Starting a Virtual Assistant business doesn’t necessarily mean investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to get started. In fact, our CEO Linh Podetti, started Outsourcing Angel from scratch with almost ZERO dollars in her pocket…. But how did that lead to a profitable business?
Keep reading to learn more about her personal journey on how she started her Virtual Assistant business from home in Australia and the advice she has for anybody else thinking about setting up their own Virtual Assistant business.
Tip #1: Ask yourself these questions before you start your own Virtual Assistant business
There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you setup your Virtual Assistant business, to ensure that you’re focusing on the right industry for your expertise. These questions are:
Question 1: What industry do you have experience in?
- What industries do you have experience in? Make a list and order it by your level of expertise. You might even find that there are two industries that you could really niche into, for example: Outsourcing and Real Estate.
- Are you passionate about this industry? Rate out of 10 how passionate you are about this industry. Your motivation can’t just be fuelled by short-term goals, you’ll need to genuinely love what you do to keep yourself motivated.
By evaluating your industry experience and your passions, you may be able to identify a new niche for your Virtual Assistant business.
For example, at Outsourcing Angel, we have a range of Virtual Assistants from Administration to Technical Virtual Assistants. However, we know that our strength and experience lies in Marketing Virtual Assistants. This is why we heavily market our Social Media and Marketing Virtual Assistants.
Join our FREE Training Session
Sign up to the ‘How to hire the BEST Marketing Virtual Assistants (and take back your life’) 30min training session with our
CEO Linh Podetti If you need help with:
- Deciding which tasks to outsource to your VA
- Writing VA Job Descriptions
- Knowing where to hire your VAs
- What to ask in the Interview process
Question 2: Evaluate where you can find clients and generate leads for your Virtual Assistant business
- What does your ideal client look like? (e.g Demographics, Industry, Company Revenue, Key Concerns, Objections, Where they spend their time online)
- Who has money but doesn’t have time?
- Who do you have experience in helping?
- What is it they need to offload so they can free up time to spend with themselves or family?
These customer-related questions are going to make you think about your current network and whether there are lead opportunities for your Virtual Assistant business that already exist. Consider them your low hanging fruit.
Even if they’re not ready to hire a Virtual Assistant from you, you can still use the data from this audience as marketing research to learn more about what they need help with and their pain points. This allows you to broaden your perspectives instead of trying to envision all your ideas and unique selling propositions for your Virtual Assistant business yourself. Instead, find real people with real problems.
Tip #2: Determine your Virtual Assistant Business Model
Creating your Virtual Assistant Business Model firstly starts with a change in mentality. Don’t tell yourself that you HAVE TO DO IT ALL, that’s the biggest mistake that entrepreneurs make when they start their business!
You need to adopt the ‘Outsourcing Mindset’ and outsource your internal work to a Virtual Assistant or a team of Virtual Assistants so that you can focus on building a profitable business…. instead of always physically doing the menial tasks.
Hire Virtual Assistants from the Philippines (and SAVE money!)
The cost of starting your own Virtual Assistant business doesn’t need to be a big investment. In fact, the first time our CEO Linh Podetti recognised the need to hire Virtual Assistants, she had an eCommerce business and was looking for someone to build her website, a task that she could spend weeks and months learning herself… or she could outsource it to a Filipino Virtual Assistant while she focused on more important tasks.
Once she hired her first Virtual Assistant, she began adopting the ‘Outsourcing Mindset’ for EVERYTHING in her life, from Email Management down to the housework!
She soon realised the cost benefits of hiring local employees vs Virtual Assistants from countries like the Philippines. For example, a local employee managing your social media can cost around $50/hr while hiring a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines roughly costs around $10/hr.
This allowed her to setup a Virtual Assistant business from home with low costs while she focused on the revenue generating activities to grow her company to the successful 6-figure-business it is today.
Tip #3: Make sure your Virtual Assistant business is scalable
The best long-term solution to a successful Virtual Assistant business is one that is scalable. This means making sure that your business can grow exponentially without being trapped by resources or processes.
In order to do this, you’ll need to:
- Automate as many things as possible
- Document your processes, systems and create online training videos
- Adopt a minimal staff approach and outsource the repetitive tasks to Virtual Assistants so that your local staff can focus on scaling with you
You’ll initially invest a lot of time into doing all of the above, but it will pay off in the long-run when your Virtual Assistant business is able to scale and grow without you doing all the manual work.
By documenting all of your systems and processes using a tool like systemHUB and recording your online training videos using a tool like Loom, you’re basically automating your staff training and manuals so that it can easily be passed onto new employees and Virtual Assistants as your business grows.
Questions to ask yourself when working with Virtual Assistants
Another vital step to setting up a Virtual Assistant business is having the right project management and communication tools. Here are the questions to ask yourself when you decide to work with Virtual Assistants:
What tasks do you want your Virtual Assistants and employees to do for you?
- How will you create systematic processes for the tasks?
- Where will you document these processes?
- What programs would you use to communicate with your Virtual Assistant on a daily basis and on a project basis?
Communicational tools to use with a Virtual Assistant
Here is a recommended list of tools that we use internally at Outsourcing Angel to communicate with our Virtual Assistants:
- Slack is an online chat tool that allows you to communicate daily with your staff members, celebrate wins together and message each other directly.
- Basecamp is a Project Management Tool that allows you to assign briefs and deadlines to team members and easily share accompanying videos, images and instructions.
- Loom is a screencasting tool allowing you to record videos that can be used as tutorial videos for your Virtual Assistants
- SystemHUB is a platform that organises all your systems and processes and stores online training videos for your staff
Tip #4: Hiring the right Virtual Assistants for your business
Whether you’re hiring more local staff or Virtual Assistants, you should only provide a job for someone who shares the same work ethic and values as you. Skills and experience can always be taught, but a person’s core values are something that will determine whether or not you’ll have a long-term employee and employer relationship.
Tip #5: Setting the right expectations with your Virtual Assistants
After you find the perfect employees for your VIrtual Assistant business, it’s critical that you start off on the right foot by:
- Setting expectations, deadlines and deliverables
- Setting your expectations for communication (e.g daily check-ins, end of day reports or weekly meetings)
- Brainstorming a list of the skills you want your Virtual Assistant to develop
- Create a feedback system so that both you and your Virtual Assistant have the opportunity to give each other feedback
Since we’ve been doing this seamlessly with our Virtual Assistants for over 10 years, we’ve created an on-boarding system and checklists for Virtual Assistant businesses that you can easily apply to your own business.
Get a copy of our VA Onboarding Process (First 6 months with your Virtual Assistant)
Sign up to a FREE 30min Training Session with our CEO Linh Podetti and you’ll receive the following free gifts:
- VA Onboarding Guide
- VA Job Description Template
- VA Interview Questions
Overall, the journey of creating your own Virtual Assistant business from home doesn’t need to cost much but it will initially take some setup time if you don’t already have systems and processes in place. By investing the time into automating your business, setting expectations and solidifying your recruitment and onboarding process, you’ll be able to start a Virtual Assistant business that will last you long-term.
P.S If you’re serious about starting a Virtual Assistant business and ready to take the dive, we recommend checking out our Outsource Mastery Online Course with over 20+ training videos and templates to get you started ASAP!