Dear Danielle: When Should I Make the Leap?

Dear Danielle:

I am looking into starting my own Virtual Assistant business. I’m wanting a change so bad, but am quite nervous about giving up my full-time job. How do I move forward? —AT

You don’t mention where you are at in the process of starting a business or how much you’ve researched the industry. This can be a wonderful business and life to be in, but there is much hard work involved, especially in the preliminary stages.

Have you put together a business plan?

Have you decided on a target market? (This may change, often several times, throughout the life of your business, but you need to know who you are talking specifically to in order to create a compelling, irresistible marketing message and have some focus and direction for your marketing and networking efforts.)

Have you outlined a profile of your ideal and UN-ideal client? (This will help you get clear and conscious about who you most want to work with and how to recognize each when they show up at your door.)

How about the foundations in your business? What’s important to you in your life? What kind of pace do you want in your business? How much money do you want or need to make? Have you established standards in your business that are in alignment with those things that are important to you? What about policies that make your business run efficiently and cost-effectively? What will be the systems and processes you use to keep everything running smoothly and profitably (these will be ever-evolving during the life of your business, but you need to establish at least some basic level of these things to begin).

Have you developed any of the paper forms you will need in your business such as contracts and agreements? How will you handle payments from clients? Do you have operating capital or savings to live on until your business becomes self-sustaining?

It takes time to become established. Many Virtual Assistants don’t land their first client for many months, sometimes longer.

Now, while you are still employed and have money coming in, is a great time to work out these ideas, solidify them into tangible documentation and systems, and set up your business foundation.

By taking these steps now, before you finally take the leap, you’ll be setting yourself up for ease and success instead of hardship and failure.

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