Any field has their busy months and their slow months and virtual assisting is no different. You may not be in office, but you will have to ride the high’s and low’s as any other employee would.

Slow times can be scary, especially as a virtual when you may or may not be a salaried worker and pay is not guaranteed. While you should always be keeping a sharp eye on those aspects of employment, below are some ways to leverage slow months in a positive way so that when busy season starts up again, you are ready to take on virtual administration at an even more experienced level:

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One of the first questions you may have as a virtual assistant when navigating your first clients to work with is how much you should charge. A simple step could be jumping onto the Bureau of Labor Statistics to get a rough estimate based on your niche. Beyond that, you may want to take a look at typical payments that virtual assistants receive based on their specialty or ask fellow virtual assistants for their own information regarding payments in groups and forums.

A note that one size does not fit all. You may be applying for a job with a certain title, but are coming in with a desirable specialty that could benefit a client. Do not shortchange yourself when first applying for a job.

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At Meadows VA School, not only are we wanting your career as a virtual assistant to run seamlessly with your clients, but we also want your life to be as seamless as well.

Making sure you are taking care of yourself at home is one of the goals at Meadows VA School, which is to create the life and career you have always wanted.

One part of your life you should never skimp on is feeding yourself a wholesome and healthy meal after a day’s work as a virtual assistant, which is why we created the “Recipe of the Month” series to spotlight a recipe we find that is quick to make, healthy & delicious so that you are enjoying your meals while working as a virtual assistant:

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It may come as a surprise that being on Facebook as a professional is not always a bad thing. Yes, you have heard horror stories about the employees who posted less than flattering statuses and photos of themselves and ultimately got fired over it. That is a topic for another day, though.

Facebook, for virtuals and clients, can be a great way to disseminate positions, job inquiries, and a place to ask questions and voice concerns. With the availability of Facebook groups specific to virtual assistants and clients, as well as Facebook, being a great place to create a professional profile of yourself that is a little more relaxed than a Linkedin profile, with a great ability to connect with like-minded virtual assistants and the clients who want to hire them.

Here are some reasons why being on Facebook may not be a bad idea for virtuals and clients:

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Every job has tasks and as a virtual assistant, or client, you need to be on top of your tasks. Whether it is your job to run the tasks for the client or delegate the tasks to the virtual assistant, there needs to control over your task work.

Control does not just mean being strict about completing the work, it also means staying organized, finding your own way of doing things that are intuitive while still being accurate, and making use of technology to keep you on task.

Below are some suggestions on how to take control of your tasks and succeed as a virtual assistant or client:

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Working from home can be a wonderful set-up for moms with children, older individuals, or even those still trying to work after an injury or illness.

Not having to go to an office can be a blessing, but sometimes, it can also be detrimental if you are not conscientious about what you are doing daily.

What used to be an organized day can now feel like many different virtual tasks blended into 24 hours without a set start or end time. This can mean laundry goes un-done, exercising no longer has a scheduled part of your day, or you may be slacking on meals.

Virtual assisting does not mean your self-care should go on the backburner–as Meadows VA School promotes–and organizing time either one day a week or daily to prep for your week can ensure your chores are done, exercise and health are taken into account and meals are made. Here are some tips on leveraging self-care and virtual assisting.

Try to plan your own ideal start and end time

This may or may not always work depending on your client’s schedules. But, as a virtual assistant, you are also in charge of who you decide to take on as a client, so taking the work day you wish to have into consideration is key. If you do not want to work past 7 p.m., then taking on a client on the West Coast when you are on the East Coast that also works until 7 p.m. their time won’t work out. Be cognizant of these factors when saying “yes” to potential new clients.

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Clients have the responsibility of deciding to hire a virtual assistant and then following up by looking through applications to find the best virtual assistant for your company. A little-known idea for many companies is that how you position your company will also equate to the type of virtual assistants you have applying.

Offer little to no means for advancement and the tools for success and you may find yourself with virtual assistants applying that also do not want to move up or progress in the company. Whereas, being involved and having your virtual assistants be a direct member of your company culture and give them the means to succeed and you will find your inbox filling up with applications of driven virtual assistants. Below are some tips on how to attract the best virtual assistants for the job:

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After a lot of thinking and weighing options, you decided to embrace the future and start your own small business. The idea of setting your own schedule and taking control of your life was a dream that you had to reach, and you decided to set up a virtual assistant business. Now that you have made the decision, where do you start.  Virtual assistant businesses have become an ideal business opportunity for experienced administrators to use their skills in a virtual environment. With all of the available technology, it’s easy and affordable to start your own business. You will have to make a lot of decisions on where to start and there is a world of advice available. Meadows VA school has resources that can guide you through the steps of successfully setting up your business.

Legalities – Getting Licenses and Permits in Place

As a virtual assistant, you’ll discover that there aren’t too many regulations to getting your business up and running. Licensing in each state vary, so make sure to check and see what your state requires. No matter what is required, make sure that you follow your state and Home Owner’s association rules regarding the use of your home for a business. The Small Business Association has, Permit Me, an online tool that will allow you to research the requirements in your state.

Business Structure

One of the earliest decisions that you’ll face is the actual structure of your business. Many business owners opt for sole proprietorship at the early stages. This is an acceptable option, but could ultimately leave you open to financial risks as your clientele grows. Business models such as LLC/PLLC, corporations, partnerships and co-ops will help you separate your personal liabilities from business ones and protect you better. Setting up an LLC is a relatively inexpensive method of establishing your business as a separate entity and allowing you to get an EIN and bank account set up easily. To get an idea which structure will best suit your business, check the resources on sba.gov.

Getting to work

As a freelance business owner, the paperwork that you’ll be facing will be different than any you ever saw as an employee. After you get your business open and start seeing clients, you’ll want to ensure that you have a W-9 filled out for each new client as well as a completed contract. This contract will include a statement of work which will help establish the scope of responsibilities and tasks you are contracted to perform for each client as well as things such as deadlines and client details. Make sure to set up a file for each client to keep all paperwork and calendar details organized.

On the Job

Once you start working and building your clientele, you will have other tasks to deal with. On top of the work you’ll be doing for your clients, you’ll need to be tracking your invoices and expenses. A good accounting program will be essential, and Quickbooks Online is the most highly recommended for independent business owners. It will help you track all the expenses that your business will incur.

Secrets to Building a Successful Business

As you are building a business, you will find yourself wanting to grow it quickly. This is a trap that most entrepreneurs fall into. Make sure that you learn how to manage your time and learn how to say no. It’s okay and often essential to be able to draw boundaries with your clients. This is your business and you have the choice to run it as you see fit.

Any new business venture can be tricky, but with proper tools and resources, you can learn to manage your time and your clients. You can learn to have the work/home life balance that all entrepreneurs are working toward and truly enjoy your life and your career. Meadows Resources and Meadows VA school has the resources you need to get started on the right track. Also, check out our in depth Ebook Meadows VA School Quick Start in our Swipe File Section to learn more.

 

Being behind a computer screen can connect you to the world, but it also can be isolating if you do not continue to create new connections. One thing that can get a bit harder in virtual administration is networking for virtual assistants. You are not meeting people daily and not able to really speak with others about your capabilities and how you can help their company attain its goal as a virtual assistant. 

While it may be harder, networking is not impossible virtually and here are some options on how to network digitally:

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Our Virtual Assistant Spotlight Series focuses on members of Meadows Resources Virtual Assistant Team and how they came to decide a career in virtual administration was the best fit for them. Below we speak with Jasmine Adams:

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