Today, we are continuing our series on “Is Becoming a Virtual Assistant Right for You?” by asking the question, “What is being a virtual assistant really like?” I share some important areas of business that one would need to be aware of if they were going to pursue the career of becoming a virtual assistant.
I would like to give you some insight on what it’s really like to be a virtual assistant.
Being a VA is an entrepreneurial endeavor—a business. I recently touched on this first topic on the Virtual Assistant Advantage podcast and blog: “Do You Want a Hobby or a Business?” Being a virtual assistant is a business venture, and success depends on your commitment to the field.
First, treat your endeavor for what it truly is—a business. To be successful as a VA, you need to devote specific hours of each day to business development. As an entrepreneur, you should maintain a regular working schedule with discipline, organization, and planning.
When I started my business, I had a newborn and a preschooler. Within nine months, I had a newborn, a toddler, and a preschooler. At that time, I was able to work on my business during the children’s nap time. If you’re a mother, you know nap times vary, and life happens; therefore, I didn’t always know an exact time when I could work on the tasks due. However, I did know I had to utilize that block of time to fulfill my obligations.
It’s essential to set aside time to establish and run your business, especially when you have other responsibilities. I still had a very set routine, even if it wasn’t on a set schedule. I chose to work on my VA business during my children’s playtime, TV time, and while my husband entertained them.
The work of a virtual assistant often involves repetitive tasks. I prefer repetitive tasks, as I am able to predict what will be required of me in advance. However, you may find that the same types of tasks are required time and again.
Secondly, to succeed in a chosen field, it’s important to select tasks and services that you are good at performing and enjoy doing. I always tell people, “There are lots of things you can do, but that doesn’t mean you should.” You can do many things as a virtual assistant that you might not enjoy. So find something that you can offer as a service and something that you enjoy and are good at doing. Because you will have to do these things again and again in your business, you must enjoy doing them. Otherwise, starting your own business may not have been worth the journey.
The importance of keeping to a schedule, or even just having a routine, is critical. A routine is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In most businesses, you will often need to interact with people—many different types of people and personalities. Fortunately for VAs, we can hide behind the computer screen, which can sometimes be quite entertaining.
When I started my VA business, I was reluctant to use the phone. I had three small children who made a lot of noise, and I was afraid to take a call while they were present and have them start crying or misbehaving. I preferred to communicate via email. A phone or video call can result in faster, more accurate communication than other forms of communication. Therefore, it is essential to develop good communication skills. I now conduct the majority of my client and discovery calls using Zoom, a video conferencing platform, and I find that it allows me to build rapport more quickly with my clients.
When meeting prospective clients, you must be willing to talk with them. You will need to be prepared to speak with people via various communication channels, including the telephone. I now conduct most of my discovery and client calls via Zoom, a video conferencing platform, because I find it easier to build rapport when I can see the person I am speaking with and vice versa. Communication is vital to any business venture’s success, and establishing a professional rapport and a clear channel of communication from the very beginning can help ensure the longevity of your venture.
Next, you will want to maintain good records and be well organized. This is because you may have multiple clients and projects running simultaneously. As a VA, you must be able to juggle many tasks at once and stay organized to manage your workload effectively. Even though I am a die-hard paper and pencil gal, I incorporate Asana, a productivity app, to organize my workload. I keep paper and a pencil handy for taking notes, and I use a paper planner. Not only do I physically write down my goals and tasks, but I also input a more detailed version of my scheduled projects in Asana.
For example, I currently have a list on my desk of the things and client projects I need to do today. I write down the items that need to be accomplished and the client’s name for which I have work due in my paper planner. I import the same tasks into Asana with much more detailed notes. This allows me to return to my project later and review it in greater depth.
First, one of the most important things to remember about being an entrepreneur is that you have to treat your endeavor like a business. Setting a routine and creating a schedule for yourself will ensure your business gets the attention it needs and deserves. Have a set schedule, even if it is just a routine that incorporates your business into your daily life.
Second, you should be aware that there will be specific tasks you perform over and over. It would help if you chose to offer services that you are good at and enjoy doing.
Third, you should take steps to improve your communication skills so that you can effectively communicate with potential and existing clients.
Fourth, to manage your business effectively, you need to be organized and have a system for tracking what needs to be accomplished.
So, that’s what it’s like to be a VA. These are some important areas to consider before deciding if becoming a virtual assistant is right for you.
If you haven’t done so already, I would love for you to head over to our newly refreshed website, virtualassitantadvantage.com, where you’ll find tons of valuable info and resources for virtual assistants.
Be sure to take the FREE QUIZ to help further you decide if becoming a virtual assistant is right for you.
I hope to have you back here next week. We’ll be wrapping up this series and moving on to something else for the month of February.
Before we go, I’d like to personally invite you to join the 5 Steps to Get Clients Now Group Coaching.
Let’s chat! I’d love to discuss how I can help you turn your dream into reality.
Thanks for dropping by!
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