When starting their business, many Virtual Assistants think that taking training for an in-demand service is the first thing they need to do before they can get clients. But you should always start with what you know first.
Selling yourself to clients is a challenge to a lot of new VAs, and trying to sell a service you actually have no experience in providing to other clients makes it even more challenging.
Most VAs start their own business because they have administrative experience of some kind. And that’s what you should be starting with. That doesn’t mean that you should not take new training – it just means there is a good time to do it – and before you start your business usually is not the smart time.
Start your business using the skills that you already have – that you have experience providing, either for clients or for a former employer. Then once you have money coming in, make a plan to shift to a new service offering, or upgrade your current ones.
Professional development is a good idea for any business owner – including VAs. Putting a plan in place to continuously improve your skills is the best way to go about getting new training.
Here are a few things to consider when thinking about getting new training:
Timing is one of the most important things to consider when thinking about taking new training. First, do you have the time to complete the lessons and homework assignments? So many people purchase self-study programs and then never complete them. You need to make sure you have the time to complete the course content. Timing also comes into it when you think about the level of program you are taking. Does it fit with where your business is at the moment? Don’t get ahead of yourself by taking courses that are too far ahead of where you are right now.
What is the content of the program? Whether it’s a paid program or a free webinar, consider whether the content is applicable to your business right now. While it can be tempting to enroll in a Facebook Ads webinar, if it’s not something you need in your business right now, it’s not a good idea to sign up. Make sure anything you decide to take part in is a good use of your time in your business. There will always be another social media webinar (and honestly, things change so quickly, that what you learn today will probably change long before you need to use it!)
Can you implement what you learn easily? It is very important to implement anything you learn as quickly as you can. If you don’t, you will lose the momentum and knowledge from the program. No matter whether you attend a free FB Live or a webinar, find a way to implement at least one thing in your business right away. Or at the very least, get a plan in place to implement it within 30 to 60 days. Otherwise, you are likely wasting your time.
Taking training – free or paid – is a great idea for your VA business. But you need to be strategic and focused so that you are using it properly and managing your time well.
We all have the same amount of time. Most of your time should be used finding clients and doing the work they pay you to do. Of course, you want to grow your VA business – and training is one of the best ways you can do that. So use the tips above to make you are doing it the smart way!
Tracey D’Aviero is a veteran VA and Founder of Your VA Mentor. Tracey trains and mentors professional women and men who are brand new to the VA industry or who have been struggling to make their business successful. Her mission is to educate professionals on how to build and grow successful and profitable virtual businesses in the VA industry by implementing systems and smart principles. Contact Tracey for speaking engagements, group training or private coaching at www.yourvamentor.com.