Having spent 30 plus years as an employee never did I imagine owning my own business. It wasn’t that I was frightened of the hard work – in fact I was used to flexible working with long, unsociable hours. I was used to dealing with difficult customers (and staff); I liked being my own boss; I thrived on challenges and problem-solving but, being a business owner was just too scary.
Then out of the blue it happened . . .The organisation I not only worked for, but had grown to love, came under new ownership and I decided to take the plunge. No longer did I want the long drive to and from work every-day, nor did I want the rigidity of fixed office hours but what I did want was a new challenge to get my teeth in to and something where I would be able to see the results of what I was doing.
Where did I start?
Braindump – First of all I wrote down all the things I could do and put them in order of what I felt I was good at. Then I took a second look and picked out the things I like doing most – Organising, developing & standardising processes and policies, arranging all types of events, data processing (I love facts and figures!), minute taking and processing.
Finally, I looked at what I wanted to fulfil my own personal needs and wants, and I knew it had to be something I enjoy. I needed to be able to do it in the hours that suit me (flexibility of evenings, weekend, holidays etc), and I wanted the satisfaction of being able to see results for the support I can offer
So how could I get all this and more?
Yes, I could look for more permanent employment, but nothing came close to what I had been doing and nothing seemed to fit the bill anymore so after lots of careful consideration I took the plunge and set myself a challenge – To set-up my own business, doing what I like doing and using the skills I am good at . . . and this surmounted to being a Virtual Assistant (VA).
So What did I do next?
Lots more brain dumping, planning, organising and doing came into being:
• Research – the VA market, financial, legal & insurance requirements
• Developed a business plan
• Set my service offerings
• Identified my “ideal” customers
• Came up with an appropriate business name
• Developed a marketing plan
• Projected 3 year cash flow
• Sourced business start-up funding
• Joined networking groups
• Re-visited my existing social media and created new business accounts so I could start telling people what I am doing
But most of all I listened to advice from family, friends, business colleagues (old and new), experienced virtual assistants and professional bodies. I dissected the information, built on the relevant details and out of all this came a brand new, flexible working business owner with a newborn Virtual Assistant Business: