Virtual Assistant: The perfect career for stay at home parents
Hi! If you haven’t visited the blog before, I’m Rebecca and I have been a Virtual Assistant for 3 years. I started my business in Feb 2016. I am also a Wife and a Mum to 3 energetic boys. I am delighted that you’re here, I really hope you find my blog useful. You can read about my story here come and check it out and get to know me.
I want to help other parents become Virtual Assistants, it’s a fantastic career choice and a great business venture. The reason I have chosen to help other parents is simply because I’ve been asked, time and time again how I did it and continue to do it and I’ve also been told I juggle things well, which is a motivation factor for me, some days and my motivation now, is to help other parents with the same venture.
I became a Virtual Assistant after my second Son was born, but you can start whenever. I wanted to start sooner, but really didn’t know how, so it’s possible to start at any time.
Here are my top reasons why becoming a Virtual Assistant is a great choice for stay at home Mums and Dads and the best bit is, it’s absolutely possible to start with little ones around and grow when they reach school.
You gain independence as a professional adult
When I returned to work after having my first son, and before starting my VA business, I decided I didn’t like the control of working the 9-5 under someone else’s direct authority. Don’t get me wrong, I really loved my job, I’d been in the Company for a long time, I knew my colleagues, respected my senior management and board directors and I had picked up awards in my role, but, as a new Mum, with my son in Nursery and me bound to the hours and pay, working in an office environment, under an employment contract wasn’t for me anymore, I wanted independence and freedom.
It wasn’t until a house move out of County that I actually took the leap to become a Virtual Assistant. You can read about that over at my post What my early days of being a Virtual Assistant made me realise (P.S I wish I did it sooner)
So, being a VA is a brilliant independence career choice, you can choose your own rates, hours, working location, tasks and marketing efforts. In fact, I love the independence so much that I have firmly decided to never go back in to Full Time Corporate Employment and I will concentrate my efforts and energy on my own business, designing my own life.
You can cut down on childcare costs
When I was in Full Time employment, my Son went to Nursery full time. My monthly salary was taken to pay for that Nursery schedule, so we were essentially completely dependent on my Husbands monthly salary.
Working from home allowed me to cut right back on childcare costs because I could work with them around. Admittedly, at the time I started RoBec Solutions, I did put my boys into a couple of ½ day sessions, but I did this only because it had become a routine for them to attend.
You can use the skills you already have and were using before you had children
In my VA business, I can use all of the skills I used when in full time corporate employment and better still, I can continue to learn and enhance those skills, taking time to get them to a new level. You can do exactly that too.
You can use the skills you already have and use these to build your business and you can get started straight away on the things you already know how to do and the things you already love doing!
If you are good at your job, and enjoy it, identify and write down the skills you already have and you have already got a service to deliver.
Some skills I bet you already have are;
- Email: you can write, read and organise emails.
- Organisation: Cloud file organisation, travel arrangements, events, client meetings etc.
- Social media: you are probably already using social media day to day – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. You could even manage Facebook groups for others. Business owners don’t have the time to manage their own social media.
- Research: What do you do when you want to look something up? Google. Google is there for you to conduct your tremendous research
- Customer Service: This uses communication skills. You can answer telephone calls, make calls on behalf of your customer. The key to this one is to stay professional.
- Writing / Proofreading: blog posts, documents, reports etc. Attention to detail is a big one here but it’s definitely a skill you can use.
- Creativity / Design: There are some great tools online to use for design and to flair your creativity. People who want great looking, eye catching designs for their social media and blog posts will look for your skills in this area.
- Typing: If you can type, even better type fast you could use your skills to do Transcription. Many industries are now creating videos, courses and podcasts. Transcription doesn’t require specialised training either.
For more ideas on what services you can offer as a Virtual Assistant, head over to my post Virtual Assistants – What are they, what do they do and who uses them and download my free services workbook. You will also learn from that post that Virtual Assistants don’t only do ‘Admin’ work.
Free Download! 100 Services you can offer as a Virtual Assistant
You can spend more time with your Family - you find a new work / life balance
As a Virtual Assistant, You can take time to spend with your Family, time that you wouldn’t have before with strict 9-6 hours and a commute. You can continue to run your children’s routines whilst bringing in an income. You can still take your children out if there not in school years and you will not have to worry about the school holidays. You can take them to school and pick them up from school, you can attend school festivals, you can attend nativities and plays, sports days. You also don’t need to feel bad about calling into work if your children are poorly, you can still care for them whilst working and earning.
Aside from spending more time with my children, it also means I can support my Husband with his career commitments and we can plan holidays as a family easier now that I schedule my own time.
You can start with little or no startup costs (yes, really!)
When starting a Virtual Assistant business, there are generally very few costs involved to get started and it is absolutely possible for you to start a Virtual Assistant business with very little or no startup costs. I know, because I did it.
I started my business with a mobile phone, a laptop, internet connection, email (I recommend Gmail) and Microsoft Office (I mainly used Word and Excel). That’s all, until I started to grow and then I introduced other tools for example using GSuite which included the Google Docs.
As you’re reading this, you probably already have those things. As well as these, you’ll obviously then need clients, workable and billable hours, services, your rate and a service agreement, which you can write up using Word or Google Docs.
Download my free checklist and Workbook for Startup Virtual Assistants, it’ll cover everything you need for how you can start your business and with little or no money. You can download it over at my post – How to start a Virtual Assistant Business
Free Download! Start up Checklist and Worksheets for your Virtual Assistant Business
It’s a fantastic and growing industry
Over in my post Why you becoming a Virtual Assistant is such a GREAT idea…plus some realistic obstacles, I give some insights into the number of small businesses which were published in 2017. There are businesses being started every day by aspiring Entrepreneurs and the Virtual Assistant is their low cost, efficient and quality method for support, thanks to the Internet. The VA industry is growing more than ever, remote working is now becoming ever more popular with corporate companies and technology in the cloud absolutely enables digital working.
Whilst it is not possible for me to tell you the exact statistics for the Virtual Assistant industry, I can tell you that over at Stastista.com they reported;
“This statistic shows the global market size of outsourced services from 2000 to 2018. In 2018, the global outsourcing market amounted to 85.6 billion U.S. dollars.” (Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/189800/global-outsourcing-industry-revenue-by-service-type/)
I personally do not believe that the Virtual Assistant industry will close and that it will only get stronger. It’s a fantastic long term career choice and one I am proud and, have confidence and am comfortable in.
You have freedom to work with who you want to work with and enjoy it
When you are a Virtual Assistant, you can choose to work with whoever you want. Initially, you are likely to work with anyone who wishes to engage your services and pay you for it – I did exactly this. Doing this allowed me to find my niche and the right client persona for me.
Working with someone you get on with is really important, people are all different and the main subject in business is humans working with humans. If those humans don’t get on it can be really hard to have a great business relationship. You will need to think about the kinds of clients you’d like to work with fairly early on in your business. The magic in business happens when the relationship you’re building is strong.
When you’ve worked on your ideal target customer, you can really energise and concentrate your marketing efforts to reach them. The great thing about this is, it will maximise your enjoyment as a VA. To find out how to figure out your ideal client, check my post over at the blog – Identify your ideal client for your Virtual Assistant business.
You determine your pay and your working hours
Alongside working with whomever you want to work with, as a Virtual Assistant you can also choose your pay and your working hours. It’s a highly flexible career choice.
You first need to choose your services, then your client target (or you can offer general services to get a feel for your niche) and then you will work on your rates.
You can work Virtually, Remotely, from home - generally anywhere!
Because you are Virtual, you don’t need to be in a set location, unlike the traditional 9-5. You can work from home, a pop up shared office, a cafe. Anywhere where you have data transfer security and a good internet connection is where you can operate. You can work and continue to do the chores and cooking, collect the kids from school etc. There are more perks but these are my key ones, there are however also downfalls about working from home, so you’ll need to ensure you work to a schedule as you expand your business and I recommend having a dedicated office working space.
You can choose the type of work you do
Being a Virtual Assistant allows you to tailor your services to those which you love to do. A lot of people leave a job because they become unhappy in their daily routines and roles. Do something which makes you happy and you will gain so much more out of it.
Being a role model, in business, for your children
When you’re a work from home parent, you can become a real role model for your children. You can teach them good time management skills, teach them teamwork skills and they can see how super you are at juggling work and home chores, commitments and responsibilities.
Additional resources to support this post;
- Virtual Assistants – What are they, what do they do and who uses them? (Free downloadable services Workbook with this post)
- Why you becoming a Virtual Assistant is such a GREAT idea…plus the realistic obstacles you may face (Free downloadable Start up Checklist and Workbook with this post)
To your success,