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Frequently Asked Questions

There are many questions that new Virtual Assistants have as they start setting up their home business. It can be a big transition, going from corporate employee to work from home employee, or from stay at home mom. BUT, with the right support, and the right information, you can have your successful home business up and running in no time! Here, we will share some answers to the most frequently aksed questions from those looking to work from home as a virtual assistant.

What kinds of virtual assistant services can I offer?

Some people go into their new business knowing exactly what they want to do, and some do not. Some people just know that they want to work from home, and stumble upon the virtual assistance industry in their quest for a legitimate work from home business. So, what kind of virtual asssistant services can you offer? There are literally hundreds of virtual support services that you can offer as a virtual assistant. It is likely that you already possess specialized skills that you can offer in your new business. Think back to your last job, and your life experiences. What are you good at, and most importantly, what do you enjoy? Have you worked in Real Estate? You can become a real estate virtual assistant, specifically helping to support realtors. Did you work in a law firm? You can specialize in supporting lawyers. If you didn't previously work in any of those jobs, but you previously worked as an administrative assistant, you can translate that to becoming a virtual administrative assistant or a virtual personal assistant. A virtual admininstrative assistant is also called a generalist and will handle general office administration tasks. Many of the people in the virtual assistance industry have a natural knack for and truly enjoy helping and supporting people. Use this to your advantage and market, market, market the skills that you already have! For more specific information on finding your niche, and for a list of specific types of virtual assistant services, check out our start-up kit!

How do I find clients for my virtual assistant business?

Now that you are a business owner, you also get to become a professional marketing expert. Marketing yourself is very important, because this is how you will acquire new clients for your virtual assistance business. There are many ways to market a business, but there are specific marketing techniques that generally work better for a virtual assistance business than say, a big corporate conglomerate. Networking is very important! Face-to-face and online networking is a great opportunity to spread the word about your virtual assistance business and meet potential clients. The idea of "networking" scares some people, but it's not really that bad once you have a good idea of how to approach potential clients with a uniquely crafted "elevator speech." (We discuss this in our start-up kit!)

How should I market my virtual assistance business?

Sure, we know that we *need* to market our virtual assistance business, but *how* do we do this? There are many ways that you can market your virtual assistant services. Since most virtual assistants work from home, finding face-to-face marketing opportunities is very important. When you are doing home based work, you are not going to run into someone in the cafeteria that you can just casually start discussing business with (unless, of course, you are a work at home mom, but then the people you meet in "the cafeteria" are more interested in a crust-less peanut butter sandwich than anything else!) The first important thing about face-to-face marketing is that you have to find places to meet people! A good place to start is your local Chamber of Commerce. Call them up and find out if they have open networking events. You may want to join your local Chamber, or it might not be right for you (we talk about the pros and cons in our start-up kit.) There are many other networking organizations that you can join in addition to the Chamber that are a good way for your to market your virtual assistant services. We also discuss these additional organzations in more detail in our guide. Don't forget about the new rage that is social networking. You can use Linkedin, MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook to market your business as well.

How much should I charge for my virtual assistant services?

Many new virtual assistants want to know how much they should charge. This is an extremely important thing to figure out. After all, most of us work because we need to make money! While we can't tell you *exactly* how much to charge, we can give you some pointers and things to think about. When you are calculating your rate, you need to take into consideration many things - what the market will bear, how much your competition charges, and how much you need to make to stay in business and make a profit. The bottom line is this: determining your rates is best done be careful consideration of multiple circumstances. Using the pricing worksheet included in the bonus templates in our start-up kit will help you take all of the above points into consideration and is a great way to get started on determining what your hourly rate should be.

Can I start a virtual assistant business part-time?

The short answer is - you can do whatever you want when you are the boss! Your business is totally what you make of it. As your own boss, you make the rules and you set your office hours! If you are a stay at home mom and your kids have soccer on Tuesdays, then flex-Tuesdays it is! If you have a part-time job on Tuesdays and Thursdays, then you can make your regular office hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and work at night on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Whatever works for you, works! The important thing is that you have enough time to network and let people know about your business. Like we mentioned above, when you work at home, clients just don't walk by your storefront or happen across your business. You can actually use this fact to your advantage, especially if you want to run your business part-time. When you run a home business, you can set it up however you like. If you are starting out part-time, you can check out the market and set up shop in your living room before investing in a complete office set-up in order to make sure it works for you. Since you are providing virtual support services, nobody needs to know you aren't sitting at a mahogany desk in an expensive swivel chair. There are many things involved with running a successful virutal assitance business. You can find out everything you need to know to get started and be successful in our guide: Steps to Success - The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Virtual Assistant.

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