Many people dream of becoming a virtual assistant, being their own boss, and having the freedom to only take on clients and projects they love.
What they don’t realise, though, is that there is a huge difference between building a virtual assistant business and being self-employed as one.
Business owners scale their income. Self-employed people trade time for money.
Business owners leverage the skills and talents of others. Self-employed people rely only on their own skills. In other words, being a virtual assistant business owner means becoming a manager and having associates.
Discouraged yet? Don’t be. Every business owner started out self-employed. Just don’t stay there. These tips will help you build a sustainable business instead of just another job.
Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself
Building a sustainable virtual assistant business requires that you leverage the talents and time of others. While it might seem cost-effective to simply do everything yourself—especially in the start-up phase when you likely have more time than money—it’s a path to burnout and stress.
Instead, separate your tasks into those that you love and are especially suited for (such as marketing) and those you dislike and aren’t good at. Then make a solid plan to get those that you aren’t good at off your list of things to do. If you feel like you can’t afford to outsource it all right now, start with what you tend to procrastinate the most on, even if it’s just a few hours each month.
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Don’t Allow Your Virtual Assistant Business to become your life!
The trouble with working at home is that you live at work. And that means that there’s no clear line in the sand between your work day and your home life.
Since there’s always work to do, it’s easy to find yourself working every available moment—often to the detriment of your family relationships.
You can help avoid this by:
- Setting—and maintaining—clear work hours
- Having an office with a door you can close when you finish
- Scheduling time for family and other activities – OUTSIDE the house!
- Taking time for yourself
Holidays and Downtime Are Important
Don’t create a business that requires you to be “in the office” every day. At the start, you may need to be available more, but you should definitely be planning for the day when you can be “off the grid” for extended periods of time.
- Have your own VA who can run the ship whilst you are away.
- Automate as much as possible – schedule blogs/social media, use autoresponders.
- Use good tools – make sure you’ve got a decent smartphone with proper VPN and data limits for working on the move.
- Create repeatable systems so you’re not always re-inventing the wheel – be that billing, onboarding new clients, setting up a new VA, etc.
- Block space in your diary each week for your own admin and marketing; block out a space each month for billing; block out a space each quarter for business review.
While you might not be able to hit the road with no internet access for weeks at a time, at the very least you should be able to reduce your workload to a daily check-in.
Sound impossible? It’s not. But there are relatively few VAs who can claim to have a proper business – one which works without them.