This isn’t my standard blog post, it’s more of a rant. Thought I’d warn you now <grin>.
It seems that everyone is now either a Virtual Assistant Coach or Trainer. I think it’s great that the industry is growing BUT, do these new coaches and trainers have the experience to really teach others how to be successful?
There are so many newbies jumping on the Virtual Assistant Coaching and Training bandwagon when many of them haven’t been in business long enough to be considered successful. I’m sorry but you’re not qualified to be a coach or trainer if you’ve not run a successful VA business for at least 3 years (the bare minimum in my opinion).
According to the Small Business Association (SBA) and many others, 80% of all small businesses fail in the first year alone. After the first year, the number falls but only about 50% of businesses make it to five years. Those are some pretty sobering statistics huh?
Here’s the thing, how can someone who has been in business less than a year really understand what it takes to run a successful business? They’ve not been in business long enough to know! Not only that, but they’re also teaching people stuff that is just plain wrong.
The Lies You’ll Come Across
Like a contract is not necessary – WRONG. They are very necessary; in fact, don’t work without a signed contract. It’s protection for both you and your clients.
I’ve seen things like:
- You don’t really need any experience… except know how to use the Internet. You’ll have a hard time finding clients if you don’t have the skills they want.
- People guaranteeing that you’ll make 5k or 10k a month if you buy their coaching or training. Sorry folks, no one can guarantee how much anyone else will make. It’s just a marketing ploy.
- If you read or hear something saying that it’s easy to be a Virtual Assistant, that you can make thousands of dollars only working 4 hours a day… it’s hogwash.
You have to put in the time and effort especially when you’re just starting out. On a side note – it’s definitely possible to make 10k a month but there is a whole lot more to it than just being a Virtual Assistant.
I’m passionate about this industry and I’m seeing more and more people who are new to the industry get taken advantage of by slick marketing. Some of these newbies are teaching crappy methods, and it brings down the entire VA industry.
I know when I first started I didn’t know what to ask or to look for when thinking about investing in training and/or coaching. And… I ended up buying a LOT of crap. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Do Your Homework
Please, I ask you to do your homework when it comes to hiring a coach or buying a course. Find out:
- If the person really is/was successful.
- If they’ve been in business for more than a couple of years.
- If they have a refund policy.
Ask for testimonials, ask for proof of success – it’s important since you’re trusting this person with your potential livelihood, business and your hard-earned $$.
The VA Industry is NOT standardized which means there is no certification for trainers or coaches like in other industries.
A Few Tips To Get You Started
Here are a few more tips that you might find helpful:
- You can use a program like WhoIs.Org to see how long they’ve owned their domain name. It can give you an idea of how long they’ve been in business. For example, if you go to this website and type in thetechiementor.com you’ll see when I first registered this domain back in 2011. (I would still ask this question directly to the coach or trainer – they could have rebranded and changed their business name).
- Award-Winning Virtual Assistant or Best VA Trainer, what does that even mean? Who voted for them? How many people voted? Is it even a real award?
- If you’re in the UK, check to see if they’re VAT registered (you have to be VAT registered if you earn £85k+). Anyone who isn’t is definitely not earning 6 figures, whatever their marketing says.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – it’s your time and money that you’re investing.
Oh and one more thing. Yes, I know… I’m what you would call a VA Coach or Trainer. But I’m starting my 10th year in this industry and ran a successful VA business for 5 years before I started The Techie Mentor. I’m not asking you to buy my stuff or hire me unless we’re a good fit.
Ok, rant over. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. All comments and questions are welcome.
Thanks for reading – Susan