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.
- 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
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 the 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. 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.
First, 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).
#1 Do The Research
Understand what being a Virtual Assistant is all about.
#2 What 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.
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.
#4 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 the 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.
#5 How Much Do 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 through 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.
#6 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 is hot.
What do I mean by “techie” or “digital marketing”? Well… any of the dozens of techie tools clients use to run their business. Such as:
- 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 and sales so much easier!
I recommend that all Virtual Assistants learn WordPress and Mail Chimp. They are two in-demand skills that clients are always asking for. If you want to learn in-demand skills and how to offer them as a service check out my Techie VA Training.
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.
Oh… and one more thing. Think about whether or not you want to be tied to your computer for certain hours every day. I know I didn’t that is why I chose to offer systems and techie skills so I could have the freedom to do the task on my own schedule and not be stuck in my office all day long like a JOB.
Realize that admin type services require you to be “available” during business hours — where back-end services (systems and tech) don’t.
#7 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 is true. In fact, what you focus on expands. You end up with more clients when you focus than 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.
#8 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 my family and 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! What’s yours?
#9 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.
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 you do now. 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 Virtual Assistant Action Plan. It’s a workbook that walks you through the basic must-haves in an easy to follow step-by-step system.
It’s time to get busy creating your Virtual Assistant Business Plan. Be sure to keep your VA Business Plan handy, as we’ll be using it again!
What do you think?
Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to complete your VA business plan. I’d love to hear from you. All comments and questions are welcome.
Thanks for reading – Susan