Congratulations! Your decision to launch a one-person business takes courage.
One of the biggest challenges new solopreneurs must overcome is taking on every project and trying to be experts in every field.
Now that you’re in the solo business space, it’s essential that you tackle projects where you have expertise and where you can add the most value.
I empathize that you may not have the bankroll to hire an employee in your first 3 to 9 months, yet one of the smartest operating decisions you can make (when you have adequate funds) is to collaborate with a virtual assistant (VA).
Once you start to delegate daily tasks to a smart and energetic VA, you’ll see immediate impact in two big areas:
First, your energy will improve since you’re working on projects you know how to do well.
Second, your clients will receive more attention, which creates a positive customer journey.
In this article, we explore how virtual assistants help solopreneurs make money.
In addition, there is a dynamic interview with Brianni Walker, founder of Assitme VA.
5 Ways a Virtual Assistant Helps a Solopreneur Make Money
- VAs live in every part of the globe, and you can find hundreds of quality candidates.
- VAs often work from home with their own IT and equipment, saving you money on buying new tech.
- VAs can fix problems you can’t solve and give you time to focus on your key skills.
- VAs help your clients with daily issues and give you more opportunities to generate sales.
- VAs work on flexible pricing plans and keep your expenses in check.
When you jump into the solopreneur sandbox, you need energy, skills, and 99 extra pairs of hands to tackle the challenges of running a home business.
A VA fills the gap between what you ‘don’t want to do’ and ‘what you should do’ to increase sales. Here’s how they do it.
A Virtual Assistant Lives in Every Part of the Globe
Years ago, it was difficult to discover a VA who could help you excel. These days, there’s no excuse not to discover an ideal candidate.
One source you can consult to identify candidates is BOSS Assistants.
You can search across time zones and zip codes. It’s never been easier to find a great VA.
This model gives you the confidence to leave the office and build revenue.
A Virtual Assistant Works from Home with Their Own IT and Equipment
It’s expensive to rent a workspace and provide PCs, laptops, and furniture. Today’s VAs have their own equipment.
They can connect with you via digital workspaces, and you can assign tasks back and forth.
Project management is seamless, and invoicing is easier with a wide array of fintech choices.
This business model lowers your costs and improves your margins. In addition, you can delegate tasks that are not in your area of expertise.
A Virtual Assistant Fixes Problems Outside Your Comfort Zone
Stop trying to master it all.
Assign a VA the SEO, email, and marketing outreach tasks you don’t do well.
Focus on one skill to solve 1 BIG client problem.
You may feel nervous about asking a VA to dive into new projects. This is natural.
In my experience, a solid VA will learn the ins and outs of your business and climb the learning curve in short order.
Once you and a VA are on the same path, your productivity accelerates, and your clients receive more attention.
A Virtual Assistant Helps Your Clients
The reward for your good work is more clients. All clients deserve A+ service, yet VAs can solve 90–95% of client requests.
Empower your VA to be a client service advocate.
When a VA attends to your clients in rapid succession, their appreciation for your business excels.
This A+ service encourages them to recommend your firm to their friends and associates.
Virtual Assistants Can Work on Flexible Payment Plans
Full-time employees are a sensational investment, yet the costs are high. The VA model has a lower cost structure and is a good intermediate step.
When you hire a full-time employee, you have to account for payroll, taxes, and benefits to help attract and retain a top full-time employee.
A VA may not need these extras, which keeps your expenses lower and your margins healthier.
When I started my finance business, I was hesitant to hire a virtual assistant.
When I made the choice to bring a terrific VA on to the team, my business productivity went up by 30 to 45%.
Learn from My Firsthand Experience
I launched my first solo business with an MBA and 8 years of finance and marketing expertise.
For 14 plus years, I led my finance firm and convinced myself I could tackle each project on my desk. Big mistake.
I hit the wall of exhaustion with presentations, research, client emails, and looking for new business.
The single best decision I made was to hire smart teammates who could tackle and solve problems faster and better than me.
The VA model gave me valuable time to prospect and increase sales.
Interview with Brianni Walker, Founder of Assist Me VA
When Brianni Walker started her virtual assistant agency in 2022, her timing was right on the mark.
The solo business model took off in the pandemic era, and Brianni was in position A to meet demand for VA assistance.
I discovered Brianni on LinkedIn and was impressed with her journey and corporate approach.
I interviewed Brianni to learn of her ups and downs in starting her virtual assistant agency and the benefits of this dynamic business model.
Following are excerpts from my video interview with Brianni, which took place in early 2023.
Erik: “Brianni, what was the genesis for you to go down this road?”
Brianni: “I started my virtual assistant business by myself in January 2022. My first client, who I still work with, <was a good friend>.
She <built> a virtual assistant agency in the beginning of her career, and she gave me the idea of starting a virtual assistant agency.
The funny part about it was that I didn’t know anybody else who had an agency.
I <conducted> research and did a lot of studying. I’ve seen millions of virtual assistants all over the internet.
But I didn’t see many who were operating under an agency model.”
Erik: “How did that process work for you when you were weighing the pros and cons of going out on your own and building this?”
Brianni: “I was terrified. I was very apprehensive about the idea of interviewing other virtual assistants and having them represent me and my brand to other businesses.
It was uncomfortable for me.
My friend told me, “if you feel that way, when you get new clients, you should work with them initially.
So now, if <a client> wants to work with us, they <work> with me as their virtual assistant for the first 6 to 8 weeks.
This time gives me an opportunity to really get into their business <model> and understand what they need, their pain points, and the steps to creating processes that will be effective for their virtual assistant.
That part makes me feel better about it.”
Erik: “If a reader is curious about the benefits of getting a VA on <the> team, how do you work with a new business owner?”
Brianni: “Many folks say a virtual assistant helps grow a business.
Virtual assistants don’t help with growing a business.
I feel virtual assistants should be one of the first hires for any business.
Business owners don’t understand how much work they’re doing that they don’t have to be doing.
We have onboarding calls with all of our clients, and we talk about their main pain points.
I always say, “Let’s start with your pain points.”
Once they offload those pain points and realize how much space and opportunity they have to put back into their business, it gives them more time to be creative.
It gives them more time to create on social media.
It gives them more time to generate, <and> it gives them more time to do the things that they need to do as CEOs.
They can get more clients, bring in more sales, and increase revenue.”
Erik: “How do you help clients tackle <multiple> projects in the right way?”
Brianni: “One of the services we offer is email management. Many agencies offer email management because they feel it’s so easy.
But when you have a client who has 20,000 emails, many will say, “I don’t want to do that.
Once you get to a steady state, you get to a place where you say, “Okay, this can be managed.”
And getting to that point is stressful.
When you have clients who don’t have enough time to implement the system that you put in place, you go back to the drawing board.
We have to start over.
Email management is a bigger beast than people think.”
Erik: “Any other topics you’d like the readers to know about you, the business, or what you provide for <clients>?“
Brianni: “When you are interested in hiring a virtual assistant, do your research.
There are people who <claim to be> virtual assistants who probably shouldn’t be virtual assistants.
There are so many different places where you can find support. Go with your gut instinct. If you feel it’s not going to be a good partnership, it’s probably not going to be a good partnership.
Do your research when sourcing virtual assistant help.”
**End of Interview**
If you operate a solo business, consider the VA model. When revenue starts to arrive, you might also consider collaborating with a bookkeeper.
Remember Brianni’s recommendation to conduct your research on the VA agency and the individuals with whom you work.
Chat with your accountant and attorney to understand important financial and legal issues when you add teammates to your organization.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the right time to hire a virtual assistant?
The obvious answer is ‘it depends.’ Specifically, consider your 3 key tasks: selling, helping clients, and finding new clients.
When these 3 feel ‘overwhelming’, it’s time to consider a VA.
In my experience, folks wait six months too long before they hire a VA.
Which tasks should you ask a virtual assistant to complete?
Focus on your business operations for the initial task list.
This may include emails, client correspondence, organizing your calendar, and research.
If your VA understands basic search engine optimization, you can ask them to create a simple database (Google Sheets) of keywords for your blog posts, newsletters, or website.
You can also ask your VA to conduct simple market research on buying trends and updates in your industry.
While you’re selling and working on business development, your VA can be your ‘part-time’ marketing and research division.