How to get started


Can anyone advise the best, quickest and possibly easiest way to becoming a VA? I have seen numerous companies that all want you to invest a great deal of money to become a VA. I have a home office already set up, just after advice on how to get started as someone with over 20 years experience in all types of office work and management.


Read and inwardly digest this:

I think everyone knows my views on Franchises… There are good ones out there, but really they aren’t offering anything which you couldn’t do yourself with a bit of research - clients don’t tend to recognise them and seek them out for their reputation (i.e. there is no McDonalds of VAs!). In addition to that we’ve had some real horror stories, and they are so litigious you will not find anything bad when you Google either, and the “franchises” they arrange for you to speak to aren’t necessarily on the same deal you will be on! (A lot are former employees who got given the franchise for free in lieu of severance pay).

Training is a good shortcut - but again, being an unregulated industry, there are a lot of cowboys. We have a list of approved trainers.

How comfortable are you with selling? Because really that’s the biggest stumbling block most PAs face when starting up - it’s not usually in the PA skillset.

Hope that helps!


Hi Hayley, I recommend Catherine Gladwyn’s book How To Be a VA and her VA membership is a very nurturing place for new and established VA’s. She is an approved trainer too so she’s no cowboy :wink: and probably the only one who still works as a VA herself! I agree with Caroline that selling and promoting your services is the hardest bit for the majority of VA’s/ freelancers so be sure to make that a priority. Good luck!


Hi Hayley,

Setting up a VA business is no different to setting up any other business, all the Trainers and Coaches will give you (hopefully) is a faster path to getting to where you want. I have a number of free resources on my site that people have used to go on and set up their own business without doing any of my courses. There are some great threads on this forum and in the blogs here that will also steer you on the right path.

It’s a great industry to be in - good luck



Lots of the VA Trainers, Coaches and Mentors are still running very successful VA / OBM businesses - not just Catherine including those on the approved Trainers List.

Kind Regards


Good to hear Amanda!