There has never been a better time to launch your VA business. If you have been considering it for a while, have proven skills that can be easily transferred into the remote support sector, have a realistic understanding of the hard work and effort involved in working for yourself, and have the funds required to now really is the perfect time to make the transition from PA to VA. Thinking of Starting a VA business? The time is now and let me explain why…
1. Our industry is growing at an impressive rate, and networks of experienced and supportive VAs are coming together to help each other – and new VAs – find increased success in the industry. The Virtual Assistant field is unlike any other I have found when it comes to being supportive and collaborative; the VIP VA Hub – a Facebook group that is our own platform for new, existing and aspiring VAs – is a great example of this, with members sharing their highs and lows, advice and personal development opportunities with others on a daily basis. The isolation of remote, home-based working can be hard sometimes without the camaraderie of colleagues, but a virtual support network helps to put you in touch with your peers so that you can ask questions or simply start a friendly conversation to reduce the occasional feelings of loneliness you may experience in your VA life.
2. Technologically, things have never been better for virtual and remote workers. Broadband speeds and widespread Wi-Fi capability enable us to work efficiently even if we are located some distance away from our clients. Security advances (like fingerprint and facial recognition, plus anti-virus software, etc.) have also helped to make it easier for us to work for others with a reduced risk of malicious or accidental loss of data – a must when you are dedicated to providing customers with the highest levels of care and support.
3. There are some excellent training options out there to see you succeed in your venture. VA training courses have been tried, tested and honed over the past few years as the industry has grown, making the quality of courses and relevance of subject matter better than ever! The skills of professional Virtual Assistants can be varied and far reaching, from more traditional PA/EA roles like Diary and Email Management and event planning, to marketing assistance (from Social Media Marketing to content creation from printed literature and newspaper articles). As a result, it’s worth ensuring that your skills in the area you’d like to specialise in are up to date, of course, but you also need to consider what you need to know to actually run a business.
So if now is the time for your to launch your business, here are our first 5 steps you need to take to get started:
Step #1: Clarify your ideal client
As tempting as it may sound, starting your business on the basis that you’re going to work for anyone and everyone, isn’t going to work. Not only is it an ineffective way to market yourself, you’re not going to stand out to your potential clients either. If you want to stand out, you need to know who you’re going to work with. Who is your ideal client? Where will you find them and what needs will you be helping them with? It’s only when you niche down, that you’ll find it easier to market and build your business.
Step #2: Get the legalities in place
The next important step is to ensure you have all the necessary legalities in place. This includes getting yourself and your business covered by those necessary and essential insurance policies. At the least, you need Professional Indemnity and, if you’re looking to have clients to your home or at in-person events, you’ll also need Public Liability. Another legality that needs to sorted is your client contracts. These will help protect both you and your client, by clarifying what is (and isn’t!) included in your services, how it will work and for how long they’re committing to being with you.
Step #3: Build a social media presence
Once you have the legalities in place, you need to start raising your profile. Social media is a great way to do this. Set yourself up a professional profile on LinkedIn, get yourself a page (not personal profile!) on Facebook and look at the other social media options available to you. Start by using one or two, until you’re familiar with them – before you sign up to any other platforms.
Step #4: Get your VA business financials in place
When it comes to setting up your business, you have two main options – Limited Company versus sole trader. Each will have their own requirements regarding tax, National Insurance etc., so make sure you know the benefits and downsides of both, before you make your choice.
Step #5: Build a support network
Finally, it’s worth remembering, working for yourself can be both daunting and lonely. This is why it pays to get yourself a support network in place. Join a community of like minded people, sign up to a VA society and get yourself a mentor. Not only will this ensure you have support, it’s also a great way to learn from those who are already doing what you set out to do – run a successful VA business.
At VIP VA we help people to build successful and profitable VA businesses through our training courses that cover a range of topics, from Self-Belief to Social Media, and from Branding to Legalities, Insurance and Data Protection Requirements.
We are exceptionally proud of our VA training courses, particularly following the release of the UK VA National Survey v8 statistics last year which demonstrated that VIP VA graduates earn at least £2000 more than any other UK training course and at least £6000 more than VAs with no training, making us the leading VA trainer in the UK.
Guest post written by Charlotte Wibberley, Founder of VIP VA.