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Business support(5 Posts)
I have recently decided to become a virtual assistant providing administrative support to other businesses. There are various types of business I would like to target such as established businesses, those in my local area and also business start ups. I am aware that when starting up money is often very limited but it is more cost effective to hire me as well as the fact there is no need to have a physical premises as I can work from home. I have a website but there is a lot of competition on the internet as there are quite few companies offering virtual assistance. I would like to differentiate myself from these companies by offering a more personalised service though where I get to know businesses.
I just wanted to see if there were people that would use this kind of service and whether anyone had any ideas how I could market myself and find clients.
I'd try www.peopleperhour.com if you haven't. Lots of the tasks are badly paid but some are ok.
I have used VAs. My main criteria is you are available, accurate and communicate with me.
Personally I don't need you to know about my business. I just need the job done.
VAs I know attend local networking meetings and find it fruitful. There you are likely to find those clients who might want you to get to know their business.
I'd try direct approaches too, emails etc.
I would say network. Look for local network groups and join them
Definitely a big area. I've just hired a VA on Odesk for instance. Be aware, if signing up for Odesk or PPH that the competition is fierce and if you want to charge a respectable amount your presentation has to be flawless.
Mind you, most people who need the services you are offering don't even KNOW about Odesk.
I see what you're saying about getting to know a business instead of being an anonymous, dispassionate assistant, and there is a lot to be said for making yourself indispensable. I imagine that if there were areas in which you were in a position to give money saving advice, so that you could sell yourself as saving the company more money than they are actually paying you? For example, if you are a shipping guru, you could introduce them to shipping or courier providers who can cut their annual shipping spend.
Position yourself as seriously professional - the Claire Underwood of VA's, none of this "girl Friday" nonsense.
Thanks so much for everybody's replies!
I have tried the freelance sites online and had a bit of luck yesterday with that but like you said the competition is fierce and the pay can be quite low. I understand that many people do not need a VA to know much about their business but I would prefer to work for someone who wants an ongoing relationship rather than a few one off tasks, if you know what I mean. I think I will try and contact businesses locally as well as posting on the sites you have suggested. As you said notyou I think a lot of people who need a VA wouldn't really know about the sites available so hopefully I'll find someone who needs my services.