How to start a Virtual Assistant business by $2,500 investment?
Flexible schedules and the ability to work from home sound appealing, but what is a Virtual Assistant Business exactly? Learn more about the Virtual Assistant, What does a Virtual Assistant do, How to start Virtual Assistant service business?
The Virtual Assistant is a profitable business where you don’t need any physical office and several team members to work. This business can set up in your home and can control from your personal room. This is a home-based business where everything will do virtually. This business is ideal for working moms to make money from home.
To manage many business and administrative work, you need to appoint employees. In busy days sometimes you need to do some small task but you don’t have time to do that. You need a helping hand to do those small
tasks, and for this, if you use staff for minor work, then your office management cost will increase. So the solution is by spending a few bucks you can hire a Virtual Assistant to do your small tasks. Virtual assistants not only do small and minor work but also do many important works that help to achieve an organization’s goal faster.
The concept of Virtual assistant evolves from Personal Assistant (PA). This is not a maid service for doing your personal work. Formerly, a business owner appoints PA to minor tasks on behalf boss.
Since 1990 the step-by-step advancement of technology it becomes very affordable and most people from around the world got connected through the Internet. In, the mean-time number of solo and small entrepreneurs has exploded. For small entrepreneurs may not possible to use full-time employee, so their needs of virtual assistant have raised.
Types of Virtual Assistant Businesses
There are 2 types of VA business you can start.
- Create your business and be the sole virtual assistant.
- Create your own firm and employ multiple virtual assistants.
Beside of this there are different types of Virtual Assistants service for business and entrepreneur.
- Virtual personal assistants.
- Virtual Office assistants.
- Virtual Executive assistants.
- Real estate virtual assistant.
- Virtual lawyer assistant.
Virtual assistant Business Niche idea
The arena of Virtual assistant is not only limited to personal secretarial work, rather it offers wide range of services to various industries. VA can do from Basic Administrative Services to high end work in many industry.
You can take the work category of Virtual assistant from below list:
You can take the work category of Virtual assistant from below list:
- Virtual receptionist services.
- Website Design, Development, Maintenance.
- Search Engine Optimization.
- Blog Management.
- Visual Design.
- Internet Marketing.
- Social Media.
- Online payment service management, (PayPal, Payoneer, Payza) integration, invoice generation, processing payments.
- Marketing Support.
- Mail, E-mail Services.
- Apps Management.
- Internet Research for website or eCommerce business (keywords, competitors, contacts, influencers etc.).
- Personnel & Human Resources.
- Project Management.
- Database Management & Data Processing.
- Electronic Newsletters and E-magazines.
- Event Planning.
- Purchasing & Supply Procurement.
- Real Estate Assistance.
- Secretarial and Telephone Services.
- Health care assistance.
- Social assistance.
- Word Processing.
- Writing, Editing & Proofreading.
- VA for the government.
- E-Book promotion
- Guest blogging.
- Freelance writing.
- Software developer.
Essential Equipment to Start a Virtual Assistant Business
To start a VA business you don’t need any fancy chair and table, rather you can work on the floor, from bed, outdoors, this is depends of the nature of your service. But there are few things you must equip with your VA business.
You can perform your VA work from anywhere but you need the following things to start your business.
- A computer with good configuration.
- High speed DSL or cable modem connection.
- A website for storefront.
- Decent accounting software.
- Collaboration software.
- Android apps for project management.
- Webcam for Video conference.
- Smartphone for instant messaging.
What it Costs to Start Your Virtual Assistant Business in the First Year
Every business require initial investment at the startup level. Some are required high and some are required low investment. Virtual assistant business require low startup costs. You can start this business within $2,500 investment initially. For your convenience I have represent the business investment cost in below table.
|Necessity||Monthly Cost |
*Using high-end estimates.
|4. Business License and DBA||$50||$50|
|6. Website Hosting||$15||$180|
|TOTAL COST FOR FIRST YEAR||$2,500|
How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business?
To start a Virtual Assistant Business you must go ahead by proper planning. Without planning you won’t able to success in your business. You can follow the below steps to establish a Virtual Assistant Business from your home.
1. Create a business plan
Before starting a well-organized business you must make a productive plan. For planning sometime you have to do brainstorming but in case of VA you don’t need to do research work. But you need to stick to your plan.
Most of the cases our family members, friends and colleagues will discourage you from setting up your own business, even they will influence you to do job which is better than business. But trust me once you establish your own business then you will get benefits from several ways.
For writing a business plan you should liaison with Virtual assistant professional groups, participate in online forums and also study on Internet and books. After doing all this things you will get a clear idea that what VA services you should perform. Don’t try to offer multiple services, just narrow down your offerings, where you can deliver best output.
2. Define your niche and Services
The ground of Virtual assistant is very wide. By the blessing of affordable technology a VA can work across the world without any limitations. Though you can work in broader niche but initially you should work on a specific niche, because you must deliver quality output to build your client.
There are many niche like Event Planning, Purchasing & Supply Procurement, Real Estate Assistance, Research work but you won’t get skill in all niche at a time, so select a best niche where you have special skills and passion.
Remember that your selected niche will be your main service offer for your clients.
3. Decide your business brand name.
After creating a business plan and narrowing the niche you should select a business name. It should be unique, short, sweet and relevant to your niche thus people can easily remember. However many VA name their business by their family name or first name. If you don’t have any unique name idea then consult with friends and family. Definitely, this will help you to find a name easily.
One thing you should keep in mind that you don’t name your business with a specific niche. Suppose at the beginning of the business you want to provide website design VA service and named your business like this but later you want to offer more services like website management or website SEO then that service will not match with your present business name. So select a name that is open to adding on new services.
4. Complete Legal formalities for Business License and DBA/Trade Name
Though this is a completely home-based business you should be complete all legal formalities before establishing your business. Different country has different rules and regulation for business, so do a little study on to know the process and get the business permits and license from the appropriate authority. There are many countries provides VAT and TAX exception and zoning waiver to work from home. If your business needs insurance then choose a suitable insurance policy.
If you want to do business under your name then you must file documentation of the name, this is known as “Doing Business As” (DBA) or Trade name.
In addition, open a business Bank account to receive your service charges, as well as the open business account in an online payment gateway like PayPal, Payoneer, Payza, etc. This will help you to avoid all unexpected incidence. In the future, if you hire any VA to help your business you can disburse his/her salary from your business account.
5. Fix the Service Charge
Deciding what to charge is the most significant part of your business. Depending on your charges you will get clients. You could charge hourly, weekly, project basis or combination of all of them. Create a service package that tailored each client’s needs, thus your client can choose the best service package what they actually need.
Moreover, initially try to keep the charge low to attract more clients. Your service rate should vary depending on your level of expertise, client and industry.
You are thinking you have higher skills to serve your client in the preliminary stage but your client doesn’t know about your expertness, in this case, they often undervalue your skill and at this point, you won’t able to charge a higher rate.
After working off a couple of years you will gain real experience but after completion of your work try to collect the client’s testimonial, this will help you to increase your service charge in the future.
In America, virtual assistant rates fluctuate time basis and work volume and nature.
- Less than $10 per hour
- $11-$20 per hour
- $21-$30 per hour
- $31-$40 per hour
- $41-$50 per hour
- $51-$75 per hour
- $76-$99 per hour
- Over $100
But the majority of VA charges between $15 - $30 per hour and for executive assistant services charge would be $40-$75 per hour.
6. Website for your VA Business
Virtual business is a complete online basis and you don’t need an office establishment. So your website will work as your storefront. So you need to build a website by professional web designer and developer. However, you can hire a freelancer to design your website at a cheap rate. Remember that you can attract a big chunk of clients through your attractive web design and service.
7. Promote your Virtual Assistant business
To work with clients you must make a list of them. However, you won’t find the client overnight. Try to list of markets that actually need your service, for example, small business owners, entrepreneurs, project managers. If you still feel hard to find clients then promote your VA business through various social media sites and groups, forums, and online advertisements like Google AdWords campaign, Facebook ad, Twitter ads, etc. also write blog articles to target your clients.
There are not any other alternatives to promotion to get target clients. Additionally, you can scout on an online job board and freelance site to get the clients easily.
List your business to Google my Business for better visibility on the map and to free online business directories.
8. Get clients and provide VA service.
Business always expects quality service from virtual assistant exactly what they need and when they need. This sounds like ordering something from a restaurant menu.
After applying all sorts of strategy when you get client then your plan implementation time will come. To work with your first client you must give extra effort because in the future that client will work as the referee. After delivering a high quality of service don’t hesitate to ask your happy client for referrals. You will definitely get more potential clients through your first client.
9. Share, collaborate and keep learning.
If you think that your clients are satisfied with your provided service then you are wrong. You must collaborate with other VA to learn more from their experience. You should share your own experience and learn from their experience to handle a client. By improving the knowledge you can satisfy your customer different ways.
To get to know with other VA you can participate with various Virtual assistant group discussion. In all major social media sites you will find group of VA where you can join and discuss about your problem, this will help you to overcome from all sorts of drawbacks. There are many great VA community who are always try to help other virtual assistant.
I believe after go through the above information you will be interested to establish your own Virtual Assistant business. However before starting this business think about your qualification, if you have enough confident then go ahead with your dream business.
From my point of view VA business is very easy to setup with lowest investment. And you are free to work from your home anytime. Time flexibility will give you more freedom to conduct this business. On other hand you will able to earn for living without going outside.