What you Need to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant

One of the great things about a VA business is that it’s easy to start. You really don’t need much to launch a successful business. That being said, there are some steps you’ll want to take before you hang up your “open for business” sign.

Office Equipment

You’re a virtual assistant which means you’ll need equipment to help you work virtually. This means a:

* Computer
* Backup storage or system – you can backup files online so an external drive isn’t necessary.
* Copier/scanner/fax
* Internet connection
* Desk and chair
* File cabinet/file system
* Transcription software and equipment if you’re offering transcription
* Telephone and related equipment like a headset so you can talk hands free

You likely already have much of that equipment. If not, you don’t have to spend a fortune. Take a look at flea markets and resale stores for some of the furniture. If you don’t have a computer, most experts recommend buying the best you can afford. Your business will be based on your computer so a good one helps.

Business Equipment

You’re going to want a few basics to help you market and manage your business. These include but are not limited to:

* Business Plan – this is most important! It should include your budget, goals, marketing strategy, operations, policies and procedures and so on. Create a plan so you succeed!
* Website and/or blog
* Social networking profile
* Email account for business
* Telephone number for business
* Invoicing system
* Bookkeeping software
* Content management system or delivery system. How will you deliver client work to them?
* Services agreement/Work for hire agreement
* Personal insurance: health, dental, life etc. When you’re self-employed insurance is your responsibility.
* Bank account for business
* Organization tools: calendar, notebooks, whatever helps you get and stay organized
* Business services software. What software do you need to provide your services? For example, if you offer transcription you’ll need transcription software.

Again, you may have much of this already. And most of these basics don’t cost much. You can spend a lot on software so be careful. Only buy what you really need.

Personal Equipment

Okay, so your home office is set and you have a solid business plan. What else do you need to get started?

* Enthusiasm
* Motivation
* Positive Mindset
* Administrative skills
* Marketing knowledge (Read a few good books on marketing your business, you’ll be set.)

Not bad, right? If you already have a computer you can likely start your VA business for just a few hundred dollars. Many have started with nothing at all and made a huge success of their VA skills. Create a checklist. Create a plan. Create the success you desire.

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