Starting a virtual assistant business is a great option for those looking to start their own business. Having your own VA business allows you to set your own hours, work with different clients, and generate income. If you’re considering a virtual assistant business but don’t know what a virtual assistant is and how much do virtual assistants earn when they start their own business? We will answer all these questions and more in this article.
What is a Virtual Assistant Business?
The virtual assistant industry has seen a boom over the past few years as more and more people have taken up the profession. A virtual assistant company offers specialized skills and services to business owners, ranging from general administrative tasks such as appointment scheduling to customer relationship management and other services to busy professionals.
Is a virtual assistant business profitable?
Virtual assistants can generate significant income for themselves, but it depends on several factors such as hourly rate, working hours, number of clients, etc. In the United States, the average virtual assistant salary can be as high as $20 per hour, but professionals can charge more or less depending on experience and availability.
Why You Should Start a Virtual Assistant Business in 2022
There are many reasons to start your own virtual assistant business. If you don’t know how to start a virtual assistant business or why you should, here are some reasons why you should consider it:
- Set your own schedule: You can work part-time or full-time depending on the needs of your clients
- Work on different projects: Increasing your customer base allows you to offer specialized services and work with a varied clientele, so there is more variety in your work.
- Good source of income: A VA business can be a good source of income if you’re looking to earn some extra cash on the side or want to work full-time.
- Easy to start: You can start (or stop) a virtual assistant business anytime you want, and you need very little to get started.
- Value: You can serve an important function for small business owners and busy professionals who need your services and provide value to potential clients in a variety of ways.
Start a Virtual Assistant Business in 15 Simple Steps
Once you’re ready to become a virtual assistant, keep the momentum going and start building your business. We’ll tell you how to build a successful virtual assistant business and how to become a virtual assistant for clients.
Choose a niche
The first step to becoming a virtual assistant is to choose a niche for yourself. For example, some VA companies only focus on administrative tasks, while others offer services such as managing social media accounts, scheduling, and other ad hoc tasks that a personal assistant might provide. Think about your skills and what you think you can offer the most value, and go from there.
Know your target market
Once you have identified your niche, think about your target market. Opting for a busy professional, like a solopreneur or real estate agent? Or would you rather offer VA services to a small business or enterprise? Many virtual assistants work as a personal assistant or as a virtual receptionist for businesses, while others work with multiple clients.
Create a business plan
Your business becomes more official once you make a business plan, which consists of several elements:
- A business name, business license and legal entity, if required
- Information about the people you are targeting as a market
- How do you plan to win new customers
- Marketing material for your business
- Operating Expenses
- Income goals
Set up a business bank account and credit card
Once you’ve developed a business plan and brand for your VA business, your next step is to organize revenue. A business bank account and credit card helps keep your work money separate from your personal money and makes filing taxes easier.
Consider taking our trade assurance
Business insurance is an essential step as it protects you from liabilities and gives your business more security. It’s a cost-effective way to keep your business going. This makes you credible with potential customers and can help with marketing efforts.
Invest in relevant technology
VA companies need the right technology to deliver their services to busy clients, which can vary depending on the type of tasks at hand. Some important equipment to consider includes:
Sort your business structure and register
There are different business registration options and legal entities you can use to structure your business and pay taxes.
- You can work as a sole/independent contractor and report your income to the IRS. For this option, you should work with a tax professional to understand the amount of state and federal taxes you will need to withhold.
- You can register as an LLC and pay yourself a salary
- Another option is to register your business as a corporation, but this may have different tax implications depending on the state you are in.
Plan a marketing strategy
Now that your business is up and running, it’s time to think about marketing yourself to small business owners and online businesses.
Be sure to emphasize how virtual you are, how you can provide value to business owners, and be clear about the services you offer. Review the elements of your business plan to define your marketing strategy and which channels will be best suited for your services.
Price your services
When hiring virtual assistants, most businesses tend to worry about cost, especially small businesses. Being upfront and competitive with your pricing will set you apart from other VA companies.
Before pricing yourself, look at what others in your area are charging, especially those with a similar level of experience. Some VA companies start with a low hourly rate such as $15-20 per hour to attract small businesses, then increase prices once they have an established clientele. You can also charge flat fees and installments for different services, and create price packages to appeal to different customers.
Create a business website
As a new business, getting established is key – a website helps with that and can be the difference in landing your first client. You can create a sleek and simple website that showcases your services and can act as a business card.
Market your business and find customers
Promote your business through a variety of channels such as social media, paid ads, and local newspapers to reach as many people as possible. You can find and apply for virtual assistant jobs on job boards to broaden your search for clients. Devote at least some time in the month to marketing your current network and finding new clients to grow your business.
Find virtual assistants
You can find virtual assistants to grow your network and expand your service offerings through third-party websites and LinkedIn. This way you will have a solid connection with virtual assistants in different locations and areas to increase your coverage for clients and grow.
Invest in a time tracking tool
Most virtual assistants start with hourly contracts, which is why time tracking tools are so useful. You’ll be able to bill customers seamlessly and keep tabs on working hours, production, and how you can grow your business.
Some great time tracking tools include:
Ask for reviews
Reviews are everything! Once you’ve built up a solid customer base and have a steady job, be sure to ask them for reviews! Rave reviews can really make a difference in building your following, so be sure to ask periodically. You can post reviews in the form of testimonials on your website, professional profiles for networking, and other channels as a marketing strategy.
Grow your business
As you expand your services and grow your business, think about how you want to grow. Want to offer more personal assistants to businesses to increase coverage? Or do you want to grow your current customer base and try to offer more services to attract them? Scaling your business is about balancing capabilities with resources, and looking at what your customers are asking for and how you can provide them with more value.
Virtual Assistant Services
There are many specialized services offered by virtual assistants and different types of virtual assistant tasks depending on business needs. Here are some of the top virtual assistant services your business should offer:
- Social media management and maintaining a social media presence
- Freelance writing
- Data entry
- Administrative Support
- Answer and take phone calls
- Email management
- TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS
- Customer service
- Community Manager
- digital marketing
- Project management
How much does it cost to start a virtual assistant business?
Starting a new business usually entails costs. When starting your own business, you will need to consider business expenses, including equipment, marketing, and other expenses. Starting your own virtual assistant business can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more depending on how much you are willing to invest. It’s also important to remember that as a business owner, you’ll also be responsible for managing bills, taxes, and other financial aspects of your new virtual assistant business.
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