If you’ve been longing to start a virtual assistant business and you really want to get it started, you should ask yourself the following questions. It’s important to go into any business with your eyes wide open to the potential rewards and risks. Not everyone can take huge risks, especially if you have a family depending on you. But not all business ideas carry the same amount of risk either.
1. Is the Audience Big Enough? – The very first thing you should ask is whether the size of the audience is big enough (this differs with each industry) and your price point is met, in order to create a situation where you have the cash flow that you need to be a success. For example, how many clients do you need and how much do they need to pay you for you to become a success? Knowing that answer, what is the likelihood you’ll succeed?
2. Do You Like the Target Market? – Don’t ever work with clients, market, or an audience you don’t like. For example, if you decide to be a social media manager, who do you want to work with? If you don’t respect or like working with certain types of people or industries, it’s important to avoid them. Don’t choose an audience that you don’t like and respect because if you do, you will hate life every single day regardless of the money you earn, and you may not be motivated enough.
3. Do You Enjoy the Work? – Don’t choose to do things you dislike doing. Of course, no matter what services you chose to provide, there may be some aspects that you don’t really like doing as much as others. Eventually, though, you should be able to outsource most of those or create a service listing that may not include those services. But, if the main thing you do is something you really don’t enjoy, don’t choose that. There is so much more to life than doing things for money that you dislike doing.
4. What Resources Do You Have? – Everyone has some resources, whether it’s a computer and software, money to spend, or people who can refer you. Make a list of your resources that will help you do the tasks and business that you want to do. For example, if you want to support real estate professionals, do you know anyone who could provide a referral?
5. Are You Self-Motivated? – (This is huge) When you have your own business, no one is going to make you work. No one is going to stand over you to ensure you reach your daily goals. In fact, no one is going to create the daily goals for you in the first place. This is all up to you. If you have a monthly financial goal, you’ll need to ensure that you do what’s necessary, every single day, or else you won’t reach your goal.
6. Is It Legal? – This is something that you may not even think to ask but for some people having a home business may not be legal where they live, especially if they need to carry inventory in their home or if they live on a military base or post. Most places in the USA require you to get a business license even for a home service-based business, so you’ll need to check with your local license commission to find out what is doable in your area.
7. Do You Have Enough Money to Invest? – How much money will you need to invest to reach your goal? Even though starting up a virtual assistant business can be done for a low investment, there is the hardware, software, website, and perhaps a phone bill. Can you do that when you’re not yet earning the profit? Also, what is your plan to pay the bills until you get paying clients?
8. Can You Learn to Manage People? – No matter if you run a solo ship or want to have a multi-VA practice, eventually you’re going to need to outsource some of the tasks to others or you will be too overwhelmed. This also goes for managing your clients and setting boundaries. How good are you at managing people? And if you aren’t good at it, are you willing to learn? Learning is half the problem and if you’re willing to learn new things you can succeed.
9. How Good Are You at Delegating? – One problem with many business owners is that they are control freaks. Being a micromanager is exhausting and a waste of time and resources. If you are going to be successful, you need to learn to hire the right person for the task and then leave it over to them without micromanaging.
10. Are You a Planner or an Implementer? – Being a planner is great in terms of having your own business, but if you cannot implement you’ll forever be stuck with a dream that will never come true. You’ll need to learn to go beyond the plan to action. Action is what makes money, not planning.
11. What Is My Break-Even Point? – Your break-even point is when your investment equals your income. What is that point? It will be different for each type of business and each person in that business. For you, it may be a couple hundred dollars a month but for someone else, it may be a thousand or more depending on their expenses and/or income goals.
12. What Constitutes Success? – For most virtual assistants, a certain monthly income goal is how they define success. How do you define success? An income goal is important, of course, but what else do you need from a business to make it worth it? Time with your family? Freedom to adjust your work schedule to meet the needs of your family? The ability to travel whenever you want? What constitutes success for you? Knowing this answer will help you choose the right type of business model for you.
When you consider these factors before you start your virtual assistant business, you’ll probably be a lot more successful. Just because you enjoy something and know how to do it, doesn’t mean that it will translate into a lucrative business. It’s imperative to do the research necessary before getting started so that you don’t waste too much time and money chasing a dream that won’t work.