What laptop should I get?

I use a MAC as I find it so much more reliable, secure and hardy than a Windows laptop. You will be holding a lot of client’s data as well as your own, so you’re going to need something with lots of capacity, but that can also cope with being full. You don’t want something that’s going to let you down regularly, because without your laptop you can’t work. No work = no money.

What should I call my business?

Many VA’s procrastinate starting their business as they try to think of a name for their business. How about ‘your name – virtual assistant’? Whatever you choose Google it to death before going with it, in case someone else has it already.

Do I need a LinkedIn profile?

Definitely. This platform goes from strength to strength. It’s not just recruiters these days. Your profile and presence need to sell you.

Have you taken my three-day email course to get your LinkedIn ready for business?

If your LinkedIn isn’t currently working for you I can do a thorough audit of your account and activity and give you a personalised report on how to get LinkedIn working for you.

Do I need a proper email address?

It certainly looks more professional, doesn’t it? I’d avoid Hotmail and Yahoo as they are notorious for going into spam. Gmail is very well received.

Do I need a photo of me?

Yes! It’s the age of people doing business with people.

Do I need a logo?

Not to start your business, no. If trying to think of a logo is stopping you opening for business then worry about it later – it’s not essential.

Can I start my business while employed?

That depends entirely on your HR department and terms and conditions of employment. I wouldn’t recommend starting your business without checking with your HR team first.

If they’re okay with it, there’s nothing to stop you.

Do I need to let clients know when I am away from the office?

If they’re expecting you to get a task completed on a day you’re going to be out of the office then yes. I tell my clients my holiday dates in advance, but also reassure them all work will be completed before I go.

Should I offer discounts?

The way I look at it, is. If you offer a discount you’ll have to work more hours to make up the money lost.

I always ask myself whether I am prepared to or indeed have the time to do that.

What do I need on my website?
  • Services
  • Rates
  • About You
  • Contact Information
What do I need in my email signature?
  • Your name
  • Email address (in case it gets lost when emails are forwarded)
  • Phone number
  • Website address

Keep it to the bare essentials, don’t over complicate things.

Can I offer bookkeeping?

Of course, it’s a task that many small business owners can’t wait to outsource. BUT, you must be registered with HMRC for anti-money laundering. If you have any questions always check directly with HMRC, not some mate on Facebook!

Do I need to be a Ltd company (UK)?

It’s only a legal requirement when you’re earning £85k plus (at time of writing. Please always check the UK Government website for confirmation).

You can, however, register as a limited company before you reach this threshold if you want to, but that means you’ll have to add VAT to all your invoices. Are your clients happy with paying 20% extra if they’re not VAT registered?

Can’t see your question here?
Why not book a Power Hour with me where I can answer your specific question/s, personally.

‘What a great book. Catherine writes a very objective account of what you need to do to begin working as a VA. It’s a personal account of what’s worked for her – lessons learnt and much humour.’

Amazon 5 Star Review