Start up as a virtual assistant
Quickly search this site for your virtual assistant questions.
Where to begin. There are many areas to cover when you want to start up as a virtual assistant. If you want to be an
or are into homesourcing, working from home, etc, then read on.
First I will delve into the personal side of wanting to start a home based secretarial service or become a virtual assistant.
(If you want to go straight to heaps of resources, scroll to the bottom of this page)....
Actually if you really want to know if virtual assistance really does have a future, you must read this article,
Virtual Assistance - Does it have a future?
by Lisa Taliga, which is a very promising read.
Is this for me?
Most ladies (well mostly ladies, some men are virtual assistants too) who choose to start up as a virtual assistant are seasoned professionals in their field who have decided to leave the 9-5 grind working for someone else and seek
professional work from home
work, thereby being more able to work around for their babies, children, families.
As with all work at home moms/mums (WAHMs) and some dads, this doesn't mean that life gets any easier, but to be able to start up as a virtual assistant allows them to be at home around their children and not be away from the home for up to 12 hours a day and having her children growing up in daycare and before/after school care.
To start up as a virtual assistant doesn's necessarily mean you have to be a parent either, but someone who wants to work at their allocated hours and have time for other daily activities like tennis, gym, shopping, you name it. So this business suits the non parents too who want to work from home.
And it's one of the true
that you can have, one that travels with you wherever you go.
And more and more men are choosing to start up as a virtual assistant; I just came across one this week who offers secretarial services. There are so many niche areas that lend themselves to the virtual assistant title and these areas are of interest to men too, such as accounting, book keeping, web designing, database management to name a few. So if I revert back to talking about work at home moms/mums only, I do apologise in advance if I offend anybody.
You must however be driven to work in order to even consider to start up as a virtual assistant or to start a home based secretarial service. Working as a virtual assistant means that nobody is looking over your shoulder pushing you to actually do any work.
You can't keep putting things off and saying oh I'll just head out to the shops or I'll just vacuum the house or watch this TV show. A virtual assistant is a driven person wanting to succeed at her (usually her) own business. See
tips for working from home
for more information.
What really helped me to start up as a virtual assistant was that I yearned to actually find several clients and I visualised myself billing my clients at the end of every month and how good it would feel to actually write up the time billing worksheets and prepare the invoices to send off to my clients.
As I got more and more clients and every month I had more invoices to send out, I knew that I had achieved my goal of being a virtual assistant. So every day I actively sought out clients, see
identifying a market for a virtual assistant,
and worked at my business.
I still am very driven to keep working. I have a young family (one toddler girl and one school aged boy) and I grab every possible moment of workable time that I can get.
FREE four-colour business cards! A $149 FREE gift!
Lisa Taliga from Virtual PA has written a fabulous Ebook called Freelance from Home - the 5 key steps to your successful virtual assistant business.
Included are nine bonuses worth hundreds of dollars, such as a rate calculation worksheet, business plan workbook, marketing workbook and more. All for US$47. Go to
for more information.
Benefits of being a Virtual Assistant
You work at your allocated times, which in my case are strange times.
You work around your family commitments and can take some financial load off your partner.
You work for yourself, no office politics, no dealing with employment agencies, yay!!!!
You choose the type of work you want to specialise in.
You save money by not commuting to work, buying expensive work clothes, buying lunch out, etc.
You save the hassles of commuting, public transport, traffic, etc.
You reduce your carbon footprint.
You save on childcare costs. (In my case I don't put my toddler in childcare, but work around her and still bring in a top income).
You are not discriminated against for your age, race, etc, or even if you are pregnant. (none of my clients knew I was pregnant until I emailed them saying I'll be away for a week in hospital having a baby).
benefits of using a VA
for so many more benefits from your perspective and your client's perspective.
So when does a Virtual Assistant actually work?
It depends on your family situation.
If you have have no children or other commitments, then it's up to you when you wish to work.
If you have school aged children then the usually six or so hour block that they are at school is a perfect block of workable time. Then you can also follow up with a couple more hours at night once they've gone to bed.
If you have babies/toddlers/kinda kids at home, then you may decide on various childcare options to give you blocks of time during the day in which to work, followed up again by a couple or more hours at night once they've gone to bed. And you have the kinda time of workable time too.
If you're like me and can't bear to put your baby/toddler into any form of care, then boy oh boy you're in a bit of strife, but I still manage to make a great living as I am committed to grabbing any workable time as follows:
. When toddler is sleeping usually two hours during the day. Or when she was a baby I had two lots of half an hour each day.
. At night once toddler has gone to sleep.
. Before the family wakes up in the morning I can grab one hour or so if I wish to.
. Weekends when hubby is around and can look after the children.
I find I don't stay at social functions as late as I used to as my nights are where I do the bulk of my work, so leave early and grab extra hours of workable time there.
For US and Canadian VAs only I found this great site phoneababysitter.com They have a register of casual babysitters and I've spoken to them and they said their babysitters are matched to the needs of a virtual assistant, where you may wish to do a few hours work and actually have your children looked after in your own home.
For Aussie VAs check out
Australia's No.1 Nanny and Babysitter directory. Click here to join now
Get your family's understanding
This is a big area and soooooo (this is not a typo, this is me being dramatic) important. I highly recommend that you sit your family down and explain to them what your business will entail, before you start up as a virtual assistant. People still find it difficult to understand a person that works from home or a work at home mom/mum.
Explain to your partner that just because you work from home that does not mean that he no longer helps around the house. You are at home working, not there to do all the housework during your workable times.
Explain to your extended family as well. They will still ring you up and organise outings, visits, etc, during your workable times. No no no, it's taken years to get it into my family's heads that I'm working. They cannot understand this; trust me you will find issues with your family if you don't sort this area out first.
I recommend that you sit your partner down first and explain this. My husband still doesnt get it. He still expects the house to be clean, dinner on the table, kids clean. We are not here watching Oprah all day, well sometimes I am as my toddler isn't sleeping at that time usually. So please discuss this issue before you start a secretarial service and/or virtual assistant job.
Get a great Accountant
Get yourself a great accountant that you find easy to talk to. He or she will be invaluable on an ongoing basis for all the questions that you will ask them when you wish to start up as a virtual assistant and about
start up costs
as well and issues relating to monthly, quarterly, yearly reporting for tax purposes, etc, no matter which country you are situated in.
So do you still want to start up as a virtual assistant? Good, so much more info for you....
Virtual assistant articles
has some great articles for you to read, articles relevant if you wish to start up as a virtual assistant through to tips and tricks when in business
Start up costs for a virtual assistant
outlines one off or ongoing costs that such a home based business can expect
Working from home and transcription
takes you to many resources for transcription VAs, be it medical, general, legal, etc
Start a secretarial service
includes information on ideas on how to go about this process purposefuly and deliberately and time saving tips and tricks
Virtual assistant employment companies
takes you to information on virtual assistant staffing agencies out there that outsource work to VAs
Identifying a market for a virtual assistant
outlines who is most likely to use a virtual assistant or home based secretarial service
Virtual assistant clients
talks about the importance of finding the right clients to maximise your freelance business potential
Independent contractor agreement secretarial and virtual assistant
explains that virtual assistants are contractors and not employees and what that means for you
Virtual assistant rates
goes into great detail about issues to think about when setting your rates
Industry production standards is a methodology used to calculate "standard" time to complete an admin task, which helps VAs determine what rate to charge.
Virtual assistant request for proposal RFP
explains how to handle a virtual assistant job request (request for proposal (RFP)) from a prospective client
Billing clients and receiving payment
explains how to invoice your clients and considerations for when setting your rates
Virtual assistant accepting Bartercard payments
introduces you to Bartercard as a consideration for finding further clients.
Virtual assistant business tax deductions
outlines some tax deductible expenses of your work at home business
Virtual assistant sample business plan
talks about preparing a business plan, which is not very difficult to do. This is particularly necessary if youd need financing as you start up as a virtual assistant.
Go to free ebooks
for free resources and/or purchase start up systems relevant to your niche area. A must visit page if you wish to start up as a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistant name suggestions
assists you with some considerations when choosing a business name before you start up as a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistant team talks about businesses utilising the services of a team of VAs according to their niche services provided.
Work from home mum introduces you to work from home businesses you can specialise in.
Virtual assistant software introduces you to time saving software for a more efficient businesses.
Virtual assistant job opportunities talks about the industry and answers some virtual assistant FAQ.
What is an independent contractor explains the definition of this term, which is what a VA is.
Working from home message boards
lists a great list of message boards and forums where you can network with online communities, advertise yourself and even find job leads
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