Starting a business as a Virtual Assistant can be a very rewarding career choice.

But it takes a lot of work to ensure that you have the necessary tools in place to get off to a good start. Unfortunately many of the Virtual Assistant businesses that have never been a success weren’t so, because they were started on a belief that all that was needed was a computer and a desire to do business; but it takes so much more.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is if you have the skills necessary to back the services that you are going to be providing to your clients.

The first and perhaps most important skill is the ability to type and perform basic word processing. Believe it or not, there are many people that have started Virtual Assistant businesses that don’t even possess this basic Virtual Assistant skill. Any other skills you decide to offer over and above that should be in line with the skills that you possess as an individual. It can’t be stressed enough to always stick to what you know and only offer other specialized services, such as graphic design, bookkeeping and web design, if you actually have those skills.

If you are insistent that you want to specialize in an “up and coming” area of Virtual Assistance such as internet marketing or social networking, remember that there are amazing training programs available to teach you those skills. However, don’t begin to offer these services until you are confident in your abilities to do a fantastic job for your clients; take the time to learn and practice these skills first.

Another important thing to keep in mind is to first develop your own business plan.

Many don’t take the time to do this because they believe that it has already been determined that the Virtual Assistant concept is solid. Although it may be a solid business idea, determining that your individual business will be as solid is critical to your success. At the very least, you should take the time to conduct a SWOT analysis (review of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) of your competition as well as a PEST trends analysis (Psychological, Economical, Sociological and Technological) which will determine all those things that could affect your business, your potential clients and how they would do business with you.

Building a successful Virtual Assistant business takes dedication and a committed person.

Becoming a small business owner will mean that you are no longer punching a clock. As a business owner you become your business; this effectively means that if you have a deadline of tomorrow at 9am and at 7pm the night before it isn’t done, you will be working. Also, as a business owner you will find that not all the time you are spending on your job will be billable. Unlike a “normal” job where you work 9-5 and are paid for the entire time, as a business owner you will find that there will be some tasks that you undertake during a day that you cannot bill your client for, yet must still be done. In this manner, not every hour you spend in a day working will you be getting paid for.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, if you wish to start a Virtual Assistant business, it is critical that you have a strong support system as well as a resource network.

Your strong support system might be family members or friends that are behind you 100% and believe in what you are doing. Without having that support it will be hard for you to flourish. There have been some that have grown successful Virtual Assistant businesses despite the fact that their spouse does not support them; the way they have done this is by finding their support elsewhere. One such place to look for this support is by joining a Virtual Assistant forum or association that has supportive members.

Once you have all these tools in place, you will be well on the road to not only starting, but building a successful Virtual Assistant business.

Perhaps the best thing about starting a Virtual Assistant business is that you will find that most other Virtual Assistants are always willing to help out the “newbies”, as they affectionately refer to them. The Virtual Assistant business is a very open and sharing network and most experienced Virtual Assistants are willing to lend a helping hand and share their insights and experiences.


Tawnya Sutherland “The VA Expert” is a modern mensch for Virtual Assistants wanting to learn, share and grow their business at the largest social network online today for VAs:

Become a Virtual Assistant in just 30 days at