Have you ever seen a list of services that a virtual assistant can offer, and then feel totally overwhelmed with where to start in your own business? Not only do you have a multitude of administrative, creative and technical services, there are many VA’s in between offering bespoke niche services as well — this leaves an array of possibilities for you to choose from.
You also have masses of outsourcing potential, where you may not be able to provide the service yourself, but you could partner with another VA or hire another VA to help you with all the items that you can’t implement on your own.
So where do you start? What is best for your business and for your potential clients?
Well, there is never really a right or wrong answer to this, but there is a ‘safe bet,’ and I would always advise new VA’s in the industry to follow these steps in deciding what would be best to start their business doing, and to then grow and take things from there.
Step 1. Brainstorm
You need to begin with writing down a list of all the services that you would like to offer in your VA business. This can be anything you can think of, there are no rules with what you can offer, and the possibilities are pretty endless. There is no denying that clients these days want flexibility and a comprehensive service, where they can get as many of their needs met as possible from one source. This means that all-in-one solutions are ideal, providing you are able to provide the necessary level of quality, alternatively partnering with other virtual assistants that offer services that compliment your own.
But for now, just concentrate on “All” of the services you want to offer to create your ideal virtual assistant practise and we’ll take it from there…
Step 2. Filter
You need to break those services down into 4 defined lists, the lists are as follows:
List 1: All the services you can do yourself (confidently).
List 2: All the services you can do yourself (but need help learning how to do online).
List 3: All the things you have some degree of knowledge about to communicate with the client effectively – but would need to outsource.
List 4: All the things you know very little about, and would need to rely on outsourcing entirely.
Step 3. Finalise
Now you have your lists, you can clearly see what you need to do in order to start your business, here are the optimal choices:
List 1 – You: Should automatically be on your service list, and those services can be the foundation for your business, you can start working as a virtual assistant today offering those services to potential clients.
List 2 – You: Start researching into how you are going to be able to offer these services online as soon as possible, most offline services can be taken online with ease, it’s just a case of finding the right tools and systems to allow you to offer them efficiently and effectively on a remote basis. Visit VA forums and blogs, see how other people are doing it, and then find a way that works best for you.
Once you have moved all of your list 2 items onto list one, you are halfway there to offering all of your services. At this point take a breather, start working with clients, gaining experience, and solidifying what you have already set up. You need to feel comfortable with your current set up in order to add-on additional services, which come from list 3 and 4.
List 3 – Team Development: Begin finding connections for list 3 and consider hiring internally a team of people to implement these services as your own company, you should by now have some sort of a client base and regular income to afford to hire a couple of members onto the team, start thinking at this stage about outsourcing some of your own work, and client work, ensuring you have someone who can provide the same outstanding level of quality. You will always need to be at the hub of the business but at this stage it should be feasible to start thinking about bringing those additional services on board.
List 4 – Partnerships: If you have no idea what you are doing, and do not have the inclination to learn, then list 4 is the one to begin sourcing partners for, other VA companies who you can refer clients to for a fee, through working closely with the partner VA company for mutual benefit. This means that the client still receives the services he wants from you, through a joint venture partnership with a trusted VA who is able to implement them effectively and also work with the client under a mutual agreement between yourself and the partner VA.
If All Your Services Are On List 4…
If you want to start a VA business and don’t have anything on lists 1, 2 or 3, you may want to begin starting an intermediary company matching clients to their ideal VA, based on their individual requirements. You would need a comprehensive database of reputable VA’s with multiple skill sets who are willing to pay a finders fee or commission. Placing the client with their ideal VA, using impartial ‘matchmaking’ skills can be the perfect option for entrepreneurs who want to hire without the hassle.