Build a profitable Virtual Assistant business … without making the common mistakes most new VAs make
Read on to learn the basics and begin your journey to building your own Virtual Assistant business.
When you first start a VA business, you are often overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. You will hear snippets here and there, ‘helpful’ advice from friends and family, general business start up advice but you will probably be wondering what, if anything, applies to you.
There is so much you have to sort out – setting up your office, what you’re going to charge, how to actually get clients, what to do at networking events, actually completing the work as well as running your own business.
Are you unsure of what EXACTLY you need to do to build a successful AND profitable Virtual Assistant business?
This is where it is really important to make sure you listen to people who are already walking the path you want to lead!
Why should you listen to us?
When it comes to the virtual assistant industry, both Emma and Justine have been there, seen it, done it and bought the proverbial t-shirt.
Both have started their businesses from scratch and gone through the steep learning curve as they learned everything the hard way. As a result they now run two of the most successful VA practices in the UK, as well as developing other successful businesses.
Now you can learn all the secrets form the best in the business. Two successful entrepreneurs and business women who are devoting their time and effort into helping you succeed. They will teach you all the insider secrets they have learned along the way so that you can benefit from their extensive experience, build your business on solid foundations, get it off to a truly flying start and grow your business to bursting point!.
Emma Walker started her virtual assistant business in 2005, which specialises in helping coaches, mumpreneur’s and home-based businesses concentrate on the money making activities within their businesses with high level Business Manager support.
Having established her VA business, Emma was keen to share her knowledge and wrote her first e-book, ‘So you want to become a Virtual Assistant’. She felt there was a gap in the market for information relating to starting and operating a business, especially a UK based virtual assistant business.
Emma fits running her businesses around her young daughter. Being her own boss has allowed Emma to devote extra time to her daughter, and to watch her grow and develop into an amazing little girl, who is the inspiration behind everything that she does.
Emma is an online business expert, geek and busy mum! For more information about Emma, go to www.AboutEmmaWalker.com
Justine Curtis is the founder and chairman of The UK Association of Virtual Assistants (UKAVA). The UKAVA was formed in 2005 to fill a void in the virtual assistant market. Virtual assistants were becoming more and more in demand as small businesses and sole traders flourished but there was no
real association where prospective clients or existing and new virtual assistants could go for information, advice and recommendations.
What the industry needed was a one-stop shop for both potential clients and virtual assistants alike – the UKAVA was born.
The UKAVA has gone on to become the number one resource for Virtual Assistants wishing to advertise their services to potential clients, and for potential clients looking for their perfect business partner. For more information visit www.ukava.co.uk
Justine is the author of the first book published in the UK on the subject of “Setting Yourself Up As A Virtual Assistant”. Available in paperback from Amazon.com or as an eBook download from www.ukava.co.uk
Justine is also the founder and Director of My Virtual Assistant Limited. My Virtual Assistant is a flourishing virtual business support service, rapidly expanding through a network of licensees across the UK, providing virtual office support, personal assistance, secretarial, business support and administration services to entrepreneurs and small businesses. For more information see www.my-va.com
Justine has been interviewed as an expert in her field by BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, The Times, The Independent on Sunday, CNBC Business Magazine and the London Evening Standard and is proud to be able to pass on the benefits of her vast experience of the VA role to aspiring and progressive VAs as a Co-Founder of the VA Success Group. For more information about Justine, go to www.justinecurtis.com
In her spare time, Justine enjoys sailing, diving, horse riding, yoga, driving fast cars around racetracks, watching Formula 1 motor racing and raising money for various charities, including, The Mango Tree and Oxfam.
The Essential Steps for Virtual Assistant Business Success
Please find below the essential steps you need to take to start and market your business without making the common mistakes most new VAs make:
The 6 Essential Steps for Starting your Virtual Assistant Business
Step 1: Set up your business the right way from day 1. This is all about the equipment you need, what insurance you should have, setting up your office.
Step 2: Get the financials in order. What to charge, creating packages, how to get paid.
Step 3: Create your identity. Create your brand, tag line and marketing material.
Step 4: Use an effective client consultation process. Interviewing potential clients, converting prospects into actual clients.
Step 5: Provide the services to clients. How to actually complete the work, manage multiple clients.
Step 6: Manage your clients to create raving fans. Successfully manage all clients so that they love you and recommend your business to others.
The 5 Essential Steps for Successfully Marketing Your VA Business
Step 1: Your Unique Selling Point or USP. What makes you different from other Virtual Assistants?
Step 2: Niche Marketing. How defining a niche will get you better results
Step 3: Finding time for marketing. Creating a structure so you have time for client work AND marketing
Step 4: Setting your marketing goals. What do you want to achieve for your business?
Step 5: Effective marketing strategies. What you need to do to build your thriving VA business?
The 5 Essential Steps for Promoting Your VA Business Through Networking
Step 1: Get acquainted with networking. What networking is all about and why you should participate.
Step 2: Get out of your office. Get the most out of every event you attend.
Step 3: Present with confidence. How to craft the perfect presentation to use at networking events
Step 4: Follow up with contacts. Steps to follow up with people you meet.
Step 5: Build strategic partnerships. Networking is not just about meeting new clients or friends.
What’s really important to remember about running your own VA business is that you do have to make decisions – no-one is going to make them for you. For example, after listening to the training call, you could choose to do nothing else about it, or you could make the decision to go full steam ahead like many of our clients.
The course content has been really useful, particularly the financial module. I love what I do but don’t particularly have a strong ‘financial’ head. (Luckily, I have a very good accountant and a partner who is always happy to help me out). Although I'd researched the going rates etc of other VA’s, I was a bit stuck on how I could actually ‘package’ my premium services. It’s great to get all this advice firsthand from people who have been there and are obviously so successfully in this area.
I actually got a phone call about some potential work today. The lady obviously wanted to know about my rates and I was able to negotiate quite comfortably, reasonably and confidently – which I think is very important.
I completed module 3 earlier today. I certainly take on board your point about having a landline telephone number. I'll make arrangements right away. Also, as I’m currently putting together some information and planning for a ‘permanent’ website, this module has helped me focus more clearly on what information is essential for it. I’ll look at you web design packages too.
I hadn’t actually thought about ‘specialising’ or having a niche market but in actual fact I’ve had one without realising it until today! My back ground is in Intellectual Property and Research and Development. I guess I should start from there.
Thank you once again ladies. I’m looking forward to completing the course, taking advantage of some of your packages and really progressing the business this year.
I'll let you know how I get on.
We can take you from overwhelm to getting your business up and running with all the foundations you need for working with clients. You’ll know the systems you need, decide what to charge, how to package your services, get your brand in place, comprehensive client consultation process that works, how to work with multiple clients, how to create raving fans.
It’s an online course so you can access the material when you want and learn at your own pace. There are exercises to complete along the way which becomes your personalised action plan.
The Online Course Bundle includes 3 separate training courses – Start Your Own Virtual Assistant Business goes through everything you need to do to get your start a VA business, marketing for virtual assistants shares the marketing strategies that work to get clients and networking for virtual assistants goes through everything you need to know about promoting your business through networking.
Just imagine if, as a result of our training, you got 1 new client per month at average of £150 per month. Over course of the year, that would mean you are earning over £21k per year. All for 1 new client per month!
Well worth the money. Definitely a good investment for getting the fundamentals of being a VA.
What is covered in the Online Course Bundle?
Start Up Course
This course covers all the fundamentals of starting and building your virtual assistant business so you can build a solid foundation.
Set up your business the right way from day 1
- Equipment and software needed
- Sole trader, limited company – pros and cons of different legal structures
- What policies and procedures are needed
Get the financials in order
- VA business model to choose (4 popular models)
- Services to offer
- Rates and packages – how to set your fees
Create your identity
- Creating your company name and brand
- Marketing materials that are essential at the beginning
Use an effective client consultation process
- What questions to ask
- How to develop a process that converts clients
Provide the services to clients
- Ways to work with clients
- Completing work
Manage your clients to create raving fans
- Communicating with clients
- Managing multiple clients
If you’ve already opened your virtual doors and don’t have a queue of potential clients waiting to work with you, learn from the experts what marketing techniques REALLY work (and which aren’t worth your money).
- You and your skills
- Your unique selling point
- Standing out from the crowd
- Niche marketing
- Identifying a target market who is ready and willing to buy your services
- What marketing activities work
- Creating targets and goals to work towards
- Choosing your identity
- Branding basics
- Using social media
- What key marketing materials to use for great effect
- Tips for effective networking
- How to follow up successfully
- Having ‘raving fans’ selling your services to others
- Ways to raise your profile and become the expert
- Proven strategies for filling your business with great clients
- And free and inexpensive ideas to market your business successfully!
If you want to get results from your networking activities, learn from the experts what techniques REALLY work.
- What networking is
- Different types of networking you can take part in
- Developing a networking strategy to get the best out of the events
- Networking top tips to help increase your confidence
- Preparing for events
- What to say to people
- How to exit graciously from conversations or ‘cling-ons’
- Building up referral partners who recommend you
- Developing strategic alliances with others
- Crafting your perfect presentation to describe your business
- Making your presentations memorable after you leave an event
- How to effectively follow up to get results
These courses were designed with Virtual Assistants in mind, so whether you’ve been running your business for some time or are just about to launch your business, we’re here to help.
I've found the three online courses (Starting your VA Business, Networking and Marketing) to be invaluable.
The course content was well laid out and easy to follow. The accompanying resources page was very useful and a real time saver.
It's great to know all the information on the resources page has been tried out and recommended.
I felt very confident at the end of all the courses that I was on the right road. It's answered a lot of questions and I have also purchased the client document template pack. I feel ready to hit the ground running now!
The courses were very good value for money and it's great to know there's support out there. I will be joining the UKAVA and networking with other VAs to grow my business.
Thank you once again for all your help and support.
Your Virtual Office Support
Why should I invest in this online course?
Affordable online course giving you all the information you need. We take you from overwhelm to business success with step by step process for starting up, marketing and networking for your business.
We share the effective strategies that work: and tell you which ones don’t! This is your opportunity to avoid the common mistakes that most new Virtual Assistants make.
Learn at your own pace, in your own home: no course completion deadlines, no time away from home, no hotel or travelling costs. This is a big deal for a lot of our clients and we wanted to provide a truly valuable training that people could access when they wanted and take action when it suited them.
Lifetime access: if you need a refresher, or we add something new, you have lifetime access to all the learning material via our secure web based system. As we learn new strategies or better ways of running our own VA businesses, we share that with our trainees so you can always have access to what is working now.
Trainers are active virtual assistants and entrepreneurs running their own successful businesses.
We know what it is like to run a VA business, so we can share the ‘real life’ examples of what is working NOW.
We offer a no quibble 30 day money back guarantee. We believe in our courses that much that we offer this 30 day guarantee as we know you too will be amazed at the content included.
When we first put together our range of courses, we looked at the content we were going to provide and then started thinking about what to charge for it.
We could have based our pricing on the value of information we are providing, or have gone for something similar to what our competitors charge, but we felt this would exclude many potential virtual assistants who need this vital information. We have been in your position, starting a business from scratch and know that when you are building a business, every penny counts.
We are not out to make a quick buck and we know that when you have completed this course and seen the true value of all the information we provide, you will come back to us in the future for other courses and learning materials should you need them … so we have come up with a very affordable price for this practical course.
We are so passionate about the VA industry that we have created the courses to provide important and beneficial content, fabulous bonus items and one amazing price that belies the true value of the content and insider knowledge given to you!
We chose to provide this information as an online course as not only does it provide a cost effective option for virtual assistants, but it also means we are able to provide access to the course material for life (with updates)! No other UK based training provider offers this facility and we are delighted to be changing the way training is delivered.
I am working through the final section today and so far I have found the course to be helpful in a clear and concise format.
The course has raised and answered many questions with regard to setting up on my own and I have a long list of "actions", the first if which is registering with Companies House!
We have some fantastic bonus items on offer for those that complete our practical online course to really help them on their way to building the perfect VA business for them, including:
1. Personal Action Plan:
Throughout the course, you will create your own personalised action plan so you can get started immediately.
2. Resource List:
Have access to all the websites, products, services and books we use and recommend so you don’t have to spend hours researching like we had to!
3. Lifetime access with updates:
Once you purchase this course, you have access for life including any course updates.
4. Business Goals Template:
Create your strategy from day 1 using this great template. This is a very simple but supremely useful document to help you work towards your business goals.
5. Financial Plan Template:
The Financial Template will help guide you through the financial planning for starting and establishing your business.
6. Discount on VA Success Group Document Packs:
10% discount on purchase of any Document Pack to help you get started on the right footing. All businesses need the correct documentation, policies and procedures to work effectively and cover themselves from a legal standpoint.
The VA Success Group Document Packs provide a range of templates from contracts to consultation questions that you can tailor to suit your business needs.
Take a look at what some of our happy clients have to say:
Thanks Justine and Emma for providing me the most valuable documentation I have ever bought! I was dubious to begin with to pay out so much money on something I had not perused but they have proven their worth several times over. It has made me focus on my business planning and gives me a more professional attitude to my work and Clients.
The templates I have purchased from your website are fantastic – I had no idea where to start with producing these kind of documents and your forms are brilliant. I have customised and tweaked and have already put into please the Pre-consultation Questionnaire….and I look forward to using the Client Consultation form tomorrow when I meet the potential new client. The welcome pack and information pack is also extremely useful and I spent the weekend branding them all as my own.
Thank you so much for these – the process was easy to download….fast….reasonably priced…and exactly what I was after! It would have taken hours of my time had I even attempted to put these docs together myself from scratch…so thank you again! You have made my life easier and my business look more professional! I love them!
Best buy! Just what I needed. I had researched other sources and had also spent time creating my own but out a stop to that, went onto the VASG and downloaded the document template.
I have found all of them very useful and have used the template to form my own documents which are now in use. We worry about spending money but I have saved myself time and money by using these templates.
7. Discount on UK Association of Virtual Assistants (UKAVA) Membership:
When your business is set up you need to let the world know you’re open for business and raring to go. The UKAVA enjoys a first page listing on Google so when prospective clients search for a virtual assistant, they often end up browsing the UKAVA Directory.
So a 20% discount on your first years UKAVA membership and online directory listing is perfect for helping you to find those all important clients! This is an exclusive online course for those who want to successfully promote their virtual assistant business through networking!
Let us answer some of the common questions we get asked…
I prefer face to face training
There are always more costs involved than just the training when you attend a face to face event (travel, hotel, time away from the office etc). Our courses have been designed so that this is not an issue; learn in your own time at your own pace.
I’m just starting out and don't have much money to invest in training
This is the perfect way to start your business by learning from 2 successful VAs who have been there and done it. Learn from our mistakes so it doesn’t cost you time, money and clients.
Can I pay by credit or debit card?
Yes, you can pay by credit or debit card using PayPal – just click the Add to Cart button to get started.
How will I receive the course material?
Once you make payment by credit or debit card, you will be sent an email with a link to our secure online learning environment where you can access all the course material.
You will then be able to access the course from any computer with internet access whenever you
want. The price also includes lifetime access to the material so you can take a refresher at any time!
Do you offer in person training?
We don’t offer any face to face training courses as we found that it restricted some people being able to attend and we only had so much time available to do the training that it didn’t meet demand – this is why we produced the online courses so that people could get the information immediately and start working through the material at their own pace.
If you really do want an in person experience, please take a look at our VIP Day Intensive which are available to a limited number of seriously ambitious Virtual Assistants as this may be just what you need to take your business forward.
Do I need a PayPal account to buy from you?
Not at all, you can use PayPal with your credit or debit card without needing an account.
Are the courses aimed at helping people start their own business?
Our Start Your Virtual Assistant Business online course was designed for those who want to start up their own VA business and will cover the following topics:
- Equipment and software needed
- Sole trader, limited company (pros and cons of different legal structures)
- What policies and procedures are needed
- VA business model to choose (4 popular models)
- Services to offer
- Rates and packages (how to set your fees)
- Choosing your identity
- Branding basics
- Client consultation process
- Working with clients and completing work
- Communicating with clients
- Managing multiple clients
Follow this up with the Marketing for Virtual Assistants and Networking for Virtual Assistants courses and you can soon fill your business to bursting point with clients you love to work with!
Thank you so much for being so open and honest in sharing your information.
As these are online courses, you can study in your own time and at a pace to suit you – get started now!
You access the course material via our secure web based system which means you can access the material from anywhere – all you need is an internet connection!
Finally, affordable and practical online courses that you can complete in your own time from home! No strict schedule or course completion deadlines, no travelling to training venues, no additional overnight hotel costs; just invaluable insider knowledge at a price that won’t break the bank.
We have recognised that those starting their Virtual Assistant business needed practical information to help them get clients and build their own successful business – all without costing the earth!
We have identified simple steps you can follow to start your journey to becoming a successful business owner.
Broken down into bite sized chunks, this online course has been designed to give you all the information you need to market your business quickly, easily and cost effectively.
If you’re not prepared to do the work and invest in yourself for your business success, then this course isn’t for you. If you want to go from overwhelm to a successful VA business and this is calling to you, we welcome you on board. Just click the buy now button below and you could be on your way to your own successful VA business today.
Wonderful to come across you two. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of detail and research that has gone into this. Well done and all the best for your future workshops.
Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are right. Take the step now to starting your own business and make the decision that this year is going to be your year!
We look forward to welcoming you on board to build your own successful AND profitable VA business.
To your continued success!
P.S. – You’ll go away with practical strategies you can implement immediately.
P.P.S. – And remember, we are ‘real life’ Virtual Assistants running our own successful businesses on a
daily basis so we know what really works when it comes to running and marketing a VA business!
100% Money Back Guarantee
We are so sure that you will love this course that we are offering an unconditional 100% Money-Back Guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase and don’t come away from the course with practical information to help you with all elements of starting up, marketing and networking for your own VA business, simply let us know within 30 days and we’ll refund your money, in full, with absolutely no questions asked!
More happy clients…
I have just begun investigating how I could run a VA model business and have now listened to all the online course materials which I have found very insightful and useful.
I have been self-employed for a number of years in a design business but wanted to extend my working hours. My main concern was how to source those first few clients and the practicalities of how to operate. In fact I have today started working for my 1st client when I’ve only just finished the course and before I even have a website!
Your course and the documentation you also provided have proved instrumental in helping achieve my first client. So it’s a great beginning for my business and I wouldn’t have had the confidence or knowledge to do this without your guidance.
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge – particularly like the resource list – full of really good little gems of info.
Hope to report lots more new clients in the future.
Hi Emma and Justine, thanks for the email. I have made a good start on the business module and am using that as a basis for my business plan.
At the moment I am trying to make up my mind if it would be more beneficial to purchase a licence from you or continue to purchase individual packages?
Currently I am in New Zealand so am taking the opportunity to do the study so to speak, I am also enjoying the contact from you in your emails, they are very informative.
I've almost finished the course and think that it's great value along with all the other extra info that you supply.
It's really focused my thinking and business plans and I'm taking it slowly because I've been spending a lot of time on research.
I'm developing my website content, deciding which skills I'd most like to offer and choosing my associates.
I have managed to start to look at it, just going through the course first plus before I go 100% as a VA I have to still work full time – I am planning to cut down my hours slowly though until I can eventually start out alone.
So far the documents are looking good and I have started to put my details in. Looking forward to using them and I will let you know how it goes. Eventually I will have a go at the networking as you suggest too.
Thank you again for your help. Looking forward to a long relationship with you all
Fantastic! Such an informative and generous course! You’ve worked so hard for us – I can’t believe how much I have got from today.
I can’t tell you how much better I feel about the whole starting up process, and my future, directly due to your hard work and selflessness.
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. The workshop has exceeded expectations and was extremely informative and inspirational.
Thanks again, Emma and Justine for such a well planned out seminar that was bursting out with the information we need to help us on our way.