It takes a lot of work to run your own business. There are no shortcuts or magic solutions but the one thing that I’m sure drives you on, is believing that you can set up your business to do what you love.
But is that always possible?
Initially you may have to do tasks you’re not keen on, both for yourself and for your clients, especially when you’re first starting out. However, it is entirely possible to have a business doing what you love, if you’re smart in your planning and level headed with your decisions.
Here’s ten tips to help you set up your business to do what you love and less of what you don’t!
#1: Know where you’re headed
When you first set up your business, know the bigger picture of what you’re trying to achieve. Imagine it and write it down, as this will help you formulate a plan of action to help you get there. This helps keep you on the right track and headed in the direction you want to go.
Of course, that journey isn’t going to be a straight line and there will be things that knock you off course, but if you have a clear picture and plan in place, you’ll always know where you’re headed and can steer in the right direction.
#2: Trust yourself
Always believe in yourself and your ability to use your skills to set up a business doing what you love. Trust in your choices and decisions, and know that you can have a business doing what you love. It takes a lot of hard work and you’ll definitely need focus, but you also need faith in yourself and your abilities.
Remind yourself that you don’t have to know everything, you just need to know enough. As the popular saying goes – you just need to be one step ahead of your clients, in order to help them. [Check out this blog on the benefits of personal development for the self employed].
#3: Know your strengths – and outsource your weaknesses
Far too many business owners spend their time trying to improve on their weaknesses. If you want a business doing what you love, it invariably is going to be connected to one or more of your strengths – so focus on them!
As a Virtual Assistant you will have several strengths, but you’re also part of an amazing community that thrives on collaboration. So use that! Join supportive VA networking groups (such as my VA Membership). Outsource those things you’re not great at and collaborate with other VAs to provide the services your clients need to grow their businesses.
#4: Focus on your ideal clients
It’s great that you want to set up your business to do what you love, but you also need to keep it in line with what your ideal clients want! Carry out as much research as you can, prior to deciding on your services. Ask other Virtual Assistants what services are popular or what they’re currently unable to provide, but their clients are asking for.
If you keep your focus on your ideal clients, you’ll be tuned into listening and providing them with the solutions they want. Spend time building and maintaining awesome working relationships with your clients and you’ll be able to build in natural review and feedback processes to ensure you’re always focusing on solutions for them. [Need help focusing? Check out this article on how it’s easier to become a VA if you focus].
#5: Don’t follow the crowd
The Virtual Assistant industry is a big one, but it’s also a beautifully varied one. You don’t have to follow the crowd to become a certain person or offer a specific set of solutions – you can be yourself and be as niched as you like. Whether you want to niche to a certain industry or offer a specific niche skill set, you’re free to set up your business to do what you love – not what someone else thinks you should do.
#6: Begin before you feel ready
One mistake new VAs make is waiting until they feel ready, before starting their business. It’s a new direction for you, so you’re never going to feel ready and the time may never feel right! Take that leap, trust in yourself and your abilities and begin before you feel ready! Make use of the supportive networks you have access to, to help keep you motivated and confident as you take that step forward and begin your journey.
#7: Take baby steps every day
It doesn’t matter how slow you go or how long it takes you to get your VA business up and running. I hope reading that takes a little of the pressure away from you, as it’s such an important thing to remember. What matters most is that you take baby steps every day, towards setting up your business.
Do something every day, that takes you closer – whether it’s spending 5 minutes researching something or connecting with someone on social media, or writing a sales page or blog post, just keep putting in those little actions and heading in the right direction.
#8: Work on your mindset
No matter how confident you are, working for yourself will inevitably open up the odd mind monkey or two. Working consistently on your mindset is important, if you want to set up and grow your own business. It’s often our own fears and worries that will hold us back the most – so look to always be a work in progress yourself.
If you believe your mindset is holding you back, get support in the form of a VA business mentor or get involved in a supportive group of people who understand what you’re going through and can help you move past it. [Need help with mindset? Check out this recent blog on How to reset your mindset when the mind monkeys are already there].
#9: Have the right people around you
When starting out the VA Mastery Course can hand hold you through the process, it acts as your blueprint for success, and then once you are established consider a peer mentoring group – it’s one of the reasons I set up the VA membership – it’s all about surrounding yourself with the right people. We all need support and advice during the different stages and steps of our VA career. Whether you want to expand your knowledge, get clarity on a problem or simply want to feel less isolated, you need to have access to the right people.
Ideally, you want to surround yourself with positive, cheer-leading family and friends, but that isn’t always possible. Not everyone understands the nuances of running a business on your own and not everyone is supportive of someone who wants to break out of the traditional 9-5 employed mould.
#10: Love the journey you’re on as you set up your business
Working for yourself is a journey that has no defined end destination. It will take hard work and will frustrate you at times – it’s the nature of working for yourself. But that’s why it’s so important that you love the journey and set up your business to do what you love.
Be grateful for everything, as this will help you love the journey more. Appreciate the opportunity you’ve got, stack your wins and celebrate every achievement along the way.
It takes a lot of work to run your own business. There are no shortcuts or magic solutions and sometimes, you’re going to have to do tasks you’re not keen on, especially when you’re first starting out. However, if you remember the above tips, you’ll be on the right track and able to set up your business to do what you love – and less of what you don’t!
If you’re ready to get started and are looking for a supportive group of like-minded VAs to help you along the way, check out either the VA Mastery Course (if you are right at the start of your journey or the VA Membership if you are already on the path. Both places are full of VAs who can appreciate everything you’re looking to achieve, as well as help you through the tougher spots!
Let’s Inspire You
If you are looking for a little more inspiration – check out the recent Wednesday Wisdom blog posts where we interview some past graduates of VACT and talk to some of our current VA: Be Awesome Club members.