Understanding Virtual Assisting – Part 10 – Transitioning into Your Virtual Assistant Practice

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy

If you have been following this series, then you’ll recall that to date we’ve discussed what a virtual assistant (VA) is and does. We have also discussed some of the steps to planning your virtual assistant practice. If you haven’t been following this series or seem to have forgotten parts of it, you may go to the navigation bar, click on “Virtual Assisting” and follow the drop-down menu to the “Series”.

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Now we will discuss how to transition into your virtual assistant practice. Transitioning here refers to how you will go from working for an employer (employed) to working for yourself (self-employed) as a virtual assistant. The two big questions here will be: How and when do I transition into my virtual assistant practice?

If you are currently a stay-at-home mom or dad, the transition will be more of a time management scenario. This is where you will decide how and when to work around your kids. You’ll also have to make a decision on whether or not you will hire inside or outside help to watch your kids while you work.

Now, if you are still working a regular job outside the home, you will need to ask yourself several questions when deciding how and when to transition into your own virtual assistant practice. These questions may vary, but these questions will be help you begin planning your transition:

  • How long do I want my transitioning period to last?
  • Will I be able to work with clients around my current day job?
  • Will I be able to work only evenings and weekends while I build my VA practice?
  • Could I reduce my regular job from full-time to part-time allowing more time for my VA practice?
  • Can I just quit my regular job and transition into my VA practice?
  • Should I quit my day job, find a WAH job, and then transition into my VA practice?
  • Do I have too much debt to quit my regular job and start a VA practice?

Again, no one solution will work for each person. It will really depend upon how much money you will need to make as well as how good you are at taking risks. You might want to revisit the article in our series on “Financing”.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you are planning to match each dollar you earn at your regular job with each dollar you earn in your VA practice, this will probably have you working close to 80 hours or more per week. That’s not something most people can sustain indefinitely.

Personally, I worked my day job and did virtual assisting in the evenings and on the weekends. However, because I had a 4-hour a day (2-hours each way) commute, I could tell it was going to be a slow transition. That is why I decided to accept a WAH job at a call center to supplement my then current VA clients, and I resigned from my day job. I also had three months’ salary saved.

Now, this is what I did. Again, this might not be the best solution for someone else. Give serious thought to your transitioning plan.

For those of you who have already transitioned into your VA practice or who are planning to transition into your VA practice, what does your plan look like?

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Leisa Good

February 18, 2012 at 10:19 am

What a coincidence! I learned that a woman in my town actually did win $5,000 at the SAME country store I shop at. Wonder if she’ll use it for her VA practice? LOL

But again, this is not the norm.

Wendy Baldwin

February 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Knowing when to transition from day job to self-employed is probably one of the trickiest moves. I think this area stumps people the most. It’s hard to forsee unexpected expenses or have it take longer to get your business llucritive. Being realistic about your money situation and juggling kids etc can be discouraging and postpone people from making the leap to business owner. Having a financial cushion is always a good plan “just in case.”

Leisa Good

February 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Wendy, it sure can be scary! Thanks for your comments.

Wendy Baldwin

February 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Taking the giant leap of faith is worth it though! 🙂 There is nothing quite as liberating and fulfilling as being in control of your life instead of someone else.

Leisa Good

February 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Wendy, you are so right about that! Also, no transition plan is perfect. It’s just that some transition plans are more perfect than others.