Thinking of Becoming a Virtual Assistant? 5 Facts You’ll Want to Know
Author: 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.
5. Is anyone out there?
Even for those of us who are introverted, working alone at home five days a week can lead to thoughts of running away and joining the circus just to have some interesting company for a change. You will need to build a strong community of peers around you and schedule time to get out of your home-office and interact un-virtually with others. Fortunately there are more VA organizations and associations, both virtual and not, popping up all over the globe as the profession gains notoriety and visibility.
Armed with these five points in mind, I hope you'll be more able to clearly decide if building a Virtual Assistant business is the best next step for you. Working at home as a VA is a tremendously rewarding and fulfilling occupation for many. If you choose to join us, welcome!
About the author
Alexandra Amor is the author of e-books that help Virtual Assistants build successful businesses, FAST. Sign up to receive The 20 Essential Virtual Assistant Success Habits at http://www.virtual-success.com.
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