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VA Question of the Week

Our question of the week is your opportunity to get answers straight from us. If you would like to submit a question please complete and submit the form at the bottom of this page.

To see some of our most frequently asked questions check out our FAQ page.

What online networking groups and forums have you found to be most useful? Is it worth it to pay for the groups that charge a membership fee? (Submitted by Suzanne D.)

There are so many VA groups out there - how do you determine which ones are the best, or "worth it"? The answer to this question will be different for everyone, as how you define what is valuable, is up to you.

There are, however, a few things to consider when choosing to join a Virtual Assistant Group. Whether you pay or not for the group, start to consider your time as valuable. You don't want to waste your time in a VA group that is not giving you anything of value any more than you don't want to waste your money. Now that you are an independent business owner, "time is money" is no longer a cliché.

Of course, money is always a factor. When it comes down to it. you either have the cash, or you don't, or it goes on the credit card. You are the only one who can determine whether or not to join any organization. Figure this - if I get at least one client (or, get advice that aids me in obtaining at least one client), will my membership be worth it? What about two clients? I use that as an example, because that is what most VAs are after. What else could you obtain that would make the value of the cost of joining worth it to you? After you determine that, figure out if this group can help you get what you are looking for.

Time is money! How much time will you have to put into the group to get what you need out of it? Can you just lurk in the background of the message boards and gain value? Or, do you have to be active participant? Does the group require that you perform certain volunteer tasks, or can you just freely participate? Will being a part of this group seem more like a job, than a perk?

What learning opportunities does the group offer? Are there teleclasses to listen to? Newsletters to read? An open forum where you can post your questions? The Virtual Assistant industry is continually growing and shaping itself. Is the group actively keeping up with the changes?

Who is in the group, and how active is the group? Is the group filled with all "newbies" to the VA industry? If so, it might be good for moral support, but you may receive no good guidance backed up by experience. You want to look for a group that has a good mix of VA industry veterans, new VAs, and everyone in between.

What resources does the group provide? Are the group members willing to openly share their knowledge, or is everyone hording what they know for the fear of "arming the competition?" If you need it, look for a group that provides sample contracts, letters, checklists, spreadsheets, and other resources that you may need as a new VA.

So, there you go - I've now armed you with more questions than you came with, but now you know what to look for. Tell the group owner what you want, and ask her if that is what the group can provide for you. Then, determine if it's "worth it" for you to lay down your hard earned money or precious time to be a participant.

To find a list of groups we recommend, and for more information on VA membership groups and organizations, check out The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant.

Have a question about starting or running your VA business?

We want to make sure you are getting the support that you need while running your new virtual assistance business. In addition to the VA forums we recommend in our start-up kit, we’d also like to give you a way to contact us directly with your most pressing questions.

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