In 2007, I started my Virtual Assistant business and the road was everything but easy. Although, now I’ve successfully launched a few other companies, the virtual industry will always hold a special place in my heart. It will always be a part of my love story with entrepreneurship. I never imagined the virtual industry growing to where it is now in 2019. I’ve seen many companies open, flourish and shut their virtual doors. The other day an article was forwarded to me and I wanted to add my two cents.

The article talked about working from home and how virtual assistance was a quick way to earn some income with no experience needed. Well to that I say, good luck my friend. The good news is that it is a low-cost option for starting a business and if you’re not looking to be your own boss, there are some really great companies that hire virtual assistants. However, if you think no experience is needed, you’re going to be in for a very unpleasant awakening.

Companies that need virtual assistance are mostly professional industries that are looking for very specific support in areas like social media management, back office support, creative design, online marketing and email marketing just to throw a few skills out there. Yep, skills.

If my introduction hasn’t scared you away, keep reading to see what it really takes to earn income as a virtual assistant.

Do What You Say You Can Do Before embarking on a career as a Virtual Assistant, it’s important to make sure that you are competent in the service or services you will be offering. It’s irresponsible to offer services to a business or entrepreneur if you can’t do the thing you’re promoting.

When brands, partner with someone (a Virtual Assistant) to remotely handle part of their business, they are assuming that you are truthful and reliable. The last thing you want is to do is over promise and under deliver. This not only gives you and your business a bad reputation, but it also gives the Virtual Assistant industry a bad reputation. Now if you’re only in this to make a few quick bucks, being reliable and a trusted professional may not be at the top of your list.

Systems and Processes

It’s important to remember that as a Virtual Assistant you are a business owner and not an employee. This is even the case, 99% of the time when you’re working for an established company. You will generally sign an agreement as an independent contractor.

Working independently means that you have to take care of your own time management (will you be tracking time using a project management tool or go old school and manually track everything). Do you have billing systems in place? Your billing systems determine how you get paid, how much you get paid and what happens when you don’t get paid. What software will you use to communicate with your clients. How many hours will you be working with clients per week? These are just a few things to check off your list.

New Virtual Assistants often start working with business owners and their relationship quickly becomes more of an employer and employee situation as opposed to two business owners working together.

Having systems and processes in place, will help you set the tone during the initial meeting. It’s important to set boundaries in the beginning to see if you will have a good working relationship.


Organization is an absolute must when working on your own terms. There is no boss to help you keep things in order. No one to give you daily orders on what needs to be done. So, you’re now in control of staying on top of:

  • Billing clients
  • Bookkeeping
  • Properly storing client files and passwords (if applicable)
  • Client working agreements
  • Tracking time
  • Finding new clients
  • Building great relationships with current clients
  • Budgeting personal and business finances
  • Finding and hiring contractors as you expand
  • Delivering client work in timely and cost-effective manner
  • Latest industry trends

Marketing and Sales

Marketing and sales are essential for the long-term success of any business. Other than being able to do the job, the most important thing for any business owner is being able to attract clients. No money, no business.

As a new business owner, you’re competing with other new business owners and those that already have traction. The process can be tedious and must continue in conjunction with the work you are providing for your clients. Some of the things that are required for sustainability are:

  • Maintaining your website (yes, you need a website)
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Blogging
  • Networking
  • Creating marketing strategies
  • Marketing budgets
  • Tracking campaigns
  • Client retention

Once you’ve attracted a potential client, you’re halfway there. Now it’s time to convince them that you are the right person for the job.

No matter how good you are at what you do, you must be able to sell yourself. Business owners want to know they are choosing the best person or company to support their needs. Basically, you must close the deal.


If you’ve gotten this far, I’d like to know if you still think that you can do this without any experience? I think that it’s very irresponsible to falsely lead someone into an industry or career without providing accurate information. The sad thing is that most of these articles are written by people that have never even worked as a Virtual Assistant.

If you’re looking for an outline or guide, check out The Road to Going Virtual. Yes, it’s my book (a little bit of self promotion here), but you’re getting some real insight from an actual Virtual Assistant with a company that is still successfully running in 2019.

The Road to Going Virtual is a step-by-step guide for setting up, systematizing and growing a virtual business.

Inside you will find information that explains setting up a legal company, how to find your target market, what marketing works, how to price your services, how to manage your client projects and so much more.

If there are other questions or comments, I’d love for you to get the conversation started in the comment section below.