10 Things You Need to Know Before Becoming a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are essentially the behind-the-scenes crew and we take tremendous pride in the fact that we’re able to help clients all around the world run successful businesses.

But if you’re just getting started on the VA scene, there are some few things you need to know that will help you be more successful in the long run.

Let’s get started!1. Building a successful VA Business takes patience.If you’re getting into the VA industry because you’re into “get rich quick schemes”, think again.

Building your VA business will take a lot of time and patience; it’s more of a journey than a race. You will spend a lot of time planning, writing and designing.  However, you should prepare yourself for some hardcore editing, especially if you’ll be seeking advice from another assistant or a professional service provider.
If you have a great work ethic and you’re willing to work consistently to grow your VA business, results will come with time.

The most important thing to remember is that you’re on a journey and you will get there, but it will take time, so don’t give up on your dream!

2. Running an online business is no different than running a business in a physical location.Though you won’t be meeting clients at a physical location, you should still be using the same businesses practices that a physical company would.

Availability –  Are you making yourself available to clients during normal business hours?  What is your average response time to clients?
Phone Line – Do you have a professional phone line your clients can call for a consultation or to get more information about your services?
Contracts – When you start providing services for a client, do you draw up a contract or do you just simply take a payment?

These are great things to think about as you’re starting your business because your primary goal should be making all your potential and current clients very happy with the services you’re providing them.“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
         – Walt Disney

3. Build relationships to grow your business.Connecting with fellow VA’s, previous clients and the general online community is more important than the content on your website.  Building and maintaining those relationships is key in any online business.

If you don’t network with people online, how are you going to grow your business?  You need to drive traffic to your site, but you can’t expect consumers to be aware of your new business without speaking to them about it.  

People need people.

4. Know when to ask for help.As virtual assistants, we’re very accustomed to completing a variety of work projects; that’s one of the qualities that makes us so valuable.  With that being said, we don’t know how to do everything.  As you’re building and growing your business, you may come across things that you don’t know how to do.  Maybe you’re not a web designer or a programmer or a marketing expert and that’s okay.

When I first started my business, I had no idea what ‘SEO’ was.  I designed my website really well and uploaded a great deal of high quality content, but I wasn’t sure how to let clients know that I was in business.  I started doing a bit of research and I quickly discovered that marketing my business and targeting possible clients needed to be outsourced.  I was able to see much better results when I started asking for help.5. Don’t quit your day job.Once you start your business, it’s going to take some time for you to build your client base.  You’ll need to go through some advertising, design and marketing trials before you find what works for you, so don’t be surprised if the income isn’t steady, at first.

Throughout time and patience, you will gain a steady amount of clients and you’ll start feeling more secure to let that day job go, but it will take some time.  Going back to the first topic, remember, things will take time and a great amount of patience, especially when you’re starting from the very bottom, but if you stay with it, great things can and will happen.When you think about quitting, remember why you started.
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Kevin Stevens01/21/2015 1:43am

Great points, can’t wait for the next part. I’m looking at setting up an online business, not VA but one where I need to respond to clients quickly and I can’t figure out how I’m going to deal with different time zones! Reply John Petersen 01/22/2015 3:24pm

I tried to do the SEO for my online business myself and eventually gave up when I realised I was probably doing more harm than good. Now I have someone who takes care of it for me and it’s going much better. Reply Natalie Andrews 01/23/2015 7:53pm

There are so many new opportunities nowadays with the internet that weren’t available when I started my first business in the 70s. It can be overwhelming at first but I find it incredibly exciting at the same time. Looking forward to part two. Reply

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