Preparing Your Business For Launch
Start preparing for your launch by conducting market research. You should already know what services you are going to offer and you should have identified your target market. If you haven't yet done one or either, now is the time.
Now it is time to conduct market research to determine the need for your virtual assistant services in the areas in which you intend to market, to determine how much you should charge for your services, and to identify your competition.
Next, write a business plan. You have undoubtedly heard that old cliché, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Do not become a victim of failed planning. Make sure you write a business plan, so you know where you are going with your business. Your business plan will outline how you plan to run your business, your marketing strategies, and where you want to take your business in the future.
You should also outline what services you will offer to your clients, how much you are going to charge, and whether you will charge per hour or per project.
When you are writing your business plan, you also want to take the following into consideration:
What are your office hours? When and how will clients and potential clients be able to contact you?
Your business plan is a big deal and is ultimately vital to your business's success, so make sure you take the time that you need to write a thorough business plan. You can find a sample business plan at the SBA's website. If you need help writing your business plan, contact your local SBA office where a retired businessperson can provide you with advice.
Will you be available after office hours for those clients who have emergency needs? Or will you require all after hours work to be done on a "by appointment only" basis?
Will you provide clients with your home phone number in case of an emergency?
If your clients do not provide you with clear instructions, how will you get those instructions? (i.e. Will you have a form that clients have to fill out outlining your responsibilities and deadlines?)
Do not be mistaken: Once you write your business plan, you do not just toss it in a drawer and forget about it. Business plans are meant to evolve. Make appropriate changes as your business changes and grows. Always keep your business plan up-to-date.
Next: Chapter Four: Marketing Your Virtual Assistant Business
Previous: Chapter Four: Open Your Virtual Doors For Business
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