As a military spouse, having a remote career that I can take with me is not only amazing, but it’s essential to my career growth. At WISE, I oversee our Senior Virtual Assistant Team. In fact, I started as a General Virtual Assistant, moved up to Senior Virtual Assistant, and then advanced to Sr. VA Team Lead, so I know the path well.
If you’re considering becoming a Virtual Assistant, there are some things to consider before diving in.
#1 Join a Team or Start From Scratch
The first big decision I made when becoming a virtual assistant was “Do I start my own business or join a team?” For me, you can tell that the answer was “join a team” and I could not be happier.
Joining a team allows me to work my strengths in administrative support and project management, rather than spend time marketing myself, acquiring clients, and doing all of the things that go along with owning your own business. I do have friends that are VAs with their own businesses and they love the path they’ve taken. Both are great directions, but you’ll need to know your end goals to work towards them.
#2 Choose Your Niche
The next vital decision that you’ll want to make is choosing your niche.
I know you’re likely thinking “the more services the better”, but that’s not always the case.
I earned my position with WISE because of my expertise within the Real Estate industry. While I can do most tasks that an in-person assistant can do I LOVE Real Estate assistance. I was able to join WISE as a General Virtual Assistant and lead the team of admins that support our real estate agents. Clients will come to you because you are an expert in a field, not because you do lots of things pretty well. Find your focus and train on it. Do you love Pinterest - take some courses in maximizing pins and start there. Is inbox management your favorite thing to do? Learn the tools, have suggestions ready for clients, let everyone know that you’re the inbox guru that they need.
#3 Be Realistic With Your Schedule
While you’re setting yourself up to become a virtual assistant you’ll also want to get real with yourself about your schedule. Being a remote assistant means that you track each and every hour that you work. You don’t go into an office and charge time while you get your coffee and set up for the day. Your working hours are true “plugged in, at the computer” working hours and you need to be realistic with yourself on how many hours you can take on. If it’s 4 hours a day, great. Block that time out and protect it. Set up an office area with a clean backdrop for video calls. If you’ll need child care, get that lined up.
Remote work is real, hard work and you’ll set yourself and your clients up for success if you treat it that way from the start.
The final tip that I can give you is to start networking, and by that I do NOT mean messaging everyone that you know on social media that you started a business or joined a team. I urge you to join some LinkedIn and Facebook groups for Virtual Assistance and your niche areas and find your local business networking meetups. These can all become great resources, not only for job or client searching but also in sharing tips and tricks.
Find ways that you can support others and give back while you are growing. These groups can build amazing connections, but keep in mind that you can be a resource as well. Share that killer course you took and make suggestions when someone hits a roadblock. Collaboration over competition, always!
If you think joining a team is the path for you, keep an eye on our Careers tab and Follow WISE on social media. We have opportunities arise all the time and we’d love to connect with you!
Looking to grow your business, but don’t have time to hire a team? Work WISE instead! We have an established team of Project Managers, Virtual Assistants, and more to help your business grow!
Kary is the Senior Virtual Assistant Lead of the WISE team. She is a systems and administration expert.