Thinking of Becoming a Virtual Assistant? Five Facts Youll Want to Know
By Alexandra Amor
Starting a home-based Virtual Assistant (VA) business has many similarities to
starting any other type of home-based business. It also has several unique
features that you should clearly understand before you begin. When you become
aware of these five unique business traits, you'll be able to research the
profession with your eyes wide open and decide if being a VA is right for you.
1. What is a Virtual Assistant anyway?
Every VA's first and most prolonged challenge is that Virtual Assistance is a
profession that is in its infancy and it still rare to meet prospective clients
who know what a VA can do for them. In order to convert prospective clients into
paying clients you'll need to do a lot of educating about what Virtual
Assistance is and how it can support businesses.
Some self-employed entrepreneurs know they need help but they can't fathom
receiving that support virtually. You'll need to become well-versed at how you
can make their business lives easier and communicate that message ongoingly
until it sinks in.
2. You say tomato ...
There are as many potential VA services as there are VAs and VA clients.
Figuring out what it is you can do best and where you want to focus your
services is imperative. Clearly define what you do (and what you won't do) and
your potential clients will be more likely to understand how you can help them.
3. Your call is important to us.
When I first started as a Virtual Assistant, many of my clients assumed that
because I was 'virtual' and sat at my computer all day that this must mean I
provided computer technical support. This confusion is common and can often be
difficult to train your clients that what you do is different than tech support.
If you wish to provide computer technical support in addition to your VA
services, that's fine too. But know what you're getting into first.
4. The two-headed monster
Any self-employed entrepreneur with a home-based business can tell you that
when you become self-employed you need to become practiced at two very different
skill sets. The first is being good at what you do for your clients. The second
is being an entrepreneur. This includes doing all the things it takes to juggle
multiple clients and take care of your business as the same time.
Often we are fantastic at the first skill, but dismal at the latter, leaving
our own bookkeeping piling up for months or years, feeling stymied by the marketing
we need to do to fill our practices or finding ourselves under-charging for our
services. Having a coach or a VA mentor is a great way to become skilled at both
these essential business elements.