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Starting a Business: Become a Virtual Assistant


Now that the remnants of the pandemic are our new normal, a diverse group of people have been left seeking full-time, remote employment. While thousands of remote positions exist, many are not as flexible as needed, and even fewer offer an environment that promotes employee growth in the business. One of the work-from-home experts' best-kept secrets is the option of becoming a Virtual Assistant. Many qualified people are left in the dust with few resources on what they are and how to become one.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant, also known as a VA, is an individual who works remotely, providing a range of administrative services to businesses and entrepreneurs that can flow between business development, scheduling, project management, social media, and more. Every entrepreneur or business has different needs for their assistant. Some may be searching for somebody with less of a niche set of services that can focus on handling their email inbox promptly, scheduling meetings, and acting as a personal concierge. Other VA opportunities, such as Photoshop, Database Management, Marketing, Content Creation, and more, require more skill behind the service.

What basic skills or computer equipment is required to become a Virtual Assistant?

Of course, different VA roles will require different skills, but some basic skills and requirements will be essential to mention on your resume, portfolio, or website as you search for these roles. Managing email and virtual calendars, intermediate experience with all Microsoft and Gmail programs, and research & development are just some of the most requested tasks for VAs.

However, the market has become more competitive as individuals join the industry to offer niche services. Virtual Savvy's list of 50 Services to Offer as a Virtual Assistant is a great place to get some ideas to set you apart from others!

Computer equipment is another thing about being a VA that will differ with each job. VAs who source their clients through an agency likely are responsible for holding a certain quality of computer/laptop and their own high-speed Wi-Fi. It is typically added to the contract that the client receiving the services will provide any additional software/electronics needed.

If you offer VA services through your business, you must possess the equipment necessary to deliver your services. Sometimes, you and a client may discuss needing a software subscription or extra electronic device. If you are your own business, you should include a provision in your contract that details who would cover what in these instances.

How can you get started?

There are two main ways that you can get started as a VA.

  1. Get hired through an agency. Virtual Assistant agencies are ideal for entry-level VAs as they often include training, coaching and provide you with your clients. Researching agencies to ensure you meet all requirements before applying is vital. For example, some agencies require that you have your equipment, while others don't. When researching agencies, ensure the company practices standards that align with your moral compass.

  2. Start your own business! You should research business types and their requirements in your state (LLC, Sole Proprietor, etc.) and decide which is best for you. A great resource is this Virtual Assistant Startup Checklist. This will show you precisely what you should have prepared before and after purchasing your business license. When deciding to start a business, some things to remember include taxes, invoicing, contracts, and how you will find your clients.

Network and stay connected to other Virtual Assistants

 Whether you join an agency or start your own business, aside from the previously mentioned Virtual Savvy, there are many great resources for new and seasoned VAs.

Facebook is home to dozens of Virtual Assistant groups, where communities have been created to educate and support VAs. There are groups solely for Virtual Assistant support or questions, and there are groups that allow entrepreneurs to post their "help wanted" ads. Checking on these groups frequently, engaging with posts, and sharing your insights are the best ways to build rapport and a strong network.

Instagram and TikTok are also great learning tools as experienced VAs curate content solely to educate other VAs on current trends, new technology, tips, and tricks. Freelance apps such as Fiver and Upwork also exist as a space to post your services.

Creating your own business website and social media accounts is a great way to establish continuity for yourself. On these platforms, you can advertise your services, post examples of your work, engage with other VAs, and maybe even post your content to educate others.

With Virtual Assistants being a newer concept, the instructions on how to get started are not clear-cut, and there are typically not many job postings available for these roles. There are also many things to consider and prepare before deciding how to get started as a VA. However, there are many existing communities and resources to help you learn if becoming a VA is your right career choice and support you in your journey!

About the Author 

Jahnessa Morris - As an Executive Virtual Assistant with just under a decade of professional experience, Jahnessa is well-versed in providing exceptional support to C-suite executives within fast-paced, high-growth environments. Her areas of expertise include scheduling, project coordination, and research, with a significant focus on optimizing efficiency and communication. 

She has a strong background in technology and business administration, possessing advanced proficiency in tools like Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, Asana, and Slack. Her strong digital skills also extend to CRM systems, where she has managed and maintained databases of several Fortune 500 companies. 

Jahnessa’s early career in project management gave her a unique understanding of the intricate demands of overseeing large-scale projects and initiatives. This foundation enhances her ability to successfully manage timelines, budgeting, logistics, and teams in her role as an Executive Virtual Assistant. 

Jahnessa is known for my unwavering attention to detail, organizational skills, and prompt responses. Her commitment to maintaining confidentiality, combined with an experience in managing high-stake tasks, enables her to serve as a trusted right hand to busy executives. 

Her overall objective is to optimize productivity and efficiency, ensuring a smooth flow of operations at all levels of the organization. 

Topics: Start a Business Business Planning Business Services