Have you been thinking about starting a virtual assistant business to help you earn money from the road in your RV or at home, but aren’t sure how to make it work with kids? Not sure where to even start with creating your VA business? This quick start guide will teach you how to start a successful VA business while you are a stay at home mom.
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How to Start a VA Business with Kids at Home
Let’s face it, some days being a full-time mom is exhausting and overwhelming enough without having to try to figure out how to manage a business on top of that! While it certainly is not easy being a work at home mom, there are some things that you can do to make life easier.
One of the big concerns most moms have when starting a virtual assistant business is how they are going to be able to manage their clients and their kids. Know that being a virtual assistant does not have to be an all or nothing thing; you can work just a few hours a month or 40+ hours a week. The benefit of being your own boss is you get to decide what is best for you and your family.
Finding a schedule that works for your family is key to your success. How old your kids are and how active they are can make a big difference in when you will be able to get work done. If you’re kids are still young and nap, you can work around their sleeping schedules. If they are older, you can plan a part of your day for them to play independently while you get work done.
Setting a schedule will help you fall into a routine. It also will allow you to start time blocking. Time blocking is a great tool for time management. To get started, get a planner and section off parts of your day to complete different types of tasks. This gives you the freedom to concentrate on one thing at a time, instead of feeling pulled in different directions.
How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant
Now that you’ve decided on how much you want to work and when you’ll work, how do you get started?
You’ll need to decide:
- what services you want to offer,
- who you want to help,
- and how much you want to charge.
Decide What Services to Offer
Virtual assistants do a wide variety of tasks, from data entry to answering phones to scheduling social media posts, and just about everything in between! Don’t make the rookie mistake of trying to offer everything and thinking it will get you more clients. It actually tends to work the opposite way; having a wide variety of offerings makes it difficult for you to find clients.
If you aren’t sure of what kind of services you want to provide, then start thinking about your previous experiences and things that you enjoy doing. Are you great at doing Internet research? Do you enjoy helping people? Are you an organization queen? All of these things can translate into profitable VA businesses!
If you have an idea of something that you’d like to offer but you don’t have the skills to do it yet, there are some great training programs available like SavvyTech Training Lab that covers a wide array of programs from Seva (formerly ConvertKit), branding and design, course creation, SEO, WordPress 101, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t let what you don’t know yet stop you. You can always learn!
Find Your Ideal Client
The second thing you need to decide is who you want to help. A good way to figure this out is to think about who would best benefit from your skill set. What pain points would you solve? And then make a list of characteristics of someone who potentially has those problems. This takes some time to do, and can be continually refined. The more you work with clients, the more you will learn who you like working with and who you don’t.
Figuring out your target client will help you determine where to find clients, too! LinkedIn is a great place to find business-oriented clients, where Facebook groups can be a great source of mompreneur and blogging clients. If you want to serve small businesses, talk to some local business owners in your community.
Determine Your Pricing
There are many different ways to structure pricing as a VA. Some businesses prefer to charge hourly and bill their clients at the end of the month. Other virtual assistants sign up clients on retainers and charge every month for a set number of hours. The other option is to charge based on the project, not the amount of time it takes you complete.
The kind of services you offer will influence your pricing structure as well as your rates. Project based services tend to be priced based on the project, not the number of hours. The downside of using this pricing structure is if a project takes you a long time, you’ll end up making much less per hour than if you did it quickly. When you are first starting out, it can be hard to gauge how long a project will take.
The benefit of having clients on retainers is you’ll be able to know how much money you will make each month. It makes budgeting a lot easier. But there are small business owners who are leery of paying a large sum of money to someone they have not worked with before.
Hourly payments are very comfortable for clients, but can be risky for you as a freelancer. If you charge someone after you have already completed the work, then you run the risk of not being paid. It is also difficult to judge how much money you will make every month.
Now that you’ve figured out all of the details, all you have left to do is create a website and start marketing yourself!You are well on your way to having a successful virtual assistant business while being a stay at home mom!
What is your best tip for working at home with kids?
Let me know in the comments below!
Dara is a mompreneur with a passion for seeing mamas confidentially launch successful businesses so they can live the life of their dreams. She designs websites for work at home moms through her web design company, Dara Simons Creative. She blogs about mompreneur tips while drinking way too much coffee and dreaming of the day her kids sleep through the night.
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