Too Much Competition in the Virtual Assistant Business?

Virtual AssistantWhen it comes to facing competition, there are generally three types of people:

  • Those who work great under pressure and love a little competition.
  • Those who fold under pressure and allow competition to intimidate them.
  • Those who fall somewhere in between—they’re aware of the competition, but don’t allow the competition to distract them from their own goals.

Which type of person are you?

Is there competition in the Virtual Assistant profession? Yes. But what constitutes too much competition? And is competition a negative part of the profession?

Often, competition is a positive force that helps drive the market. It makes pricing competitive. It allows clients to tailor their selection of a Virtual Assistant to their exact needs. It also allows you to find clients in your specific area of expertise.

Whichever category you fall into, it’s important to recognize that competition can be a catalyst that leads to you becoming the best version of yourself.

How can that happen?  

Focus on YOU

Athletes deal with competition all the time. Undoubtedly, they have moments where they think that someone else must be faster, stronger, and better than them. Do they let that stop them? No. They keep training, working hard, and improving their techniques and skills in order to perform at optimum levels when it matters. As a Virtual Assistant, you face the same type of competition. The key is not to focus on the competition. It only breeds fear. Instead, spend your energy on setting and achieving your own goals. A marathon runner doesn’t start out by running a marathon. They run the first jog, they train, and they eat right. They start with small, attainable goals with their bigger goal of running a marathon in mind. As a virtual assistant, set a big goal that scares you. Then create smaller goals that will ultimately help you achieve your ultimate goal.

Recognize that Clients Need You

There is a multitude of clients out there who will and can benefit from the services you provide. Many of them don’t even realize how much time and energy hiring you as a virtual assistant will save them. It is important to research your target market to find out what services they truly need. Develop a strong sense of who your potential clients are and what they want. Use this information to leverage your position as an expert who can provide a solution to the problems they face. You become the solution to the problem and they will value you for that. Therefore, they will pay good money for your services because you understand how to help them achieve their goals.

Accentuate What Sets You Apart

In order to be a good Virtual Assistant, you may not be able to provide every service a client may need. However, you have a skill set in which you already excel and enjoy. Focus on your strengths. Invest your time and energy into becoming an expert in a few services your target market needs. Think of it this way: In your business, it’s better to have four quarters than 100 pennies. If you have 100 pennies, you can’t focus on all of them, and, by nature, they hold less value. However, when you only have four quarters to focus on, you can spend time focusing on each one which makes them more valuable. By specializing in a smaller number of services, you will be able to focus on those services prove that you produce high-quality work. This will set you apart from your competition. It will drive your prices up and clients will be happy to pay more for your services because they know they are getting the best.

Keep a Positive Mindset

There’s a saying that states: “Be better today than you were yesterday.” This can hold true in almost all facets of life. Every day keep your focus and energy on striving to do better, learn more, improve, and grow. Let mistakes be opportunities for growth. Perfection is not the goal, but becoming better and improving is. Let go of the negativity that holds you back. Keep your focus on yourself instead of your competition. You can’t control what your competition is doing, but you do have the power to keep a positive mindset and achieve your goals.

Competition—friend or foe? Friend! It is your opportunity to learn more, to refine your skills, and to soar! Avoid the temptation to let the fear of competition hinder your desire to become an expert Virtual Assistant. Instead, use fear of competition as a tool to motivate you to get stronger, improve, and keep moving forward.

To see how I can help you achieve your goals as a Virtual Assistant, apply for a free MORE Clients MORE Profits Breakthrough Session with me now at http://expertvatraining.com/free-strategy-session/.

Cash in on Your Skills: Become a Virtual Assistant

Originally published on CareerPivot.com on May 22, 2017.

What if there was a career that allowed you to:

Become a Virtual Assistant

  • Work from home (and home can be anywhere in the world)
  •  Travel (did I mention you can work from anywhere in the world, even an RV?)
  •  Enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being your own boss and setting your own hours
  • Earn as much as you want
  • Cash in on skills you already have

This is not a pipe dream. Let me tell you about this booming business that is perfect for your second-half-of-life career.

Become A Virtual Assistant

A Virtual Assistant, usually shortened to VA, provides support services to clients who may live around the corner or halfway around the world.

As a VA, you work remotely using your computer, internet and phone to communicate with your clients. You offer administrative, technical or marketing support services to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Since just about any administrative, creative or techie task can be performed remotely (except personally bringing someone coffee, filing printed papers in folders or greeting people coming into the office) the field has a surprisingly large scope.

Virtual Assistants work in a wide variety of roles:

  • Executive Assistants
  • Social Media Specialists
  • Real Estate Assistants
  • Bookkeepers
  • Author Assistants
  • Writers, Editors, Proofreaders
  • Project Managers

Businesses hiring VAs are as varied as the type of services provided by VAs:

  • Internet Marketers
  • Coaches
  • Trainers
  • Consultants
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Authors
  • Professional Speakers
  • Online Retail Businesses

A Rapidly Growing Business Model

Demand for Virtual Assistants is high and will continue to expand for as long as the internet is around.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs desperately need support. They have discovered that Virtual Assistants can provide professional support more cost effectively and efficiently than employees.

Virtual Assistants save businesses time and money by:

  • Working out of their own offices. VAs provide their own office space, desks, computers, phones, and supplies.
  • Charging only for work performed. Virtual Assistants get the work done as it comes in, without businesses paying overtime or holiday wages. Businesses also avoid paying employees for slow times, when they don’t have enough to keep them busy.
  • Specializing. On their own time and at their own expense, VAs attend training and gain experience to become experts in their area of specialization. Businesses save the cost and time of training employees when they hire VAs.
  • Operating as 1099 Independent Contractors. A VA is self-employed. Business owners do not pay social security taxes, FICA taxes, worker’s compensation, insurance, 401K, retirement plans, medical, dental, sick pay, holiday pay and other benefits.

You Might Be A Great Virtual Assistant

If the following scenarios describe you, you might be a great VA.

1. You are a doer.
Your superpower is getting stuff done. You love checking things off your to-do list.

2. You know your way around a computer and the internet.
A Virtual Assistant has to handle all her duties remotely. She needs to be able to use email and Skype to communicate, Microsoft Office (especially Microsoft Word) to provide services, and Google to find answers to questions that arise.

You do not have to be a techie guru. Yes, there are VAs who love technology and specialize in all things tech. I’ll be the first to admit, that is NOT me. I’m Kathy Goughenour, a VA who earns 6-figures, and I panic at the thought of having to do anything more technical than send emails and create Microsoft Word documents. For the last 10 years, I’ve shown women worldwide how to make awesome money and have amazing freedom working from home as VAs … as tech gurus, administrative assistants, and everything in between.

3. You enjoy supporting and helping others.
Being in the background of a business and helping the owner get stuff done lights you up. But you can also lead a conversation with a business owner about what she needs done and negotiate a deadline.

4. You’re good at juggling multiple clients and deadlines.
As a VA, you’ll have multiple clients … and multiple deadlines. You might have a newsletter that has to go out for Client A on Wednesday, a blog post due for Client B on Thursday and a series of emails to write for Client C by Friday. If having something new to do daily sounds like fun, you’re going to love being a VA.

5. You can manage your own time.
You do not need (or want) a supervisor telling you what to do, how to do it and when to do it. You can keep yourself motivated and focused on a task and get it done by the deadline.

6. You have an amazing work ethic.
One of the many reasons I love working with women who are in the second half of their life is that they have the most incredible work ethic. They’re honest, personable, professional and organized.

No Need For A Degree Or Experience As An Administrative Professional

Before becoming a VA, I was a marketing manager at a Fortune 500 corporation. Successful VAs I’ve trained were once teachers, nurses, stay-at-home moms, human resources specialists, accountants, real estate agents, and hairdressers.

There is no certification or degree required to work as a Virtual Assistant. In fact, you can use skills you already have to begin earning quickly.

  • Cindy, formerly a real estate agent, became a real estate VA.
  • Dawn, formerly an English teacher, became a ghostwriter.
  • Tori, formerly an IT specialist, became a techie guru.

Intrigued by this booming “remote” business you can run from anywhere and everywhere? Watch for the second article in this Virtual Assistant series. You’ll discover how much VAs really earn (it’s more than you think) and the top 7 benefits to building your own Virtual Assistant business.

To see how I can help you start your own Virtual Assistant business and achieve your goals, apply for a free MORE Clients MORE Profits Breakthrough Session with me now at http://expertvatraining.com/free-strategy-session/.

Why You Need a Business Coach to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business

virtual assistant businessIn a DIY world, it can be hard to admit that there are some things that are not beneficial to do by yourself. Can you figure out how to run a successful business on your own? As a self-motivated, intelligent person, sure you can. But will that get your business to the point you want it to be?

One of the best ways to invest in yourself and your business is to hire a business coach who has already achieved what you want to achieve. Investing in a business coach will open up more doors for you than you could ever imagine. A coach can take your virtual assistant business from a functioning business to a thriving business. If you want your business to boom, you need a business coach to guide you, inspire you, and encourage you along the way.

A business coach will help you grow your virtual assistant business because she…

Is Already an Expert

When you invest in a business coach, you’re learning from someone who has already created a successful business. Possibly multiple successful businesses. A business coach already knows how to build a business from the ground up. She has already achieved what you want to achieve. She understands the virtual assistant business world. She understands how to create your business so that you are highly marketable to clients. She can guide, advise, teach, and refocus you when needed to ensure that your virtual assistant business thrives.

Has Been in Your Shoes

A business coach who has already created a successful business not only understands how to build a business, but she also understands how it feels. She has been in your shoes. She understands the challenges and frustrations you face. She’s experienced the celebrations and achievements that keep you going. She knows the daily and long-term pressures of running your own business. With all her experience, your coach will be your on the sidelines to encourage you as you reach some of the most challenging yet rewarding goals you’ve ever dreamed of accomplishing.

Has a Knowledgeable Network

As someone who has already built a successful business, the network of knowledgeable, experienced colleagues your business coach brings with her will be an incredible asset to you as your grow your business. This network will be a group of people who have also been in your shoes, and who can offer different perspectives, tips, opinions, and answers to your questions. They, too, have been in your shoes or are learning right along with you. They can introduce you to new tools or methods to better serve your clients. Your coach’s network of incredible business people can open up new opportunities for you as you grow your business.

Sets High Goals for Herself

A business coach who sets high goals for her own business is someone who is truly investing in helping your achieve your goals. She has already established a successful business and she knows what it takes to get there. She also has high expectations for herself, and her goal is to help you achieve yours. Therefore, she will push you to set goals that you may not even believe you can accomplish. Her job is to make you believe it. She will get you to step out of your comfort zone. She will stretch you further than you thought possible. As a result, you will reap the benefits and your business will grow.

Knows Your Success is Inevitable

In the business world, a coach will only take in people that she believes has true potential. The job of a coach is to make you believe you can achieve your goals even when the dark cloud is hovering and you can’t see the sun on the other side. She believes that your success is inevitable. She believes in YOU.

Can you build a successful virtual assistant business? With the help of coach, the question isn’t a matter of CAN. Instead, it’s a matter of WHEN. Start now. You need a business coach to help you grow your virtual assistant business to the level you’ve imagined.

To see how I can help you grow your virtual assistant business and achieve your goals, apply for a free MORE Clients MORE Profits Breakthrough Session with me now at http://expertvatraining.com/free-strategy-session/.

5 Ways to Invest in Yourself and Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business

Virtual Assistant BusinessIn the business world, owners make investments that will help the long term productivity of their business. They invest in things that help the business function and grow. As a Virtual Assistant business owner, it’s easy to forget that YOU are your business. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in yourself to not only make yourself more productive, but also to help your business thrive.

When you invest in yourself and your business, you stay productive and competitive in an ever-growing market. You keep yourself in the mindset of achieving your goals and you provide your clients with the best. When you make a decision to invest in yourself, you make the decision that you and your business are valuable enough to truly thrive.

How to invest in yourself to grow your Virtual Assistant business:

1. Hire a Coach

Top performing athletes have coaches to train them, guide them, and encourage them. In order to be a top performing Virtual Assistant business owner, a great way to invest in yourself and your business is to hire a coach who has already achieved what you want to achieve. Think about it: Don’t you want someone there to train, guide, and encourage you who has already been in your shoes? And not only been in your shoes, but someone who has thrived. Someone who has reached their goals and knows what they’re doing. Your coach can help you grow your business in ways that you may not have even thought of yet.

2. Take a Vacation

Running your own Virtual Assistant business can be overwhelming, especially since your business consists of you and only you. The best way to rejuvenate and prevent burnout is to invest in a vacation. Get out of your normal environment. Experience new things. Relax. See places you’ve always dreamed of seeing. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to travel  for a vacation, you can always take a stay-cation. Focus on activities you wouldn’t normally wouldn’t do. Do things in your community that you normally don’t have time to participate in. Vacations not only rejuvenate your body and mind, but they always remind you your purpose for doing what you do. You work hard in order to live the life you’ve always dreamed. Therefore, take the time to live it.

3. Take Trainings

Businesses invest copious amounts of money to train their employees to ensure that they are providing the best service to their clients. Professional development builds skills, knowledge, and expertise, and makes great returns for the business. As a virtual assistant, you know this profession is constantly changing. There’s constantly new programs that can help you best serve your clients. Therefore, investing in training to remain an expert in your area of expertise is vital to the growth of your business. Your clients want the best. When you can provide them with the best, they will pay for it.

4. Take Time for the Small Things

Again, it’s important to rejuvenate your body and mind to prevent burnout. Unfortunately, you can’t take a vacation every day. You can, however, take time for small things that can give you a boost of energy to keep you going. Take walks. Get a manicure or pedicure. Go to the gym. Schedule some time with friends. Go to a movie. Do small things many times a week. Taking a little time for yourself makes you more focused and more productive.

5. Set Goals

Investing in yourself and your business means that you have goals for the growth of your virtual assistant business. Set short term and long term goals that challenge you to make strides to grow your business. These goals should be aimed toward getting your business where you want it to be. Major bonus: the coach you invest in can encourage you and help you achieve these goals.

As women, we tend to focus on the needs of others and our business, but leave little time for ourselves. Investing in doing things that keep you sane and happy will also help you grow your business. Investing in YOU is the best gift you can give yourself.

To see how I can help you grow your virtual assistant business achieve your goals, apply for a free MORE Clients MORE Profits Breakthrough Session with me now at http://expertvatraining.com/free-strategy-session/.

Lost Your Day Job?: Build a Home Based Business as a Virtual Assistant

Home Based BusinessLike many women, your day job brings in a steady income that your family relies on in order to live the life to which you’re accustomed. You’re skilled in your profession and you undoubtedly work hard at your job. There’s comfort in having a job with a dependable income. That comfort allows you to make financial decisions based on your current income—having children, buying a house, buying a car, or travelling. Unfortunately, a hard reality of life is that many are faced with the hardship of losing their job, and, as a result, the comfort that steady income brings. We all believe and hope this couldn’t be us. Unfortunately, it can happen to anyone for any number of reasons. Think about it: What would you do if you lost your day job?

Luckily, in a world where technology allows us to communicate all over the world in an instant, the opportunities for building a successful home based business online is a reality. Losing your day job can be devastating, but you don’t have to let it shatter you. Starting a home based business as a virtual assistant can be your answer to finding a dependable income where you don’t have to ever worry about losing your job again.

Building a Home Based Business: Where do you start?

 

1. Empower Yourself

Instead of drowning in your setback of losing your day job, think of this as another hurdle in life that you have to jump over. Believe in yourself. Jump with pride, dignity, and grace. Let your inner strength sing loud. Trust that you are enough. Believe in your ability, your strength, your motivation, and your intelligence. You can build a successful home based business that allows you to live the life you’ve always envisioned. You can create your own success, and the first step to reaching your goals is believing in yourself.

2. Assess Your Skills

The amazing thing about creating your own home based business is that you’re already equipped with the skills you need in order to succeed. Think about the tasks you completed in your day job in which you excelled. Were you good at answering emails, answering phone calls, writing, marketing, etc.? Offer those services to clients. When first creating your business, start with what you know. You can always learn new skills as your business grows. When you’re first starting out, don’t stress yourself out by offering a lot of services that are brand new to you.

3. Do What You Enjoy

As a virtual assistant, your business is anything you want it to be. Therefore, you can pick the types of services you provide your clients. If you don’t like completing a specific task, you don’t have to offer that service. Running your own business is your opportunity to enjoy what you’re doing while making the steady income you need. As you start your home based business as a virtual assistant, it’s a blank canvas and you can paint it however you desire. You hold the brush and you’re in control; therefore, do what you enjoy.

4. Pick Your Clients

The best part of creating a home based business where you’re the boss is exactly that—you’re the boss. Will you ever lose a client? Sure. Don’t think of that as a setback. Think of it as a way to explore another opportunity that will lead you to more success. On the other hand, you get to decide whether you will accept a client. Unlike the corporate world where you likely were forced to work with many people you didn’t exactly mesh with, in your home based business as a virtual assistant you don’t have to be bogged down by anyone you don’t enjoy working with. Since you’re in control of every aspect of your business, you don’t have to get stuck working with people you don’t enjoy.

5. Thrive

In your home based business as a virtual assistant, you will thrive. You can work as much as you want and whenever you want. You have the power to make decisions that drives your success. You are in control. You are the boss. Therefore, you can set yourself on a path to live the life you’ve always imagined and more.

As the saying goes, “Every setback is an opportunity for a comeback.” When you lose your job, you are in control of your comeback. Empower yourself, believe in yourself, and thrive!

To find out how to start your home based business as a virtual assistant and how I can help you achieve your goals, apply for a free MORE Clients MORE Profits Breakthrough Session with me now at http://expertvatraining.com/free-strategy-session/.

Your Virtual Assistant Business: What to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

Virtual Assistant BusinessWhy did you decide to create a virtual assistant business? Did you desire more flexibility in your schedule? Were you sick of your traditional job? Did you long for a career that is more conducive to having a family by allowing you to work from home? Whether you’ve been a virtual assistant for a long time, you’re just starting out, or you’re trying to decide if a virtual assistant business is right for you, you ventured into this career with a desire to live your life to the fullest and without limitations. However, like most facets of life, your virtual assistant business is bound to weather some storms.

If you’re like most of us, you’re likely not a stranger to failure. The word failure has such a negative connotation, but if you think about it, where would you be if you never experienced failure? Everyone makes mistakes; everyone falls into ruts; everyone has times where they feel like they don’t have the power to change their circumstance. Are you at a point in your virtual assistant business where it’s just not going the way you envisioned and you feel like giving up? Remember this: YOU are in control of your success; therefore, YOU have the power to change whatever it is that’s holding you back. Instead of focusing on failure, change your mindset to believe in your potential and be resilient to the challenges you face.

Tools to help you believe in your potential and help you rise above your challenges:

Set Goals

In your virtual assistant business, you must set long-term and short term goals. What do you need to achieve in your business to truly live the life you envision? Explicitly write out your goals and make a plan for how you will achieve them. Don’t skimp on your goals. Set the bar high. You can adjust your plan for achieving those goals as successes and challenges arise. However, your goals are static. Don’t adjust the magnitude of your goals just because you’re scared. Believe in this: With a positive mindset and the belief that you are in control, you can achieve lofty dreams.

Accept the Feeling of Being Uncomfortable

Creating, establishing, and growing your virtual assistant business pushes you into taking risks. Taking risks is scary. This feeling is completely normal—embrace it. When you venture into the unknown, you’re bound to feel uncomfortable. Instead of letting that fear consume you and hold you back, use the fear to motivate you to keep pushing forward. Work through the fear, stretch yourself beyond your comfort level, and believe in yourself.

Make a Plan for Overcoming Challenges

When running your virtual assistant business, you will come across challenges that you never anticipated. Of course, no one wants to make mistakes, but mistakes are inevitable. However, your mistakes should not stifle your productivity or success. As with anything else, use your mistakes to help you grow. How will you move forward when faced with a challenge? Give yourself the time and space to process and learn from your mistakes. Take a walk. Confide in a friend. Play with your kids or pets. Take a long, hot bath. Whatever it is that you do to give yourself the time and space to process your challenges, be resilient. Rise above your challenges. Use them to make you stronger and keep moving forward.

Let Go of Self-Doubt

You are responsible for your own success. You have the power to create the virtual assistant business you desire. Unfortunately, we are sometimes our own worst enemy. Do you flood your mind with thoughts of self-doubt stifling your ability to take on challenges that would allow you to reach your true potential? Often times other people believe in our potential way more than we believe in our own. Therefore, in order to grow the virtual assistant business of your dreams, you must let go of the doubt that plagues your success. Instead, celebrate your accomplishments. Focus on your successes. When you stop giving into self-doubt, you empower yourself to reach your goals.

Ask for Help

So often, we make the mistake of thinking that asking for help shows weakness. On the contrary, asking for help empowers you to reach your full potential. As the world changes, your virtual assistant business will also change. You’re not going to know everything, but you should strive to be a lifelong learner. You want to provide the best services to your clients. Therefore, you need to ask for help—training or coaching—in order to reach your full potential and draw in high paying clients.

When you feel like giving up, remember that YOU have the potential to create a highly successful virtual assistant business. Set goals. Take risks. Be resilient to challenges. Let go of self-doubt. Ask for help.

To find out how to manage the feeling of wanting to give up on your virtual assistant business and how I can help you achieve your goals, apply for a free Maximize Your Biz call with me now at http://expertvatraining.com/free-strategy-session/.

How to Boost Your Productivity When You Work from Home

Boost Productivity when you work from homeThe freedom you have when you work from home definitely has its perks, but it doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. Without the designated time and space of a traditional work schedule, it is necessary implement strategies to combat distractions and boost your productivity when you work from home.

Common Distractions that Decrease Your Productivity When You Work from Home

Multitasking
Because there’s no separation between your work and home spaces, you are constantly reminded of the daily tasks of your household upkeep. Add to that your business tasks and the deadlines you must meet, and working from home can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Not to mention, there are distractions at home that are not prevalent in traditional work spaces. For example, you most likely won’t find your favorite shows streaming on big screens in an office. However, when you work from home the household chores, your business, and those tempting distractions are always right in front of you. It can be easy to fall into a habit of attempting to multitask, which undeniably reduces your productivity. Therefore, when you work from home, you must be diligent about taking the time to truly focus without giving in to the distractions that surround you.

Interruptions
In a traditional work setting, you may experience a coworker who stops by to chat about weekend plans; however, you’re surrounded by people who have common goals and understand the importance of the work at hand. When you work from home, the people in your life may not recognize that you actually have work to do and deadlines to meet because of the mere fact that you don’t work in a traditional work setting. Therefore, you may face interruptions of people calling, stopping by, or asking you to meet at all times during the day because you don’t go to work.

Over-scheduling
Working from home gives you the freedom to schedule in activities that you may not have time for if you worked in a traditional office setting. You can meet up with a friend for lunch, go to appointments during the day, or volunteer. However, with the luxury of not being accountable for being in a specific place during set hours, comes the challenge of not over-scheduling yourself with other engagements that distract from your business goals.

Strategies and Tips to Boost Your Productivity When You Work from Home

Set a Schedule
As we all know well, there’s often so much to get done and not enough time to accomplish it. When you work from home, it becomes difficult to separate those two worlds. Therefore, it’s easy to find yourself getting wrapped up in household chores and not leaving yourself enough time to accomplish your business goals. You have the freedom to schedule your business hours to fit your lifestyle. However, during those hours, it’s crucial to focus on your business without getting sidetracked by the things you need to get done around the house.

Set a Timer
For many of us, we are most productive when we work in smaller chunks of time—for example, 60 to 90 minutes. By setting a timer, you give yourself a time frame to truly focus on the task at hand. During this set time, don’t search the internet (unless it’s part of the task you’re working on), don’t have the TV on in the background, don’t text, don’t answer your phone, don’t answer the door, or do anything else that will distract from your productivity. Use this time as YOUR time to focus and work. Once, the timer goes off take a short break and do it again.

Make Lists
Set goals for both your household and your business that you wish to accomplish and write them down on separate lists. Then, create separate daily prioritized to-do lists to accomplish those goals. Avoid switching your focus to random tasks or chores that pop into your head while you’re working. Instead, write them down on your list so you don’t forget it. Writing these thoughts down allows you to let go of it so you can focus on your work. Physically crossing these items off a list will increase your feelings of accomplishment. This, in turn, will boost your productivity.

Set Up a Comfortable, Quiet Work Space
You will be spending a lot of time in your home office. Therefore, create an environment that you enjoy being in and where you can really focus. Ideally, your home office is away from the TV or other areas of your home that are prone to distractions and interruptions. Play soft, instrumental music if you’re someone who works better with background noise. Your goal should be to create a comfortable, quiet place where you can truly focus.

Take Time for Breaks
It’s important to give yourself a break to reenergize and refocus. Get a snack, respond to missed calls or texts, check your emails, or take a quick walk to get some fresh air and reenergize your body. It is imperative to the success of your business to honor the time you schedule for yourself to work. Therefore, avoid any distractions that will consume your time during your breaks.

In many cases, boosting your productivity is a matter of finding what works best for you. In order to find what works, start by trying a few strategies at a time, decide if they work for you, and tweak them to fit your personality and needs.

To find out how I can help you build a successful work from home business as a virtual assistant, apply for a free Maximize Your Biz call with me now at http://expertvatraining.com/free-strategy-session/.

Work from Home as a Virtual Assistant: The Advantages and Disadvantages

Work From HomeDo you find yourself wondering how you’re ever going to get everything done? Much less get everything done successfully? It’s no doubt that life is always a balancing act of responsibilities. Right now, you may be working a full-time nine to five job, listening to that little voice in your head that says: “If only I could work from home, then it would be so much easier to balance everything.” The idea of being able to work from home seems like a dream, and becoming a virtual assistant can make that possible. However, as with anything, there are both advantages and disadvantages to the work from home lifestyle of a virtual assistant.

The Advantages

1. Your schedule is flexible.

Being virtual assistant who works from home, you have the freedom to ask yourself what time of day you are inherently the most productive. In contrast to having a face-to-face job, you’re not controlled by the time constraints of regular business hours. You can begin work, end work, get ready for the day (or not!), or take your dog for a walk anytime you want. You also can do activities or errands you wouldn’t have the time to do if you were constrained by regular business hours. For example, you can take that yoga class at 9:30am on Thursdays. You can go to your kid’s field trip or volunteer in her class. You can run your errands during the day so you don’t have to compete with the rush hour hustle and bustle. When you work from home, the freedom is yours to schedule your work day as you see fit.

2. You get to pick your clients and the services you provide.

As virtual assistant who works from home, you are the owner of your business. Therefore, you get to decide what services you provide based on what you enjoy doing. You can start with what you’re already good at, but you also have the freedom to be a lifelong learner to expand the services you offer. Additionally, you get to choose who your clients are. You can pick what business your clients are in, what type of clients you want to do business with, and you can choose not to work for a client if you feel it’s not working out. Your business can be anything you want it to be.

3. You can forego the professional attire.

Never cram your feet into uncomfortable shoes again. Instead, when you work from home as a virtual assistant, find comfort in the fact that you can complete your work wearing anything you deem comfortable. Your client won’t know if you show up to a phone conference in your pajamas and slippers. Another plus: you can also save money because you don’t have to buy business attire.

4. Your coworkers are always positive…and charming.

Often times, in the business world, you may find that your coworkers can be a bit overwhelming because they want to wallow in the sorrows of the world or gab incessantly about their perfect children, making you feel anxiety-ridden and annoyed. However, when you work from home, your canine companion can sit at your feet as you work and be your ever-positive sounding board. And, when your canine coworker senses you need a break from your work, he might charm you with those adorable eyes into taking a little stroll around the neighborhood. And, if you don’t have a dog, you may find that you don’t miss the distraction of having coworkers interrupt you throughout the day.

The Disadvantages

1. Your To-Do List is exponential.

It seems like it is just part of life that To-Do lists are never-ending regardless of your work environment. The downfall to this when you work from home as a virtual assistant is that your To-Do list can feel like it’s mocking you since everything you have to do in always in front of your face. When you work outside your home, there’s a separation between work tasks and home tasks. There are tasks you only can complete at work and there are tasks you only can complete at home. But when you’re working from home, that separation doesn’t exist. It can be difficult to ignore the laundry and dusting while you’re trying to complete your work. However, you have the freedom to schedule your day as you desire, so if you’re someone who can’t ignore the household tasks and focus on your business tasks, then you can schedule accordingly to prioritize those tasks.

2. You have to make a conscious effort to exercise.

Because you don’t have to leave your house to go to work and all of your work is done sitting down when you work at home as a virtual assistant, you can go through the day without much physical activity. As many studies have told us, exercise is important to your mental and physical health. Therefore, as someone who works from home, this just means you have to be more intentional about making the time to engage in physical activity. Luckily, you have the flexibility to schedule it in as part of your day.

3. You may experience cabin fever.

Because you don’t have to drive to get to work, you can go days without ever leaving the house. There’s no distinction between where you work and where you live. Being cooped up in your house for days on end can wear on you. However, working at home as a virtual assistant doesn’t mean you always have to be home to do your work. You can take your work with you anywhere you can get an internet connection. With many business offering free Wi-Fi, you can take your work outside of your house to give yourself some variety.

4. You find you miss adult interaction.

There may be some benefits of replacing your human coworkers with their canine counterparts. However, as social creatures we crave and thrive upon human interaction. Working from home as a virtual assistant means that you can’t just walk to the cubicle next to you whenever need a quick chat. Like finding time to exercise, you have to be more intentional about making time for social interactions. Call a friend to meet you for coffee. Take a class about a hobby you’re interested in. Or join a group with people who have similar interests or experiences as you.

While the advantages and disadvantages of being a virtual assistant who works from home are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes you may enjoy the ability to schedule the day as you please. While at other times, you may crave the structure of working outside the home. However, by being intentional about how you structure your day, you can create a thriving business as a virtual assistant and enjoy the flexibility of working from home.

To find out more about how I can help you achieve your goals working from home as a virtual assistant, apply for a free Maximize Your Biz call with me now at http://expertvatraining.com/free-strategy-session/.

4 Ways You Can Use Your Executive Assistant Expertise to Build Your Own Successful Home Based Business as a Virtual Assistant

Home Based Business

Start Your Own Home Based Business as a Virtual Assistant

As we travel further into the twenty-first century, the needs of companies are changing and they are seeking more cost-effective methods of getting work done. As a result, where executive assistants once played a pivotal role in the daily flow of a business, virtual assistants are stepping onto the scene as a practical choice for many businesses. In fact, US News reports that the number of executive assistant jobs is predicted to decline by 6 percent by the year 2024 due to the ability of companies to hire administrative assistants who are paid significantly less. In addition, employers can skip the overhead pay and hassle of hiring a full-time employee by hiring a virtual assistant. However, if you’re an executive assistant, don’t despair. Bank on your skill-set and knowledge to build your own home based business as a virtual assistant. While there are differences in the two professions, there’s no doubt that the skills, experience, and expertise you’ve acquired as an executive assistant will help you thrive as a virtual assistant. How can you use your skills as an executive assistant to build your own home based business as a virtual assistant business?

1. You choose the tasks you provide for clients.

One of the first things you need to decide as a virtual assistant and as the owner of your own home based business is what your target market—your clientele—needs and tailor your services to fit their needs. Fortunately, you’ve rehearsed and fine-tuned your skill set in your role as an executive assistant. You already possess the expertise you need to thrive as a virtual assistant. However, as a virtual assistant, you’re not constrained to all the tasks you’ve done as an executive assistant. You have the luxury of choosing the services you provide. If you absolutely hate scheduling meetings or answering emails, you don’t have to offer those services to your clients. When you create your own home based business, the ultimate goal is for you to be happy and love what you’re doing.
If you don’t know where to begin to determine your target market, check out Hoovers Industry Directories to find out what interests you. Research your target market to find out what services they need and what you’d enjoy doing for them.

2. You understand the pressure of business.

In your role as an executive assistant, you’ve surely felt the pressure of deadlines, big meetings, and important events. You recognize that no day is the same. You’ve experienced firsthand that there are a variety of tasks that can come up in an instant that can change the course of the rest of the day. You understand how to manage those unpredictable tasks with finesse. Additionally, you know the pressure your clients feel because you’ve worked closely with your boss in the business world. You know your client hired a virtual assistant because she doesn’t have the time, energy, or desire to complete specific tasks. With this knowledge and your experience in the business world, you can anticipate your clients’ needs. This insight will be advantageous as you help your clients achieve their goals.

3. You already know business.

Your experience working in a business will undoubtedly help you format your own business as a virtual assistant. As an executive assistant, you spent innumerable hours completing the tasks that keep a business running. Again, you’re already a pro. You’ve been privy to what works, what saves time, and what doesn’t work at all. Therefore, you don’t have to waste your time trying figure out the best way to accomplish something; you’ve already perfected that. In this sense, you’re already off to a great start building your own successful home based business.

4. You have an experienced perspective.

You know the deepest needs of your target market. Because you’ve worked in a business setting where you worked closely with your boss, you understand the daily and long-term struggles your clients face. As a result, you have the ability to empathize with your clients. You have the ability to provide insights that will help them achieve their ultimate goals. Due to your experience perspective, your clients will value your input on the inner workings of their business.
There is no doubt that you can use your skills and expertise as an executive assistant to build your own home based business as a virtual assistant, and to help your clients achieve their goals.
Schedule a consultation with me today to see how I can help you use your experience and skills to build a highly successful home based business as virtual assistant.

First-Time Virtual Assistant: Tips for Getting Started

Virtual Assistant

In an ever-changing world with endless possibilities, beginning a career as a virtual assistant can seem overwhelming and even daunting. There are numerous vastly different paths you can take. There are countless decisions to make and risks to weigh. With all there is to consider, how do you focus yourself in order to build a successful career as a first time virtual assistant?

Assess Your Skills

As a virtual assistant, you choose what services you offer your clients. However, you don’t want to be a novice in every service you provide and waste your valuable time learning how to do those tasks. It’s overwhelming and limits your income while you’re learning the new skills. Instead, focus on things you already know and enjoy. Don’t start at ground zero. You can always expand the services you provide in the future. But give yourself the time to grow while maximizing your earning potential right now.

Use Hoovers® Industry Directory to research more information about industries that interest you.

Research Your Niche and Target Market

By conducting research, you hone in on the services you will provide—your niche—and who needs those services—your target market. Your niche and your target market are the crux of your business. Therefore, you want to know everything you can about them. Through your research, you’re bound to find blogs written by and for those in your chosen niche and target market. Follow them. When the learning curve is steep, blogs will help you build your depth of knowledge. It’s quick, current insight into what your clients need and what you can provide for them. You want to find out what makes your potential clients tick. Then, focus the marketing of your business to appeal to them specifically. In turn, they will hire you because they know YOU understand them.

Click here to find 23 blog directories to search for blogs pertaining to your niche and target market.

Create a High Quality Website

Your website is your store front—a first impression. It determines whether clients like what they see and hire you or move on to someone else. Be mindful of your potential clients when writing and designing your website. Write to your target market. How are you going to help them? How are you going to make their lives easier? How are you going to improve their business? How can you help them achieve their goals? The design should be inviting and easy to navigate. Think about what you appreciate (or don’t appreciate) when you visit websites and apply those preferences when designing yours. Remember, the purpose of your website is to showcase your business, yourself, and what you can offer to your potential clients.

Canva allows you to make your own high-quality photos to enhance your website for free or very low cost.

Talk to Other Virtual Assistants

As with any other profession, you’re going to want to talk to people who are in the same field as you. Though your work is done virtually and you don’t have coworkers in the desk next to you, you’re not alone. Don’t get stuck in the isolated bubble of your home office feeling overwhelmed and depleted. There are many experienced virtual assistants out there with a wealth of knowledge willing to assist you. They’ve been down the road you’re on and they can sympathize with your struggles and triumphs. Reach out to them. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Build camaraderie with them. Most importantly, learn from them.

Seek Virtual Assistant Training

In all other professions, employees attend training that spells out the expectations, explains the details of the job, and answers all questions that you may have. As a first time virtual assistant, what would be better than having someone who is there to help you every step of the way? Ditch the feelings of isolation, frustration, and confusion and investigate professional virtual assistant training. Invite someone who has years of experience and knowledge as a successful virtual assistant to guide you, support you, and encourage you. Get the help from someone whose mission is to help you succeed. Not only will hiring an expert save your sanity, but the certification you earn will make you more marketable to potential clients. Make the investment in yourself and your business.

Remember, you have enormous potential! Don’t allow your success to be hindered by uncertainties or inexperience.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, need help getting started, or want more information about virtual assistant training, click here to find out how you can begin building a super successful virtual assistant business today.