Becoming a Virtual Assistant Takes Planning
You've thought it over and made up your mind - you want to become a virtual office
assistant. Fantastic! Now what you need to do is sit down and create a roadmap for how
you're going to make your dream a reality.
I know you're excited about becoming a virtual assistant and it's tempting to just
throw your hat into the ring and see what happens. However, it's best to do a little
planning first in order to make sure you can be successful at this.
Here are some things you should keep in mind:
Create a marketing plan - One of the toughest things to do when you're in business for
yourself is figuring out how to promote your services. You're starting from scratch and
even though you have excellent skills, nobody knows who you are. A marketing plan will
give you a blueprint to follow so you can get the word out.
There are several ways you can market yourself:
• Business Cards
• Online Forums
• Local Organizations
What are your start-up costs?
How much money do you need to spend to get the ball rolling?
Make sure you have the basics to get started: computer in good shape, copy / fax
machine, filing cabinet, printer, copy paper, printer ink, daily planner, comfortable
office chair, etc.
If you need to buy office supplies, look for places where you can get good discounts.
Spend as little money as possible. Once your business is making money, you can purchase
Charge what you're worth
When starting out, you may be tempted to set your rates low in order to attract clients
- Don't do it!
Even though virtual assisting is relatively new, most VA's charge between $25-$70 per
hour. Charging lower than this will make you look less professional than your competition.
Besides, you need to make enough to cover your own expenses, plus any vacation and sick
time you need.
Remember, you're the boss now. You're also a professional service provider and deserve
to make a good living from your skills.
What's your specialty?
In your career as an office assistant, you've probably picked up many different skills.
You will use most of them while virtual assisting. However, when it comes to marketing
yourself, it's wise to pick something to specialize in like: desktop publishing, proofreading,
legal transcription, writing articles, resume writing, academic research, etc.
Specializing in one area makes you stand out from the crowd. It's also way easier to
promote your services this way. You can target clients who want to utilize your unique
talents. By the way, you'll still be able to take on clients outside your specialty.