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How to Start an Online Virtual Assistant Business

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to become standstill, but after a couple of months of lockdown, the time has come when we’ve to accept life with this CVOID 19. This means you’ve to find new ways to get our derailed personal & professional life on the line. There are many Online Business Ideas that you can start with low investment and scale to a sustainable business. One of them is to start a Virtual Assistant Business Online. Today, the way businesses operate has changed substantially, remote working has become the mantra. Having said that, it is unarguably an idyllic to set up your own online virtual assistant business.

Who is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is a someone who has expertise in managing and executing some specific administrative tasks like managing emails, social media accounts, PT activities, appointments and meetings.

But this person doesn’t have to be physically present in an office space to complete all these tasks, they can do all these tasks practically from anywhere on the planet.

What does a Virtual Assistant do?

Virtually assistants are hired to complete the regular and mundane tasks of a business that can’t be ignored but have very minor significance in terms of productivity. They take these tasks, plan, execute, and manage them.

Every virtual assistant would have different work responsibilities according to what their clients are looking for. While some VAs are hired for mundane tasks like bookkeeping or managing mails, others may be hired to handle travel arrangements or calendars and appointments.

How to Start with an Virtual Online Business?

But, how to get started? In this post, we’ll provide you with every minute details on starting your online virtual assistant business. So, without wasting any time, let’s get on with it.

Follow the below step-by-step guide:-

Step 1: Determine the Service You or Your Team Can Offer

First things first, you’ll have to figure out what sort of service you are comfortable offering as a virtual assistant if you’re starting as an individual company.

One virtual assistant may specialize in an excel spreadsheet, while others in blogging. So, you need to determine which one is apt for you based on you and your team’s skills.

You start with just one and bag a couple of clients. And then establish your business or hire a team of diverse specialists to work remotely.

However, it is of paramount importance that you don’t try to learn many new skills. Because this not only spoils your team but also puts your new company’s reputation at risk. Just start with what you or your team is good at.

As you advance, you can figure out any new types of monetarily rewarding virtual assistance offerings and make your team have proper training.

Do you need to take any course before starting an Online Virtual Assistant Business?

There are multiple courses available on Udemy that you can utilize to learn all about being a virtual assistant. Like how to manage, creating reports, handling queries, and tools that you can use to help you in your tasks. Check out: Virtual assistant courses on Udemy.

So, the whole idea is to play it safe initially, and once your business kickstarts, you can expand this model to make big profits.

Step 2: Decide on the Structure

Once you’ve determined the industry or service to focus, the next big step in your quest to start your online virtual assistant business is to decide on your company’s structure.

First of all, ask yourself about your prospective goals and expectations. Would you wish to earn some extra cash to meet ends, making a full living, or have big entrepreneurial goals? Based on that, you got to think about the structure of the company. Your plans have a significant role to play here.

There are numerous options for your business; it includes the LLC, a partnership, or a sole proprietor?

If you plan to start and remain a lone wolf forever, then get your business registered as a sole proprietor. This is the easiest structure when it comes to setting up your online virtual assistant business.

Should you go for a partnership?

Partnerships are also great if you’ve someone by your side with the right mindset to invest in your virtual assistant skills, while he/she focuses on the other aspect of the business. However, the failure rate for partnership businesses is highest amongst all. So, you’ve to be pretty careful and sure while opting for this.

On the other hand, if you are planning to scale things up in the near or far future, then an LLC is your best bet.

Each of these business structures comes with its own set of liabilities & risks, so you must weigh your options carefully and then make the final call.

You can even seek a business consultant’s expertise; they can give you an professional piece of advice with regards to your business plans. Moreover, they’ll make you aware of the possible pitfalls waiting for you initially.

Once you’ve decided on the business structure, the next big move is to accumulate all the necessary documents needed to register your company. You might have to obtain licenses if required. Additionally, you need to have a separate business account.

You can consult a CPA to assist you with how to set up your online virtual assistant business, and provide the necessary to get started.

But what if you don’t want to register your business? There is a way out, working as a freelancer, sign up on various freelance platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer, and start making money. However, if you want to achieve something significant, then don’t think or rethink, get your business registered because that’s the foundation stone for success.

Step 3: Decide on a Business Name

Now, is the step, we all were waiting for, it’s choosing the company name. First, pick a set of names that is not any registered trademark or brand. Otherwise, your business registration application will get rejected right away. It is essential to involve your family and friends in the process of selecting a business name.

Ideally, your business name should be one that communicates what services you are offering. Secondly, it must be easy to remember, once someone has listened to your business name, he/she must not forget it. Yes, you probably love to go with fancy names, but these generally don’t work if you are building a brand. Simply don’t confuse your clients with complicated names that are baffling to pronounce.

One thing to keep is that you’ll have a business website sooner or later, so check whether your business name is available as a domain name. Otherwise, you’ll face a big problem later.

A quick tip is to avoid using any business name that is other than com. Although they might sound really cool, they are often hard to memorize. So, in a nutshell, deciding on your company name is a massive decision, wisely picking the right one.

Step 4: Set-up the Service Rates

You might need comprehensive market research to prepare the rate card for your business. VA rates can be tricky, as some individuals ask peanuts for their services, while others demand big money. You need to find the middle route to get your business off the ground.

You can start with low prices to attract new clients, offer special introductory deals and discounts, and then gradually increase your rates.

Most virtual assistants start at $15 to $20, increasing their hourly rates as they gain a few clients.

As a rule of thumb, decide how much money you want to live and operate your business by the hourly rate, and add $5 to $10.

You can also use several time tracker tools to track your billable hours and prepare invoices for your clients.

Step 5: Reach to Your Customers

This is the most crucial step in your pursuit of setting up an online virtual assistant business. You’ll have to reach out to your potential clients; no one would come to you.

First, have a professionally designed business website, then invest in SEO tasks to rank it high for relevant keywords. This is an important part and it will take some time, but the results are impressive for the long term. On the flip side, the faster way out is to run an ad campaign on Google, Facebook, or Linkedin to drive high convertible leads to your business website.

Now, the design of your website is the real deal maker or breaker. Since the site is your sales representative, it is advisable to hire a proficient designer to build your business website. They have all the experience and skills to add the complex functionality you might want.

Step 6: Create a Marketing Strategy

Taking from the previous step, you require a tailored marketing strategy in line with your prospective goals and expectations. Get your business listed on Google. Put the great focus on SEO to bring organic traffic, and stay active on various social media channels.

However, all these may not prove to be enough.

You might need to hire a marketing specialist, a full-time, or a freelancer to identify your potential markets and develop a customized plan to bring them. While, at first, it may seem like an additional expense, but later, you’ll discover it was your game-changing investment.

Step 7: Using the Right Tools

Business management can be tiring, but these days, we have so many advanced tools that now it doesn’t seem like a pain.

You’ll have to track your clients’ work, so you require software for calculating your work hours. Secondly, prepare the invoices for the release of payments. An online tool that looks into your accounts and taxes can come handy in these types of work.

Managing your virtual assistant team also means an organization tool. You’ll have to conduct thorough online research to zero down on a handful of tools that streamline your business’s various processes and help your company be on track of progress. They are both free and paid tools available online, so choose wisely based on features and security.

Has there been anyone successful in building a Virtual Assistant online business in India?

The answer is, yes. The recent venture by Sheroes Organization called MARS (Managed Remote Solutions) is the best example here. This is a totally women-run venture which offers women an opportunity to get certified as a remote or virtual assistant and utilize their skills to earn a good income working from home.

To Conclude

In the end, after reading the entire article, you’re now well aware of how to start your own online virtual assistant business online.

We covered just about every aspect, right from identifying the industry or service you want to offer, your business name to promoting your VA services. But, what really matters is the hard work you put in and your passion for going, no matter if you don’t taste success initially.

In case we missed something, share it with us, via the comment below, we would love to hear from you via the comment below.

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Nandini
About Nandini

Nandini Yogi is Co-creator and Senior Editor at Online Business in India . She is Writer by Heart and Business Developer by Profession. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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