If you think about it, this can be a controversial question, right?
Some people will automatically say yes!
Others will waver a bit before they answer,
…..and a few will admit it is not!
At first glance, many people may think virtual assistance is a simple career to break into but unfortunately, reality often proves otherwise.
Although in theory anyone with the right technical and administrative skills can become a Virtual Assistant, in practice, only a few really run a successful Virtual Assistant business.
For many, Virtual Assistance is a dream comes true, but for others, this dream sometimes turns into a horrible nightmare.
So, what can you do to ensure your Virtual Assistant business IS in fact a dream career?
Well, to start with, here are a few important questions to ask yourself before starting your own virtual assistant business:
1. Can you work independently? In a 9-5 job, you know what is expected of you and someone else determines how much work you do and when you do it. As a Virtual Assistant, you’re the boss and the buck stops with you. Nobody tells you what to do, nobody motivates you and nobody determines your pace.
2. Do you understand the VA industry? Do you understand that a Virtual Assistant is an independent business owner and what it all entails? Do you know what services you will provide and do you understand how to effectively communicate with your clients and deliver your services when you are miles or even continents apart?
3. Do you understand what it takes to run a business and are you ready for that commitment? As independent business owners, VAs run their own businesses and as such have to consider things like …
- Deciding on a Business name
- Developing a Business Plan
- Developing a Marketing Plan and Finding their own clients
- Developing a Website
- Determining a suitable rate to charge for their services
- Having an effective bookkeeping system for invoicing and collecting payments
- Developing contracts to protect themselves and their clients
- Protecting their business via insurance and effective back-up plans
4. Do you have marketable skills? If you’ve had experience as an administrative assistant, you most likely have the skills needed to get started. But you may need to add new skills to really stand out from the crowd since the number of Virtual Assistants competing for jobs has increased tremendously. Thus, in order to be really successful it is necessary to have a unique, desirable skill set. In other words, skills that are in high demand and that are not freely available. Skills which can solve a client’s needs and skills that you can charge a premium price for.
5. Can you wait for your first client? In most cases, clients will not line up for your services the minute you open your doors for business. Growing a business takes time and often you don’t find that first client for several months. Do you have enough financial resources as a back-up when you don’t find your first client soon? Do you have your plans in place to go out FIND your first client?
It is important to be patient and persevere during the start-up phase and to continue marketing your business on a daily basis. Face-to-face marketing to friends, family, colleagues and new potential clients and spreading the message via “Word of Mouth” is usually the easiest and most common method of finding your first solid client.
As I already said above, a Virtual Assistant career can be a dream comes true for many, but it can just as easily convert into a nightmare for those who are not sufficiently prepared for the challenges that will come their way.
If you cannot answer positively on the questions above, but it is still your passion to become a Virtual Assistant – don’t despair. There is a lot of information on the VA industry, what it takes to become a Virtual Assistant and how to have a successful Virtual Assistant career. Read as much as you can, join VA organisations, speak to existing VAs, start your business part-time, get a business coach if you want and develop your skill sets until you feel more comfortable.
Remember: Anything in life is possible – but only you can decide how to live your dream!!
At Be Virtual Assistant Wise, we are really passionate about helping you to succeed in your virtual assistant career. We would also love to hear about the challenges you experience in starting your VA business . You can use the comment box below to tell us more about it.