This checklist will help you do the right things in the right order and also give you a record of all your important information for safe keeping.
In this short guide on how to become a virtual assistant and work from home, I will be providing you with some simple steps to do to get started as a virtual assistant. Please try and do the research first as the results will depend on how you structure the business and how you continue to grow the business.
Take some time to de-construct your admin, marketing, graphic design, web maintenance, social media or telephone skills.
Most of us have worked in several jobs across a few industries. Take out your resume and go through your job history and write down exactly what you did and what skills you used at each job. It is useful to write this down in a sheet with 3 columns (or use a spreadsheet if you wish). First Column type in the name of your role, second column list the tasks that you did and third column rate it out of 5 (5 being the tasks you enjoyed the most).
List all the tasks that you gave a “5” (or the highest rating) to on a separate page or spreadsheet. Write next to each of you feel you need to upgrade your skills and/or you need special equipment or software to do it today.
For example, if one of the tasks was “transcription” consider if you need to practice your typing skills and find out if you can get a foot pedal and appropriate headset. (don’t buy anything at this stage because you may not use it).
Once you have completed this list – take note of what services you can offer immediately to clients and which you need to upgrade or up-skill.
Now do some online research on:
Great places to do research online include Google, Facebook groups, Google Plus Groups, Linkedin Groups, Amazon book reviews etc. Look for complaints because they present opportunities to you. You could even add a Google Alert.
Now that you have complete the above, think about the type of businesses that would value your existing skills. It may be tradies or accountants, health industry professionals or small business owners in general. Then lift the telephone and ring a few business owners and ask them for some help. You could say that you are starting a new business to help other businesses in your local area and ask them if they could use your services. Wrap the call around three questions, as follows:
If you use social media, ask these questions on your facebook, twitter or linkedin accounts, post them to groups and try and get as many answers as possible.
At the end of this activity you will know the services that you can offer and your potential markets. Running a business is about solving a problem and you should have a good idea of the problems you will be solving when offering your services. Although you will be working from home and offering your services remotely, starting with local businesses as your client will make it easier for you to fine-tune your offering
When setting up a micro-business there are 3 main pathways to choose from:
Choose which pathway suits you and then create an end goal and measure it with an amount that you want to achieve. Now work backwards to get to an annual/quarterly and monthly goal.
Example: I want to sell my business in 10 years time for $1 million. A simple formula to use to calculate the value of your business is:
Pre-Tax Profit + Owner’s Salary + Additional Owner Perks + Interest + Depreciation less Allocation for Capital Expenditures
To estimate your annual goals over the ten years, work backwards where 5 years would equal $500,000, 2.5 years would equal $250,000 and 1 year approx $100,000. In the first year of trading you want to be able to create an income of at least $100,000. You can then break this down into quarterly and monthly goals.
To get your business started you will need to do a few things to ensure you are operating legally. As every country is different (and in some cases each State), go online and do a search for registering a business in your location.
In Australia you can register your business name, apply for an ABN (Australian Business Number) and find out more in regards to registering for GST and a Tax File Number in one place ASIC Connect
Some things to consider before naming your business:
You should also consider delaying to register for GST until your business is at the required turnover (at time of writing this was $75,000). Submitting BAS statements regularly can add time and complexity on to your business at the beginning and taking this time to spend on development tasks makes sense.
In the same way, delay trademarking until you are very sure that you have the business design correct. Again, it can be an expensive and timely activity and best left until you have tried and tested your collateral.
These days it is best if you can get the .com version of your domain. The search engines already take into account the searchers location when providing results. However, if in the future you want to expand and become more relevant to more countries then the .com version is preferable. You can search for a suitable domain here
The above steps will get you started so that you can become a virtual assistant and work from home. You will be starting on a journey that will bring rewards but you will have to learn new ways on how to do things. There are challenges such as motivation and avoiding procrastination but these are miner compared to what you will achieve. Read our article on marketing to help you attract clients.
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