The kids are back to school! Yay! You made it through a hectic summer of travel, summer camp, sleepovers, trips to the waterpark and days at the playground. After the morning carpool line, you start to think about a way to make a little extra income while still keeping up with your normal schedule and not breaking the bank.
Enter virtual assisting. One of the main reasons I started virtual assisting was to channel my energy into something productive and actually make money. I loved staying home with my son but my entrepreneurial spirit and my creative mind craved more. I wanted a way that I could use my past experience with customer service and executive assisting without the commute, cubicle and corporate bureaucracy.
How does one start such a business? I’m glad you asked. About a year ago my VA friend Dana and I started The Invisible Office. We combined our knowledge and experiences and made a resource for others to understand how to become a VA.
Let’s address what you are probably thinking right now….It sounds good but….
“I don’t have what it takes to get started.” That’s so not true. For starters all you need is a computer, internet connection and a phone. Now for the more important part you will need time to think about what services you want to offer as a VA. This is a really important step because if you offer services that you don’t like or don’t have experience with you are not going to make it long term. Taking time to really think about what you enjoy doing is going to be important. What have you done before? What are you passionate about? Are you a creative? Do you like working with numbers? Are you a people person?
“I don’t know where to find clients.” There are many different ways to find clients. You just need to try a couple of them to see which way is successful for you. First, you can start with a VA company that helps to find you leads or you can try websites like Upwork. Another way is to talk about what you do. Start spreading the word to everyone you know. Referrals have helped me get to where I am today and are a great way to make the most money.
“I don't know anything about starting a business.” That’s okay! In The Invisible Office booklets we outline what it means to be a 1099 contractor and the people you should consult for setting yourself up for success. To gain confidence in this area, schedule a consultation with an accountant and a business lawyer. Most of the time the initial consults are free and you’ll have great advice on how to move forward with the details of your business formation. There are also awesome softwares like Honeybook that are affordable solutions to helping you create and organize your contracts, invoices and potential clients. With a software for scheduling and invoicing your business looks professional and organized which is exactly how you want to come off as a virtual assistant to a new client.
If you are thinking virtual assisting is something you want to try I encourage you to do your research and take a risk. Put yourself out there and start a little side hustle. It is a great way to make extra money and do something you love. With virtual assisting the possibilities are endless and you can make it what you want. Over the years my business has grown with my life, taking on more clients when I could and backing off of hours when I felt like I needed to. The flexibility is priceless. If you have questions, Dana and I are always here to help!
Check out my partners page for links to The Invisible Office and HoneyBook.