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Posted 23rd May 2023

How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business in 2023

A helpful guide for those who want to start a virtual assistant business, including effective virtual assistant business tools to help your new business thrive.

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How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business in 2023
Virtual Assistant

Saving time, reducing costs and extending customer reach are all crucial to the success of any small or medium sized business. Coupled with the increasing need for a career that provides absolute freedom and flexibility, the demand for virtual assistants has never been higher.

As of February 2023, there were around 4.39 million self-employed workers in the UK. With increasing numbers of workers chasing the elusive healthy work-life balance, the popularity of starting a virtual assistant business has gone from strength to strength in recent years.


What makes an excellent virtual assistant?

Many of us have come to rely on voice-controlled virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri to stay organised, informed, and safe. Well, the same goes for virtual assistant businesses being hired by forward-thinking business owners.

The best virtual assistants are:

  • Internet and computer savvy
  • Highly organised
  • Excellent multi-taskers
  • Calm problem-solvers
  • Great time-managers
  • Have a keen eye for detail
  • Reliable and honest
  • Kind and friendly
  • Motivational
  • Inspirational.

If this describes you, there’s never been a better time to start a virtual assistant business, offering services from calendar management and scheduling to improving your client’s caller experience with the Dialpad auto attendant feature.

If you like the idea of starting your own virtual assistant business this year but don’t know where to begin, here are six top tips to make your new career possible.


Find your niche

There are many avenues to go down when picking your niche. The important thing is to pick one and stick with it. Narrowing down the services you offer and the clients you work with, gives you less competition and more visibility, and lets you demand higher rates.

Social media management, customer service support, project management, book keeping and SEO skills are just a handful of the most in-demand virtual assistant niches in 2023.


Understand your target audience

So, you’ve chosen your niche, but who are you going to target? Entrepreneurs? Small businesses? Agencies? And will you work for one client or for multiple clients? Focusing on the most likely clients to require your services will help you streamline your marketing efforts and generate the most business leads.


Build your brand

A concise business plan will help you to clearly map out the future of your virtual assistant business. So, to begin building your brand, you must:

  • Name and register your business
  • Decide on the legal structure of the business (sole trader or partnership)
  • Explain how you will gain new clients 
  • Create a marketing strategy
  • Research operating costs and business insurance
  • Set financial goals
  • Set up a business bank account
  • Design a brand logo 
  • Choose the colours and font for your brand
  • Come up with a company slogan
  • Set up a website and social media profiles
  • Apply your branding across the business.


Invest in the latest virtual assistant technology

One of the best things about starting a virtual assistant business is that there’s very little outlay involved. When you’re starting out you just need a good quality desk, chair, computer/laptop, headphones, and a stable WiFi connection. 

However, there are useful modern virtual assistant business tools to consider. These include:

Virtual assistant business tools               

What are the benefits?

Time tracking management

– Increased productivity

– Effective project management
– Helps keep track of pricing

Video call online

– Boosts communication 

– Streamlines collaboration 

– Makes scheduling meetings easier

Invoicing and accounting apps

– Helps keep track of income & expenses

– Ensures bills are paid on time

– Better flexibility and savings

– More time to focus on business growth

Remote access tool (RAT)

– Complete control

– Quicker response times

– Reduced costs

Data streaming platform

– Access to real-time analytics

– Prevents losses & protects customer data

– Increases return on investment (ROI)

– Increases customer satisfaction

When researching and investing in virtual assistant business tools, consider attending an on-demand webinar or online training program to learn about the latest technology and techniques for optimizing your business.

You may also want to consider using client portal software, which allows you to securely share files, collaborate with clients, and manage project workflows all in one place.


Create a competitive virtual assistant pricing structure

The average hourly rate for a virtual assistant ranges from £15 – £35. This varies depending on your location, skills, and level of experience. 

As the demand for hiring virtual assistants increases, so does the pressure on perceptive VAs to be as competitive and open as possible. So, once you have your business plan and tools in place, it’s time to set out your pricing options.

Effective ways to set your rates as a virtual assistant include:

  • Do some market research to see what other virtual assistants charge.
  • Price your service at an hourly rate for ease.
  • Based on your hourly rate, offer discounts based on an hourly package.
  • Gauge how long a project will take by running a mock version of the work. Time how much data you can enter in 15 minutes and then multiply it to know how much can be done in an hour.
  • Once you know how long a specific task takes, create a service package at a flat fee each month for a specific service e.g. data entry.
  • Monthly retainers are a popular pricing option in the VA world. Providing a set fee each month no matter how much work is completed, monthly retainers give virtual assistants extra security on their income.
  • A one-off flat fee project is when you offer a single fixed fee for a service. Typically, these are the easiest for clients to understand exactly what they’re paying for.

Once your pricing structure is in place, you can construct a contract that clearly outlines the work involved, specific tasks required, the time contracted, payment terms, and more.

In addition to the traditional hourly-based payment model, some virtual assistants have started offering their services through a subscription business model, which can provide recurring revenue and greater predictability in cash flow.


Amplify your network to find more clients

Find your tribe by connecting with a network of fellow virtual assistants. Helping to showcase your skills and connect with potential clients, social media is an essential part of any successful virtual assistant business strategy nowadays.

With over 6,000 results for virtual assistant jobs in the UK alone, LinkedIn holds a wealth of benefits for virtual assistant start-ups. You can reach a much wider audience and raise your overall profile by building your Linkedin contacts. 

That said, it also pays to invest in a bit of research into more niche platforms. For example, virtual assistants looking for social media marketing work also rate freelance platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.


Reach your full potential by starting a virtual assistant business

The sharpest virtual assistants are putting these tips into practice to reap the widest range of benefits possible. And you can too! Finding your niche and keeping up with the latest virtual assistant business tools can do wonders for a virtual assistant company just starting out.

Categories: Innovation, News

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