The nine secrets of starting a successful VA business

Want to transfer your skills into a rewarding career from home? Read the nine secrets to starting a successful VA business.

If you’re looking for a way to transfer your existing career skills into a rewarding, home-based career or business, becoming a self-employed VA could be the perfect solution.

Modern VAs are far more than just admin assistants. As you can read here, there are an impressive number of exciting and challenging services you can offer your VA clients.

The nine secrets of starting a successful VA business

To help you become a successful, home-based virtual assistant, here are the nine secrets of starting a high performing VA business.

1) Find your business buddies

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will both motivate and inspire you to make yourself and your business a success. Fill each day with positive energy and influences with people that you love spending time with, even if it’s just in online groups.

Building a network of these like-minded professionals will give you access to people to bounce your ideas off, which is so helpful when working on your own, as well as being able to learn from them too.

2) Get networking

It can be scary to put yourself out there but networking events are the quickest way to raise your profile in your local area. There are so many business networking events and most will welcome new visitors so prepare a short opener of what you do, take a pocket full of business cards and a smile!

Need networking tips? Read:

3) Invest a little

Personal growth can help us at work but also on a personal level. By taking time for yourself to experience something new or learn a new skill, you are helping stretch your mind, your comfort zone and potentially (hopefully) your bank balance.

4) Get planning

Making a plan of action for the year can sound scary but it’s something that has to be done. Your 12 month plan can be a working document, so you edit as you go or as things change, but without an initial plan and strategy you won’t be able to figure out what tasks you have to do to get you to your end goals.

5) Take time out

Life can be busy and stressful which easily wipes our energy. If we’re not careful it can leave us feeling drained and, at worst, depressed and anxious. Take time to slow down and unwind, switch off and recharge. Your business needs you healthy. You need yourself healthy.

6) Reflect

Taking time out to reflect on what you have achieved is a fantastic exercise, no matter what stage of business you are in. Have a monthly meeting with yourself to review your website stats, how many enquiries you received, how many new clients you took on, what digital products you sold, how many new social media followers you gained, what e-product had the most downloads, and anything else worth tracking.

When you see your figures and notes written down each month you’ll be able to see how you’re progressing, if you’re hitting any targets and where you need to focus on next month. Be sure to celebrate all your successes, no matter how big or small the achievement.

7) Challenge yourself

Coaching or mentoring another business owner can be an incredible way to challenge as well as push you. It holds you accountable for your own part of the agreement and you get to be a part of someone else flourishing in their line of work too which will give you such a boost.

8) Keep your customers happy

We all know that customer service is key, but it can be easy to get complacent and expect clients to keep paying each month when really it could end at any time. No matter what other services or products you sell, our clients are our ‘bread and butter money’, they keep us going each month and we should be appreciative that they chose to spend their money with us by keeping every promise we make and sending everything when we say we will.

Send a client a card or small gift for their birthday, perhaps a voucher for their local café you know they like to work in or somewhere they take their children, anything you know they love. A small gesture could cost merely a few pounds but to them makes them feel cared for and that you really value them as a client.

Need creative customer service ideas? Read how three online retailers go the extra mile to keep their customers happy.

9) Work on your mindset

Our mindset is a powerful thing. When we start working alone from home after being used to a busy office of chit chat and phones ringing all day, it can be very isolating. And when our nearest and dearest don’t get what our new business is and are patronising in their reactions, it can feel disappointing.

Some people just won’t understand what you’re doing and why… and that’s ok! As long as you know where you’re heading and what your business is all about then that’s all that matters.

If you perhaps start working with a client who isn’t a great fit for you and you’re not enjoying the work then keep a handy reminder of why you started your business nearby. You started up to work for yourself, not become an employee again.

You are an awesome business owner. Don’t ever forget that!

Charlotte Wibberley runs VIP VA, a service matching high performing VAs with businesses in the UK, with administration and document template guru Amanda Slack. Find out more on their website.