How can I build a virtual assistant business?
Building a website, talking to a lawyer, insurance agent, tax information, etc. I would like to know if it would be a good idea to get a coach or should I just search for the information myself. I am confused and would like as much help as possible.
Hi Bobbie, I had same thing in Mind to ask this question. I have been searching for VA service.. as I have set of team member who can work as VA. I am freelance Business development manger and VA service can give me extra bugs.. which will be helpful for my business. can anyone suggest me where and whom to reach out for projects.
Try talking to @BrewerVAservice. She is in Australia so can be a friend rather than a competitor.
When I leased a new auto this year, the company gave me a free VA service and I am satisfied with it so far. I suspect the VAs that I have interacted with are not employees but are contractors. Perhaps you might enter into another company's business model as a contractor.
Building virtual assistant business is most risky to some and great to some. First, I believe your products/services must be highly regarded ("branding"). Secondly, the virtual assistant business must have the knowledge of the products/services to market and sell it to the end-users. Thirdly, you must have daily, weekly, monthly contact with your virtual assistant business to have hands-on the issues managed in your virtual assistant business somewhere else. Good luck
Hello Bobbie, my recommendation is to do both. You certainly need to get an attorney if you plan to incorporate and possibly a bookkeeper. I would do a google search for virtual assistant which will also bring up links to websites for VA's. There are all kinds of groups on social media as well ( LI, G+ and FB) so you may to want to look at these as well.
IVAA, International Virtual Assistants Association is great resource if you're interested in developing a virtual assistant business. They offer great education and resources that benefit new VA's as well as seasoned VA's. Annual membership is very reasonable and the benefits are invaluable. Feel free to reach out to me via phone or email as well.
I would recommend that maybe you start by sub-contracting to an established VA first, to build up experience and a portfolio. Also, there are quite a few course you can do in becoming a virtual assistant, and several 'bootcamp' programs to specialise in various areas (such as Wordpress). A diploma in social media is also a great place to start to certify or build your skills base.
Also, network. I cannot stress the importance of networking. more people will buy into who you are and what you have to offer, than you price.
I suggest finding a mentor, as well as a sales/business coach, in order to establish the best way to begin your business.
Wishing you every success,
Tara Coffin-Harrold VA.
What problems will your VA's solve? Anyone can find a VA to do just about anything they need on oDesk... but what will make YOU stand out is to find VERY SPECIFIC pain points that you could solve for customers with your VA business.
Example (you could sell this): Pain = No time to find influencers to outreach to for exposure/PR opportunities. Solution = VA's with a workflow system for finding, listing and contacting influencers with blogs, podcasts, or journal columns.
Just one specific problem solved. I'm sure we could brainstorm a few dozen. If you'd like to talk strategy, I am available for a free 30-minute session - feel free to personal message me. Wishing you the best!
PS: Make sure that there is NO 'communication friction' between your clients and your VA's. I have had trouble finding a VA that understood English enough to do everything asked of them properly.
Just asking this broad a question shows you are not ready to start a business yet and need to do some preliminary study. This is like asking "How do I solve world peace?". The answer is years of preparation to develop skills. Every business needs five basic skill areas to some level - though some can "outsource" pieces. These are Sales, Marketing, Finance, Service/Product Development and Finance. How much will you need each? Do you need to hire a contractor or can you do it in a simple way (networking to find clients at local business groups?).
Service businesses are easiest and not that complex as you are just selling time -- but you need to do some study and preparation, not just launch. The most economical way to approach it is to start reading about 2 years ago and cover 20-30 books on entrepenurship, reading 1-2 per month. Barring that you should have a mentor, coach and/or partner to go to for quick answers and planning. I authored a book called The StartupManual for this very purpose. See: www.StartupPlanet.com. It may be overkill for you as it is for serious entrepeneurs wishing to build a significant (>20 employees) business over time, which requires some strategy.
You first need a biz plan and a target market (niche), or at least a lead source that works for business. Is this just about you or developing a staff to rent out? Huge difference. If you are just renting out your time I would not really call that a "business" it is really freelancing. A business is something you can walk away from and it keeps generating money and working. Anything else is a job and requires you there all the time to make money. BTW there are only 2 ways to get rich in the U.S. one is be a celebrity or sport star and the other is to OWN a business. Anything else pays market value rates only and you will top out and have no tax advantages. Only tax leverage is through a business too.
See this link for my Recommend Reading list for entrepreneurs and CEOs: http://clevelenterprises.com/Recommended_Reading.htm
Be very careful with lawyers. They will bankrupt you if you let them. Few know anything about business. Their job is creating ZERO risk and a start-up is in the risk business. Generally you should not even need a lawyer unless you are raising capital or other special circumstances. Incorporate online without a lawyer - and only if - you think there is some liability at first. Generally incorporating in your own state is fine. Delaware and Nevada for bigger opportunities, but you can always change later. Generally a sole prprietorship (just a Schedule C on your tax return legally) and a local filing fee at the town hall called a "DBA" for "Doing business as XXX" is all that is needed. Corporations are to prevent personal liability from lawsuits and create shareholders and partners etc. A lawyer will never tell you this because they want to set themselves up for ongoing fees that a corproation needs to pay. They can't make any money at all from a sole proprietorship unless someone sues them generally speaking. Insurance - likely not needed early on. Web site, absolutely, a standard template site with you filling in the pages can be created for < $250. Check out Godaddy.com and post a request for propsoal (RFP) at eLlance.com after you write the 5-10 pages of text and have a menu structure in mind. I recommend using Joomla so you can edit and add to it yourself without any progamming skills or cost every month. Best way to get traffic is write articles relevant to your specialty. Joomla is a free Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to add articles with one click and a paste from word, and change everything as you please after a programmer sets it up for you. I could go on - literally for days here but I am out of characters.
Are there any national associations for VAs or owners of VA firms? If so, start there.