Your Guide to Starting a Virtual Assistant Business
Have you ever wanted to start your own business but are worried about the cost? Starting your own virtual assistant business may be for you.
The move to freelancing and outsourcing has provided vast opportunities for growth in the virtual assistant business. Starting your own business can be rewarding as it means you can be your own boss. But, a commitment in planning and an open mind is required to start a successful virtual assistant business.
What is a Virtual Assistant Business?
A virtual assistant business typically provides administrative, technical and social assistance to clients from a home office. Virtual assistants are independent contractors who tailor to the needs of the client’s business. The tasks that you perform vary in complexity depending on your skill set. Moreover, typical tasks can include schedule management, administrative duties, data entry and content writing.
Therefore, starting your own virtual assistant business will require an understanding of additional concepts to help you create an engaging online presence. Here are a few essential tips to get you started on growing your virtual assistant business.
What will your Business Structure Be?
There are typically two common types of business structures that you can choose for your business.
Sole Trader or Partnership
As a sole trader, you are responsible for managing the business in its entirety. This means that you are legally responsible for all conduct of the business specifically business debts and taxation. Further, you will have to register for an Australian Business Number and can apply for a business name.
A partnership is similar to a sole trader but you are able to share your business debts and liability with another person. Subject to this, you will need to apply for a separate Tax File Number.
A company entails that your business becomes a separate legal entity often owned by two or more people. Creating a company will mean that you are not directly liable for any business debts and will not be taxed on your personal income. Additionally, you must register your company’s legal name subject to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and any income must be reported through the Australian Security and Investments Commission.
What will your Business Offer?
Essential to entrepreneurship is a clear direction of what your business will do for clients. Whilst there are a range of tasks that you can offer, it is important that you choose the services suited to your ability and experiences. In other words, this will enable you to meet client expectations in a professional capacity.
What will your Business Brand Be?
In order for a business brand to be captivating, you will need to create a brand that clients can relate to across services. Above all, it is crucial to keep in mind the benefits you can offer to your clients and the type of clients you want to attract. Furthermore, it is advised to apply for trademark registration if you are planning to use a logo.
Building and Understanding your Clients
Subsequent to developing your business services, it is time to do your research into your potential clients. Starting a virtual assistant business means that you will have to network yourself around the industry. Firstly, you can ask your established personal connections if they need help in your chosen services. Therefore, it becomes incredibly important at this stage to understand what drives your clients to your services. Secondly, you will need to expand your network beyond established connections. Some examples include social media, job postings and freelancing websites such as Freelance Australia.
Setting up Client Agreements
As with any start up business, you will need to seek professional help in drafting client agreements which will aim to state the terms and conditions of your work. Therefore, you will need to understand your responsibilities and obligations as an independent contractor.
In conclusion, starting your own virtual assistant business can be daunting but the ability to create something of your own is attractive. This means that taking the time to plan and solidify your commitments are essential to a successful business.
Cecilia is a final year law student completing her Practical Legal Training at Lawpath. She has an avid interest in intellectual property.