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Needing Money and other considerations for a Virtual Assistant

Many times when you are thinking about working from home or starting your own business as a Virtual Assistant you are doing it because you need money.

There is nothing wrong with starting this business because you need money but you must keep in mind that it will not happen over night and honestly you don’t want “it” to happen over night. No matter how great of a secretary you are, there are some unique considerations for a Virtual Assistant.

Technology –

Your clients will be using all sorts of technology that you may have heard about, or you may not have heard about it. There is a learning curve for all new technology and it is important to stay current. With each new client is is just like when you start a new job outside of the home. There is a learning curve that you must adapt to before you start working at your top efficiency.

Make sure that you have up to date technology on your computer. Make sure you have a back up plan. What if your computer crashes and you can’t use it? Did you  back up the data? Do you have a back up computer? Can you rent one until yours is fixed? If you’ve backed up your data, it should be simple to rent a computer until yours is fixed. Alternatively it is nice to have two computers. Just in case.

You can purchase computers so inexpensively now that will be suitable for a back up. Maybe you’ve always wanted a laptop anyway, why not invest in one now? Remember that the first year you start your business start up costs are deductible and can even offset other household income.

Make sure your software is up to date and that you understand how to use it. Don’t charge your clients for your learning experience. If a task takes an extra long time because you’re learning new technology that is fine, but don’t pass on the cost to your client. Tell them that you’re sorry it took so long and why, but make sure they know that you’re not charging them for your education.

Time Management –

Time management is a very important consideration. Don’t take on too many clients at once until you are efficient at time management. Keep in mind that your clients man not be organized even if they are business owners. You may have to gently assist them in becoming more organized, more efficient task assigners, and more focused in what they want you to do.

Some clients will be super duper organized and these are going to be your favorite clients. Although there is a down side to that too because super organized people will be very picky about the results. Be extra cognizant of the work you put out, make it right.  If they tell you it’s wrong, make it right at no charge.  Even so you will love your organized client, but unfortunately these are few and far between.

Do not get discouraged though, gently push your clients into organization by reminding them to use your project management system, and to pre-pay you for your time. This way, you can remind them when they are using up their minutes on disorganization. Always do this in a kind respectful way. Make sure the know it is your job to keep them on task and organized because this will save them money. All business owners want to save money!

Balance –

Balance will be something that is hard to maintain when you first start out. Everything you do will take 10 times longer than you expected. The best way to get balance is to force yourself to take at least one day a week of during your initial start up phase. Pick a day, tell your clients you don’t work on that day, and stick to it. They will respect you for it.

If you were smart you had savings, or you can already live off your spouses income until you start making a profit so that you have enough time that you are able to take a break occasionally. If not, if you did not plan this very well, you got laid off, or lost your job suddenly, there is still hope. Take the one day a week off, and work like heck the other six days as much as possible and before you know it, you’ll be able to take two days off a week. Eventually you’ll be so efficient in your time that you’ll be able to quit work by four or five each day.

It can be done, if you’re serious, professional and dedicated you can be a successful Virtual Assistant at home.

About Stephanie Watson

Mom | Wife | Virtual Assistant | Content Strategist
Stephanie has been working from home for over 20 years as a virtual assistant, template bender, and content writer. She's currently transitioning to business coach. You can learn more about her at her website http://www.barrypublishing.com.

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