I cannot express how important it is to do your due diligence, especially when starting your own business. When I first set up shop as a virtual assistant (VA) I was all over the place. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, just was not sure how to get started. I spent hours and hours and hours and hours researching this and that – just looking things up. I even remember one of the very first VA sites I found was that of Diana Ennen. Though doing your due diligence will vary from person to person, below are specific items I suggest you include in your research, especially if you are setting up shop as a new VA.
- Research the Services You Wish to Provide. Understand the market for them and specific lingo used. Additionally important to know and understand about your services is to know and understand who is in the market for your services. Marketing social media management services to government employees will not most likely garner the business you seek for your efforts.
- Research Your Competition. Knowing the prices your competition is one thing, but also understanding the time and experience that back up their price is another thing. Do not be surprised to find that there are VA’s who offer their services for unbelievable rates – both outrageously high and ridiculously low. Set your rate for what you are comfortable at.
- Research the Freelance Sites. There are various freelance sites online to choose from. Some of the best in terms of popularity, available jobs and traffic include www.elance.com,www.odesk.com, www.guru.com, and www.ifreelancer.com.
- Research Sites Offering Guidance to Virtual Assistants. There are a lot of blogs and networks out there offering assistance and guidance to virtual assistants, mostly in the form of ebooks, articles and programs. There is always something to be learned and learning from experienced virtual assistants is a win-win situation. They had to start somewhere and most likely, many started out just like you so they understand are able to answer your questions.
Doin’ your due diligence when you set up shop as a VA will do wonders in ‘leap frogging’ you ahead of other VAs just starting out