Start a VA Business in 5 Easy Steps
Can you really start a VA business in just 5 easy steps? 🤔
Heck to the yes, you can.
When I first started my virtual assistant business back in 2015, I set up my business QUICKLY and got my first paying clients within one week of launching?
I didn’t get bogged down with all the details. I made quick decisions so I could get to marketing quickly.
Want to do the same thing?
I’ll show you how in this post…
I believe that Virtual Assistance can change your life.
How do I know? Because it changed mine.
Here’s a little story all about how (yes, my life did get twist-turned upside down)…
I found out what a Virtual Assistant was, did my research, and just started calling myself one!
Within one month I had sold out my services.
Within four months I had four subcontractors working under me. What?!
Not only was I working from home on my own terms – I was actually making money while I was at the park with my kids because of the subcontractors I had hired to help me.
Now, I run an internal team of 10 and have led countless women and men down the path to working for themselves – and it’s not because they won the work from home lottery or something.
And *spoiler alert* – You can do this too.
How to Start a VA Business in 5 Easy Steps
Step 1: Understand what a Virtual Assistant is before you start a VA business
I’m gonna shoot you straight.
There is no cut and dry description of a Virtual Assistant, and you won’t find Virtual Assistance listed as a common profession – yet.
Virtual Assistance is not a cookie-cutter career. It is not one size fits all.
A Virtual Assistant (VA) can be any type of remote assistant who provides administrative, creative, or technical support services for online or brick-and-mortar business owners.
Virtual Assistance is a lifestyle business. You can have your business fit around your life, and not the other way around.
Virtual Assistance is best understood as an umbrella term.
Under the umbrella of Virtual Assistance exists an incredible number of services. There are even specialists inside of each service.
For example, Virtual Assistance covers the service of Social Media, which in turn covers specialists like Pinterest Managers or Facebook Ads Managers.
The options are endless and best of all?
You choose your path.
If you are just getting started, then check out my Virtual Assistant Checklist and Starter Kit. This is the same step-by-step process that I used when starting my own virtual assistant business.
Step 2: Choose a name for your new VA Business
The name of your business is, most times, the first thing potential clients will see about you. When you start a VA business, it’s important to choose a name that you are happy with and is a reflection of you and your personality.
Naming your business is a big step. Don’t rush it, but please, please, please do not let naming your business become a stopping point for moving forward. I’ve seen virtual assistants get so caught up on naming their business that they never get around to getting clients.
There are 3 different ways you can go about naming your business.
Option 1: Choose a unique/fun name
What comes to mind when you think about your business and what you will be doing? Those are buzzwords!
Want to see my brainstormed list of buzzwords (and read more about choosing the perfect name for your business)? Click here!
Examples of buzzwords for your business could be virtual, assistant, creative, coffee, cubicle.
Next, think of words that you would use to describe you or your ideal client.
Examples could be fun, happy, determined, social, simple.
Have a specific market? Think about words that describe that market specifically!
Now, take out a sheet of paper, set a timer for 20 minutes, and start writing different combinations of all of the words you’ve written down. There’s no wrong answer here. Just start pairing together different combinations of the words you’ve written down.
Option 2: Choose a professional name
It’s ok if you can’t think of the cute-sy “oh my gosh, how did you ever think of that!?” name for your business.
Another option is to use a professional name when you start a VA business. This may even be a better option for you – especially if you are looking to cater toward more professional clients, like real estate or insurance agents.
In this option, you will think of some titles for you and/or your business.
Some examples are Virtual Assistant, Professional Services, Creative, Collaborations.
Now, what are some adjectives that describe the way you want your business to be viewed, thought of, or referred to as?
Some examples are Integrity, committed, results, growth.
Some examples could be Committed Creative or Integrity Collaborations.
BOOM! You have a name.
Option 3: Choose to self-brand
If options one and two just didn’t seem right, self-branding might be the best option for you!
Self-branding can be so versatile.
If you think you may want to venture into coaching or some other creative service in the future, or if you haven’t fully defined who your target audience is going to be yet, self-branding may be a great choice for you.
This would simply be using your name, because you’re one of a kind, right?
When I first decided to start a VA business, my name was “Abbey Ashley Assistance”.
Not overly creative, right?
But that didn’t stop me from making money! 💵
Step 3: Choose your services
The next step when you are ready to start a VA business is to choose your services.
I see many new VAs stress over what services to offer.
I promise that choosing your services does not have to be as daunting as it seems.
Consider your knowledge. Consider your interests.
It is seriously that easy!
Now, you may say, “But Abbey, I don’t have any skills!”
Let me stop you right there. First, I think you’re wrong. I can say that because I’ve seen it time and time again. You are more capable than you think!
Second, skills can be learned!
There are literally dozens of services you can offer as a VA, you just have to find what feels good for you!
Step 4: Set your rates
Let’s get to the bread and butter 💵
Most VA’s just starting out have a very difficult time choosing a rate, because they feel like they don’t have the skills and experience to charge the price that they need to make their business succeed.
When setting your rate, there is so much more to consider than what you feel you can charge.
When you start a VA business, you will be considered an Independent Contractor. This means that you are contracted to perform services for others, without having the legal status of an employee.
While there are many, many perks to Independent Contracting, at the end of the day, you will need to save for taxes and it is important to consider this when setting your rates.
Consider Income & Time
I will not lie to you – If you are looking to replace your income, this is not something you can just do in your spare time.
This is hard work.
If you think you can find time, it’s not for you. This is for those who are determined to make time and to change their lives.
Your time is valuable, and it is important that your rate reflects that. It’s a great idea to determine your rates by working backward from what you need to make.
Consider Pricing Types
Once you determine your hourly rate, you will have to decide how you will package your services.
- Hourly Rate Pricing: This is where you set a particular hourly price for your services, keep track of your time, and bill your client after the work has been completed.
- Project-Based Packages: A Project-Based Package can be used when a client has a one-time project to complete, and you will charge them a flat rate fee for the project. This is best done by approximating how much time it will take you to complete the project and charging at least your decided hourly rate, multiplied by that projected amount of time.
- Retainer Packages: A retainer is a monthly package for those who need reoccurring help in their business. For example, a client will pre-pay for 20 hours of services rendered per month on a recurring basis. As a VA, you will still need to provide details of how your time was spent each month.
- Usable Hours Packages: With this type of pricing method, your client will pay for a certain amount of hours, to be used at their discretion. You will keep a record of the hours you have used and, once all hours have been used up, the client can choose to purchase another package of hours or not.
Step 5: Market the fact that you’ve decided to start a VA business
Ok, now for the question you’ve all had in the back of your head.
But Abbey…how do I get clients?
I’ll be honest. Building up your clientele takes hard work, dedication, and determination.
Starting out, clients will not come to you.
You need to reserve at least one hour per day to market your new business.
(psst… I dish out some of my BEST marketing tips in this free 60-minute webinar training.)
Do not get hung up on the bells and whistles.
Your logo can wait.
Your website can wait.
Starting out, it is essential to focus on what is most important…getting clients!
Tell your friends and family
You may be thinking, “Abbey – my friends and family don’t need a virtual assistant”.
First off – MAYBE THEY DO!
Second – MAYBE THEY KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOES!
Even if your Aunt Silvia isn’t a business owner, I can guarantee she knows a business owner, and would likely be happy to send your information along to the right people.
Make Facebook Groups a Priority
Facebook is the #1 spot where I found my clients for my Virtual Assistant business. It’s where online entrepreneurs are hanging out, and where many go to first when they are looking for their own VA.
- Request to join 30+ entrepreneurial Facebook groups
- Search daily in these groups for opportunities
- Show up regularly in 3 or more
You find a potential client. Now what?
Your proposal is seriously the #1 way that you will stand out from the crowd and start getting clients for your VA Business.
If you are going to stand a CHANCE in landing that client, you’re going to have to stand out.
Before you get scared, let me reassure you. Standing out doesn’t mean having the most polished website or even having the most experience. It means going above and beyond in your proposal.
Propose well in 3 easy steps…
- Research. Know who they are and what they do.
- Make it personal. Find a way to connect with them.
- Show value – don’t just tell. Show them who you are and what you can offer them.
That’s it! Yes, I know, it’s a lot of information.
Good, life-changing, information!
If you take it step-by-step, you can do this and I can’t wait to watch you succeed.
The BEST way to start a VA business is with my Free Virtual Assistant Checklist and Starter Kit. This is the same step-by-step checklist I used when starting my virtual assistant business.
When I first started my virtual assistant business I had no idea what I was doing, no marketable skills, and no plan for offering a specialty in my business. If there’s anyone that understands this, it’s me. It can be crazy overwhelming to learn “all the things”. You know what I’m talking about. You’re on…