Today, we are starting a new theme for the month of January, which is actually asking a question. And we’re going to answer that question with a series of questions. I know, that sounds a little crazy, but that’s what we’re doing. So this month’s theme or question is, “Is becoming a virtual assistant right for you?” And we’re going to ask you, or I’m going to help you ask yourself four questions to help you to determine if that is the case.
The very first one for this week is the question, “Are you looking for a hobby or a business?”
I thought we would start by answering the questions, “What is a hobby, and what is a business?” I actually Googled this, and the first answer came up from the IRS. What better standard of an answer can you get? According to irs.gov, a hobby is any activity that a person pursues because they enjoy it and with no intention of making a profit. A business is generally an activity carried on for a livelihood or in good faith to make a profit.
People operate a business intending to make a profit; many people engage in hobbies that become a source of income. For example, yesterday, I spoke with a new client who, three years ago, started a hobby that turned into a business. So, yes, hobbies can become businesses.
Being a virtual assistant is more of a business than a hobby; therefore, you’ll want to treat it like a business. And like any business, you must pay taxes and have a business bank account, business name, or DBA. You must set up specific pieces that make a business run efficiently. You’ll want to think about that when you’re considering whether or not you want to become a VA.
Many pieces need to be in place for your business to operate accordingly. You might not have some of these pieces in order from day one, but there are steps you have to take to make your business a success.
For example, I initially set up a PayPal account to receive client payments. I transferred my business profits from my PayPal account into my personal checking account. Although that is absolutely fine, you will want tracking in place to keep your business and personal income and expenses separate.
If you are starting a new business, you’ll need to register with your state government. In most cases, you can do that through the Secretary of State’s office. As I am not an attorney, I cannot give you legal advice; but I chose to create an LLC for my business. You can also be a sole proprietor; those are just a few options. By creating a business entity separate from you and registering it as an LLC, you’re separating the business’s liability from the liability of the individual owner(s) personal assets. I recommend researching your options before deciding which entity type is best for you.
Other things to consider are purchasing a website domain (i.e., www.alyssaavantandcompany.com) and setting up a professional email address, such as email@example.com. You will also want to secure the usernames or handles on the social platforms you plan to utilize actively. Ensure you get the name you plan to use for your business, whether your actual name or a business name.
You will also need to establish a budget for your business. One of the great things about virtual assistant work is that becoming a VA does not have much overhead. The overhead is small compared to some companies, especially brick-and-mortar businesses.
There are a couple of things I recommend having to get started: a computer and a reliable internet connection, preferably high-speed internet. Although I did not have high-speed internet for the first 14 years of business, I genuinely enjoy having a high-speed, fiber internet connection. That said, you can definitely be a VA with a slower internet speed.
You will also want to invest in tools to help your business run smoothly. I have shared some of my favorite resources on my website. You don’t have to invest in every tool all at once. There are tons of free options that you can use. Here are a couple of links to the podcast episodes regarding the tools I recommend.
Helpful Tools for Streamlining Your Business
Best Free Programs for Virtual Assistants
So there you have it! Though there is much more, I’ll keep this short by closing here. I hope this has helped you take the first step that you will need to take in becoming a VA.
Is becoming a virtual assistant right for you? Head on over to The Virtual Assistant Advantage and take the fun, FREE quiz now to find out!
After completing the quiz, you’ll receive my First-Steps guide that will give you the next steps to take if you think you’re ready to become a virtual assistant.
Got questions? I have answers! Schedule a FREE consultation with me.
Check out the following for more great tips and inspiration…
4 Systems Every Business Owner Needs
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Want more? Join The Virtual Assistant Advantage Facebook group. In the group, we chat about all things virtual assistant related, and I do a weekly Facebook LIVE on topics to help you grow your business. I’d love to have you in the group to get to know you! It is a great place to network and asks questions