So you think you want to become a Virtual Assistant? Do you even know what a Virtual Assistant does? Or how much money you should charge? Do you need a website up and running? All of these are good questions, but your head is spinning about now. Don’t panic. Let’s take a few steps back before you get overwhelmed. I’ve been right there in your shoes. Here are some things to consider that will help you decide to take the leap and begin your own Virtual Assistant business.
It’s a business. It’s YOUR business
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent contractor. You set your schedule and rates. Who you work with and what you do are your decisions. You are not an employee – you are a partner. You may have never thought of yourself as a business owner (I didn’t!), but if you are serious about creating your future, there has never been a better time to become a VA.
First things first…
- Side job or full-time pursuit?
- Enjoy working virtually?
- Self-motivated and can manage your time?
- Need special skills/education/certification before I start?
These are some frequently asked questions about working as a VA. And they are great questions! Take some time to reflect on these and any other questions you might have. One of the benefits of this business is that it CAN be a side job or a full-time passion. Some people can’t stand to work on the computer for long periods of time. If that’s the case, this probably isn’t for you. It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses, especially when it comes to running your own business. Concerning skills, education, or certifications needed – I know VAs who have no college education to those with PhD’s and everything in between.
Know your skills and interests
What do you love doing? What skills do you have right now? Do you want to learn new skills? You might be surprised to find out that you already possess many marketable skills that you could turn into a VA business. Don’t rule yourself out just because you haven’t worked in a corporate setting. Teachers and Coaches make excellent Virtual Assistants. Their ability to handle multiple responsibilities, a diverse population of students, and their flexibility are all assets that clients love. Educators are innately curious and love learning, which is a given in our ever changing technological world. They are born problem solvers. Having your own VA business is about seeing a need and offering a solution.
Research is your friend
Your next step should be doing research. In 2018, Statista.com reported that the global market for Virtual Assistants was 85 billion dollars. That’s not a misprint – BILLION! According to Business Daily News, some of the best businesses to start in 2021 can be services offered by Virtual Assistants. You will find that VAs can offer general administrative services or they can specialize in areas such as website design, website maintenance, graphic design, copywriting – the sky’s the limit!
Look for VA networking groups on social media. Google “Virtual Assistant” and you will find groups for stay-at-home moms, retirees, those wanting to quit the corporate rat race, etc. Check them out and see if they answer some of your questions.
Ok, I’ve reflected and have done some research…
First, take a deep breath and relax a minute. You’ve done a lot of work already. You have an idea of what you want to do and the skills you have. Don’t start putting out a lot of money for training. Check out free workshops and webinars about becoming a VA. Here is a great article in Forbes magazine about the Virtual Assistant world that you should read.
COVID 19 changed everything. Companies lost revenue and had to cut costs, including jobs. Many, if not most companies, had to discover new ways for employees to work from home. The “new normal” was the virtual world. For the Virtual Assistant, it WAS “business as usual”. VA’s already worked from home and continued to work with their clients without skipping a beat. More businesses are moving online, so the need for qualified, professional VA’s grows.
I could tell you more about setting up your business entity, building your website, etc., but you may give up before you start. Becoming a Virtual Assistant is up to you. This might be the first time YOU get to call the shots. It’s not for everyone. It’s hard work. I would be lying if I said it was easy money. But if you want to have the freedom to do what you love and work from anywhere in the world, this is exactly what you are looking for. The sole purpose of the VA is to help other businesses thrive and yourself at the same time. You are solving a problem and don’t we all love that. It’s a win-win for both!
Ready to take the next step to become a Virtual Assistant? Check out Kathy Goughenour’s YouTube channel. Subscribe and post a comment while you’re there. She would love to hear from you!