Your Virtual Assistant Business Plan:
What You Need In yours
Are you ready to create your Virtual Assistant Business Plan?
Welcome to the second blog post in the Setting up a Virtual Assistant Business series.
This post is all about your plan.
The plan to set up your Virtual Assistant business.
If you haven’t read the first blog post in this series, I invite you to do so before jumping into this one.
Ok, back to your plan.
I know I mentioned in the previous blog post that the first thing you need to do is have a plan. A plan for how and when you’re going to do the work needed to make it happen.
But to be honest… the first thing you should do is make a decision.
A decision to either find out more about becoming a virtual assistant or going for it and starting your own business.
So… step number two is the actual plan.
Your plan of action.
That’s what this post is all about – your Virtual Assistant Business Plan.
We’re going to cover 9 essential things you need to know when planning your VA business.
So, let’s start with the actual business plan. The business plan I’m talking about here is not the same as a typical business plan. We don’t need a plan written for banks or investors (typical business plans).
What we need is a plan that walks us through the steps we need to set up our business.
So, let’s dive into the plan.
But, before we do, be sure to download my free Virtual Assistant Business Plan template that walks you through the process we’re talking about here.
Ok, let’s get started.
I’d like to ask you a few questions.
- What do you know about being a Virtual Assistant?
- Have you done the research?
I think it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you’re getting into. Not to scare you – but so you know what to expect. (Stay tuned for my next series of blog posts about being a Virtual Assistant).
This is step number one.
Do the research – understand what being a Virtual Assistant is all about.
Step #2 is your why.
In other words, why do you want to be a Virtual Assistant? To start your own business?
Your why is what keeps you focused and motivated during hard times. And, my friend there will be hard times. Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing helps you weather those hard times.
Take a moment and write down your why.
Feel free to share in the comment section below, I would love to know.
Mine, is freedom – in every sense of the word.
And… be sure to post your why where you can see it every day to remind you why your on this journey.
Step #3 is investing.
How much money do you have to invest in your new business? Because, let’s be honest, it’s hard to set up a business for free. There is an investment of either time or money or both.
It’s all about working with what you’ve got.
This business is your future right? It’s your dream.
If you’re currently working, my best advice is to set aside money to invest in equipment or training. How much money can you put away each paycheck towards your dream?
Even if you’re not working, there are other things you can give up like eating out or your morning Starbucks.
Take that money and invest it in yourself – because you are your business.
Please take a moment and figure out what works for you. Something is better than nothing.
We’re going to talk more about what to invest in, in the next blog post.
Step #4 is your schedule.
How much time can you invest in getting your business off the ground? What’s your current schedule look like?
I know it can be challenging to find extra time when you’re working and trying to build your business on the side.
I’ve been there, done that and got the tee shirt to prove it.
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!
Can you get up two hours early in the morning to work on your business? What about setting aside two hours later in the evening?
I gave up watching TV at night. Instead, I used that time to work on my business.
How about working during lunch?
The most important thing is to find the time.
The question is, where can you find even one hour a day to work on your business? Every little bit makes a big difference.
Step #5 is how much you need to earn.
This is a BIG one.
And… another step that many people neglect to do. I know I did (neglect this step).
I was so focused on getting out of my job, I estimated what I thought I needed to earn in my new business, instead of actually doing the math.
Boy was I wrong – I WAY underpriced myself.
You need to know how much you need to earn. This number is your baseline number – the amount you must earn in order to keep the lights on.
I have a YouTube video series on pricing and setting your rates.
I recommend watching at least the first two videos, as it goes thru the exercise of figuring out how much you need to earn using my Rate Calculation sheet.
You can download the sheet by clicking on the image below.
Be sure to make a note of how much you need to earn and how much you want to earn. Both of these numbers are important.
Step #6 is your service offerings.
Do you know what services you want to offer in your Virtual Assistant business? What skills do you have today that you can offer?
It’s time to start thinking about what services you’d like to offer.
Like all other industries, the VA industry has specific skill sets that are in high demand. Anything techie or digital marketing are hot.
What do I mean by “techie” or “digital marketing”? Well… any of the dozens of techie tools clients use to run their business.
- Mail Chimp
- Active Campaign
Digital marketing includes skills such as:
- Email Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Digital Ads (Facebook, YouTube)
- Social Media Marketing.
It really pays to specialize when it comes to being a Virtual Assistant.
Specializing makes it easier to sell your expertise instead of your time. You can package up your expertise into service packages. It makes marketing + sales so much easier!
I recommend that all Virtual Assistants learn WordPress + Mail Chimp. They are two in demand skills that clients are always asking for.
If you want to learn more about offering WordPress services, check out my free webinar 3 Secrets To Offering WordPress Services. You can watch it here.
The most important thing is to only offer what you love to do.
Take a look at the skills you have right now – I bet you have something you can offer.
- Customer service
- Project management
- Event planning
- Inbox or calendar management
All of these skills are needed and can get you started as a Virtual Assistant.
Take a few minutes to list out the skills you have and anything that you’d like to learn more about.
Step #7 is your target market (lucky seven).
This is where you’re going to target your marketing efforts.
Not everyone is your customer – you have to focus your attention on a specific market.
Now I know many people think that targeting their marketing means they’ll have less business. Or… that they’ll have to turn away business away that is not in their market. Neither of these are true.
In fact, what you focus on expands. You end up with more clients when you focus then when you don’t.
It’s easier to get clients too because you know who to get in front of to share your expertise.
Take a moment and answer these questions:
- What industries are you passionate about?
- What do you love to do?
- Who do you want to help?
These questions will help you to figure out who you want to work with.
Remember, it’s your business, your choice. You get to choose everything including who you work with.
We’ll be deep diving this topic a bit more in a future blog post.
Step #8 is your perfect day.
This one might seem a bit strange but I’d love you to just go with it.
I want you to design your perfect day, your perfect business.
- What does it look like to you?
- How many hours do you work? (4 hours a day, 3 days a week, etc.)
- Where do you work? (RV, park, cabin, home, etc.)
- What is your perfect business? (living where you want, working when you want, etc.)
Do this exercise like money is NO object.
Really take some time to imagine what your perfect day would be. And, what would your perfect business allow you to do?
My perfect day is a mix of creative and client work plus time for family & all my hobbies.
My perfect business allows me to give back to others and to make a difference.
Oh and I don’t work on Fridays!
Finally, step #9 is what do you need.
What do you need to set up your virtual assistant business?
Well, since a business is a system, you need to set up your systems first. Your systems are the foundation of your business. This is a step TOO many people skip over.
Shaky systems = shaky business.
Do you really want a shaky business?
You should always implement your business systems BEFORE working with clients.
Don’t fall for the scam, get a client then figure it out! That’s not a great way to start a relationship.
We’re going to deep dive each of the four key business systems and what you need to implement in the next five blog posts. These are the systems that run and support your business.
In the next post in this series, we are going to talk about the key virtual assistant systems you need to succeed.
Whew… you made it to the end!
Now, it’s time for action.
If you haven’t downloaded the free Virtual Assistant Business Plan template, then I recommend clicking the button below to grab it.
It walks you through the 9 questions covered in this blog post and it will help you take the action you need to plan your future.
You have to do the work <grin>.
If you’re looking for a step by step guide that walks you through setting up your VA business (including everything covered in this blog post), be sure to check out my affordable VA Action Plan. It’s a workbook that walks you through the basic must haves in an easy to follow step-by-step system. For all the details go to http://bit.ly/vaactionplan
It’s time to get busy creating your Virtual Assistant Business Plan.
Download the template below:
Be sure to keep your VA Business Plan handy, as we’ll be using it again!
The next blog post in this series is all about the virtual assistant systems you need to design, create & implement. You can read it here.
What do you think?
Feel free to post below and let me know what action your taking today to complete your VA business plan.
I’d love to here from you.
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:
- Virtual Assistant Systems + What You Need To Know
- Virtual Assistant Is NOT A Title
- Creating Your Virtual Assistant Service Packages
- Tips For Starting Your VA Business While Still Working
Oh… and each week I host an Open Mic Session in my VA Tips & Tricks Facebook Group where I deep dive specific topics & answer your questions, be sure to join us for the next one – it’s FREE! Go to http://bit.ly/vatipstricks.
Thanks for reading – Susan
Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!
Susan Mershon started The Techie Mentor ™ in 2013 to teach Virtual Assistants the systems + skills they need to start + run a successful business. With a strong base in project management, Susan brings her love of systems and teaching to offer training and mentoring to new and experienced Virtual Assistants. She’s taught thousands of students her unique system that teaches the skills clients are looking for + the systems you need to offer your knowledge as a service professional. This proven system will help you stand out as a professional, earn you more money and free up your precious time.