Updated: Sep 19
New virtual assistants struggle with building the business of their dreams because of the cost involved. Launching a virtual assistant business means taking the risk involved in working independently. That means you have to register, plan and buy everything on your own. Like any other small business model, being a virtual assistant can make a dent in your pockets.
It's difficult to trust yourself and your abilities enough to become your own boss. Most people want to quit their 9-5 for this. You would have to give up the comfort of a guaranteed salary at the end of every month. It’s hard to risk stability to build your dream business but there are cost-effective ways to do so. That is why I compiled three solid ways to bring your VA business to life without breaking the bank:
1. Build a social media presence without paid ads: Social media is one of the essential rocks your virtual assistant business will stand on. VAs use social media for personal branding, promotion, and most importantly, reaching new clients. The bigger your audience, the higher the chances of getting noticed by a potential client. A lot of newbies think that they can only grow by utilizing paid ads. Is it true that paid ads help you gain more followers in such a short time? Yes. Is it going to cost me a pretty penny? Most likely yes. That doesn’t mean you can’t leverage social media for your business without paying big bucks for ads. The key is to combine a well-crafted social media strategy with valuable content. Curating content that would interest your ideal client is way more important than ads. After all, some people run ads but make few conversions. Valuable content travels far, no matter the social network. Instagram has reels, Twitter has the retweet button, and LinkedIn has the share button. So being intentional, strategic, and value-focused in your content creation will have your work circulated on social media without paid ads.
2. Opt for a free website builder: One of the most common questions newbies ask is “ Do I need a website to start a virtual assistant business?” The truth is having a website comes with a lot of benefits. For instance, it gives your services an organized and professional look. Unfortunately, starting your own website is a costly project. It entails buying a domain name, purchasing a plan for a content management system, learning how to operate it, and hiring coders and SEO specialists. This is a costly route, especially for a beginner. Ditch the traditionally built website and opt for a free website builder. In this context a free website builder is an app that let’s users build websites by selecting and customizing from the provided templates. These are usually go-to options for online service providers who don’t need elaborate websites, but just a place for their audience to visit. There are several options to choose from. Some of the industry’s favorites are Wix, Milkshake, Carrd, and Linktree.
3. Choose Tools with Basic Plans: No matter the niche you choose, your tools will be your best friend. These tools are apps, websites, or software that assist you in completing your job. Whether it's design, writing, communication, project management, website development or bookkeeping; there are tools in existence covering any and every area. As you start your virtual assistant business from the ground up, you will be tasked with finding out the tools that serve you best. The only problem is that they often come with subscription plans. The process of financing all these tools is often a daunting experience for people that are starting out. Calculating the possible amount to be spent scares off most people and has them sticking to their 9-5. The way to start is to choose tools that come with a basic plan. Basic plans may not offer all the features a tool has to offer, but they come with the necessary features at zero cost. In essence, they are the free versions. This way you can avoid paying for several plans and save yourself $500-$1000 a month. Here are some tools with basic plans:
Calendly for Scheduling meetings and important dates
Canva for graphic design and content creation
Hemingway for writing
Adobe fill and sign for signing contracts
WPS for word processing, document preparation, and data entry
Toggl for time tracking
Trello for project management.
Stick to these free plans to save costs as you launch your new virtual assistant business. As your business grows, switch to premium plans for added features and benefits.
About the author:
My name is Xaviera Ashiedu (on Instagram as @happytaskerva)