How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business

12/19/2016 10:56 am ET Updated Dec 17, 2017

You know you want to work from home but not sure what it is you want to do? Start analyzing and writing down what you are good at on the computer. Do you have administrative skills but don't want to work in an office anymore? Can you design websites? Are you proficient with social media? Then become a virtual assistant! The virtual assistant industry is rapidly expanding and millions of people are working from home now and enjoying the benefits of being their own boss and increasing their income.

As a virtual assistant you are an independent contractor. The client pays you a fee for your services and then you are responsible for paying for your own taxes, insurance, equipment, training and healthcare. At the end of the year the client will send you the form 1099 that you turn in when you file your taxes.

All you need to start a virtual assistant business is a computer, high speed internet, a designated phone line and printer and scanner. Then you can start recruiting clients based on your skill set. Most virtual assistants can count on $35 - $75 an hour depending on their expertise.

Decide if you want to work your new business part time or full time. When I started my virtual assistant business in 2005 I started it part time while still working a full time job. I worked nights and weekends to gather the experience and expertise I needed. After 9 months I had enough clients and income to replace my full time job so I went full time with my VA business.

Start writing down on paper what you are good at on the computer and then target those customers to become your clients. This is called your "niche" market. The more niched you are the richer you become. Not everyone has your skill set but there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there that need it.

Most virtual assistants work from the comfort of their own home in a designated home office. Once you find your clients you gather work from them via email, text, instant message or fax. Once you find a potential client you should have a one on one phone call with them and interview each other. Make sure you are a good fit for each other's businesses. Then once it is decided you will work with each other have a contract drawn up between you and your client. This is to make sure both sides understand what the duties are between you. Decide on pay and how often the client will pay you and then you are ready to work.

Hope you find as much enjoyment being a virtual assistant as I did. The pay, flexible hours, client base and thrill of owning your own business is worth it.