Elayne Whitfield, BA, MVA ~ VA Industry ExpertSubscribe Now

What You Need To Get Started As A VA

How to Get Started as a VAOne of the great things about being a VA is that it’s easy to get started. You really don’t need much to be able to launch a successful business. That being said, there are some things you’ll want to take inventory of to make sure you’re completely ready to open for business

Office Equipment

You’re a virtual assistant which means you’ll need the necessary equipment for working online.

This means a:

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

You likely already have much of this equipment but if not, you won’t need to spend a fortune to get it. Take a look at flea markets and online resale sites for furniture. If you don’t have a computer, most experts recommend buying the best you can afford. Your business will be based almost entirely on your computer so you don’t want to cut any corners when getting one.

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 essential. It should include:
    • Budget
    • Goals
    • Marketing strategy
    • Operations
    • Policies and procedures
    • And anything else you can think of
  • Website and/or blog
  • Social networking profiles
  • 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 such as transcription software if you plan on offering that

Again, you may have much of this already and most won’t cost very much if you don’t. You can however spend a lot on software, so be careful. Only buy what you really need to get started.

Personal Equipment

Now that 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 (Information is easy to find online or in marketing books)

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 gone on to be hugely successful VAs. Make a checklist. Create a plan. Realize the success you desire.

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