It was six months ago that I finally took the plunge and said goodbye to full time employment, starting out into the world of officially being a freelance Virtual Assistant.
Throughout my career I’ve always had an aptitude for PA work and helping others and have always been the go to person in my roles, it just seemed to develop over the years. It’s always been a dream of mine to be my own boss and work the way I wanted, so following the birth of my now 1.5-year-old son, it seemed like the natural progression to make and I was lucky to be in a position to be able to take the leap of faith and try.
I was excited; no office politics to deal with, no daily commute in terrible traffic and the ability to work around my family and be there for my son, Toby.
So what I have learnt in the last six months?
It’s ok not to be fully prepared straight away. When I first started out I did what I always tend to do, all guns blazing with no real action plan and just dealing with bits as they came along. I had a website and potential clients and it started taking shape. It’s only now six months later, that I am realising there is a need for business planning and setting goals and knowing where you want your business to end up. It’s something I am working on now.
Working with a toddler at home is near on impossible! It was ok in the early stages when he was not yet mobile but it wasn’t long before I had a walking 1yr on my hands wanting to play on the laptop and do what Mummy does, so I had to make the decision to put him into child care so I could concentrate on building my business. I mean I’m sure clients don’t really want to be calling you up only to hear a screaming child in the background, do they? I'm sure there is a way to make it work, I just haven't gotten that down yet. So, that now means I have to ensure I am at least earning the money to cover the cost of child care, which is good motivation to grow.
You don’t necessarily have to have a ‘niche’… I read on various websites and groups that to make it, you need a niche. Now I don’t completely agree. The last six months I have worked with a diverse range of small businesses, be it a Recruitment Agency, Networking Groups, Tutor and Surveyors and each one having different requirements.
I’m glad that I haven’t stuck to a particular niche for work because it’s enabled me to get the experience and gain contacts that I probably wouldn’t have got had I of restricted myself to one particular industry, however I might change my mind 6 months down the road and decide I do need to focus more on one specific ‘super client’. But for now, if I’m capable of doing the work that’s needed then I’ll do it. That’s what’s great about being a Virtual Assistant, the work is so varied and different, I like the challenge it brings and I like keeping ahead with the new technology and programmes. Over the last few months, I’ve not only taught myself how to build a website on WordPress but I’ve also learnt the ins and outs of Zoho CRM, having helped a client with their bespoke made CRM system and have gained several new potential clients from this.
There will be plenty of temptation to watch others in the industry and think they are doing things so much better than you, but you know what, there is no right or wrong way in the processes for your business and at the end of the day it’s whatever works best for you.
So what’s the plan for the next six months? As mentioned, I have now started working on a business plan and developing some goals that I’d like to aim for, specifically for this year, to help at least 25 small business owners/entrepreneurs to free up their time to enable them to develop and grow their business. The long-term goal would be to eventually have enough work coming in to have a team of VA’s to work with me, but slowly slowly catchy monkey.
“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit – Les Brown”
Learn more about Becky and her business by visiting her website!
- The True Story of My First 6 Months as a Virtual Assistant - May 23, 2019