How was your beginning…


I wonder if I could get some honest stories of how peoples start ups went!

The reason I ask is because I have been flip/flopping with the idea of starting up.
I have 25y experience within administration and various other areas but since I had my baby 3y ago, I couldn’t find an admin job which could suit my hours.
Now little goes to nursery in the afternoon but sadly it’s still hard to find a suitable admin role willing to let me start a tiny bit later so I can drop her off.
The hardest part is I am being offered the jobs and I can’t take them just because of 1h

I want to go back to administration and VA seems to be my only option and think it could fit in with my availability but I just wanted to know how peoples beginnings went.
I know £1-2k isnt a lot to some people but having to get the contracts, laptop, software etc for the home it all adds up so I’m trying to see if I can hear other peoples stories.

I have the advantage of marketing experience and promotion so self promotion won’t be an issue.


Hi Shelley,

Are you planning to also offer services related to marketing? In truth I think the market may be a bit saturated at the moment, especially when it comes to general admin. Lots of VAs have been setting up during the pandemic due to life changes and redundancies etc so do make sure to market yourself in a more niche way.

It is definitely possible to structure your work around your availability and be more flexible as a VA, just be sure to manage your clients’ expectations from the start so it all works out!

I was lucky enough that my previous employer became my first client so we had an existing relationship but there was still much to be learned to make a remote working relationship effective.

It is definitely possible to set up your business as a VA on a £1-2k budget unless you require specific and more expensive software so I wouldn’t worry about that.

Hope that helps and other people also have experiences to share.


Thanks so much Julian,
The fact VA has became such a popular industry over the past few years has been concerning me about whether or not to rush into it.
I’ve been researching for the past year so I am aware of all requirements, services etc but I was looking to begin in general admin. I have a wider skill set but because I am new to the industry virtually, I thought it would take a while to find my feet.

I think this is one of those situations not to rush in and just start piecing the parts together over time and then start up so I’m not throwing all my money in at once.



Hi Shelley,

I think starting with general admin does make sense, just be aware that you may benefit from specialising more in the long run.

Definitely good not to rush these things.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!


Hi Shelley,

I would say that the start up process is time consuming, as you will need to explore the set up and work out a rough plan for what services you are able to offer.

A huge factor is setting boundaries for time, so it won’t work winging it as your clients will have deadlines and want to know when you are contactable, but also you will need to fulfil the work.

My clients are flexible but I found in the earlier stages of set up and juggling childcare was a mission, now that I have everything in place it is so much easier.

For set up you can set up on a budget to begin with and then develop as you go. But make sure you have the key factors in place, insurance, registered with the ICO and contracts in place.

SVA site will provide you with so much information and you can check out the other questions that people have asked in the forum.

Like anything, things take time and work, but the rewards will pay off.

Good luck :):blush:


Thanks so much everyone,
It is something I will be doing but instead of setting up in the next month, I have decided to set up over the next 2-3months and take my time.

VA is something I have been researching for over a year but impostor syndrome took over and delayed my start up but now it is time, I’ve fought my demons about starting and ready to start up.

I will be starting general admin at the start, I have a niche/sector I will be focusing on as I have extensive knowledge in the industry.
I think the fact I couldnt quite home in on my niche was a factor which delayed my startup but after attending a job interview recently and hearing their comments on my experience in the industry, I realised these are the sort of clients I need to aim for.

Thanks so much everyone.
I’m excited on the new adventure x



I disagree that the market is saturated with admin VAs. The market will always need Admin VAs, as well as social media VAs, tech VAs etc.

But every business needs admin support and they will reach a point where they need to outsource. I signed 2 clients this week who need extensive admin support!

But it does help to know what type of clients you want to help or industry or some kind of low hanging fruit, so you can target that area in particular.

Good luck with your business and it will be good to see how you get on.



Hi Shelley,

I would say go for it. In my experience there are three main areas that seem to be required which are general admin, social media & bookkeeping/accounting, though if you decide to do anything on the book-keeping side you do need to look at AML registration.

I set-up my business at the start of lockdown and there is a blog on my website which you may find useful and also the attached document Resource 001 - Guide to Starting your own Business - Compressed.pdf (524.8 KB)

Hope this helps



Thank you so much everyone for your honest comments.
After reading all these, I have finally gone for it!
I purchased a new laptop and equipment (a nice fresh start), contracts and currently setting up my website and laying out my skills on offer.
It’s scary, imposter syndrome sets in every few hours but I’m keeping firm!

Can’t wait for starting my new adventure :heart:


Hi Shelley
Glad to hear you’ve taken the leap.

I took the leap and it has been a slow start. I have worked as a Medical PA for many years so this is the area I am focusing on. It took a while for me to set up, but finally did in April 2021. I now have 3 clients and work part-time.

As everyone has mentioned it is important to network and put yourself forward as much as possible.

Wishing you all the best.


Exciting times ahead - take one step at a time and focus on what you are working towards.


Hi Shelley,

Well done on taking the leap.

Would be really interested in an update on how the first 4 months have went?


Hi Shelley,

I’ve only just come across this thread since Scotty’s comment above. I’d also be keen to hear how you’re getting on?

It can be a daunting time setting up but it really is ideal being able to choose your working hours (within reason), to work around nursery drop-offs etc. I have two children a similar age to yours (I think), and it works well. Even when they’re ill (which they inevitably are being at nursery!), I can shift my work around a bit and my clients often don’t even have to know. I tell all my clients about my children, (I used to shy away from this but in fact they all have children themselves), and one of my clients actually chose me because I’m a mother!

I really hope it’s working out for you.