5 Things You Should Know About Starting a Virtual Assistant Business

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Note from Jessica: Recently, I shared 5 Great Ways to Earn Money from Home. One that really piqued interest with readers was that of being a virtual assistant. I turned to an expert to help us out. Life as Mom contributor and founder of 1099Mom, Linsey Knerl has got some great insight as to what you need to know in getting started as a virtual assistant.

Starting a Virtual Assistant Business | Life as Mom

So many moms (and dads) are looking for ways to earn more money. Some have even taken to the idea of working full-time from home by running their own business. One of the most popular businesses to start (and one with the lowest initial costs) is a virtual assistant business. Being a virtual assistant, or VA, is not only a good way to earn more money for your family, but it is a fulfilling endeavor that lets you use your skills to help other businesses grow!

So what should you know before you have your business cards printed or put up a Facebook page for your new VA gig? There are a few insider tips that can be invaluable in preventing mistakes and ensuring the least stress possible when starting out. Here are my favorite 5 pieces of advice for newbies in the virtual assistant game.

5 Things You Should Know About Starting a Virtual Assistant Business

1. While there are lots of VA’s, competition is not very fierce.

Yes, you can find hundreds of VA’s on outsourcing sites like Fiverr and Upwork. You can still find it to be very lucrative. This is because VA’s exist in almost any niche and can provide a handful of over 1,000 different services.

If you excel at secretarial duties, for example, there is no shortage of businesses looking for someone to perform proof-reading or data-entry. If you have a feel for social media, many companies might have a need for posting to their Facebook pages or attending Twitter parties on their behalf.

If there’s a task that can be done remotely, there is the possibility for a VA to perform it!

2. Rates can be whatever you need them to be.

I’ll be honest: when starting out, it can be tempting to charge very low prices. And for the first-time VA, it might make sense to start low until you get your bearings. But the value of a good virtual assistant is immeasurable; finding a reliable, talented VA can be hard for a business.

Once you’ve determined that you can handle what the job throws at you, don’t be afraid to raise your prices to a level that supports you and your family – and rewards you for your time!

About Starting a Virtual Assistant Business | Life as Mom3. Your “tools” can be minimal.

Think you need an expensive new MacBook or the best software to get your career up and running? The truth is that you probably already have what you need to dip your toes into the waters of the VA world. Most work can be done with any laptop, desktop, or notebook with a good keyboard and mouse, and the most commonly used office tools. I wouldn’t recommend trying VA work from an iPad, but you can get away with what you have on hand for now.

Consider upgrading only after you have a good client roster or an immediate need for better equipment.

4. Scheduling can vary.

Unlike working in an office, 9-5 almost never happens for the VA’s I know. In fact, my own VA works her schedule around the needs of her kids, whom she happens to homeschool. Because most of the work I assign her can be completed anytime within the 2-3 days after I assign it, she can work after the kids go to bed, during days off, or whenever she pleases.

While some tasks may require real-time cooperation, the majority of VA’s complete tasks as they see fit.

5. The VA business is growing.

As remote work becomes more acceptable for many companies, and the high cost of employee benefits (such as health insurance and pensions) discourages the hiring of full-time workers, freelance VA’s are in higher demand.

Virtual workers are on the rise, so it’s the best time to begin learning the ropes of this upward trend in employment.

Are you interested in becoming a VA? Have you heard about the perks of virtual assistant careers and want to know more? I’d be happy to answer questions in the comments. I also have a new book coming out soon that gives insider tips on how to start a successful virtual assistant business that you can learn about on my website.

Please share YOUR questions or experience about working as a VA in the comments!

Linsey Knerl - 125Making “small-town rural” cool again, Linsey loves to share personal stories in the entrepreneurial, home education, and frugality space, while doing all the things you would do on a 4-acre homestead. See how she balances her work-at-home life with 6 littles on the house at the FAQ for WAHMS: 1099mom.com

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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Comments

  1. This is the first time I’ve heard of this, and I’m very excited about the possibility. If like to learn more about how to get started. Do you recommend going through one of the above mentioned companies? Or starting independent? I signed up to receive more information on your book and I will be following your posts – buy wondered if you had an insight into using a company or being independent. Also, while I’m sure it varies from state to state as well as person to person, could you give an average range of what a VA charges per hour? Thank you and I’m looking forward to learning more!

    • Just check out Upwork’s site – there are many independent VAs on the site and rates vary based on job type and experience.

  2. I’m really interested in a work at home job as my company doesn’t offer those opportunities if we live close enough to the office. To work remote, I’d have to move far away and possibly change positions. I’d imagine setting your own rates and not going through a service would be better economically since there is no middle man. I have signed up for your ebook and I’m really looking forward to reading through it.

  3. The rate issue is something I struggle with. It seems that the niche I have fallen into with my VA business doesn’t want to pay what I feel I am worth for my experience. It’s hard with kiddos at home though because while I’d love to work more I simply can’t at the moment so I need higher paying clients, not more.

  4. I have been an administrative assistant for more than 10 years with at least 6 years working on an executive level. I am a single mother of 4. I love what I do and I would love it even more if I could do it full-time from home. I am researching and studying on how to begin. There are so many websites and tools out there. Where I am struggling is what’s real and concrete and exactly how to get started.

    This is going to be how I spend my days and some evenings, so I want to be the best VA that I can be.

  5. I’ve been a VA to a company offering corporate secretarial services, then became an online marketing specialist and finally put up my own online business. As a mom, it was really a challenge to work at home with baby and kids. I had to balance my time with my work and time with them.

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