There are so many great benefits and pros of starting a virtual assistant business. Here are just a few of my favorites.
- You Can Start for Free
It’s affordable, and can even be free, to start a virtual assistant business. You don’t need any special equipment, you don’t need a college degree, and you don’t need a picture-perfect, spacious office.
- Virtual Assistants Don’t Need a Specific Degree
Your VA business can focus on the skills you already possess.
There are so many different types of VAs, and no VA offers the exact same services. Admin, research, and general management VA services are the easiest to break into, but you can offer whatever skills you’re already best at. You don’t necessarily need to go back to college/school (or go to school at all) to become a virtual assistant.
Although there are virtual assistant programs available at some colleges these days, they aren’t really necessary. You can learn everything you need to know with on the job experience.
- Virtual Assistants Have Flexible Schedules
As a virtual assistant, you set your own schedule for when you work on your tasks. When I first started, I worked on my VA business before and after my 9-to-5. Then I added weekends as my workload grew. After I first quit my job, I worked on my business just as if it was a full-time job, Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm. In your virtual assistant business, you can work on it whenever you want, whether it’s part-time or full-time.
- Virtual Assistants Are Location Independent
You can work from home, or the coffee shop, or while traveling. It doesn’t matter where you work when you have your own virtual assistant business, as long as your work gets done. Keep in mind though that you will need a strong internet connection to accomplish most of your tasks as a VA.
- Virtual Assistants Set Their Own Rates
As a freelance VA, you set your own rates for how much you want to charge for your work. You can charge as much as you want as long as you can find clients who are willing to pay you.
Plus, you can raise your rates at any time. No more waiting for an annual review to get a raise.
- Virtual Assistants Get Paid to Learn
You can grow your skills (oftentimes for free) because clients may pay you to learn something that can help their business. Other times, you may decide to take a course or buy a product that teaches you a new skill so you can charge more for your services. As a VA, you’re always learning, and sometimes you get paid to do it!
The Cons of Starting a Virtual Assistant Business
While there are definitely more pros than cons when it comes to starting a virtual assistant business, I am writing this in full transparency.
Many of the cons listed below can be solved easily, but others may take some time and effort to get used to. Here are the few cons that I’ve found of being a virtual assistant.
- It May Be Hard to Find Your First Client
Getting your first client can be somewhat difficult if you don’t have an online network to reach out to (such as a group of bloggers you’ve already become friends with). This is also true if you’re an introvert or don’t like cold pitching.
Luckily, hard doesn’t mean impossible! It often only takes one client to get the ball rolling. After you’ve gotten your first client, getting your second, third, and more will be much easier.
- Freelance VAs Don’t Get Employee Benefits
As virtual assistant, you are typically working as a freelancer or independent contractor. (Unless you work for a virtual assistant agency, in which case this may differ! Since you’re a contractor and not an employee, you don’t get health insurance, sick leave or other paid days off, or any other employee type benefits. This means you have to calculate self-paid benefits into your rate when you are charging for your work.
- Freelance VAs Have to Pay Their Own Taxes
Since you don’t technically have an employer (since you work on a contract basis with your VA clients), there’s no money being withheld from your paycheck for taxes. This means you have to set aside money and pay your own taxes. This can be a con if you’ve never budgeted for paying taxes on your own before. You also have to remember to send in your own quarterly tax payments if they are needed.
While I personally don’t mind budgeting for and paying my taxes, I still hate all the organization, paperwork, and tracking that comes with being self-employed. It can be exhausting getting everything together since you should keep track of all income and expenses for your business so you can claim all of the deductions possible come tax time.
- Working Online May Get Lonely
If you’re an extrovert (like me!) working from home by yourself may get old. I like getting out and meeting people, but there have been many times where I have been stuck in my seat the whole day because of my work.
But I try to combat this by making time for Zoom calls with business friends, my team, my clients, and more. Plus I also plan social activities with friends and family outside of work.
Another great way to combat this is to find a mastermind group to join. Masterminds are groups of like-minded business owners who are on similar pathways with their businesses. They can be used for bouncing around business ideas, asking for feedback, and more.
So there you have it, the simple steps you need to take in order to start a virtual assistant business. It will take work, but it doesn’t have to be complicated!