If you want to work at home and also have administrative assistance experience then you might be interested in starting your own virtual assistant business from home. This is an easy way to get started in a business of your own on a shoestring budget. Here are some tips in how to get started and what to do once you get there:
Begin By Having the Right Equipment
- Update your communications equipment by getting VOIP (voice over internet protocol). This allows you to talk on the phone to anyone all over the world for one low rate.
- Make sure you have reliable, high speed wireless internet connections.
- Use a smart phone, if possible, so that you can quickly get notified of all emails as you do not want to miss any contacts.
- Have a scanner, fax machine and copy machine. These are relatively inexpensive and will provide you with the office equipment that you would have if you were in an offline business.
Develop a Professional Website
- If you are not savvy about web design, have someone else develop a website for you. Remember that the first impression that people have of your business is the website so you want to be sure that it appears professional.
- Make certain that your website is updated with current information regarding how clients can contact you as well as the services that you provide and the prices.
- Use internet marketing to get your site to rank high in the search engines as this is where you will procure most of your clients.
Use Off-Line Marketing Tools
- Do not rely solely on internet marketing to get the word out about your business – use marketing tools for off line contacts as well by making sure that you have business cards with your contact information, name of business, what you do as well as your website.
- Join local business groups to network with others off line.
- Solicit local businesses for work, particularly those who may be in business on their own, such as attorneys and insurance sales people. Many of them would rather hire a virtual assistant than have to hire someone for their office.
How to Manage Your Business
- Keep track of clients meticulously. Make note of how much they have paid you as well as how much they owe you. Develop a good billing system.
- Keep track of your expenditures as you can write them off during tax time. You will most likely get a 1099 from those who use your services so you want to be sure that you have some write offs.
- Always be looking for new clients. You never know when someone is going to go out of business or no longer needs your services so be sure to have more than just one or two clients who you service.
- Address any complaints about your business right away. It is not just good enough to get the clients; you need to keep them by giving them stellar service.
Virtual assistants are becoming more in demand than ever before with a great deal of business people, all over the world, looking for this type of service. Many would rather hire an independent contractor, which is what a virtual assistant is, than have to hire someone to work in their office.