What Do I Need To Get Started As A VA?
Omage of a desk with a clock on its back and pencil on a curriculum vitae with the text underneath saying: How can a neurodiverse individual effectively prepare for a jon interview/meetig

What do I need to get started as a VA?

Essentials for a Virtual Assistant

One of the many benefits of working as a virtual assistant is that you don’t need a lot to get started. Unlike other businesses where you might need a lot of equipment, VAs can hit the ground running.

To make things simpler, a list of the equipment you might need has been split into sections, so that you can see at a glance if you’re missing anything crucial. Of course, what equipment you’ll need depends largely on which services you’re offering as a VA, but below you’ll find all of the essentials.

Once you have all of your equipment ready, you’ll be able to embark on a new career as a virtual assistant!

Because you’re setting up as a virtual assistant, your office will probably be based in your home. You’ll need to find a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of daily life to focus on your work.

If it’s feasible, a separate room or area is perfect, as it will help you separate your ‘work life’ from your personal life. If you have room within your budget, perhaps add some small decorations to your home office so that it feels like a calm and peaceful space. This doesn’t have to break the bank – a photo frame or two and a potted plant can instantly help make your workspace feel less sterile!

Office equipment:
 Computer – as you will be working from your computer all day, it’s wise to use the best PC or laptop that you can reasonably afford.
 Printer/scanner
 Backup storage or system – several apps and websites allow you to backup files online, so a physical external drive isn’t essential.
 Reliable internet connection
 Desk and chair – you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your chair, so make sure it’s comfy and suitable for your height!
 File cabinet
 Telephone
 Notebook or sticky notes – for jotting down notes or ideas.
 Calendar – either a physical one or on an app

Optional:
 Transcription software and equipment – if you offer transcription services.
 Phone headset – so you can talk hands free.
 Whiteboard or noticeboard – for writing to-do lists and task deadlines.

If you’ve never set up any kind of business before, you will need a few things to make things organised for you and your clients.

Business equipment:

 Business plan – a plan is the best way of making sure you’re keeping on track. This should include your goals, budget, marketing strategy, policies, and the kinds of tasks you take on. Consider making a plan with a business coach to ensure success!
 Website and/or blog – this will help potential clients learn about your services.
 Social media accounts for your business
 Email account for business
 Telephone number for business
 Invoicing system
 Bookkeeping software
 Content management system – make sure you have a system for delivering work to clients.
 Services agreement/Work for hire agreement
 Insurance – when you’re self-employed, insurance is your own responsibility.
 Bank account for business

Optional:

 Business software – (e.g. Transcription software, accounting software) This will vary depending on what services you provide. What software will you need to provide your chosen services?
 Electronic PDF editing/signing software – This isn’t essential, but if you need to sign forms often, having a method of electronically signing them can be a useful timesaver. it.

As well as physical equipment, there are a few things you will need on a personal level to succeed as a VA! Working as a virtual assistant is an amazing experience, but it’s not without its setbacks.

Personal equipment:
 Determination – Things may go wrong from time to time. Knowing how to roll with the punches is vital.
 Enthusiasm
 Motivation – now that you’re self-employed, you’ll need to motivate yourself to get started each day!
 Positive mindset
 Administrative skills – you’ll need basic skills to make sure you’re keeping invoices etc. organized and up to date.
 Marketing knowledge – being a VA is a learning curve, so you can pick up most of this as you go along but reading a few good marketing books before you start wouldn’t hurt!

What If I’m On A Budget?

There might be a lot of equipment you already have, so make sure you gather everything you already own before dashing out to buy something new. If you’re working to a tight budget, keep an eye out on local community pages. Your friends or neighbors might be selling second-hand items at a hugely discounted rate – sometimes you can even find things for free!

The most expensive piece of equipment is probably going to be a computer, so as long as you already have one you can get started even if you’re on a budget. Don’t be afraid to ask around – some people might be upgrading their office equipment and be willing to let you take a desk or chair off their hands!

Once you have your equipment set up, you’ll have everything you need to start your business right. Remember – everything doesn’t have to be completely perfect before you start. A slightly wonky desk is better than no desk at all! As long as you’re willing to invest whatever you can into your business, you’ll be off to a great start.

Carol

Book your free session now.

 

I always knew I wanted to be my own boss one day, but the right time never seemed to present itself.

On a camping weekend, I hurt my ankle badly and I simply couldn’t drive, the mega Corp I worked for as an Executive Assistant were surprisingly sympathetic and rather than just be off work sick, they arranged remote access to work from home, happy days, no commuting. Eureka!! I could do this on a permanent basis if I took “The Risk.”

I handed in my notice and started building my business, sourcing associate work to tide me over until I had my own clients.

One unremarkable day I had a query from a potential client who literally changed my life, she explained that she was Neurodivergent, (something that I’d had a little bit of experience with within my former corporate life) and could really do with a VA that could cope with her particular way of working. I finally realised it wasn’t just the commuting I struggled with, it was the whole corporate world that I didn’t want to engage with, my passion has always been to try and help/assist wherever I can.

Neurodivergent clients are simply the best, no one client is the same as the next and the feeling of accomplishment when I know I’ve actually made a positive difference can’t be beaten.

So if you’re a Neurodivergent business owner, take that “risk”, arrange a call with me, join my Facebook group or take out a membership and see how me and my marvellous team could give any assistance needed.

Taking a risk could mean leaving that job you’ve hated for years. Maybe you’re dreaming of starting your own business or thinking about going back to school because the degree you got the first time just wasn’t the right fit. Or perhaps, it’s about finally saying NO MORE to always trying to make everyone else happy.

To really grow—both personally and in business—you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Do you have the courage to take a risk?

What’s holding you back?

Are you stuck in the “what ifs”?

Are you just surviving or feeling stuck in your comfort zone, struggling to break free?

If you’ve been thinking about making a change but fear of failure is stopping you, it’s time to ask yourself: What part of myself am I losing because I’m afraid to take a risk?

Only you know what needs to shift for you to move forward.

When I started my own business in 2018, I had those same doubts and fears. Leaving a secure, full-time job with no clients lined up was a huge risk. But looking back, I have no regrets. It was the right move for me, and it’s paid off in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

Now, I wouldn’t tell everyone to just quit their job. It was a decision that took a lot of planning and careful consideration. I was lucky to have a backup plan and the support of my husband. Without that, I couldn’t have made the leap.

Back then, I was stretched thin, working over 70 hours a week at a demanding full-time job. I realised I couldn’t give my all to both my job and my personal aspirations. The thought of continuing on that path, neglecting my own dreams, was fast becoming a non-option.

Leaving a steady salary behind was scary, especially with no clients lined up. But staying in my comfort zone wouldn’t bring the fulfilment and success I wanted. So, I decided to take the risk.

My boss thought I was crazy and even offered to let me stay on part-time, working 20 hours a week. For some, that might have been a good compromise. But for me, it wasn’t just about the money. I pride myself on giving 100% to whatever I do, and I knew that splitting my time would mean I couldn’t give my best to either role.

So, despite the uncertainty and scepticism from others, I chose to just DO IT and take my own path. By no means was it an easy decision and on my last day at work I felt physically sick!  As I walked out of the office for the last time and got in my car, for the 1000th time, that day I had doubts and what if’s running through my head!  What the bloody hell had I done?  And more importantly, now I was on my own, where do I start?  There was no one to tell me what to do and I was seriously thinking of going back and asking for my job back!

Now 5 years on, I can confidently say it was the right decision. It hasn’t been easy, and there have been moments of doubt, but the freedom to pursue my passion has been worth every challenge and sacrifice.

I love what I’m doing!

Taking risks can be inspiring, enjoyable, and help you grow in so many ways. Embrace it!

What are the potential rewards of taking risks in life?

Sense of Accomplishment: Taking risks is scary, but it leads to self-discovery. Many people I know had no idea where their journey would take them, but the sense of accomplishment and pride they feel is incredible.

They feel alive for the first time, I know I did!

Personal Freedom: Imagine working with people you like and doing what you really enjoy – this is your path to personal freedom.

Letting Go of the Past: Challenging old routines and assumptions can be rewarding. By taking risks, you can disprove old beliefs and free yourself from negative thoughts and “what ifs”.

Self-Discovery: This is a biggie; risks help you learn about yourself, your values, and what drives you. With new experiences, you can find what truly makes you happy. My journey from being an employee to running my own business has been a profound experience of self-discovery.

Increased Confidence: Each risk you take builds your confidence and makes you more flexible and a better decision-maker.

New Opportunities: Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to new opportunities, both professionally and personally and it’s so exciting when this happens and I LOVE meeting new people and learning. No more stuck in that 9 to 5 waiting for someone to leave before you get the opportunity to get promoted.

Resilience: Risks teach you how to handle setbacks, building resilience and the ability to navigate challenges like a pro.

No Regrets: If the risk works out, fantastic! If not, it’s a valuable lesson that makes you wiser. We learn from our mistakes.

 

For those who are neurodivergent, taking risks can feel daunting, but it can also lead to incredible personal development and success. Using a Virtual Assistant can be a game-changer, providing essential support and helping to navigate uncertainties.

Starting to take risks can be scary, but that’s okay. It’s natural to want to stay safe. Trust me, taking risks can be fun too. There’s a whole world out there with endless possibilities. To figure out which risks are right for you, just go with your gut. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Even if something doesn’t go as planned, you’ll learn from it and grow.

Curious about how Virtual Assistant support can change your risk-taking journey with a business that understands what it’s like to run a successful business. Schedule a FREE consultation with me—no risk here, I promise!

 

Ps. Yes, that’s me jumping out of a plane for charity!

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