How did you get started?


#1

How did you fund your VA business?

  • Redundancy payment?
  • Maternity leave and working on the side to build your business?
  • Working part-time and building your business part-time?
  • Bootstrapping working evenings and weekends until you could afford to give up work?
  • Bank loan?
  • Soft loan – friends/family/flexible mortgage?
  • Savings?
  • Something else…

0 voters

Had a lovely coffee (and cake!) with Ali from OS Mag yesterday and we got to talking about how people set up their business. I set mine up by working part-time but running the business full-time and also with a “soft loan” from PSYBT, but I’m curious if that’s a common way in…

So - vote above on how you set up and share your story!


#2

I selected something else, as it was generally fulltime working and working in the evening until I got made redundant, with no pay as had just been there under a year, it was then all or nothing and I havent looked back.


#3

Actually I think that’s also a theme with the successful VAs I know - they are the ones who have had to make it work because there is no safety net. They have mortgages and car payments… So there’s no choice but to get out there and make it work!!!


#4

I started out part-time but still had full-time paid employment, then adjusted it to part-time paid employment, then finally redundancy which give me the boot up the backside that I needed to get head and shoulders in to it - and I am glad to say it is definitely working for me!!

I had also done the Start A Business Programme in 2006 which had a small funding programme at the end of it which paid for my flyer, business cards, etc. - but you could use it for whatever you wanted to.


#5

I set up in Oct 2006, just after changing jobs with the intention of being full time in the business by the time my new contract expired in Sept 2009. I worked full time until March 2007 when I started a part time job but that only worked out for about 2 months - couldn’t give all to either business or job, so finished working altogether.

Quite scary as I only had 2 clients brining in about £400 a month then.

Now, I have almost a full client list and am billing more hours than my business plan had me working!

So much for work/life balance.

Dawn


#6

^ See - all or nothing!


#7

I think this is very true. Because I still work full time I don’t need to rely on my Virtual Assistant business for income so I do not spend as much time as I would like on marketing myself. I am not confident enough to quit my job and can certainly not afford to do so and as a result of this I feel like I am getting nowhere!

It is interesting to hear how other people were forced to make their Virtual Assistant businesses a success due to no other means of income.


#8

This is certainly true. It was either sink or swim for me so I just jumped in head first and went for it. I actually had no money to start up with and took out a very small loan to buy the absolute essentials, but didn’t (and still don’t) have a marketing budget! You learn to get very creative in order to survive and it’s amazing how much free stuff (advertising, useful software etc.) is out there when you start looking! I think I am a little bit lucky though, as although I still have some large outgoings that need covering each month, the OH has a great job which has (just!) managed to support us through the tough months.


#9

Rio,

As someone who also keeps a permanent job alongside running my own business, I have slightly different experiences to what you describe. I find that spending some part of my time in a “regular” office environment gives me more inspiration, helps look at my own business through different eyes and this also makes it easier to verify what clients need and what is even more important - meet those new clients almost every day!

When you’re working from you base (wherever it is - home or some sort of one-man office) there seem to be fewer things happening in close proximity - you have to go out to get them for yourself. Whereas, when you keep being among other people, it often happens that things appear within your reach quite spontaneously and this can be exactly what moves your own business forward. The only hiccup perhaps is less time than you would have when devoting everything to one business. But then it’s a matter of how good a juggler one is and from my own experience, one can get used to it.

But then again, there is no one “right way” and everyone has to find what works best for them.

Monika @ MAKadmin
makadmin.com