A virtual assistant is a business owner who supports other small business owners or entrepreneurs in a variety of industries by providing administrative, creative and/or technical services.
As outsourcing becomes a standard process for small business owners everywhere, more and more entrepreneurs will be looking to virtual assistants for help in advancing their businesses.
If you thrive on collaborating with other small business owners, can think on your feet and enjoy taking control of and improving scattered processes, a virtual assistant small business may be the perfect business idea for you.
Some of the reasons you might want to start a virtual assistant business include:
Your business can be entirely home-based.
Startup costs are minimal, especially if you already have a home office set up.
You can provide general business support services, or specialize in a specific area such as real estate, social media, Internet marketing, etc.
You can create a business with flexible work hours.
There are hundreds of high-quality resources online to advance your skills, knowledge, and experience.
You get to use exciting and fun software and tools every day.
You can grow your business to the point where you outsource extra work to subcontractors.
There is no specific education, training or certifications required to become a virtual assistant.
You can provide ongoing services for your clients and create long-term relationships.
Some of the potential challenges of starting a virtual assistant business include:
It can be difficult to get clients when you first start your business.
You may find that you’re competing with offshore support people who charge a very low hourly rate.
As the industry grows, so does your competition.
It can be difficult to identify the right rate to charge.
You have to be willing to continuously keep up with technology and expand your knowledge.
You have to be careful to maintain independent contractors status as defined by the IRS.
You may find it challenging to work with clients who are used to hiring employees instead of delegating to another business owner.
Your work could be high-stress and deadline-driven.
You may need liability insurance, depending on the services you offer.