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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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Get A Virtual Assistant Business Started

After a lot of thinking and weighing options, you have decided to embrace the future and start a 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 a choice has been made, where to 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 a virtual business. Lots of decisions will need to be made on where to start and there is a world of advice available. Meadows VA school has resources that can guide anyone through the steps of successfully setting up your business.

Legalities – Getting Licenses and Permits in Place

A virtual assistant, discovers 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 to follow your state and Home Owner’s association rules regarding the use of homes for a business. The Small Business Association has, Permit Me, an online tool that allows anyone to research the requirements in their state. As a result of the lack of regulation virtual businesses are an easy fit for a shoe string budget. 

Business Structure

One of the earliest decisions faced is the actual structure of a new business. Many business owners opt for sole proprietorship at the early stages, because it doesn’t require much set up. 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 personal liabilities from business ones and protect the owner better. Setting up an LLC is a relatively inexpensive method of establishing a business as a separate entity and allowing owners 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 tax paperwork will be different than as a employee. After a business is open and starts to book clients having a W-9 filled out for each new client along with a contract is recommended. This contract will include a statement of work which will help establish the scope of responsibilities and tasks  contracted to perform for each client as well as things such as deadlines and client details. Finally, make sure to set up a file for each client to keep all paperwork and calendar details organized.

On the Job

Once work has started and clientele is growing, 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 any business track all of their expenses easily. 

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.

This blog contains affiliate links and receives compensation from it ads, reviews, and recommendations. For our full disclosure and privacy policy please visit our disclosure page.

 

Microsoft

Okay, so you really feel like you can make a go of it as a virtual assistant. You like the idea of working at home because you may be a mother, retiree, or simply looking to leave your office job in search of a bit more freedom.

Luckily, virtual assistant positions offer the freedom to work from your home, a coffee shop, or wherever you can find high-speed internet, a place to sit and work and the ability to take calls in peace.

Now, here is the caveat to it all, you may or may not be best suited for this position after all–even if you want to take part in being a person virtual assistant. This does not mean you will never succeed in the position, you just may have to try a bit harder than others to be able to fulfill all the administrative duties and needs of a virtual assistant.

Below are some of the most successful personality traits that tend to succeed in the business of a virtual assistant position.

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Becoming a virtual assistant is a smart move for someone looking to find a rewarding career helping other companies by offering your administrative skills virtually.

What may have been viewed as a job for stay-at-home moms or retirees has now come into the spotlight as being a great career for those young and old, with children or without and can bring just as much respect and happiness from a career as an in-office worker.

Now, the decision to change should not be a light one and should not just be because you want to work from home and you think it’ll be simple work. Just because you are not in office does not mean as a virtual administrator that you will not work hard and have deadlines. You will also not just be sitting around all day as your clients WILL need you.

Below are some tips to ensure your career starts off on the right foot as a virtual assistant.

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Being a virtual assistant means having to work on your own. You will, of course, be given training, direction and help with all tasks, but in terms of your location of work–it will be a home office or area with an internet connection.

With that being said, you will not be in a position where you will be given a desk and have the obligation to keep it clean. Furthermore, you will not have a supervisor around to ensure your work area and computer are kept organized either.

To some, this may seem intimidating and if you are not an organized person it may not come easily to you. Luckily, there are ways to ensure your physical desk and computer (both online and offline) are kept neat and professional for the work you will be handed by your employer.

Google Drive

Google Drive has been a very great asset to both in-office employees, but even more so to virtual assistants. Now, you can easily share documents, make group edits, comment and critique projects and collaborate without all being in the same place. Also, you are able to categorize files, upload, download and keep everything in one location so you are not constantly looking through folders on and offline to find a document or file you need.

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Congratulations, you just hired a virtual personal assistant for the first time. You needed the extra help, saw the growth within the virtual assistant job market and decided that having a virtual assistant would help you towards your own business goals. But, now what?

Unlike in-office employees where there is on boarding, training, etc. you are now hiring an employee who could be a town over, a state over, or even in another country, so how do you figure out what they should do and teach them how to do it?

There are many ways you can go about this virtual assistant training so that your virtual assistant will be knowledgeable and ready to take on the daily tasks without questions in no time. Below are ways to delegate tasks to a new virtual personal assistant.

Be a welcoming employer, first and foremost:

There is an immediate distance between yourself and your virtual assistant that comes from not working in the same office. While virtual assistants know they will not be feeling the same as if they were in office, you as the employer also need to make sure they feel welcomed enough to stay. Unfortunately, virtual positions make coming and going much easier–so best to make your new virtual assistant want to come on and stay.

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Becoming a virtual assistant can be a very lucrative career if you put yourself out there and make the most out of the virtual employment sector.

Now, one thing that has been beaten into our heads since the internet emerged is that you cannot trust everything you see online–and jobs fall into this statement too.

Have you ever seen a job that was too good to be true or you felt that little gut check hit you as you applied for a position you didn’t feel right about–but did anyways because you NEED the job?

These instances have happened to so many, but virtual personal assistants need to be even more aware of who they are speaking to and what information they are giving out. The internet has made your information open to the public and if it falls into the wrong hands, it could be problematic.

There are ways as a virtual assistant looking for work to be on top of everything and make sure you are only applying to quality virtual assistant positions.

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person running on subway platform for virtual assistant blog photoYou are either looking at hiring a virtual assistant or have just done so but you haven’t utilized an employee or contractor through an exclusively virtual format. How do you manage them?

We will examine some best practices on how to proceed through the unfamiliar territory of virtual assistant services. The keys are the same as applied to traditional employees: communication, organization, process and procedure. Continue Reading

Brutal Honesty Video Interview Advice

Oh, we like you! We really, really do! That is why we called you and scheduled a video interview. Too bad you are in your PJ’s and we can see your mom’s house hasn’t been updated since the 70’s. No, we will call you! You don’t have to call us. Bye-bye candidate! Need a little video interview advice? Better luck next time.

If you have ever had a bad video interview experience don’t feel alone, so have I. Nothing in my past professional experience really prepared me for what I saw when I video interviewed you the other day. Here is some video interview advice to ensure your next video interview a little better. Continue Reading

Do You Have Work At Home Blues

Working from home can leave those of use with the work at home blues. Anyone would miss the social interaction of being able to talk to co workers or even just leave the house; and that’s perfectly natural. It is common to feel sad, lonely or develop a form of depression. We have a few suggestions on how beat the work from home blues.

Tips To Beat The Blues:

  • Set specific hours you work
  • Especially make sure to take breaks often (at least every hour). Rather than working the whole day without stopping.
  • Organize your day and week to the best of your ability
  • Only check emails a certain number of times a day or at certain times (to allow yourself time to get other tasks completed)
  • Let family and friends know your schedule (like you would in a ‘typical office job’)
  • Be active throughout the day if possible (walks on lunch hour, yoga at desk for a few minutes, etc.)
  • Always get outside when the opportunity allows
  • Set a task to-do list to help your day be structured and reduce the risk of straying on tasks. Most of all allow room for variance in case of big projects, something taking more time than anticipated or unexpected tasks
  • Write a list of your out of work chores and errands to help you stay focused on work and not struggle to remember after work is over
  • Get social, this will be key to helping
    • Networking events, volunteering, talking to family or friends during work-day on breaks or lunches. Clients count as being social but clients may not need to talk to you every day. Also, they may not want to talk about personal matters with you. 
    • Being social throughout the day will prevent being stressed out, later on, or feeling lonely. Or cause you to ‘over talk’ to your loved ones in the evening.
  • Having a designated work space to alleviate getting stressed, upset or overwhelmed when not working and being in or seeing that space while not working
  • Music, radio can be good for background noise without being too distracting. Having a TV on can be good for noise as well.
  • Get up every hour (even if it’s to get water and go to the bathroom), stepping away from your desk will help your mindset tremendously.
  • Meet with local clients in person
  • Focus on why you love what you’re doing and that you’re doing the job you love
  • Write down negative thoughts and put them in a jar or shoebox. Then let that be the one place you allow negativity so it doesn’t get in your way (like the happiness jar, just the opposite)
  • Go out to lunch once in awhile (packing lunch to the park would work)
  • Change scenery up
  • Dress for the job you have. You don’t have to work in pajamas or leggings if you don’t want; even one day a week could make a huge difference.

Work Out A Plan

Navigating through the process of working from home is a path we take individually. In Conclusion, facing work from home blues is something virtual workers have faced and there are ways to overcome them. Looking for more tips on how to beat the work from home blues? Pinterest has a few to look into.

This blog contains affiliate links and receives compensation from it ads, reviews, and recommendations. For our full disclosure and privacy policy please visit our disclosure page.

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