.

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.

Fifth, 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 your getting into.

It’s not easy.

And sixth, you need to 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.

I can do imperfect action!

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.

Here are the 4 key business systems you need to implement:

  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Delivery

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 Getting Started VA Action Plan.

It’s a step-by-step plan to set up + 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 + questions are welcome.

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

Here are a few related blog posts that might be of interest:

  1. Virtual Assistant Certifications + Why You Don’t Need One
  2. VA Coaching & Training 101 + What You Need To Watch Out For
  3. Virtual Assistant Systems + What You Need To Know
  4. Virtual Assistant Business Plan + What You Need In Your Plan

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!

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