The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series
Work from Home as an Independent Virtual Assistant
by STC Staff Writer
A virtual assistant (VA)
A VA is the Internet equivalent of a personal assistant, and it is a popular business for work at home moms.
If you have experience in an administrative field or can offer virtual services to business clients, then you are a prime candidate for having a successful virtual assistant business.
Becoming a virtual assistant requires a few simple steps. There is no formal credential process to become a virtual assistant, but there are several companies who offer training and their own credentialing. This is not absolutely necessary to be a successful virtual assistant, but it can be helpful in obtaining jobs as a newcomer.
Before you sign up for any program or course
Do your due diligence and investigate the company. Get recommendations from other successful virtual assistants and consider finding a mentor who can help you get started.
Legally, you may need a business license in order to become an independent contractor. By obtaining a business license you’ll be able to open up a business bank account and keep your business and personal finances separately.
Many just establish a small business PayPal account to receive their fees and get a PayPal Debit Card so they have direct, immediate access to their funds.
Also, you can get a personal Western Union (WU) Prepaid Debit Card for receiving money from your PayPal account for easy access to your funds.
Being legal also means you can declare many of your business expenses as tax write-offs.
Once you’ve set up your home office, you’ll need to establish your virtual office. On the Internet, you’ll use a website to advertise yourself as a virtual assistant.
Having a website is essential to establishing your online presence. If web design is not in your skill set, find someone who can make a website for you.
Try to contact other virtual assistants and see if you can barter for the design if it’s something that you cannot afford to begin with.
On your website you should, at a minimum, list your services and who you are.
Your Fee Rates
You can also include an hourly rate, although many virtual assistants like to charge by the project instead of by the hour. As far as services go, don’t offer services that you don’t like to do.
If you can make spreadsheets but don’t like to do it, then don’t offer that service. If you have a background in a specific field, for example, law, then list this as a specialty.
Specialize in Your Niche, the Type of Work that You Offer.
Many virtual assistants limit their business to writing and editing, web design, data management or planning, but some offer a mixture of all types of services.
You Control Your Work Destiny
Remember, this is your business and you can choose what tasks you want to perform.
The best way to get virtual assistant jobs, to begin with, is to start networking. Your best leads will come through people that you already know, whether they are online or in your hometown.
Promote Your Business Services
Let people know what you are offering and promote your website address so people can see who you are and what you are doing.
Make sure to include up to date contact information on your web page, including a phone number.
Offer YOUR Simple (But effective) Independent Contract –
When you get your first client, it’s important to have a contract set in place before you start working on a project. You can get many sample contracts online that you can adapt to your needs.
Make sure you and the client are both on the same page about the type of work that you will be doing. That way there are no surprises when you deliver the project and your bill.
Build Your Rep
After you have a few projects under your belt, you’ll begin to build a reputation. Then your virtual assistant business will grow naturally to include repeat clients and new projects.
When you consistently do good work, your reputation will precede you and you may have more projects that you know what to do within a short period of time.
Make sure not to overbook yourself, and collect a network of other virtual assistants who are willing to take overflows for you if the need arises. A great place for networking to acquire outsourcing help is on Fiverr.com.
You can outsource some, or all of your work, charging more than your Fiverr contact charge you, and keep the difference between your cost and total fees collected. This is really a form of brokering (no license required), or a form of Arbitrage.
Just follow these few basic steps to get started in your own business as a virtual assistant.
If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you.