How to Start a Virtual Business
I’m a music education grad, so teaching is my jam! And I love tutorials with simple how-tos and easy-to-follow directions.
So, I’m combining the two and giving you my advice on how to start an online business. I’ll take the lessons that I learned and the steps that I took to create my own virtual assistant business, VA for a day, so you’ll have a step-by-step list on how to get your own business started.
>>I know that the idea of building a business can seem daunting. Girrrrl, I’ve been there! Don’t worry, I got you babe!<<
Not only did I apply these steps for my VA business, but I have also used them towards my other businesses that I’ve built from the ground up, so I know they’re golden.
>>Success isn’t going to happen overnight. But, with consistent effort compounded over time, success is a guarantee. You just have to put in the work.<<
Consider your strengths
What are you good at? What is something you enjoy doing that you could do for others? Try and hone in on your strengths that are practical for running a business.
Also, focus on a problem that other business owners may face that you can solve for them. This will ensure that you’re creating a business that will be in-demand.
Determine a business name & register as an LLC
It’s time to make your business legit! Once you’ve nailed down a name for your biz (make sure you do your research to see that it’s not already taken!), register as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) within your state.
There are multiple benefits for having an LLC, especially the fact that your business assets are separate from your personal accounts. The fee for registering as an LLC runs between $50-$500 depending on the state.
(PS~ If you think that's too much of an investment, I'd honestly reconsider the whole business idea. Just sayin’)
Create a logo
This isn’t absolutely necessary right away, but it’s a fun way to bring your business to life. Put some of your personality into the logo, and don’t be afraid to ask a designer for help!
Formulate a list of services
Come up with a list of projects or services that you’re qualified to do and would enjoy doing. Again, concentrate on projects that other business owners need help with.
Take some time to reflect on this list, and then narrow it down to just a handful of services, at most. Niching down will help significantly when targeting potential clients.
Set your prices
Keeping your list of services in mind, do some research online to see what others in your sector are charging. Estimate how much time each project will take, and calculate your prices accordingly.
Remember, YOU are the business owner. YOU are in charge. YOU can decide if you want to change your prices later on. Nothing is set in stone when it comes to pricing out your services!
Create a website
This step may be time-consuming and may require some budgeting in order to buy a domain and get everything set up, but it will be so worth it!
Your website will serve as your home base to run your business from, and it looks much more professional and appealing for your clients.
If you have the ability, hire a web designer. They are worth their weight in GOLD. Otherwise, watch some YouTube videos or tutorials and figure it out as you go. Be scrappy, my friend!
Also, I wrote a post about the 6 elements you need on your website to actually make sales soooo go check that out! ;)
Get a client management system
You will need a tool to help you keep track of your clients. There are many CRMs out there, so this is another case where you’ll need to do more research to find what works best for you.
My personal favorite: Dubsado. Having a client management system is super, super important, especially if you’re going to be sending out contracts and invoices, as well as emails and questionnaires to your clients (all of which Dubsado has the ability to do).
Develop content to be used in your business
Write up a contract. Draft some emails for a future mailing list. Create questionnaires to send to potential clients, as well as creating forms answering questions that you predict will get asked.
It may seem like a lot now, but doing this all beforehand will really help once you gain clients. You won’t have to waste time rewriting or coming up with content.
The sooner you get your systems and processes in place, the faster you’ll get paid!
Promote your business
Get social! That is, create social media accounts for your business.
Begin posting content, plan out content for the next week or month, and research relevant hashtags to use to gain traction and attention for your business.
When you market yourself, be sure that you know who your customer is. Have an image of your target audience, so you can speak specifically to them. This will repel some people, but that is A-OK (they aren’t your ideal customer anyway).
You’ve made an investment into your business. You’ve done the grunt work to get everything in order. Now, it’s time to get down to business and make some money, honey!
To start out, use the resources that are available to you to get your first client(s). Post in Facebook groups that you’re already involved in. Use your Instagram following to your advantage. Reach out to friends that need some assistance in their own businesses.
But don’t stop there. After you’ve gotten your feet wet a few times, begin reaching out to influencers on social media to promote your product or business. Attend networking events in your area. Make business cards or flyers and hang them up in places that your ideal customer would hang out.
Do anything and everything you can to get your name out there.
Ask for reviews & referrals
It’s time to let your past clients do your work for you! Gather the courage to ask your past clients to give you a review on your work.
Real talk: if you don’t ask, they won’t give. However, if you explain that you are a referral-based business, many people will be happy to help (assuming that you provided them with a top-notch product or high-quality service).
Follow up with clients
“Fortune is in the follow up.” Oh friends, this is soooo true.
Always follow up with your current and past clients in order to keep your business fresh in their mind. This will either lead to more sales or it's going to lead to more referrals down the road. Either way, it’s a win-win!
Start an email list
Email marketing is such an amazing and intimate way to speak to your ideal client. It's personalized to them and sent right to their inbox, rather than going unseen on social media due to the algorithms.
Yet again, hit up Google for tips and tutorials on how to start an email list if you don’t already know how. Google is your friend when it comes to starting a business, boo thang!
Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of steps in this list. When I decided to create VA for a day on a Thursday evening, I was set up and making money by the following Tuesday. FIVE DAYS. That’s all it took!
>>With a little perseverance and hard work, you can have your online business started in no time!<<
What type of business are you wanting to start? Once you’ve gone through these steps, let me know all about your biz so we can connect and become virtual besties!
Better yet, join my program Booked Out VA! In this 90-day course, I’ll guide you through each and every step of creating your business, nailing down your services and prices, and teaching you how to gain clients AND get referrals!
Seriously, check out Booked Out VA to get in on all of my biz secrets! Let me be your personal cheerleader, pushing you to start your successful online business! We will do this thing TOGETHER!
For you super eager people (that’s right, I’m talking to you, lady!) who just can’t wait any longer and HAVE to start their business, like, NOW...download my free business checklist where I hook you up with the first 10 steps you need to do to start your virtual business.