I am in the process of setting myself up as a VA. I’m in the East London area and currently employed full time. I am looking to start up on a part-time basis initially and progress as time goes on.
I am grateful for this forum as it has given me a wealth of information that is extremely useful. I would appreciate all the helpful recommendations, tips, suggestions and networking.
Looking forward to working with you all.
Glad it has been helpful - I think one of the nice things about SVA is that because we’re all VAs, we actually can give you a realistic picture of what it takes… We don’t have a vested interest in flogging you a course or selling a fairytale!
I started up part-time. Evenings and weekends at first and then I went part-time in the business, finally going full time self-employed about 18 months/2 years into starting up. I think as long as you are diligent about making sure you respond to people quickly, there’s no reason for prospects to even know that it doesn’t operate full-time.
You can use a phone answering service, answer emails & phone calls before work/after work/during lunch breaks and put on an autoresponder telling people when they can expect a response.
I also started part-time, whilst I worked full-time. I did that for some time really maybe 12 months, and then just decided to push out the gate when I had saved enough money from my full-time job to sustain me for a while.
I agree with Caroline and am also committed to quick responses, even to this day, so that clients feel they are being serviced. Sometimes though my response is simply just a holding message for when I can properly respond. I have never used autoresponders or phone answering services, but I do think they are very useful depending on what sort of business you are building. My one has been purely 1to1 retained relationships so it has never been necessary and would not fit with the service I offer.
My journey is somewhat different, I think, to what most people experience here. Nonetheless, Caroline and SVA provide amazing resources and knowledge to help you grow your business. Even as an experienced VA I am learning so much from it.
I think that’s a really relevant point Petra - when I first started my aim was to build a successful replicable model, which I’d then sell as a franchise… But to be honest, it was hard to find people who work the same way as me - the attention to detail and ability to juggle is pretty tricky to teach.
So I have a bible of “how we do things here” which everyone follows. It shows how to market; it shows how we follow up; it shows the systems etc. But if someone who wasn’t me picked that up, even though everything is documented, it would be a pretty hard thing for them to replicate because they are not me and their business isn’t my business.
You’ve got to do what works for you.
Thank you Caroline and Petra for your suggestions and recommendations. Yes I do intend to explore and see what works best for me within the current timeframe. I intend to expand with time in both the services that I offer and with my time.