Category Archives for Building a Virtual Assistant Business

How to Brand Your Virtual Assistant or “Virtual Service” Business?

How to Brand Your Virtual Assistant or “Virtual Service” Business?

When you’re first starting a Virtual Assistant or Your “Virtual Service” Business, your brand is going to be pretty simple and basic. You may or may not have the money to hire a professional at this point, and that is ok. We all start somewhere with our businesses, right? Steve Jobs did not start out famous =-)

It is very important to remember that your brand is your first impression of your company. Especially when potential clients are coming to you from online traffic. And you have heard it before but I am going to say it yet again, 1st impressions are lasting impressions.

Your potential clients for your “virtual service business” will observe and relate to your brand. It is part of the connection process. The branding for your virtual service business relates to several different elements, including the traditional thinking of your logo, colors, fonts, design to your social element…the message you portray to your audience. It also includes how you speak within your blog post, and your videos and webinars as well.

1. Identify Your Business Vision and Mission.
Your vision and your mission must be true to who you are, yet be able to provide a clear understanding of the services you offer in your virtual service business. What do you envision for your company? What is your company’s soul purpose?

2. Identify Your “Perfect” Client.
If you could work with anyone, who would that be? What does your ideal client do for a business? How does their type of business impact the world? What are their interests, their hobbies, what do they do when they are not working? More importantly, what is their personality type? Are they “fun and loving” and like to joke or are they “all about business”? Are they mompreneurs or are they business men? Do they offer a product, or do they offer a service?

3. Identify the Services You Will Provide
What type of things do you enjoy working on? What do you excel at? What skills do you currently have? How would you provide value or service to the “perfect client”?

4. Choose a Business Name that is easy to remember =-)
Easy to remember and spell helps it stick in the potential client’s head. It is best to choose a business name that also has a domain name available as you will be working virtually. You do not need to include “Virtual Assistant” in your business name; that is entirely up to you…but in my opinion the shorter the better so that you don’t have to worry about someone mistyping or misspelling the domain name.

5. Choose colors that represent who you are and what you want to portray.
What colors represent your personality? What colors represent you, your business and your brand.

6. Get a Logo Designed.
I really recommend that you have a professional logo designed from the beginning even though it is more costly. But there are services that are fairly economical. Check out Swiftly.com when you are getting started out. When having your logo designed remember you will need a icon that can be used across all social media outlets. Make sure the icon represents your brand and your colors effectively.

7. Create a Brand that makes you different from your competition.
The fact is, no matter what business you are in…someone else offers the same “service” or product. So what makes you different? Know what makes you different. Understand why your potential client wants to work with you over Jane. Market that within your Brand.

8. What is your “Brand Promise”?
Do your potential clients clearly see and understand what they will get by working with you? What will the end result be? More time? A New Website Design?

Your brand is a representation of who you are and your business. Be true to yourself and your potential clients. Spend time creating your business brand, make sure your message is clear and that your perfect clients will not be able to resist you.

Make sure you share your brand on your website, your email signature, social media profiles and even your voicemail.

Your brand will evolve over time; it will change as you adapt to the perfect business model for you. It does not have to be perfect right from the start, that is ok. But it is important that you give it some time and focus as you begin to setup your business.

Virtually yours,

laura-beth-bastion

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Who is Your Ideal Client for Your Virtual Assistant Business?

Who is Your Ideal Client for Your Virtual Assistant Business?

It takes all type of clients to make the world go ‘round….seriously!

The clients you have will influence how well you like your virtual assistant business on a day to day basis.

So choose carefully!

I have worked with clients that I dreaded to get on the phone with! I have worked with clients that I can’t wait to work on their projects, and I am excited to talk with them.

It makes a difference.

If you have the dreaded client…they are not your idea client

Once you have established your business, DO NOT take on clients that you dread working with, trust me when I say this to you.

You will eventually regret it!

In the beginning, you might be learning who that “ideal client” is, and that is ok.

Just be sure you have an exit plan for clients that are not ideal.

This is your virtual assistant business. If you clash with someone, you do not have to work with them.

Do you have a good idea of who your ideal clients are?

Look at people you have worked for in the past. Take their pros and cons and keep the pros and form a profile of the perfect client! Who did you like to work for and why? Who did you NOT like to work for? And why not? These will help you immensely.

Here are a few things that all ideal clients should have

  • Ability to pay you on time: Nothing is more stressful than clients consistently paying their invoices late. If they cannot afford your services, they are not the perfect client.
  • Treats you with respect: They show respect to your skills and treat you as such. They will treat you as an equal.
  • Will give you projects in a timely manner: They won’t give you the information at 8:00 am and expect results by 9:00 am.
  • They are familiar and comfortable with having someone work virtually: They have to understand that even if you are not there physically, the job will still be done by the deadline and done right.
  • Understand technology: If they expect to communicate via email or chat, they must understand how those platforms work.
  • Communicate easily: They will tell you exactly what they want and by when they want it. You don’t have to try and read their minds. And they will give you constructive criticism if needed.

It sounds harder than it is to find an ideal client. There are thousands of people starting businesses online every day, not counting the entrepreneurs that are more established!

Here are other things to consider

  • Do you prefer to work with males or female entrepreneurs
  • Do you prefer to work in a particular type of business model, or industry ( Are they in real estate, are they a business coach, health coach, e-commerce?)
  • Where are they located? I personally prefer in the US, I have worked with clients in Australia, and London)
  • Do you prefer to work with clients who communicate via email, phone or instant messenger
  • Do you prefer project clients or long term clients?
  • What services will they require from you?
  • Do they require you be available during certain hours?
  • What task do you prefer to do?

Your perfect, ideal client will want the kind of services you offer.

You need to know what services you enjoy doing before you start choosing clients. Your Virtual Assistant business is about choosing to do what you love; it is not supposed to ever feel like the “JOB”. You should be excited to wake up and work!

Creating a client profile is very valuable. Eventually, you’ll know just by visiting with them for 10-15 minutes whether they are your ideal client or not. You need to feel good about going to work with them. You want to have a relationship that is strong and only gets stronger.

By taking the time to do a client profile and finding a client you feel good about, you will start building a virtual service business you truly love.

Now I would love to hear from you….who is your ideal client?

Virtually Yours,

laura-beth-bastion

 

 

 

 

P.S. If you are looking for more support, make sure you join our private facebook group!

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Are you running your virtual assistant services like a business or a hobby?

Are you running your virtual assistant services like a business or a hobby?

Are you running your virtual assistant services like a business or a hobby?

You can look up the law within your state/country on what the government considers a hobby or a business…

But here in the United States with the laws of the IRS, you do not want your business to be a hobby. Because you cannot take advantage of the “tax deductions” if it is a hobby

Of course, you want tax deductions for a business

BUT let’s face the facts what you really want …

Is to be able to always operate in profit mode, right?

If you’re running your virtual assistant business in profit…you’re definitely not a hobby and you do not have to worry about the IRS

Here are a few questions to ask yourself right now, no matter where you are at in your business, or what your business is:

  1. Are you totally invested in making your virtual assistant/ virtual service business a success?
    Or are you just going through the motions? Sleeping late, no business schedule, working too few of hours, and when you’re working focusing on the non-essentials…and wasting to much time on things like social media?
  2. Are you partially committed?
    What I mean by that is do you want a virtual assistant business to be a success, but yet you’re not willing to try new things outside your comfort zone. Including things like investing in products, or services that are essential to growing your business?
  3. Do you depend on the income from your virtual assistant business? 
    Most Virtual Assistants and entrepreneurs I see fail always have a cushion….meaning they have someone/ or something to fall back on if their business does not take off. Those who succeed usually have to! So set yourself a goal right now. Maybe that goal is $500 per month to pay a car payment. Make that car payment dependent on you making money. I promise you; you will work harder to achieve that goal. As you reach each goal, make a new goal and strive for that.
  4. Do you know your bottom line?
    You might know the purpose of your virtual assistant business is profit, but have you taken a serious look at your prices and finances?. Do you know what your true cost of doing business is? (IE Hourly Rate should include your expenses like insurance, tools, etc.) Do you know your value? Are you charging what you’re worth?
  5. Do you run it like a business in all legal aspects? Have you registered your business name?
    Have you checked into all the legalities of the area you live? Have you fulfilled that list of requirements? Have you set up a business checking account, business credit card, and merchant accounts? DO not mix the accounts, pay business expenses out of your business account and then pay yourself! Setup a method of accounting that works for you.
  6. Have you set realistic financial goals? Or any goals at all?
    Obviously, if you’re just starting out your business, it is probably not the size you want, or be bringing in the money that gives you the freedom you want. But have you set your goals? Do you know what is achievable at the rates you have set? Have you researched others in the field you are working? Do you know what the going rates are, or are you undercutting, just get clients? Can you do the work that is required in the time you have available, at the prices you have set to reach your personal financial goals? Have you set long-term financial goals?
  7. Are you continuing to improve your service, and skills to be more profitable?
    Are you continuing to grow your client base? Do you look for ways to add to the bottom line?It’s ok if you’re not starting out with a lot of skills, there are A LOT of great resources out there to help you. But spend the time and knowledge to get those skills. Do not think you can become a virtual assistant with no skills at all. Invest in yourself, and invest in your knowledge, GROW your skills.
  8. Do you have a professional brand/appearance in your business?
    Does your logo look amateur? Have you printed your business cards yourself? Does your business scream “homemade”, or “inconsistent”? Do you have an email address that is dedicated to your business? Do you have a domain name that you have registered or purchased?
  9. Do you have a dedicated place to do business?
    Online you should have a website where you can send people to learn more about you, your services and purchase from you. Offline, you should have a dedicated spot within your home to do business. Even if it is corner in your kitchen, set-up a dedicated place where you can keep all your business tools and go to during “business hours.
  10. Are you marketing, and promoting your virtual assistant business on a regular basis?
    Does your business exist only because of word of mouth advertising from your friends, or do you have a marketing plan to promote and advertising your business?  Or do you promote your business on a consistent basis online and offline, in networking groups

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, take a hard look at your virtual assistant business. There’s nothing wrong with a hobby unless you’re expecting it to pay your car payment each month.

But if you need to be able to pay the bills and have a business you love, and it is not happening for you, then start to look for outside help. If you already had what you needed you would be already getting the results you want!

Be honest with yourself, and find a way to fill in the holes, rather that be a mentor, a training course, a consultant, whatever you need, even if it is out of your comfort zone. And if you’re not ready to do this..then maybe it is time to reevaluate your “business.”

Are you struggling with running your virtual assistant services like a business?

I would love to hear from you!

Virtually Yours,

laura-beth-bastion

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I am not a tax expert, nor do I claim to be, check with your own government /CPA for the rules governing where you live.

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Are you still dreaming of starting your Virtual Assistant Business?

Are you still dreaming of starting your Virtual Assistant Business?

Just can’t find the push or motivation to get started?

Are you stuck deciding what to do and where to start? I bet you might even be wondering if you can do this, and you questioning your skills and abilities. You might even be wondering if you can make enough money to survive.

Even though I know you are good enough and you have what it takes….all you need to is START!

If you do not take the first step, nothing is going to change and tomorrow you are going to be in the same place that you are today.

I used to think procrastination is what stopped people from starting their Virtual Assistant Businesses. After several long conversations, I started to realize…it was not procrastination stopping them from starting the Virtual Service business.

Lets see if any of these reasons hit home…

#1 I don’t have any money… (How much does it really cost to start a Virtual Assistant Business anyways?)

Well you’re not looking at starting a retail chain. You’re looking at starting a virtual service business from home.

And …I bet you have almost everything you need right now. I said ….WHAT? Yep! I bet you have almost everything you need right now, your just not using it for business. And guess what? When you start building a business, these things are called “Tax Deductions”.

The world of the internet has made starting a business soooo much easier and less expensive than it used to be.

Most families already have a computer, internet and a telephone. They are just not using them to make money. Instead they are being used to waste time on Facebook and useless entertainment (not saying Facebook is bad …it is actually a great marketing tool!)

You WILL have expenses. It is a called a business for a reason. You might have to chalk up a few hundred bucks for some software or training, but the return on investment will be well worth it! A bonus is that in the virtual service world, the ROI is usually pretty fast!

Look at the facts…

EVEN if you have a JOB you have expenses. Do you pay to put gas in your car to go to work? What about the clothes you wear for work??

#2 My spouse/family/friends don’t think I can make money with a virtual service business.

What rock are they living under?

There is sooo much money to made online in the “Virtual Services Industry! I can tell you story after story of entrepreneurs I have helped be successful over the years…It is crazy.

With that said, I do understand what your going through. When I started online in 2000 (yep dial-up internet days), no-one believed in me. They didn’t think it was possible. They thought I was wasting time. I didn’t have the resources to learn from the “been there befores.” So I did lose money in the beginning. But I would not trade those life lessons for anything!

You are soo lucky to be starting now…all you need to do is, follow the path of those who have been successful.

My answer to this problem is PROVE them wrong…that is what what I did!

Surround yourself with others who support your dreams, and ideas, and can help you get there (Join our Facebook Group for Support)

#3 I don’t know if I have the skills to start a virtual assistant business.

Well, unless you were born under a money tree…I guarantee you have some skills! Take a quick inventory of the skills you have learned and used in your JOB or previous JOBS.

On top of that , we live in a world that knowledge is literally at our fingertips. Even when my kids ask me a question my answer is “Google It”. Develop the skills you need. Invest in your learning. Online training courses and support cost much less than a college degree and can be FAR more valuable.

Do something! Action=ACTION! Keep the wheels going and it will get you to your destination.

Start with your current skills and NEVER stop learning. Grow your knowledge and you become more valuable!

You may be saying yeah..but what do I do first…

The answer is the same thing….do something! Anything!

Buy a domain name, set up your website, go bid on some jobs on Guru or Upwork…Build Your Linkedin Profile…JUST do something!

#4 I don’t have the time to start my virtual assistant business.

I am a mom and I KNOW that time is a valuable asset. And I get it your working 40 hour a week and wonder how much more you can fit in your schedule.
But I also know how easy it is today to waste time with today’s technology. Seriously a Netflix Binge can make you lose 20 hours plus.

Time is an asset that you can’t buy. But we find time in our lives for things that are important.

Soooo how important is it for you to start your business? How important is it for you to control your schedule? How important is it for you to control how much income you make each year?

Look for a way that you can fit 2 hours a day into your schedule. Can you wake up an hour earlier? Can you go to bed an hour later? Can you fit some time in on Saturday morning? You can start small, there is no time limit on how long it takes you to get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

#5 I don’t want to risk my job, what if I fail?

YEP starting your own business is always risky…no doubt about it. And I can’t guarantee you won’t fail because there are so many variables in your own efforts.

But let’s look at the other side of the coin. Do you want to wonder for the rest of your life…what could have happened if you had tried? Do you want to wonder forever what your life could have been like ?

Do you want to miss out on your child’s first steps?

Or the dance recital, because your boss made you work late yet again?

Plan smart, start small , plan for growth.

Before quitting the day job have 2 -3 months wages saved for emergencies.

Another thing I have learned over the years…is never let 1 client control 50% or more of your income…because than it hurts when you lose that client. It is better to have 4 clients at 10 hours a week each than it is to have 2 clients at 20 hours a week each. It will not hurt so bad if you lose a client.

#6 I don’t think I can find enough clients for my Virtual Assistant business. There is too much competition.

As I sit and type that reason, I am laughing out loud! The Virtual Assistant/Virtual Service industry is BOOMING. There is a HUGE need for more qualified virtual assistant/virtual service professionals. And the need is not going away.

As more and more online businesses start , small business owners cannot always afford to bring in employees. They need to contract the work out.

The types of businesses you can work with is endless. I know a fellow Virtual Assistant that I helped get started that works with Local business owners because it is cheaper for them to hire her than bring someone on staff. the possibilities are endless.

Ecommerce, Business Coaches, Real Estate, Authors…. and more NEED you!

They need your expertise! They can’t do it all on their own.

You don’t need any. Seriously. And once you actually start your business you will naturally make connections. The truth is, starting a small web-based business is usually a solo venture. That’s not to say meeting people won’t help. It will. Tremendously. What I mean is, if you can’t make things happen yourself, then by involving other people you’ll just waste everyone’s time.

AND the biggest reason you are not starting your virtual assistant business….

Wait for it…

Are you ready?

#7 FEAR of the Unknown

Fear of the unknown is the biggest reason you are holding off on starting your virtual assistant/virtual service business.

Almost everyone is afraid when they start a business, heck when they start anything new. Most just will never admit to it.

It is okay to be afraid. If you’re not smart about it, you could fail. If you give up, you could fail.

But what if none of that happens?

What if you build the business that your dreaming of and you’re able to work from home, around your schedule, living the life you want?

I guarantee every small business owner at one time faces these same fears…and honestly when you look hard at the excuses…they are kind of lame..yep I said it…LAME!

So you continue to go down the same path your in, day after day, and you start to resent the life you have because you give control to a JOB and you remain broke and your spirit remains broken.

Sooo…..What is stopping you from starting your Virtual Assistant Business?

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As always feel free to leave a comment below! I would love to help you succeed in your career, let my experience help you!

 

Virtually Yours,

laura-beth-bastion

 

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