By Sarah Stacey | Virtual Assistant and Director of Stealth Office Services Limited
I’m Sarah Stacey, a Virtual Assistant with a passion for helping new small business owners and side hustlers turn their dreams into reality. I started Stealth Office Services (SOS) with a mission to help people succeed in business.
I understand how frustrating it can be to feel like you're always behind and that there's never enough time in the day. That's why I offer a range of services designed to make busy business owners' lives easier. Giving them back their time to concentrate on what they went into business for.
Embarking on the journey to establish a Virtual Assistant business is both an exhilarating and monumental step. As a budding Virtual Assistant, you’re about to offer indispensable services that your clients will greatly value. Your expertise will soon help them streamline operations and achieve their goals more efficiently.
However, before you dive into the dynamic world of virtual assistance, it's crucial to lay a solid foundation for your business. Setting up a business involves meticulous planning and attention to detail, ensuring that every aspect of your venture is primed for success.
Luckily, you’re an admin pro and have probably got everything under control. However, it’s worth reading on as my tips come from my own experience of setting up a business and from supporting numerous new business owners. The administrative tasks play a pivotal role in shaping a successful and sustainable business. These tasks not only help in establishing a professional image but also streamline operations, making your business journey smooth and rewarding.
Let's delve into the various options you might consider that will pave the way for a prosperous and fulfilling business journey:
1. Professional Email Accounts
Create professional email accounts using your business domain to portray a credible and trustworthy image. Integrate these accounts with popular productivity apps like Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail for seamless operation.
2. VoIP Telephone System
Investing in a VoIP telephone system facilitates cost-effective communication with features such as call forwarding and voicemail-to-email integration, enhancing your business's professionalism. This system allows you to manage a landline directly from a mobile app, offering the flexibility to choose a number with an area code that resonates with your target clientele. This strategy can foster a local business vibe, which is particularly beneficial if you aim to appeal to clients in a specific geographical area.
3. Virtual Office Address
As a business, you’ll need to provide either a registered office address or a postal address - it’s different depending on your legal setup. Establishing a virtual office address can provide an online-based VA business a prestigious postal address, along with access to meeting rooms and other amenities when necessary. It also means you don’t have to publish your home address or share it with clients. Similar to point 2, you could pick a virtual office address in an area where your ideal clients are.
4. Social Media Presence
Identify the social media platforms that resonate with your target clientele. Craft engaging bios and maintain an active presence to connect with potential clients effectively.
5. Google Business Profile
Claim and optimise your Google Business Profile to enhance your online visibility. Regular updates will help you rank higher in Google searches, attracting more clients to your VA business.
6. GDPR Compliance
Ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to avoid hefty fines. Familiarise yourself with the regulations and implement necessary measures to safeguard personal data. You will likely need to register with the ICO. Visit their website for the most up to date information https://ico.org.uk/
7. Brand Kit
Develop a brand kit encompassing logo files, a colour palette, and fonts to establish a strong visual identity that resonates with your target audience.
8. Branded Stationery
Develop branded stationery, including headed paper with your company's logo, address, and contact details, to create a professional image when communicating with clients. You may never post a letter, but attaching letters to emails or simply using headed stationery for contracts etc. will make you stand out as a professional. If you are not sure where to start, there are lots of templates on Word or Canva.
9. Email Signature
Design a professional email signature featuring your name, job title, and website URL to leave a lasting impression on email recipients. You can create a free one on https://signaturehound.com/
10. Ideal Client Profile
Create a detailed profile of your ideal client to tailor your marketing and communication strategies effectively. Understanding your target audience will help in building a brand that appeals to them. The more details the better!
11. Onboarding Procedure
Formulate a systematic onboarding procedure to ensure a consistent and smooth experience for every client from the outset. You may want a simple checklist to follow or you could use a CRM (customer relationship management) application.
12. Project Management Software
Utilise a cloud-based project management software to document repeatable tasks and maintain consistency in your business operations. Tools like Notion can facilitate collaboration and streamline processes. Documenting tasks early on in your business will make growth of your business more smooth.
13. Business Bank Account
Open a separate business bank account, even as a sole trader, to simplify financial management and tax return preparations.
14. Accountant Partnership
Consider working with a reliable accountant to ensure legal compliance and tax efficiency. A good accountant can also provide valuable business advice and assist with bookkeeping.
15. Business Insurance
Secure appropriate business insurance to safeguard your VA business against potential losses and liabilities, ensuring a secure foundation for your venture.
16. Collaborate with Other VAs
Consider collaborating with other virtual assistants to expand your service offerings and provide comprehensive support to your clients. Networking with other VAs can also offer opportunities for learning and growth.
In conclusion, these administrative tasks are what you need to consider when setting up a successful virtual assistant business in the UK. While it might seem overwhelming initially, addressing these tasks head-on will pave the way for a prosperous future. And of course, not all will be relevant to your business, so pick and choose!
The list in this blog is by no means exhaustive but I hope it will help you in getting started. I’ve also created some useful resources for new business owners which you may find useful. You can access my Business Plan Template (with completion notes) and my New Business Checklist here
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions at email@example.com
Sarah Stacey, Stealth Office Services Limited, stealthofficeservices.co.uk
This blog was prepared or accomplished by Sarah Stacey in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Kayleigh Johnstone or COZ PR.