So, you want to start your own Virtual Assistant business? Where do you begin? What do you need to do to get a word processing business started? Well, I could go on and on! There are so many things that need to be covered to assist you in getting started. So, let’s get to it!
First and foremost, please be sure that you are really serious about starting this kind of business. It takes a lot of time and effort to get a business like this off the ground. You will end up working a lot of hours to market your business, but, if you are anything like myself, it is completely uplifting and rewarding to know that you are accomplishing such a tremendous task. Each time a new client comes on board, you get a feeling of exhilaration and satisfaction.
You will find times when you are feeling discouraged and wondering what the heck you have gotten yourself into, but these fears are quickly alleviated when you get a request for a quotation or, better yet, you get a new client.
When I first started this business, I spent a lot of time researching both the demographics in my area as well as the viability of running a business that can help people worldwide. There are many sites on the web that can help you out, but to list them here would be too much.
I recommend picking up a copy of “How to Build a Successful Virtual Assistant Business” written by myself and my partner, Elayne Whitfield-Parr. This book includes everything you ever wanted to know about starting this kind of business and how to build it into a successful practice. There are two version of the book available. One is for worldwide VAs and the other includes the same information but also has information about registering your business if you are located in Canada. You can also choose between a printed version or an ebook version. Order yours at http://www.va-book.com.
Now, on to other areas that may help you. I did a search of virtual assistance and word processors in the major search engines when I was getting started. From each one I got an idea or two and have combined all the various aspects of each competitor to produce the business that I have now. You should do the same. Take a look at your competitors and get ideas that can help you. Each one is original in it’s own right and can provide you with a different view of how to make this kind of business successful.
Before you start trying to acquire a clientele, be sure you have decided on an appropriate name. Docu-Type stands for Document Typing…now if that doesn’t say it all I don’t know what will. Believe me, I went through dozens of potential names before deciding on Docu-Type.
Then put together a business card and brochure. I wrote an article several years ago on marketing strategies….”You Are What You Communicate” which outlines the steps you should follow when trying to convey your message on paper or on the web. Although things have changed since I first wrote that post, the ideas are still the same.
Let’s see, what else….well, as most of my associates will attest to, I am a big supporter of Networking. Every opportunity you get, give your literature to someone. Even if they may never need your services, they may know someone who does, or someone who knows someone who does. The chain could go on forever.
Attend your local networking meetings. I belong to several networking groups and have found them to be a wealth of information and contacts. Again, look up ‘networking’ in any search engine to find more information.
Sign up for online newsletters or subscribe to business related blogs, they can be a wealth of information. There are so many out there these days that are loaded with great ideas and tips. Some of them may not cover topics that you are interested in, so you simply have to unsubscribe. But most will give you a guiding hand for running your business.
Pick up business magazines whenever you get a chance. These, too, are loaded with helpful information. As I said above, we could go on and on about starting and growing this kind of business. Take a small business course, continually upgrade your skills, and buy our book…it will guide you through other steps that you can take.
I hope this helps you get started and guides you to success. Remember that this is a long and rewarding road that you are taking. Live, learn and enjoy!
About the author
Janice Byer, owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services (http://www.docutype.net) provides professional, creative and affordable virtual office assistance and small business website design. She is a Certified Canadian Virtual Assistant (CCVA) and Master Virtual Assistant (MVA). She is also a co-author of How to Build a Successful Virtual Assistant Business and author of a library of Business Building Ebooks. Visit her website for more information.
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