Business is so different to what it was say, 20 years ago. At that time we didn’t have the Internet to promote our businesses and to buy a computer often required getting a loan if we didn’t have that much cash available at the time. Not to mention purchasing a printer (colour was often out of reach), a fax machine, answer machine and a number of other items. They were all individual items and not like the multifunction items we have available to us today.
However, with everything being so compact and often much cheaper to purchase or access these days, it seems that many still go into business thinking they can do so without spending a cent. And this isn’t reality. It never was. 20 years ago you would have been laughed at. In those days $10k was about the minimum for setting up. Today you could do it for between $1-2k. After all we’re told ‘it takes money to make money’ and that is still quite true today. To begin a business, you must have at least the bare requirements: computer, software, internet connection, printer, phone, somewhere to sit and somewhere to file papers.
It goes much deeper than that though. Despite people still promoting and advertising through written articles and blogs that you can make money without doing much, the reality is that you have to put in time and effort, and money, to successfully build a business. And you need to have a skill set and knowledge and understanding of the industry that you choose to be in. In this case, Virtual Assistance. Please don’t assume that just because you have a computer and internet connection, and know how to type, that you can run a successful VA business. That is, if you put no effort in and don’t spend time getting to know the industry and understanding the client’s needs.
I see newbies at different forums trying to get whatever information they can but when it’s suggested they should join at least one of the industry based networks they say they can’t afford it right now. Really? I say they can’t afford not to. If they want guidance, the right information, be listed on sites that already are well ranked on the search engines and learn from the leaders in the industry, then they really do need to belong to an industry based network. Not to forget that these networks also regularly have client requests coming through for VAs to do work for them. It’s the Networks that have put in the hard yards (and money) to promote the industry, get known, attract clients and teach VAs about the industry. And they’ve been around for quite awhile.
If you haven’t yet joined a VA Network or perhaps done training to be a VA, now is the time to invest in your business, and yourself, and resolve to get that sorted today. When you look back in six month’s time you’ll be so glad you did!