The virtual assistant industry has steadily grown over the last one decade. Today this industry has its’ own association & several certification-programs. A virtual assistant can be described as an independent-contractor who works from a remote location offering administrative, technical and creative support services to different clients. Although many companies usually hire home based support staff, the virtual assistants can reap-greater flexibility & hourly rates, that is $30 or more, by running their very own business. A virtual assistant provides off site support for businesses and companies without the need for a full time or on site administrative assistant. There are some entrepreneurs who start virtual assistant-businesses after having worked for many years as administrative & executive assistants, whilst others learn necessary skills by simply enrolling in the virtual assistant certificate-courses. A virtual assistant business may offer general administrative-assistant services like, answering the phone, sending faxes & scheduling appointments, or some more complex services like, web design & database maintenance. Advantages-of such businesses can include a low start up capital & low overhead.
How-to-Start a Virtual Assistant Business
- Decide what services you will offer & what industry you will provide the services to
- Set the prices
- Good business Plan
- Create a proper budget, using credits and debits, which outline start up & ongoing costs
- Decide on your business name & determine the business structure
- Set up your own virtual office
- Market your virtual assistant business both off and online
Decide what services you will offer & what industry you will provide the services to
There are some virtual assistants who focus on specific-skills like customer service and website support. Others can focus on offering a variety-of services to the professionals in certain industries,like speakers and Realtors. You can make a list-of your virtual skills like typing speed, research, writing, technical knowledge & phone skills. You can also list the skills in using specific-software & equipment like, word-processing & photo enhancement software and/or in using certain digital audio devices-for transcription. You can even list all the industries you’ve experience in and/or are knowledgeable-about. Use these lists to identify services you would like to offer or/and the industries you would like to work-in.
Set the prices
Your fees/charges will vary depending on your skill level or/and industry knowledge that is needed, and amount of time & frequency that is needed so as to complete the tasks.
Good business Plan
Create a good business plan for the virtual assistance business which outlines your target market and just how to reach that market. You should also do a marketing analysis which focuses on the business needs, you can make a company motto and/or mission statement & sort out any legal issues which are required when starting the virtual assistant business.
Create a proper budget, using credits and debits, which outline start up & ongoing costs
This will help determine just how much capital/cash is needed so as to operate the business til it generates a regular income.
Decide on your business name & determine the business structure
The business name can indicate that you basically run a virtual assistant business. You may choose a name that’s specific to your-niche, but do not make it too specific that you cannot add any more services. For instance, if you decide to name the business”ABC-Transcription”, it does not allow-for you to add any other services like email support. You may run the business as the sole proprietor and/or you can form a legal-entity like a limited liability-company (also abbreviated as LLC). You should obtain all the necessary permits & licenses from the local city or/and county government offices. In case the business name is anything other than your given-name, you will most likely be required-to obtain a doing business as or assumed name-statement. In case you happen to form the LLC or any other such business entity, you will need-to request for an Employer Identification-Number (also abbreviated as, EIN) from Internal Revenue Service(Also abbreviated as IRS). As the sole proprietor you may use the social security number.
Set up your own virtual office
Ideally the office space can be dedicated to the virtual assistant business. The office should meet each of your needs in terms-of space, furniture, lighting & equipment & also be free-from outside distractions. Since a virtual assistant’s sits for long periods-of time, you should choose a comfortable-chair which has back support & keep the computer monitor at the level that does not strain your neck or eyes. Virtual assistants also maintain a great deal-of information like contact lists & billing for clients. In order to protect the information, you should equip the office with a good back up drive in case the computer crashes.
Market your virtual assistant business both off and online
Build a site which includes a portfolio-of your work. Ask for testimonials-from your current clients. You can also network with the target market off and online. Send press releases which not only describe your new services, but also provide details on exactly how various businesses can benefit-from using virtual assistants.